South High­lands

Trail (UK) - - SOUTH HIGHLANDS -

1

NN295049 From the car park at Suc­coth – which sits at the north­ern edge of Loch Long – exit left and care­fully cross the busy A83. En­ter the Ar­gyll For­est Park and fol­low a path up a se­ries of zigzags, through lovely birch wood­land. It rises all the way to a track be­side a bench where there is a spec­tac­u­lar view over the fjord-like Loch Long to Ben Lomond. Turn left then, after a few me­tres, just be­fore a ra­dio mast, go right onto a path. This again rises steeply through denser mixed wood­land, soon climb­ing above the tree­line onto open hill­side.

2

NN280050 Now you get the first heart-stop­ping view of The Cob­bler, its unique pro­file dom­i­nat­ing the as­pect ahead.

A su­perb path con­tin­ues on a grad­ual as­cent, al­low­ing you to catch your breath and en­joy the fab­u­lous sur­round­ings. Keep on north-west above the fast-flow­ing Allt a’ Bha­lachain. Be­side a weir the path splits, so keep right and con­tinue on, in due course reach­ing the enor­mous Nar­nain Boul­ders. Soon af­ter­wards the path forks and again keep right, cut­ting a course through Coire a’ Bha­lachain, in-be­tween the slopes of The Cob­bler and Beinn Nar­nain. The main path ends at the head of Bealach a’ Mhaim be­side a marker post. It is a mar­vel­lous spot with a real sense of wild­ness and views ex­tend­ing to Beinn Ime, Beinn Luib­hean and Beinn an Lochain.

3

NN261065 Make a left from where an ex­cel­lent, but steep, path rises south up the north­ern shoul­der of The Cob­bler. Fab­u­lous views open out to the west. Even­tu­ally the gra­di­ent re­lents to reach a col

in-be­tween the North and Cen­tral Peaks. Go left and climb onto the North Peak with the fi­nal me­tres cross­ing awk­ward rocky slabs, which are tricky, es­pe­cially on the de­scent. When on top the view is ex­cep­tional, with the Cen­tral Peak draw­ing the eye to­wards the Firth of Clyde, Ar­ran and Ailsa Craig.

4

NN262060 Care­fully re­turn to the col then make the fi­nal, steady as­cent onto the Cen­tral Peak with only the in­trepid ‘thread­ing the eye’ to gain the true sum­mit. An­other won­der­ful view ex­tends to Ben Lomond and Beinn Nar­nain.

5

NN259058 Re­turn to Bealach a’ Mhaim then head north along a rough path, across boggy ground to­wards Beinn Ime. The path be­comes faint but soon reaches a gate. Once through, the path rises over open hill­side, on a tough as­cent, even­tu­ally run­ning right of a burn, to reach a junc­tion be­side a small marker cairn. Turn left over the burn. The path im­proves as it climbs steadily north-west to gain Beinn Ime’s rugged 1011m top, the high­est point of the walk. The stun­ning view ex­tends to Ben Lomond, Loch Arklet, Loch Katrine and mighty Ben Cru­achan.

6

NN255085 Re­turn to the gate near the base of Beinn Ime. Once through keep straight on, head­ing south-east-east along a faint path, which be­comes clearer as ground rises to­wards Beinn Nar­nain. Around the 750m con­tour pass a path on the right (marked with a very small cairn), which is for the de­scent. Now a well-worn path rises steeply east, be­stow­ing fab­u­lous views back to­wards Beinn Ime. Soon the path runs along Beinn Nar­nain’s south­ern slopes be­fore veer­ing north-east, through boul­dery ground, to reach the sum­mit plateau. A trig sits just east of the large sum­mit cairn. The view of Ben Lomond, The Cob­bler and along the length of Loch Long is stun­ning.

7

NN271067 Re­turn to the path marked with the small cairn and turn left.

8

NN265068 Con­tour the lower slopes of Beinn Nar­nain, drop­ping south-west back to the out­ward-bound path at the base of The Cob­bler. Turn left and re­trace steps back to Suc­coth.

The Cob­bler’s true sum­mit is, de­cep­tively, the small rocky knot to the left of cen­tre.

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