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Tough climb but couldn't have Ben More worth it for the view

Tough climb but couldn't have Ben More worth it for the view

Postby lourob » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:57 am

Route description: Ben More and Stob Binnein

Munros included on this walk: Ben More, Stob Binnein

Date walked: 20/09/2020

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 15.92 km

Ascent: 1268m

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Having tackled Ben Lawers, Ben Chonzie and the Cairnwell Munro’s in the preceding two months, we felt we were ready to tackle the menacing Ben More and Stob Binnein. The day dawned misty and cool but with the promise of unbroken sunshine at the peak, we headed off from Perth at 07:15, arriving at the layby for 08:30. We parked at the layby slightly east of the starting point, which was already busy when we arrived but allowed for a couple of hundred metres warm up before crossing the road, climbing the stile and starting our walk.

WhatsApp Image 2020-09-24 at 19.45.00.jpeg
Start point

The walk begins on a wide farm track that gently zig-zags up towards the beginning of the ‘stone staircase’ of Ben More.

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Farm track leading from the road

The path forks at the stone steps, with the right hand fork being the route we would eventually descend down some five and a half hours later, and the left fork continuing on round the hill base. We continued straight off the path up the steps and began the ‘unrelenting ascent’.

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Misty morning

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Stone staircase (photo taken at the end of the day)

It is fair to say that the ascent was pretty strenuous in parts but with plenty rest-stops, wine gums and water breaks it was manageable.

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Another excuse for us to stop was to watch the mist slowly dissipating as the sun emerged over the peak of Ben More, gradually showing us more and more of the surrounding landscape.

WhatsApp Image 2020-09-24 at 19.45.00 (5).jpeg

We truly couldn’t have picked a better day for it weather-wise. We summited Ben More approximately 2 hours after we had set off and took the opportunity to have an extended break just past the trig point with some rocks shielding us from the gentle breeze.

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Atop Ben More!

It was from here that we caught our first glimpse of Stob Binnein, which looked truly majestic up ahead with the cloud inversion surrounding it.

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Stob Binnein in the distance

We took in the view (and a few more snacks) before setting off for our second munro. We headed down a tricky descent, with Stob Binnein looming higher and higher up ahead – it had looked very untroublesome at the top of Ben More but was now starting to look more ominous by the minute. We decided not to beat around the bush and tackled the additional 300 or so metres head on, only stopping a few times for some respite. This ascent definitely felt harder, with our legs shouting a lot louder in protest than they had for Ben More. The sun was also out in full by this point, providing us with stunning weather and views but adding some heat to the climb that we had thankfully avoided whilst climbing Ben More. We reached the top in about 30 minutes and revelled in our achievements for a good 15/ 20 minutes, admiring the views and feeling on top of the world. The ascent of Stob Binnein is definitely easier than Ben More; it is not as steep and is a lot shorter, however with the sun beating down on us and having just climbed 900-odd metres up Ben More, it definitely felt as hard, if not harder.

We decided to head down and took the Walk Highlands route down the side to the valley bottom.

WhatsApp Image 2020-09-24 at 19.45.00 (9).jpeg

We saw a higher path that skirted the base of Ben More on the map but being a stickler for the rules, we followed the WH path. This may have been a mistake. The path down into the valley was extremely boggy in parts with a barely marked path, but had some incredible views over to Stob Garbh and Stob Coire Bhuidhe.

WhatsApp Image 2020-09-24 at 19.45.00 (8).jpeg

It took a lot of concentration on our descent not to end up tumbling down the valley. However, once reaching the bottom, we found a path that was better marked and followed it along the side of the burn until we reached the farm track again.

WhatsApp Image 2020-09-24 at 19.45.00 (10).jpeg

It was at this point, we looked right and saw that this was where the higher up path marked on the map joined the farm track. It seemed to be a much better formed path and was potentially the one we should have taken, however hindsight is wonderful and the path we chose was fine. I would just comment that if it had been much wetter in the days running up to our walk, it would have been much boggier and made for wet feet before the end of the walk. Nevertheless, we continued along the farm track, which made for much faster walking and soon reached the bottom of the stone staircase again (although it felt much longer than five and a half hours ago since we started), and continued on back down the track, over the stile, across the road and to the layby, cooling our feet off in the loch at the end. We completed our walk in about 6 hours.
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Re: Tough climb but couldn't have Ben More worth it for the

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:20 pm

Looks like the weather conditions couldn't have Ben More perfect for views, either :D .

That ascent is a good old slog, isn't it??
In “Walking the Munros”, Steve Kew says of Ben More: “’A long steep grind’ is a phrase that comes to mind to describe the relentless climb to its top. Actually, some rather more colourful adjectives come to mind, but they are best left to the imagination.”
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Re: Tough climb but couldn't have Ben More worth it for the

Postby cparky3 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:25 pm

Amazing caption
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