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.