Ben Vane’s Height: 916m
Summit Grid Reference: NN 277 098
Translation: Middle Hill
Start Point: Car Park at Inveruglas Pier next to the A82
Ben Vane: Exploring Scotland’s Lesser-Known Munro
Nestled in the Arrochar Alps of Argyll, Southern Highlands of Scotland, Ben Vane is a captivating mountain with a summit reaching 915 metres (3,002 feet). Classified as a Munro due to its elevation, the mountain lies between Beinn Ìme and Ben Vorlich, offering a majestic view to those who venture to its peak. As part of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Ben Vane attracts hikers and nature enthusiasts who are up for a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Despite its relatively small stature compared to other Scottish Munros, Ben Vane boasts a unique character with steep, rocky slopes on all its sides. Usually conquered as a standalone hike, bealachs – or mountain pass – with other peaks are distinctly low which adds to the allure of exploring Ben Vane. The mountain’s terrain offers a sense of adventure for hikers as they navigate their way towards the summit, where panoramic views of the surrounding landscape patiently await.
Before embarking on any hike, it is essential to keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for varying conditions. Ben Vane’s weather may change frequently, with mild temperatures, rain and winds playing a role in determining the challenge and experience of the ascent. So, whether you are a seasoned hiker or looking to add a remarkable Munro to your list, Ben Vane is a hidden gem in the Southern Highlands of Scotland that is waiting to be discovered.
Ben Vane is a mountain in the Arrochar Alps of Argyll, in the Southern Highlands of Scotland. The mountain is situated in the southern Highlands and is a part of the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. Ben Vane towers high above the western shore of Loch Lomond, with the nearest landmark being Inveruglas and Sloy Power Station.
Ben Vane reaches an elevation of 915 metres (3,002 feet), making it a Munro, a term for Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet. Although it is one of the smallest Munros, its height still offers a rewarding experience for hikers and trekkers.
The terrain of Ben Vane is characterised by steep and rugged slopes, falling away to the Inveruglas Water to the east and the Allt Coiregroigan to the south. To the north, the descent is more undulating, going over the subsidiary top of Beinn Dubh before falling to the valley at the north end of Loch Sloy. The mountain’s underlying geology predominantly comprises the Beinn Bheula Schist Formation – Psammite and Pelite, with a Siluro-Devonian Dyke prominent around the northern and eastern face. The challenging terrain and geological features make Ben Vane an attractive destination for hikers seeking a more demanding route in the Scottish Highlands.
Best Time to Climb
The ideal period for climbing Ben Vane is during the spring and summer months when the weather is more stable and the days are longer. Although it is possible to climb during the winter, this should only be attempted by experienced climbers with the appropriate winter gear.
Routes and Difficulty Levels
Ben Vane is a challenging mountain to climb due to its steep inclines and a series of false summits. The most common route to the summit begins at the Inveruglas car park next to the A82. This walk is approximately 11km in distance and takes between 4.5 to 6.5 hours to complete. The ascent covers 930 meters, making it a relatively strenuous hike.
Key points along the route include:
- Inveruglas: Start Grid Ref NN322098
- Ascent: 930m
Please be aware that the terrain on Ben Vane can be quite challenging, with some steep sections and rocky scrambles. It is essential to have a good level of fitness and some experience in hill walking or mountaineering.
When climbing Ben Vane, it is crucial to be well-prepared and carry the necessary gear for a safe and enjoyable experience. Some essential items include:
- Sturdy, comfortable walking boots with ankle support
- Waterproof clothing (jacket and trousers) and extra layers
- Map, compass and a reliable GPS device
- Adequate food and water supplies
- Rucksack with a waterproof cover
- First aid kit and a survival blanket
- Trekking poles (optional)
In winter, the conditions on Ben Vane can be harsh, and the necessary equipment such as crampons, an ice axe, and appropriate winter clothing should be used.
Safety Tips and Precautions
Before embarking on your hike up Ben Vane, make sure to check the local weather forecast. Weather conditions can change rapidly in the Scottish mountains, so it’s essential to be prepared for inclement weather. Ensure you have the appropriate clothing and equipment, including waterproofs and extra layers, as wind and rain may affect the hike.
When planning your hike, be mindful of the time of year, as winter conditions can be more challenging and require additional equipment, like crampons and ice axes. It’s also advised to start your hike early in the day, giving you ample time to complete it and avoid hiking in the dark.
In case of emergencies, it’s crucial to have necessary contacts and information at hand. Emergency services can be contacted anywhere in the UK by dialling 999. Remember, if you’re calling from a mobile phone with no signal, you can try dialling 112, which will connect to any available network.
It’s also a good idea to inform someone of your planned route and your expected return time. In case you’re overdue or have an emergency, they can raise the alarm and ensure help is on its way.
When hiking Ben Vane, consider carrying a whistle, map and compass, and a fully charged mobile phone. Keep the phone switched off or in airplane mode to conserve battery life, but have it readily available for use in emergencies.
For additional information, consider noting down the local Mountain Rescue contacts. Lomond Mountain Rescue Team serves the Loch Lomond area, where Ben Vane is located. Their website provides valuable safety tips and information specific to the area.
Nearby Attractions and Amenities
There are several accommodation options near Ben Vane for those who plan to explore the area. Visitors can choose from hotels, B&Bs, and self-catering lodges, depending on their budget and preferences. Some popular choices include:
- Loch Lomond Arms Hotel: A historic hotel with comfortable rooms and a welcoming atmosphere.
- Inveraray Inn: A charming B&B situated in the picturesque town of Inveraray.
- Loch Goil Lodge: Self-catering lodges located near the shores of Loch Goil, perfect for families or groups of friends.
Restaurants and Shops
While exploring the area around Ben Vane, visitors can enjoy a variety of dining options and local shops. Some recommendations include:
- Loch Fyne Oyster Bar & Restaurant: A seafood restaurant offering fresh, locally sourced dishes.
- Oyster Catcher Café: A cosy café serving light meals, snacks, and coffee.
- Inveraray Castle Gift Shop: A quaint shop selling souvenirs, local produce, and Scottish gifts.
Other Hiking Trails
In addition to Ben Vane, the surrounding area offers several other hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. A few nearby options include:
- Beinn Ime: The highest mountain in the Arrochar Alps, Beinn Ìme provides stunning views of Loch Lomond and the surrounding landscapes.
- Beinn Narnain: A challenging hike leading to the summit of Beinn Narnain, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Ben Vorlich: Another popular hiking destination in the Southern Highlands, this trail takes hikers to the picturesque summit of Ben Vorlich.