Winter Weekend – Ben A’an   14 comments

Last day of our winter trip and we needed a walk before we took the long drive home. The forecast was really poor so a small hill was in order. Ben A’an in the Trossachs fitted the bill and its a regular feature in any list of high quality small hills.

The weather on the drive over was appalling. Torrential rain had us at double wiper speeds and we were looking at a wash out and heading home early. As we approached the car park the skies suddenly and abruptly cleared to almost cloudless blue! The views across Loch Achray to Ben Venue were superb. It almost tempted us to climb it again but apart from a hardy trio of Matts and Hard Men we stuck to the plan for Ben A’an.

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What it lacks in altitude, Ben A’an more than makes up for in steepness. Apart from a short level stretch about halfway up its pretty much a thousand feet straight up.

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We got battered by a very heavy shower on the climb but as we neared the top the skies turned blue again and the sun came out.

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We pressed on as quickly as tired legs allowed figuring clear spells might be very short lived.

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The summit is impressively rocky even though in essence its just an outcrop of a higher and blander heathery mound behind.

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As we climbed the views over the Trossachs forest and Loch Venacher were top drawer.

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It warms you up for the sensational view across Loch Katrine from the summit. Its easy to see why this diminutive little hill is so praised and popular.

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Ben Venue across the Trossachs Pass

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The summit was insanely windy and it was quite a challenge to stand up straight or scramble about on the slippery summit rocks.

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We were incredibly lucky to hit the top in the middle of quite a lengthy blue interlude and the views all round were magnificent.

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Looking back towards Ben Ledi we climbed a few years back.

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Despite the ferocious wind we found a superb lunch spot, grassy and completely sheltered. Nothing finer than sharing a summit with good friends, in grand weather with expansive views.

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We had planned to explore some of the other rocky outcrops up there but it was pathless and heathery.

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Our appetites for a walk had been satisfied and we’d had superb views and with a long drive to come decided just to head back down.

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The blue skies belied the fact a massive downpour was on the way which we didn’t quite beat to the car before getting changed.

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We bid everyone a fond farewell after another cracking weekend. Despite some very uncertain and at times wet weather we’d had 2-3 days of great walking and life doesn’t get better than that. As we drove away the sun came out again treating us to one final view of Ben A’an across Loch Achray. Nice memory to sustain us over 7 hours in the car.

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14 responses to “Winter Weekend – Ben A’an

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  1. Nice! Views like that are always worth the steep trudge. Glad the weather cooperated for you.

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  2. Definitely one for the book that, although almost disqualified because it was relatively hard work to climb.

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    beatingthebounds
  3. Terrific photos on these winter mountain walks, first class. It seems a long time since we were out in real snowy winter conditions like that, probably because it is…
    We’ll just have to rely on your reports for the serious stuff!.

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    • Never really walked in the Trossachs – always saw them as coach party territory but its a superb cover. Some rather move forested hills and some pretty seriously rocky peaks. This one is not much more than a rock outcrop at the edge of heather moorland but the views are sensational. I would most definitely not have wanted to be camping that weekend!!

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  4. Not been up it since they cleared the forests below. It used to be a very wooded walk. Some nice rock climbs on the cliffs halfway to the summit off to the side. A nice hill.

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    Blue Sky Scotland
    • It’s quite an impressive rock tower from the walk up, we did look and wonder if there were any routes up it. Its good to see some of the regimented pine forests being cleared but I’m guessing it will be generations before any of it returns to a more natural state if ever. Some of these cleared forests look like they have been hit by a nuclear blast!

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  5. Beautiful

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  6. Hi Andy. This is a test to see if my research has now allowed me to add a comment to your blog again.

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  7. Success! I had to add https:// to – outandabout3.blogspot.com . I hadn’t had to do sp previously.

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