Ben A'an - 454m
Sunday 29th May 2011

Weather/Conditions: Cloudy with sunny gaps. Cold on the top!
Distance/Ascent/Time: 3.4km / 350m / 2h 20m
Accompanying: Uncle Sandy and Tom

It was four years previous that I last came to the Trossachs, and that time was also with Uncle Sandy and Tom. It feels like a long time ago now. We climbed Ben A'an that time too. Today's plan was the alternative to cycling around Cowal with Sandy in the face of a bad weather forecast.

Just driving to the Trossachs was an interesting experience. I didn't process the landscapes in the same way as I normally do for Scotland - I saw it with unknowing eyes, seeing knolls and trees around corners without understanding their position on a map. I rarely get this sensation in Scotland since I know it so well. Ben Ledi swung into view around one corner and it looked huge! Not at all like the mountain I'd grown to know. The last time I had this sensation was February 2010 on the Campsies...

Ben A'an sticks out of the trees like a rocky thumb, and it's clearly visible from the road that descends to Loch Achray where we parked. It was a busy hill today, too and we walked up through the trees. I always remember the forests in this area being particularly beautiful. Above the trees, we climbed the path alongside the burn and scrambled the final metres to the top.

A chilling wind awaited us on top, and it's strength meant I have difficulties standing on the top to take my panorama! We sheltered out of the wind eating biscuits and rolls of ham and salami. I saw a few people scattering ashes at Ben A'an's NE connecting bealach.

I'd mentioned to Sandy and Tom that if the weather was good and we felt up for it we might be able to strike over moorland and climb Meall Gainmheich, not a huge hill by any means but a 'HuMP' nonetheless. It's the high moorland that dominated the northward view from Ben A'an. Although this plan was in the mix, I couldn't be bothered bush whacking through heather and grass, content that Ben A'an would do just fine.

So we descended the way we came, stopping at the boulder before the forest on the way down. Next up: Ben Venue. The day had barely began!

360° Panorama

Ben A'an
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 12.05pm Loch Achray car park
(1.00) 1.05pm Ben A'an
(2.20) 2.25pm Loch Achray car park

Written: 2011-08-03