I am off to Arrochar at the weekend hopefully to get a few Corbett’s and maybe if time permits a climb on the Cobbler near Arrochar. I am out with the Moray Mountaineering Club for the weekend, hopefully the weather will be kind. Scotland’s first climbing club was the Cobbler Club, founded in 1866.The Cobbler is a grand mountain and one I have climbed on may times and if all goes to plan, I may get a chance to climb on this trip.
The mountain is the most spectacular, although by no means the highest of the so-called Arrochar Alps due to its distinctive, large rocky summit features which are supposed to represent a Cobbler bending over his last. The features are visible many miles away from the mountain. Despite the mountain falling short of Munro height, due to its summit features, ease of access, and excellent summit views, it is one of the most popular mountains in Scotland.
The Cobbler has three distinctive summits: the middle one is the highest. The top is crowned by a rocky outcrop that marks the true summit. A very good head for heights is required to attain the true summit, which can best be reached by crawling through a hole (known as the needle) in the summit rock formation from the north side to the south. This leads to a ledge around 1 m (3 ft 3 in) wide, with a sheer drop of well over 100 ft (30 m) on one side. The ledge is steeply inclined, and some scrambling ability is necessary to negotiate it and eventually gain the summit. Using this route is known as “threading the needle”. The easiest descent is by the same route – however, this is more difficult and extreme care must be taken, especially when descending the final part of the ledge. The Mica Schist rock is very slippery in the wet.
I will stop off at Inverness to pick up Brent who has just climbed the three great Knoydart Munros leaving him only 3 Munros left to complete. He has Beinn Bhuide near Glen Fyne to do this weekend then the mighty An Teallach in the North West. Its long summit ridge has three tops, the summit being the south-western one. Beinn Bhuidhe is much quieter than the Arrochar Alps proper, due in part to the 7.3 kilometres (4.5 mi) walk-in along a private road before starting the climb. It will be a grand walk. Last time I did this hill it was covered in bluebells an incredible sight.
I will be visiting a few friends on route especially Elma Scott a great friend of RAF Mountain Rescue who lives in Crainlarich on Friday and I am sure she will have the tea on. At least today I have a day after my golf yesterday to get sorted for the long trip down to the far South!