Monday 24th September 2007
Weather/Conditions: Cloudy and drizzly most of the way up. Sometimes it rained heavier and there were hints of blue sky at the top. There was the odd isolated gust most of the way up but above the col the wind were about 50mph, I'd estimate.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 10km / 880m / 5h
The path was nice and easy, although I've always wondered about trying the old tramline path. Nevertheless, we walked on, talking about all sorts of stuff – Taylor’s ridiculous alcohol consumption, prog rock, etc. Although the weather wasn't on our side I felt fine about it all. I had a jacket on from near the start of the climb and upon asking a woman about the conditions high up - windy and wet was the response.
We continued upwards and Taylor's, who wasn't totally prepared, had jeans that were beginning to get wet. After 45 minutes we were at the dam where Taylor cooled off in the water. He was boiling up, had burning muscles, so in response he sat on a rock and had a smoke... Onwards from the dam, we got progressively wetter. Just before the Narnain Boulders, I began getting a little intimidated at the extent to which I was getting wet and cold. We stopped under the shade of the boulders for a while as I ate a little, and it was coincidence that the rain stopped as we began walking again. We climbed as the path steepened which was fun, although Taylor's wet jeans stuck to his legs and he couldn't get up some steeper parts very easily.
About 2700 feet up, just before the bealach, the vertigo got to Taylor and he pretty much panicked and began feeling sick. A bit of a decision making and he decided to go back down to a flatter section. I continued up to the summit. I told Taylor I'd be five to seven minutes away which was a slight underestimation. I left, got a pace, and approached the bealach. I stopped and told myself not to panic if the wind was too heavy. I walked up onto the bealach, got a picture of the cairn. The question was how strong would the wind be? It turned out to be okay, although gusted no less than around the 50mph mark. I found the path, stayed well back from the cliffs as I went and after two minutes I was at the summit. It was immensely windy and I spent only a minute there. There were people huddled up around the pinnacle but I didn't bother going near. Getting back to Taylor was a priority so I got a few photos, had a very brief look around and left.
I descended to the bealach and a few minutes later and met Taylor about 200 feet below. We walked back down together, both sodden and both eagerly anticipating the warmth of Arrochar. I was just getting wetter and the feet were getting damp. At 3.45pm, we walked off the hill and into Arrochar. We bought food from a newsagent and we went to the Ben Arthur Bothy - the usual. Taylor got a pint and I got a Diet Irn-Bru so we sat in the bar relaxing until we left for home.