This will be my last “Scottish Hills” post, at least in this series. And not before time; five months have passed since I climbed Beinn Ime (pronounced ee-muh). It was not on the climb-list I made before leaving home. In fact, I had never heard of it until, with one hiking day left to me, I was looking online for a suitably located summit to target. At five months’ distance, putting together this post has been an exercise of memory. Photographs and maps got me started, then stuff flooded back. I can’t vouch for the exact time I was out, nor for where I ate breakfast. But, really, who cares?
DATE: Wednesday, October 10th, 2018.
START & FINISH: Walker parking beside the A83 just west of Arrochar, Argyll and Bute region (GPS 56.206040, -4.750913). At the time of my trip, there was anger and talk of boycott over a rise in parking fees steeper than the side of any ben. Even as a probably one-time visitor, I resented putting £6 plus into the meter. If Arrochar was my weekly outing to the hills, I’d go somewhere else in future.
ROUTE: Forest and moorland paths broadly NW into the glen between bens Narnain and Arthur. Then, leaving Narnain and Arthur behind, path north to summit of Ime. Return by same route.
DISTANCE: About 8½ miles.
TIME: Roughly 5½ hours (9:30am to 3:00pm).
TERRAIN: Start is at sea level, so you climb all of Ime’s 3,317 feet. The trails are good-to-excellent as far as 2,000 feet, then wet and rough on the ben’s south flank, drying out nearer the summit.
MAP: Ordnance Survey map downloaded to my tablet.
WEATHER: Dry; cloudy early, then partial clearing as the day progressed; summit in and out of mist. Summit wind, but nothing like Dumgoyne yesterday!
WILDLIFE: Nothing that I recall.
BREAKFAST: It may have been McDonald’s in Balloch.
LUNCH: Sheltering from the wind behind Ime’s summit rocks.
UPS: The incredible rock formations of Ben Arthur being gradually revealed as the afternoon cleared.
DOWNS: A light cold and chills.
KIT: It was a cap, not a wooly hat, day.
COMPANY: Not much until the last hour when hiking parties began to take advantage of the clearing skies to head for Arthur and Narnain.
THE HIKE IN PICTURES: