Ben Reoch (661m)

Sunday 26th November 2017

Distance: 10kms - Duration: 6hrs - Group Size: 3

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Situated to the south of the A83 on the short stretch of road between Tarbet and Arrochar, at 667m high, Ben Reoch is the highest point on this narrow strip of hills between these two villages, and is much less of an attraction than it's more illustrious neighbours with the grand title of The Arrochar Alps. Nevertheless, Ben Reoch is a fine hill, especially if you want to escape the hordes heading for The Cobbler, and enjoy a quieter day in the hills.

Leaving Tarbet, we headed up the trackless and rough grassy north east ridge of Ben Reoch, soon reaching a fine layer of snow, lying at around the 200m height, with views ahead that indicated a much deeper layer covering the hillside higher up. And so it was, from about the 450m height we were trampling through snow of varying depth from a few centimetres to accumulations as deep as 20 centimetres in some troughs and crags.

The sky remained overcast, and as we approached the summit, we had a period of brief sleet and snow flurries, accompanied with a fairly chill wind; such that we continued on beyond the actual summit cairn to drop off the south side of the top to gain the shelter of a group of crags in which to take a break and have a hot drink and some eats.

Beyond the bealach An t-Sreang, Tullich Hill looked inviting, but there appeared to be a fairly thick covering of snow on what would be our approach route up the steep hillside to the summit. We debated the situation, and given that it had taken us a little longer than anticipated to reach Ben Reoch, and the uncertainty of what lay ahead on Tullich HIll, we opted for a descent to bealach An t-Sreang from which point we would follow the line of the burn flowing northwards to the small hydro dam on the main track above Arrochar.

This route may have the advantage of staying low, and with less snow to contend with, however, the route down alongside of the burn was not an easy one. The ground undulates a great deal, and, worse still, it was extremely wet underfoot, the whole area seaming to be very poorly drained with surface water lying over large swathes of the hillside; one more occasion where we was extremely thankful for Goretex lined boots.

Even as we reached the small dam, we had mud and water to contend with as it would appear that work is being carried out at the dam as part of a community hydro system, and the tracked vehicles used in the work have made the hillside track a veritable mud bath between the dam and Tarbet.

However, nothing could detract from one more fine day in the hills in excellent company.

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