Walk: The Cobbler all sewn up

Argyll & Bute | Arrochar Alps | Half day walk | ★★★★

[The Cobbler - the true summit is actually the lower-looking middle peak of the three here]

The Cobbler is the perfect example of why hills aren't all about height. Dwarfed in size by its Arrochar Alps neighbours, the fabulously contorted profile of the region's most famous peak gained its name due to its resemblance to a cobbler bending over his last (a foot-shaped tool). Approach paths are excellent, but gaining the true summit involves "threading the needle": a rocky tower with serious exposure and serious potential consequences, even if the scrambling involved isn't technically difficult. Depending on your scrambling experience, head for heights and weather conditions it could be a doddle or a nightmare - and remember, you have to get back down afterwards. Lots of walkers are sensibly content with the views of Beinn Narnain & Ime, Ben Lomond, Loch Long and the swathes of northern hills from the base of the block, which are fortunately just as good as those from the top. Overall, a classic hill walk, and within an hour's drive of Glasgow!

[North Peak from the main summit]

📌 Walk: The Cobbler all sewn up ★★★★
▶ 11 km / 7 miles | ▲ 920 metres
Summits: The Cobbler / Ben Arthur (884 metres, Corbett) | Features: Loch Long; Narnain Boulders
Start / finish: Car park (with charge) on A83 near Succoth, G.R.: NN 295050 ///mixing.empires.thunder

Route: Car park - Narnain Boulders - The Cobbler (summit & needle) by direct east path - North Peak - Lochan a' Chlaidheimh - Narnain Boulders - start by outward route
Terrain: Excellent path to Narnain Boulders (steep for zig-zags) and for descent. Ascent from the boulders is steep and rough in places, with hands needed if you don't find the easiest line up rocky sections. Threading the needle involves a short, slightly awkward scramble - but very exposed and slopes outwards - more difficult with wet rock, and trickier on descent.
Wildlife today: Not much, though lots of ripe raspberries (and unripe blackberries) on zig-zags.
Weather today: Mostly sunny, though clouding over on descent. Wind generally fairly light.

[Walker threading the needle (ascent is on the right hand side - the hole is hidden from view)]

Route map

Route credit: Walkhighlands

More photos

[Good view over Loch Long from the zig-zags]

[Bench with a view over Arrochar]

[Reservoir at the top of the zig-zags]

[First views of the summit]

[Looking back down the Allt a' Bhalachain]

[Narnain Boulders]

[The ascent path from the east is steep and rocky]

[Magnificent craggy scenery]

[East coire of The Cobbler]

[Looking back over the approach, Ben Lomond on the horizon]

[View from the (true) summit]

[View over The Brack down Loch Long]

[Beinn Ime beyond the bealach]

[Looking past the North Peak to Beinn Narnain]

[North Peak - lower, but worth the detour]

[View from the North Peak, with the main summit's "needle" visible on the far right]

[Ben Lomond from the North Peak]

[Beinn Narnain, with the descent route beneath]

[Descending from The Cobbler by an excellent path]

[Heading back down the glen]


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