OverviewBen Vane is located within the middle of the Arrochar Alps range and sits at a height of 915m/3002ft. Although one of the smallest of the Munros in Scotland, it is also one of the steepest, which is apparent in the number of false summits it throws at you. Due to its position within the range Ben Vane does not get the notiriety of its fellow peaks, but is still a popular excursion for the avid hillwalker.
The main access route of ascent for this peak is via Inveruglas, however the peak can be ascended from Arrochar via Beinn Ime. From Inveruglas, the private road through Coiregrogain is followed, turning left over the bridge and then leaving the road to follow an obvious path onto the open hillside. The higher sections on this route contain numerous rocky outcrops, with the paths skirting between them being fairly eroded. The summit itself is a small flat levellled top, with the cairn located on its south eastern side.
There are no rock climbs or winter climbs of note to be found on Ben Vane.
Please note that if ascending from Inveruglas, car parking is discouraged at the start of the private road up Coiregrogain as it will block access. Parking should be done at the visitor centre opposite the power station.
Getting ThereThe best city in Scotland for Ben Vane is Glasgow, however access can be gained from a variety of locations. Ben Vane is best climbed from Inveruglas to the east of the peak.
There are a variety of airports throughout Scotland that would provide easy access to Ben Vane. Below are a selection of the homepages for these airports;
Prestwick International Airport
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Glasgow Queen Street station direct to Arrochar or Ardlui.
Buses run daily from Buchanan Street bus station in Glasgow to Arrochar or Inveruglas.
Scottish City Link info
Red TapeThere is no red tape in Scotland due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which incorporated the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This code, which commenced on the 9th of February 2005, has established statutory rights of access to land and inland water for outdoor recreation.
The Land Reform(Scotland) Act 2003
Scottish Outdoor Access Code
The following aspects should be taken into consideration when you are in the Scottish countryside;
- Seek local advice in regard to deer stalking or grouse shooting activities
- Ensure that all gates are closed behind you
- During the lambing season (March to May) ensure that all dogs are kept on a lead
- Please refrain from feeding or annoying any animals
- Limited parking space is available at the start of many routes, please ensure that you are not blocking a road and/or entrance
- Parking is provided at the start of some routes by the local farmers, it is polite to ask if you can use this facility
- Try to refrain from crossing fields with animals and/or crops if an alternative route is available
- Ensure that you treat the local environment with care by leaving it as you found it and by taking any litter home with you
- Any camp fires should be carefully watched and only used away from dense forest areas
Below is a list of possible accommodation venues that are located in the direct vacinity of Ben Vane.
Colquhoun Arms Hotel
Lodge on Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond Youth Hostel
Wild camping is totally legal in Scotland and can be done in various locations close to Ben Vane. This is due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 that was mentioned earlier.
Here are some of the basic rules that should be adopted when wild camping;
- The larger the group, the harder it is to keep impacts to a minimum. Keep groups small.
- Camp as unobtrusively as possible.
- Remember that noise travels from tents disturbing wildlife as well as humans.
- Enjoy the freedom of wild camping without leaving a trace of your passage. Protect our country's outstanding scenery and wildlife as well as the wilderness experience.
- Camping on the same spot harms vegetation. Aim to move frequently and do not stay for any longer than 3 nights in the same place.
- Lighting fires poses a high fire risk on peaty soils and close to tinder dry grass. A high risk of fire can exist at any time of year, and not just in times of drought.
- Watercourses and loch sides are important sites for birds and animals. Take extra care when camping near burns and lochs, and try to avoid camping immediately beside them.
- Always find a spot at least 30 metres from fresh/running water when going to the toilet.
- Bury excrement in a small hole (not under boulders). A trowel or ice axe can be used to lift a flap of turf.
- Remove all litter (even other peoples!) Think ahead and only carry in what you are prepared to carry out.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland provides an invaluable leaflet providing a full breakdown of the dos and don'ts of wild camping in Scotland. Wild Camping, A guide to good practice.
Mountain ConditionsBen Vane is accessible all year round however, as you can get four seasons in one day in Scotland, care should be taken at all times.
West Highlands Mountain Forecast
Maps and Books
Ski Mountaineering in Scotland by Donald Bennet & Bill Wallace
The Southern Highlands by Donald Bennet
Scottish Hill and Mountain Names by Peter Drummond
The Munros by Cameron McNeish
The Munro Almanac by Cameron McNeish
Climbers guide to Arran, Arrochar and the Southern Highlands by K.V. Crocket & A. Walker
The Scottish Peaks by W.A. Poucher
Cicerone Guide - Central and Southern Scottish Highlands – backpacking guide by Graham Uney
Cicerone Guide - Scotland’s Mountain Ridges - A Guide to Scrambles and Climbs by Dan Bailey
Cicerone Guide - The Munros Vol 1 - Southern, Central and Western Highlands by Steve Kew
Landranger Map 56 - Loch Lomond & Inverary
OS Map Explorer sheet 364 - Loch Lomond North
Harvey Superwalker Map - Arrochar Alps
The Scottish Mountaineering Club
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland
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