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Ben More North East ridge

Ben More North East ridge


Postby past my sell by date » Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:52 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben More

Date walked: 27/09/2020

Time taken: 7.5 hours

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Ben More was my second Munro. Aged 15 with my mother we parked at its foot on the A85, outside Crianlarich. climbed the interminable grass slopes to the summit and returned. Then about 14 years ago in order to do Stobinian and its two munro tops, I followed Storer's route in "100 best routes on Scottish mountains" except that I did it in reverse.
Storer.jpg
Storer's Schematic map
I remember exiting the forest at a small gate and traversing Right almost horizontally to the foot of the NE ridge climbing it to Ben More and continuing over Stobinian and round the rim of Coire before descending back to the forest gate. It all worked very well :D
As I had not done a serious hill all year, I decide to try and repeat this - or at least get as far as Ben More, but the problems - as with all walks involving commercial forests - are :-
(a) that they're never the same as they were last time and
(b) The OS maps are totally out of date.

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I set out from the Standard starting point, about 10.am, Went through the gate and took the L turn signed "Hill access"
8442a.jpg

8448.JPG
Views along the track - It was pretty soggy - I don't think vehicles come this way any more
8454a.jpg

8455.JPG
The track heads almost due South and looks back to Meall Glas and Ben Cheataich (L) and Sgiath Chuill (R)
8461.JPG
The vehicle track ends at a bridge over a side stream but a footpath continues up the hill
8465.JPG
And crosses a big vehicle track: I noted that this was probably an easier way home: Ben Challuim on the L I think
8468.JPG
First view of Ben More
8474.JPG
Out of the trees - both hills visible - the path ended at another vehicle track
8476.JPG
This went through an open gate, headed L and forked about 50m before the river - the Allt Coire Chaorach
8477.JPG
I took the R fork which headed round towards the North
8480.JPG
But stopped at a locked gate :(
None of this is on on the OS map which does however show a footpath heading towards the summit from somewhere around here. I couldn't find it - and anyway I didn't imagine it would be any less boggy than the rest of the hillside.
8483.JPG
So I headed up the hillside beside the fence, but soon came to a stile.
What should I do? Did I really want to traverse further when I was already heading directly towards the summit.? The next few hundred metres didn't look pleasant - they weren't :( - but I decided to keep following the outside of the fence - which actually crossses the NE ridge around the 700m mark.
8486.JPG
Looking back to the exit from the forest - just R of centre
8489.JPG
The going was slow,but I eventually reached a flattening where the fence turned L and then after about 50m R again. This depression was the aptly named Coire Chlach
8492.JPG
I descended very slighly to the Allt Coire Chlach where I emptied my water bottle and refilled it: who wants to drink chlorinated tapwater when this is available? :D
Instead of continuing up to the ridge, I decided to climb out of the Corrie, traverse above the row of"clachans" and climb the obvious grassy slope to reach the ridge just before the final ascent to the summit.
8495.JPG
The Ben Lawers group and Loch Tay from here
8498.JPG
Looking up the slope (very foreshortened). It looked a long way and I was feeling pretty whacked, but I had a rest and chewed up a few of the dextrose tablets that I always keep in my sack. I find them invaluable at times like this
I started zig-zagging as the slope was quite steep, but the dextrose kicked in and I was on the ridge quite quickly and on up the easy angled slopes to the top.
8499.JPG
Looking down the ridge: I saw two figures below
8542.JPG
Looking back down into the corrie - actually taken on the descent
8507.JPG
I was surprised how faint the footpath was but it traverses R to outflank this steepening
8509.JPG
Easy slopes now to the top - where there were hoards of people

