It’s not even a proper hill. It’s a rocky outcrop of Meall Gainmheich which is a tract of high ground to the North of the Trossachs. The Trossachs by the way, is just the wooded area between Loch Achray and Loch Katrine. How it got adopted by the whole area I’ll never know. Like calling Carnach “Glen Coe Village” it’s good for tourism I suppose. But shades of Ben Lui instead of Beinn Laoigh to me.
Anyway, Ben A’an. It’s magic. I’ve spend many an evening on it watching the sun go down over the higher hills to the west. The Arrochar Alps, Ben Lomond, the Crianlarich hills all loom large on the horizon, Ben Ledi at your back. It’s a stiff wee walk, with rock routes and scrambles to find and enjoy as well. A descent from the summit straight down to Loch Katrine gives you a fine circular route and plenty of opportunities to find hidden corners of hillside and also fall on your face in the long heather.
After the panic of Foot and Mouth subsided it was one of the first hills to be opened up and the boots of the nation descended upon it.
Within weeks there were huge new areas of exposed rock and man made gullies channeling the hillside downwards piece by piece with every fall of rain. Alternative faint paths through the trees and to the summit had all become troughs.
I don’t go there so often now. And having discovered the photies above of a day Joyce and I had there a while back, I feel a bit melancholy about the whole affair. I don’t want a hill to myself, I wouldn’t be banging on about all the other stuff that I do if I did, but a little self restraint, a bit of thought on the part of the walkers and the hillside wouldn’t have been put on it’s way to looking like an open cast mine site.