It seems rather strange writing a trip report again here, after a lockdown interval. Having tried out our hillwalking legs on Ben Venue, a hill with a path, we ventured into Argyll for the day to actually get our first tick (I hope only the Graham type) since October. We planned to go up Stob an Eas, via the suggested route in the SMC guide from Hells Glen. However, at the foot of the glen, we were met with a large notice "Road closed Mon-Fri for tree felling". We didn't fancy walking up the glen to the car park just to find that the forest tracks were also closed. What to do?
Luckily we hadn't climbed Cruach nam Mult on the other side of the glen, and looking at the map we realised that we could get there from a forest track just round the corner from the road closed notice. We parked at the wide entrance to the forest track, and walked up the track, hearing our first willow warbler in the deciduous trees. Where the track bends back on itself, there is a rough track going into the glen. There was a sort of bridge over the river, made of tree trunks. The Hare tested it out and declared that the poles that were either rotten or horribly slippy. There wasn't much water in the burn, so I forded it. We both forded it on the way back.
A gate led us to the open hillside. We walked a very short distance up the glen to have a look up it, and any thoughts of a pleasant descent that way vanished - it was very steep sided. Then we wove our way through the crags, going steeply uphill to Stob Liath. Primroses and celandines peppered the lower slopes, and I was surprised to see a few molehills well above the valley floor. As we got higher, the views opened up. The view from the Stob was great, a back view of the Cobbler and many other Argyll hills. Then we proceeded along the ridge, which dropped sharply off to the northeast with evidence of past landslips. There was an old fence running approximately in the right direction, but to get a satisfactory route we found ourselves crossing it several times. After a final knoll, we descended and eyed up the imposing rocky lump in front of us. There were faint animal tracks going up a grassy ramp on the right hand side of the significant gully on the left, so we tried that, then headed steeply up right to the double summit.
After lunch near the summit, gazing out towards Cruachan, we took a slightly gentler descent in to the gully then out again onto the grass at the side. From the col we traversed and sloped down back into the glen.
This is a delightful route up the hill, definitely to be recommended.
Here is our approximate route.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.