Hiking Ben Venue

This Sunday my dad and I climbed Ben Venue at the south end of the Trossachs. Her name means the 'miniature mountain', and the hike is only about 7 miles on either path (we used the Loch Ard path from the farm). She has two summit peaks, but the correct summit is actually the non-trig point one (typical!), sitting at 729m (2 metres higher than the other). This makes her a Graham, not a Corbett and not a Munro.

To clear that one up for everyone, Munros are over 914.4 metres tall, and there are 282 of them currently. The Corbetts are from 762 to 914.4 metres and must gain at least 154.2m compared to their surrounds. Currently there are 221.  Grahams are 609.6 to 762 metres, and must be 150 metres tall compared to their surrounds. There are currently 224. Then Donalds are hills in the lowlands over 609.6m, including subsidaries for a total of 140 hills. Marilyns are anything in Britain that have a relative height of 150 metres or over. There are 1216 in Scotland.

If you want to get even more confused, there is not an official split of mountain and hill; technically its a quality of steepness and height and other factors, but hillwalking sources tend to suggest 610 metres, and the Oxford Dictionary agrees. So Ben Venue is a mountain, and one of the Grahams, and part of the Trossachs. Crystal?

The spooky start

And sunlight!
We started our ascent early in thick mist. When driving to the start, it frequently seemed like the road was the only human feature in a mist sea- very cool atmosphere. Similarly the woods past the farm track were full of low lying mist, making it seem like something out of Silent Hill. However, we quickly ascended and then the sun lit the top of the trees and crept down to us.


Dad taking a photo















The light on the hill itself was fantastic- bright and cold and gorgeous fall colours. This hike really is very straight-forward, climbing around the edge of a subsidary peak via a ridge edge to the real summit. Its a very, very wet hike- lots of water on the path and lots of bog. I managed to stand down into a bog right up to the left knee, so watch out! Nearer the summit peak you have some much more vertical rocky scrambles for a half mile or so, which could be challenging to those less steady on their feet.

Spotted!

View of Loch Katrine

Look at the mist in the Clyde Valley!

Hello neighbour


The views at the top were completely gorgeous- a vista of smoky mist with the peaks sticking out the top and the loch far below. All in all a lovely little hike. We were back down again by lunch and, whilst dad took sandwiches, I was fine munching a Clif bar and banana.

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Did you get out in the hills this weekend? @German68 did - I waved to him on Ben Lomond (honest!). He's an excellent runner and all round' cool dude- I'd recommend checking him out

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