BEN Venue is a much-loved mountain, easily accessible from the Central Belt and with wonderful views over the Highlands.
Don’t be misled into thinking that, because it is a shade below 2,400ft, scaling it is little more than a gentle stroll.
To reach its gnarled ridge will keep the lungs working hard.
The views from the ridge are to be savoured, so take your time. Across Loch Katrine, the eye is drawn to Stob Binnein, partially obscuring Ben More. To the west are Ben Lomond and the Cobbler, while Ben Ledi lies to the east.
There are a number of ways up Ben Venue, but this route keeps the summit in view right from the start.
DISTANCE 9½ miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED 2,150ft.
TIME 5½ to 6½ hours.
MAP OS Landranger 57.
PARKING About four miles north of Aberfoyle on the A821, Duke’s Pass, is the Leannach car park.
IN SUMMARY Go left at the track that leads to the car park and follow it for just over two miles. At a signpost, go left on to a path. This leads up to a track where you would normally continue on the other side but because of forestry work (due to finish in November), a diversion takes you left.
Follow the track up and, after dropping slightly and swinging to the left, take a narrow track on the right. This goes through young forestry and turns left. Go through a gate on the right, cross a plantation and go through a second gate.
The next section is hard to follow, with no discernible diversion signs. Go straight ahead for about 15 yards and turn right to walk parallel to the fence. Follow an old fence beyond the plantation and down to a burn. After crossing a tributary, cross the burn just after the forestry ends on the other side. Clamber up a grass bank to reach the usual path and go left.
The path climbs gently, then crosses a small burn and goes steeply to the left, over rocks. Once on more level ground, go straight on, past an old marker post.
Bear left, uphill, then go right to a cairn at a bealach on the summit ridge. Go right here, up quite steeply at first on a rocky path. The path levels out a little before climbing again and bearing left. As you descend a little, keep bearing left, ignoring a path that goes straight on.
The path rises up and swings to the right, through crags, to the first summit. Then drop down, following metal posts before making a short clamber to a derelict trig point – about 7ft lower than the first summit. Drop down and go left to take a path at the base of the first summit and join the route along the ridge. Retrace your steps to the start.
REFRESHMENTS Try Loch Katrine, further north, where there is a café and bar.
WHILE IN THE AREA David Marshall Lodge (www.forestry.gov.uk) has trails and wildlife information. In the other direction is Loch Katrine (www.lochkatrine.com), where you can go cruise on a steamship.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east