Ben Venue - 729m
Ben Venue East Top - 727m

Sunday 29th May 2011

Weather/Conditions: Sun, cumulus and high wind! Very exciting higher up.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 12km / 700m / 5h 30m
Accompanying: Uncle Sandy and Tom

Ben Venue must be the 'Ben' of the Trossachs. It's a bumpy hill of craggy knolls and gentle grassy slopes, although the Romantic painters would try to convince you it was more akin to the Cuillin. I hadn't expected to climb it today. Uncle Sandy, Tom had climbed Ben A'an and we decided upon Ben Venue as a second walk. It was without a doubt a longer walk, although we could only try and see how far we got. Tiredness, the time or boredom would dictate whether or not we turned back.

But things went well and the forest was enjoyable. We'd forgotten a map (we'd only expected to do Ben A'an) and used a photograph I'd snapped from the car park billboard. The track left the trees and opened into a small valley at the head of Gleann Riabhach. The first evidence of a strong wind appeared here: it blew and gusted down the valley, although we seemed fairly sheltered for now.

The path climbed alongside an attractive waterfall where we saw a herd of goats. But I don't think we were prepared for the wind - on the ridge, it hit us with unrelenting, uncompromising force. Not bad either for a pretty small hill. It blew us all the way around to the summit, and skewed our faces back into funny expressions - too horrific to show on the internet! Even the dog seemed unhappy in the wind. But we all made it up without issue and continued to the East Top upon which sits a trig point. Both summits look about the same height from one another, but we are assured the west summit is indeed the top...

And in view were parts of the Highlands that I don't often see. My 'commute' is usually the A82 or A9, which reveals almost nothing of the Trossachs. In immediate view were the attractive forests beneath Ben A'an and in the west were the high tops spanning Loch Lomond's east bank. Loch Katrine seemed wild in it's western end. It rims the east bank of Loch Lomond, remote itself but for the West Highland Way. And it seemed odd to be on Ben Venue itself, a mountain I have often glimpsed but never visited.

To get back to the car park, we decided it was hopeless to walk into the wind, back the way we came. So we descended south-east over tussocks and crags, which led to felled forestry, and in turn down to the approach track.

We were shattered when we got back to the car, so a MacDonald's in Milngavie went down well. My day's food had been a 10-pack of Carmel Wafers - not quite ideal.

360° Panorama

Ben Venue
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 2.45pm Car park
(2.30) 5.15pm Ben Venue
(3.05) 5.50pm Ben Venue East Top
(5.30) 8.15pm Car park

Written: 2011-10-28