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