A pleasant evening after doing Creag Mac Ranaich and Meall an t-Seallaidh the day before (21st March) involving food, wine and late evening craic meant that ambitions for the following day were not challenging. The weather forecast was not as good as the day before’s either.
Benvane is a mountain that is seen far and wide with its higher neighbour Ben Ledi from the lowlands to the south. It rises between Loch Lubnaig to the east (from where there are also routes up) and Loch Katrine to the south west. Being isolated and with a degree of prominence there are good views in all directions. Our chosen route was from the north at Ballimore Farm which lies at the end of a single tack dead end road leading south from Balquidder.
Balquidder was centre of Christianity in the 8th century. St Angus preached here and there is now an attractive church with the remains of an earlier medieval one. The grave of Rob Roy MacGregor is in the churchyard with those of his wife and two sons.
Ballimore Farm is in Glen Buckie, a southerly branch off the main Glen, and was the location of one of the last events of the 1745 Jacobite Rising when Cameron of Locheil tried to raise support for further action against George II. He was caught and executed for his troubles.
Well we did not start our day until 12.45pm! There was one other car parked at the farm and we met its owner within 5 minutes after we set off, he having already made the ascent.
After crossing a couple of fields on the right of way to Brig O’Turk a gate is climbed and a turn left up the hillside is made. There are traces of a path. After 40 minutes it was time for lunch! We had a view back down into Glen Buckie with a backdrop of the hills we had done the previous day.
After weaving a way through some grassy bluffs the path became stronger along the broad grassy ridge. The entire route was remarkably dry and the path easy to follow. Benvane looked worryingly distant across the moors but in fact reaching the foot of the final rise did not take too long.
Cloud covered the top but the weather looked as though it would lift the cloud base. Some higher hills to the east were clear. We stopped at the foot of the rise for more food. My three months away from the hill was taking its toll but the energy levels were good for the final climb. We were passed by a chap and his brown lab on the final rise.
The cloud lifted for the summit but there was a stiff cool wind. The clarity of the atmosphere was far less good than the day before. But we could see Ben More and Stob Binnein, our Corbetts of the day before and Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin. Everything in the northern arc was fairly murky.
Towards Loch Katrine
Towards Ben More and Stob Binnein
Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin
Back down in just over an hour including another food stop!!!