Steve Pardoe's Ben Arthur (The Cobbler) Page

Spring ascent of Ben Arthur (The Cobbler) 884 m 26. March 2000
Update 12. June 2000 with new link to more photos

I was in Scotland for a weekend's winter walking with two friends, Steve Carr and Neil Sheldrake. We drove up from Cheshire on Friday, and stayed at the Lodge House guest house just outside Crianlarich.

We also climbed Ben More (Crianlarich)

We had lovely weather, with fantastic West Highland views. The true summit block was "sporting", with ice and wet snow on wrong-sloping strata above big drop. Only I and one other idiot chanced it while we were there. Is The Cobbler's the second hardest mountain summit in Britain (after the Inaccessible Pinnacle)? The only deep snow left was in gullies and a bit on North side, just about worth having crampons for the descent.

Neil, Steve C and Steve P at the Narnain Boulders, Ben Arthur in the background. What a contrast to yesterday's weather on Ben More!

The remarkable overhangs of the Northeast summit, which is in fact the easiest of the three to reach

Heading up into the corrie, Ben Lomond on the far skyline

Steve P on the summit of The Cobbler
Photo by Steve Carr
The spectacularly exposed central (and highest) summit of The Cobbler. Getting to the true top involved a scramble through an icy "window" onto the snowy, tilted ledge you can see on the right, climbing up the icy ramp, and then bridge and mantel moves onto the summit block. In the dry, it would be easy, though you'd only get it wrong once. Descent, reversing the sequence, was extra scary

Neil and Steve C with the Northeast summit behind

Steve C and Neil on the Northeast summit, and the view back to the central peak, with Loch Long and the sea at far left. You can just see the two "windows" on either side of the summit block; I used the right-hand one to reach the top, passing behind the central pillar and eventually stepping onto the lintel of the left-hand one. According to legend, passing through both windows was a test of manhood for clan chiefs

The descent route, looking across the heads of Loch Long and Loch Lomond to Ben Lomond. After dropping steeply off the summit to the col towards Beinn Narnain, there's a long and soggy slog down the burn. What you can't see is the bone-crunching 300m descent through the woods to the seashore

The other page from this trip: Ben More (Crianlarich)

There are some more pictures of The Cobbler on Richard Webb's site

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