On Friday, our good friends David and Barbara invited us to climb Beinn Ime with them before we headed back to Wales. This would be our fourth Munro and is the highest of the so-called 'Arrochar Alps' (1,011 m / 3,317 ft). However, the weather forecast for Saturday was gloomy – low cloud and mist. Should we or shouldn’t we? We decided to go ahead. Due to unforeseen circumstances, our start was delayed but we still had just enough time to climb it.
Within about 200 m of the parking area, we had to cross a small but fast-flowing stream, swollen by recent rain. The rocks were too slippery to use as reliable stepping stones and, despite assistance, Lynne ended up ankle deep in water. Luckily, gaiters and Gore-tex kept her feet and socks dry.
There was no clear path up the route we were taking. The coarse, thick grass and spongy moss made it heavy going and the ascent was slower than we had hoped for. The summit of Beinn Ime and its neighbouring Arrochar Alps were hidden in cloud but after an hour’s plodding, we could see the bhealach which we needed to reach. The summit still invisible!
As we reached an area of large boulder deposits, David delivered the bad news. He had calculated that at our current pace, while we could reach the summit in daylight, the last part of the return descent would be in darkness…and only he had a head torch. Respecting his wisdom and experience, we agreed to walk to the bhealach and then return.
The view from the bhealach was spectacular. We were looking straight down the valley of Glen Kinglas, with an occasional glimpse of Loch Fyne at its far end. The light was already so poor that the cars on the A83 were all using headlights, even though it was another 2 hours until sunset.
After a bite to eat, we headed back down to the stream. This time, we just waded through it, safe in the knowledge that dry socks and shoes awaited us in the car, only five minutes away.
Although we didn't make the summit, there was lots of learning from the journey.
Learned and Affirmed
We are Lynne and Andrew from Single Steps Learning. Our love of learning and exploring has inspired us to take up 'hill-walking'. We hope to progress from novice to expert! This is our journey.