Views from the summit

The views are magnificent, but the light had turned rather flat and the far hills were mostly just silhouettes
8512.JPG
Zoomed view down to Ben Lawers and Loch Tay
8515.JPG
Looking across Coire Chaorach to the Munro top of Stob Creagach with Ben Ledi behind: Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin on the L
8530.JPG
Stobinian
8533.JPG
Zoomed - Stob a' Choin, and Ben Tulaichean with Ben Lomond behind
8518.JPG
Stob Garbh in the L foreground with An Casteal behind it - slightly R. In the distance the Arrochar Alps with flat-topped Ben Narnain on the L
8521.JPG
Ben Lui, Cruachan, Ben a' Chochuill and Ben Eunaich
8524.JPG
Looking up Strath Fillan: Ben Starav on the L horizon, Bidean on the R: Meall Odhar in R foreground
8527.JPG
Amazing how the Ben always stands out: Ben Challium in front and bulky Beinn Dorain in the shade
The couple behind me arrived and said they were going to head down to the Stobinian col and descend the Coire, but I decided to go back down the ridge and see if I could descend directly into the forest.
8536.JPG
Down the ridge from just below the summit
8539.JPG
Schiehallion
8545.JPG
The ridge remains quite narrow and then drops quite sharply: beyond the nose of Sron nam Forsairean - looking back from below
I continued downhill towards the forest : there was a big wooden stile around the 700m mark , but just above this the fence had collapsed and I could walk over it. The ground continued to steepen, but I could see the main track with only 2 -300m of harvested woodland in between
8549.JPG
Evening view North as I approached the forest edge
8551.JPG
Looking back up from the track: the brash on the short cleared section was particularly bad and covered in a thick layer of what I think is called "Scotch moss" - Sagina Subulata. It took a little while to negotiate but once down I headed L and returned quickly to the car
Storer says that the circuit of Coire Chaorach is much the best way to do these two hills and I have to agree, although the inaccuracy of the map is a nuisance: the problem with the standard way - apart from the unrelenting steepness of the ascent - is that it misses out Stobinians two munro tops
Last edited by past my sell by date on Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
past my sell by date
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Re: Ben More North East ridge

Postby prog99 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:13 pm

Best way up by far, I just don't know why folk go up from the farm. Still I bet it was quiet.
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Re: Ben More North East ridge

Postby jmarkb » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:49 pm

Nice report - we were up that way recently. Like you, we followed the sign and the new hydro track to get out of the forestry: I think that is now the best option as the old route passes through a felled area near the end. We left the hydro track before it curves back to the locked gate and then followed a rather wet buggy track into Coire Chaorach and up the E ridge of Stob Binnein. On the descent we crossed the stile and followed the Allt Coire Chlach to meet the end of new hydro track, went along it to the locked gate and cut across by the fence to reach the lower part. It would have been better I think to have followed your ascent route staying on the outside of the fence.

I don't think you have drawn your route quite right - that's the "old" way out of the forestry, which has a felled area at the end. I think this is more or less correct: as you rightly guessed you can also follow the main forestry road to get to the point where the new hydro track leaves it at NN461256 (that's the way we returned).
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jmarkb
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Re: Ben More North East ridge

Postby past my sell by date » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:32 pm

prog99 wrote:Best way up by far, I just don't know why folk go up from the farm. Still I bet it was quiet.


Im afraid it's because people say we're going to do XYZ: where does the guide say we start? :( When I started, a map was your only source of information :) . yes it was quiet :I just saw the two people behind me though they said there were lots of cars at the start
past my sell by date
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Posts: 886
Munros:282   Corbetts:85
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Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:145
Wainwrights:159   
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Re: Ben More North East ridge

Postby past my sell by date » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:38 pm

jmarkb wrote:Nice report - we were up that way recently. Like you, we followed the sign and the new hydro track to get out of the forestry: I think that is now the best option as the old route passes through a felled area near the end. We left the hydro track before it curves back to the locked gate and then followed a rather wet buggy track into Coire Chaorach and up the E ridge of Stob Binnein. On the descent we crossed the stile and followed the Allt Coire Chlach to meet the end of new hydro track, went along it to the locked gate and cut across by the fence to reach the lower part. It would have been better I think to have followed your ascent route staying on the outside of the fence.

I don't think you have drawn your route quite right - that's the "old" way out of the forestry, which has a felled area at the end. I think this is more or less correct: as you rightly guessed you can also follow the main forestry road to get to the point where the new hydro track leaves it at NN461256 (that's the way we returned).

Yes I may not have drawn my route correctly - I found it very confusing at the time and even more so writing it up :lol: However this is definitely where I came out of the forest and took the photo of the two hills
8486a.jpg

And I also noted that the fork in the track was very close to the Alllt Coire Chaorach
past my sell by date
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Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:145
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