As I've been writing my memoirs recently my thoughts turn back to the beginning. Where it all started. Sweet Springtime and my first visit up Ben Narnain. Last of my original three Munro's.
Slioch and Beinn Eighe were my first two but Beinn Narnain was my third and I've since been up this mountain over thirty times although the last was 15 years ago when JB and myself squeezed into the depths of Jam-Block Chimney and Engine Room Crack in a buttress below the summit to find ourselves being led up these fine subterranean rock climbs by a heavily pregnant female. As our bold leader thrashed and grappled in this vertical slot above our heads I had visions of her waters breaking with the effort involved and us drowning in this latter day parting of the red sea but she completed them in good style then hauled us up the routes. This was very early on in our rock climbing career and she was our most experienced leader. The baby was nothing to do with us I hasten to add. We found her like that. Honest! In time little Moses was delivered safely into the radiant sunshine within a climbing harness, not a basket in sight.
Above is the summit of Beinn Narnain with the wonderful Spearhead Buttress in profile. Both rock climbs can be found deep inside the base of this cliff so I can truthfully say I've not only been up Beinn Narnain but through it as well. No other Munro has had anything like this many ascents from me so it must have some strange, intangible power that draws me back.
Most of the hillwalking guide books suggest tackling this Munro from the col between the Cobbler and Narnain by following the well used tourist path up to the Narnain Boulders under the Cobbler then heading right from the Bealach a Mhaim. Good. That keeps the masses away from the real prize. This is a very boring route to the summit which is why Beinn Narnain is unjustly underrated. Its actually a fantastic hill when you climb it direct from Succoth by following the right hand side of the Allt Sugach burn on a faint, steep path beside, and sometimes actually in the trees, which leads you up into a superb hidden corrie nestled between Cruach nam Misseag and A' Chrios. If you climb Beinn Narnain from this direction you will treasure its ascent and mountain pedigree every bit as much as I do.
They must have had two cars as they took off near here then drifted away into the far horizon over Loch Lomondside until they disappeared from sight roughly 6000 feet up. Beautiful to watch. Omens of the end of days flying towards the sun? So high I couldn't get a clear shot even with a zoom as there was nothing for the camera to focus on apart from sky and tiny shrinking dots. Were they consumed by solar flares or did they land over the rainbow... or maybe just in Callandar village?
Beinn Narnain. Its a magic mountain. Enjoy.
In keeping with the nostalgic theme here's another man looking back at life. A great reworking of an already classic song about love, redemption and regret for failures in the past. When this video was recorded both Johnny and his wife June knew they were ill. Its their epitaph. They both died a short time later.
Written by nine inch nails, singer/songwriter- Trent Reznor.