Hill: Ben Venue
Date: Saturday 14th March 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 14.1km, Ascent: 785m
Time: 4Hrs 35Mins

Yesterday, while standing at the summit of Ben A'an, I thought Ben Venue looked a really nice hill. I therefore travelled back along the A831 today to ascend it.

Panorama from summit of Ben A'an (taken yesterday):

Ben Venue (taken yesterday):

I parked in the large Ben Venue car park. There is normally a £3 charge to park here however today the payment machine was advising, "Not in use" .

While getting suited and booted, a Robin flew down landing on my walking pole; a brave Robin to land only 18 inches away. It was happy to stay put while I grabbed the camera. I took numerous photos two of which are below.

Robin on my walking pole:


Before setting off walking, I visited the car park noticeboard to have a look at the route up Ben Venue.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the car park, I made my way up and over a small hillock to again reach the road just over 0.5km away; nicer than walking along the road.

Looking across to Ben A'an:

Looking towards Ben Venue:

The route to Ben Venue is waymarked with over-sized Forestry Commission signs. The signs are actually quite useful once in the forest as the track is not all marked on the Landranger map.

Route waymark:

It didn't take long to reach a nice bridge over the Achray Water.

Bridge over the Achray Water:

The Achray Water was in mega spate today. There is lots of meltwater coming off the hills.

Achray Water in spate (click on photo to view short video clip):

Beyond the bridge, I continued to follow the waymark signs which eventually routed me up into the forest.

Initial ascent of Ben Venue:

I wondered if the excellent quality tracks might go all the way to the summit. No such luck. The excellent tracks end at a height of circa 200m beyond which there is a combination of ok tracks and bogfest.

Following the excellent track through the forest:

Following the track up Gleann Riabhach:

During the walk along Gleann Riabhach, I could see someone rapidly catching up with me. We ended up walking together for a couple of kilometres. The chap from Cockermouth had also completed the Munros (twice), the Corbetts, the Donalds and was working his way through the Grahams. It was nice to have excellent company for a short while.

Looking back towards Loch Achray:

Ascending the coire:

Looking back:

I eventually reached a large cairn marking the start of the WSW ridge up Ben Venue. I then made my way up the ridge.

Looking across to Beinn Bhreac from the Ben Venue WSW ridge:

The weather today was disappointing. A couple of days ago, MWIS had suggested the weather was going to be excellent. It was overcast throughout the day. At least it was dry.

Ascending the ridge:

Looking towards the summit of Ben Venue:

There are two tops which look to be roughly the same height. I decided to visit the actual summit first and then the subsidiary summit. The actual summit has a large cairn and the subsidiary summit (East top) has a broken trig point.

Ben Venue:

East end of Loch Katrine:

Loch Achray and Loch Venachar:

At the summit I took two photos and then continued on across to the East top.

Loch Katrine from the summit of Ben Venue:

Looking towards Ben Venue's East top:

On reaching the East top, I again took a few photos and then made my way back towards the main summit.

Looking towards Ben Venue from the East top:

I returned via the same route.

During the return, I met several other walkers. A bit unusual for a Graham.

Aproaching Loch Achray:

Ben Venue is an excellent hill. Definitely not a Dull Graham.