While driving towards Loch Achray over the Duke's Pass, I stopped several times to enjoy the view. All the while, I was desperately looking at the skies to see patches of blue appear in the largely grey cover over the landscape around me, but apart from a few sun rays, it stayed closed. I parked at a small car park next to the road, and soon I was off to climb. Or climb, it was merely a pleasant and easy walk on a well-defined path through a small forest with incredibly green patches of mosses on tree trunks and a small brook cascading down the hillside.
Much sooner than I expected, I could see the summit of Ben A'an through the still barren treetops ahead of me. The hill looked steep, but the climb actually flattened out for a while as I had reached a saddle. I walked on, and reached the upper part of the hill, where the path got a little steeper. Here, there were no more trees, and the views back to Loch Achray were already getting beautiful. As I reached a ridge between Ben A'an and higher hills to the right hand side, the view before me opened, and I could see Loch Katrine below.
The name Ben A'an might seem odd, and there is speculation as to the origins of it. It has been suggested that it derives from Am Binnean, or small pointed peak. When I could see Ben A'an from up close, it was easy to see why: a small rocky peak points right up to the sky. The path passes the summit and then swings back to reach the rocks on the top, which is around 460m in altitude. I was glad to have time to spend here, as the view on all sides was terrific. In addition, the sun had finally managed to burn some layers of clouds away and the landscape around me came to life. Loch Katrine with its foresty slopes, and a boat plying its waters, Loch Achray on the other side with a peninsular church on the other end were the eye catchers below me. At the same, and higher levels, I could see other hills, the higher ones with some patches of snow on top. Especially considering the undemanding climb, the rewards are very easily earned!
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Ben A'an (United Kingdom). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Ben A'an.
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