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Beinn Narnain


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Beinn Narnain means the hill of the notches and the Munro is obviously named after the jagged crags which lie just below the summit plateau. These have some rock climbs up them, including an intriguing subterranean route which goes right through the crag to emerge on the other side!

There will be some changes to the path this year, as there will be tree felling around the initial path. The tree people will be making a new lower section to the path and basic details are given here of both the original and the new as the timing is uncertain. Both start near the head of Loch Long where there is a car park on the northwest side at Succoth.

The original path enters the forest to go up a dark and gloomy forest "tunnel" before emerging into daylight, crossing a forestry road and shooting straight up an uncompromising and deeply worn trench with many ugly concrete blocks. This marks the remains of a track railway system used to build the tunnels collecting water from the hills for the Loch Sloy Power Scheme. The trench takes one to a horizontal path, with the route to The Cobbler continuing along this.

The new start begins at the usual start point at Succoth, from where the new line will climb the slope more gradually roughly WSW to meet the forest road at approx GR 288046. It will then contour and climb roughly NE to re-join the current path at approx GR 290053.

From the horizontal track gained by either start, continue northwest up the grassy ridge of Beinn Narnain. Many feet have made a muddy section on the soft ground here but the path improves higher up, passing rocky steps to gain the Cruach nam Miseag knoll. Above this, after a slight dip, the ridge becomes much more rocky in character, leading to the Spearhead, the crag jutting out from the end of the summit plateau.

Climb a short gully to the right of the Spearhead and emerge onto the flat summit ridge, with the summit about 200m to the west. There are fine views across to Ben Lomond and The Cobbler, while to the northwest is Beinn Ime.

Descend WNW, boulders followed by grass, to reach the Bealach a'Mhaim. Many might wish to include Beinn Ime, a neighbouring Munro, if time allows. If so, from the Bealach continue northwest up easy grassy slopes, bearing left near the top along a path to reach the summit at 1011m (OS Sheet 56, 255 084). Retrace your steps to the Bealach a'Mhaim to descend.

From the Bealach a'Mhaim, take a path horizontally south for a few hundred metres to gain the bealach at the head of the Allt a'Bhalachain. Descend by the path on the northeast side of this burn, passing the Narnain Boulders to reach a small dam. The path now bends round to the northeast to meet the end of the first section of path which is taken back to the car park.

 

Maps: OS Sheet 56 'Loch Lomond & Inveraray'
Distance: 9 km (Narnain only), 12 km (Narnain and Beinn Ime)
Ascent: 950 m (Narnain only), 1310 m (Narnain and Beinn Ime)
Time: 4 hours (Narnain only), 5.5 hours (Narnain and Beinn Ime)
Food & Drink: Arrochar village has several hotels for refreshment.

 

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