Arrochar 2012

Dave Mills writes - "Euro Vision rubbish is on TV  so I would rather write my reports from our walking holiday! "

 
Saturday May 5 - What a bad start to our week long walking holiday! The plan was to travel to Arrochar, Scotland in 3 seperate cars containing in total 7 of us, each car leaving Oldham about 9am to meet at Tebay services on the M6 about 10-30. What could go wrong? -the answer is almost everything!
The only car to get to Scotland without having to deviate was Paul Roberts.
Ray Morris's car developed a problem whilst near Chorley which meant returning to Oldham and swapping to my car which only got as far as Heywood before I had to call out the RAC. Thankfully the RAC man twiddled with it and said we could get on our way.
Dave Wild had set off earlier and was already at Tebay when his wife rang to say all the electrics had gone off at home so he drove all the way back to Shaw to replace a fuse before turning around to head back to Scotland. 
Fortunately we took all this in our stride and were at the house we had rented by 6-30 that evening in time to enjoy a good meal and a few drinks in the Village Inn.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday May 6 - We caught ferry across Loch Lomond and walked up the Ptarmigan and Ben Lomond. What a great day, good weather and finished up walking in snow near the top! 

 (The route we took to the summit was not the "tourist" path.   We only saw a handful of people all day, until we reached the summit.  This being the nearest peak to Glasgow, it was like the trafford centre on a bank holiday)

 

 Monday May 7 - Caught train from Crainlarich to Tyndrum but we can't even do that without a bit of drama. The train arrived, we got on and sat down just as the message came on the display screen that the next stop was Oban (about 60 miles further than we wanted to go) so we made a mad dash to get off. Most of us did this except Paul who got trapped by the closing door and in his efforts to get free started waving his arm & leg that were visible from the outside of the train in a style reminiscent of the famous Harry Worth sketch. The guard came along and sorted out the problem and told us we could catch that train as it would be stopping at Tyndrum so we got back on, at least we and all the other passengers saw the funny side. 


Here is an admission by me of thinking and saying something extremely stupid - on arrival at Tyndrum we saw a packed rucksack on the deserted platform which had obviously been left by someone. I said "Let's see if there is a mobile in it and phone the number to contact the owner" .  If it takes you more than a second or so the realise the stupidity of this then you are as stupid as me - my friends took great delight in pointing this out to me and indeed Ray says he may use it in a sermon at some time. There, I have told all the world now!!
Back to the walking, we went a walk along the West Highland Way back to Crainlarich and a welcome coffee in the excellent station cafe.
 
Tuesday May 8 - Walked up Ben Arthur (also known as the "Cobbler") and Ben Narnain, a long day the highlight of which was the rock on top of Ben Arthur.

 

This rock as a hole through it which leads to a narrow ledge which in turn leads to a couple of boulders which need scaling to get to the very exposed narrow and sloping top. John got to the top but because of the strong wind just popped his head up to have a photo taken, I went through the hole to the narrow ledge, the others were more sensible and kept well away.
 

Wednesday May 9 - A day of no walking. We went to Inverary and Chruachan Power Station. No acts of stupidity today, I think the tablets have finally started to work!

 


     
Thursday May 10 - We walked up Ben Vorlich, it was very misty at the start with visibility down to something like 50 ft or so meaning we saw nothing much at all.

At about 2000 ft we sensed it was getting brighter, then we started to see the faint outlines of adjacent mountains and then suddenly we came out above the mist to a completely clear day with a bright blue sky and sunshine.

 

All around us were the tops of other mountains poking up through the mist, what a fantastic sight and truly a great reward for all the hard work walking the very steep path to get there.

 


 

 

Friday May 11 - Went up Beine Ime, the highest mountain in the "Arrochar Alps" at about 3400 ft. Another fantastic day and a fitting last walk of the week.

 

(This final picture shows our old friend, Ben Nevis taken from Ben Narnain - its a full 1000 feet taller and over 60 miles away,thats the scale of the views!) 
 

 
Saturday May 12 -  Left Scotland, car trouble again but we got home ok so will not bore you with the details.
 
To sum up - I had a great holiday, the walking was first class, the weather was good, the house was comfortable, Arrochar grew on me, we found good places to eat and drink, the company was excellent (even though they did call me stupid). Pity about the car problems but even that did not spoil anything.
 
Here's to next year, David Mill

(With additional comments from John C in Italics)

It's become a tradition to record our efforts and at the end of the week proclaim, "King of the Hills".  Once again the honour went to the athlete in the group.

 

He climbed a total of  14,419 Feet, covering a distance of 37 miles during the week

 

"King of the Hills"  -  Mr David Mills


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