Climbing the Cobbler

     In October, my mates and I wanted to discover more of Scotland, so we aimed to climb the Cobbler, a mountain known to be by far the most spectacular of the Arrochar Alps. We woke up bright and early on a Saturday morning, and took the first train to Tarbet, near Loch Lomond. A forest track took us to the wee village of Arrochar, North of Loch Long. After a boring walk, our target was eventually in sight, proudly standing at the bottom of a grassy valley. Its distinctive rocky summits were standing out against a clear blue sky. When I saw them, I knew this would be an awesome day.

A cool thing about this walk is that is where I met two German friends. We all started to follow the path leading to the top at the same moment. It was steep, although not exposed. At some point, we took a break with them, and eventually spent the day together.

The summits are magnificent. Each of them is unique. The highest summit is the middle one. The top can be accessed without a rope, by a secret way. I found it by chance, as I was crawling through a small hole in the rock. I  scrambled onto a narrow ledge, with a sheer drop of at least 100 feet on one side. And then, there I was, finally standing on the summit. It was a mere rock with a diameter of no more than 7 or 8 feet I would say. There was a pretty strong wind, and I didn’t dare to stand up. I nonetheless took a look over the edge of the cliff, to see what I had just climbed. Well, the huge drop made me feel like I was insignificant.

The East peak is a real master piece. It overhangs all of the Southern valley, and one can have an impressive view on Ben Narnain from there. I don’t know how I reached the top, but I wasn’t following the path, that’s for sure. I had to scramble and crawl on a very sharp inclining section, and suddenly… there was the summit! I had attained the edge of a giant cliff. I sat there, my feet hanging in the void. My mates caught up with me, and we stayed there for half an hour. We admired two pro climbers struggling while making their way on the vertical face of the mountain.

We didn’t go to the South peak.  I saw it though, and I don’t know why, but it reminded me of some photos of the Andes. I think that we would’ve had to follow a very narrow ridge, but the weather was making it dangerous. Instead, we got to the col between the Cobbler and Ben Narnain. From there, we walked to the top of Ben Narnain. We almost got lost in a thick fog. We knew we had reached the top only because of its massive cairn. It was pretty chilly and we soon headed back to Arrochar.

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21 Responses to Climbing the Cobbler

  1. victor says:

    climbed,the cobbler,footpath was tricky,good banter with other people.

  2. Jon Maiden says:

    Wow! I’m most definitely going up the Cobbler now. It may have slipped off my list as it’s not a Munro – just shows that Munro bagging shouldn’t stop you exploring the more interesting lower mountains…

  3. I’ve been meaning to climb the Cobbler for so long now. Really should get onto that!

  4. tcumatt says:

    I am absolutely loving reading about your adventures. Keep on exploring!!! :)

  5. Mr Mole says:

    lovely pictures, scotland is a great place to go, good story to go with it.

  6. Orel Engel says:

    Thank you so much everyone for your interest in this article! Your comments mean a lot to me.

  7. Beautiful photos! And lovely to read about all of your Scotland explorations — really makes me wish we’d had more time to explore the area around Loch Lomond and Glencoe while we were there.

    cheers, emily

  8. Looks like a beautiful area with a stunning landscape full of adventure and fresh air. I will definitely add it to my places to visit

  9. An excellent blog! You’ve inspired me to push on for my 100 hike challenge – thanks much!

  10. Great trek! And the weather was wonderful too!!!

  11. I had an aborted attempt on the Cobbler some years ago, we were beaten back by the midges! Your spectacular photos have inspired me to try again, out of midge season!

  12. d. says:

    I like your approach to mountains. I’ve been several times in your home country but never to climb. Time to change that! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos.

  13. myVelleity says:

    Memorable trip, I enjoyed your images a great deal, very spectacular!

  14. I am amazed at the people and things G-D throws upon my path. Beautiful pictures and enjoy the journey of life lived in abundance.

  15. redjim99 says:

    Great pictures and description. We usually head for Wales when I am in the UK. But we may be heading to the Cairngorms in the New Year.



  16. misspond says:

    Fantastic pictures :)

  17. Shinto Mathew says:

    Wow!!! it might had been an excellent trip. Your photos are stunning, as always. :)

  18. Bri says:

    sounds like an excellent trip! lovely photos :)

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