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First Solo - Ben More and no more today

First Solo - Ben More and no more today


Postby StephenT » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:51 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben More

Date walked: 24/10/2011

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 8.5 km

Ascent: 1035m

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The weather forecast on MWIS was rain, low cloud and 30 -60mph winds.
So as I was only up here for 2 days I thought I'd have a go at Ben More and Stob Binnein today and see how the weather was as I went on.
I parked up in the layby and the weather forecast was right, it was raining and the cloud was low, but only a light breeze, so waterproofs on and away I went.
Back up the A85 to the little sign and over the stile, follow the track as it winds its way up hill and through the gate. From here I wish I had seen PollyH advice to go around Ben More and up between the two. But no, I followed the WH route advice, picked a line and headed up the slope, its very steep, was very wet/boggy/slippery and goes on like that for what seems like forever.Occasionally bits of a track are visible but the higher you go the more obvious the track becomes.
BenMore2011 012.JPG
Yes it is that steep!

At about 750m I entered the clouds and that was the last i saw of more than 30m in front of me for the rest of the day until i came back down.
BenMore2011 014.JPG
Looking down

The wind at this point was just a breeze, with the occasional gust but causing no problems. My biggest problem was the waterproofing on my coat not been waterproof to Scottish standards :? i was getting wet :(
After a quick lunch break under an angled rock at around 930m I struggled on until i reached the top, this is where the last bit of the weather forecast was right. The winds where very strong and gusty -I was struggling to stay upright, so after a very quick summit photo I decided to abandon Stob Binnein as the wind was coming from that direction and retreat back the way I came.
BenMore2011 018.JPG
Summit shot, try and stay upright :)

Coming up the slope was hard work but going back was just as difficult, wet, slippery and boggy. Eventually i came out of the clouds and after a very long 5.5 hours & falling over a few times I was back at the car, very wet.
After drying out the sun came out for a bit and i could see where I'd been!!
BenMore2011 027.JPG
Ben More from the car
StephenT
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby pigeon » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:10 pm

Aye stephen ,a tough climb on a good day ,you did well on getting to Ben More in those conditions :thumbup:
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby StephenT » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:18 pm

Cheers Pigeon.
The problem with living so far away and getting up to Scotland only occasionally is the desire to reach the top and have something to show for you're effort and balancing that with common sense on when to turn back.
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:28 pm

Aye, I did the slog up the N slope and couldn't work out why the glen-col route is not the recognised one after descending that way. Good effort anyway on a day like that :) .
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:29 pm

Well done Stephen :D

I did these two in ideal conditions and it was still a bit of a slog :( :(

I was out yesterday on Meall Ghaordaidh (report to follow) and the winds were horrendous!!!

As for your jacket, definitely go for Goretex / event type of thing. I bought a Haglofs jacket two months ago and was assured that their own (eco-friendly) waterproof/breathability system was ideal- it wasn't!!! Took it back and got the same jacket but the Goretex version ( had to put another £170) and its been fab!

Hope you get back up to Scotland soon :)
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby Bod » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:30 pm

Good call, and I am sure you enjoyed Ben More now looking back at it (Two mountains would not have been fun in those conditions). Stob Binnein will always be there for another day when you can enjoy it in better weather. You can also walk it from the South starting up past the end of Loch Voil :D
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby SouthernUplandKing » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:48 pm

Similar conditions too when I did it but continous 50-70mph winds from 800 meters upwards. I don't know what the big fuss about it being steep is all about, I can't mind it being that bad and tbh I actually enjoyed the walk ?

The ridge going up the other side of the corrie looks interesting and when I go back that will definatley be my route of choice !

Nice report though mate ! :)
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby davetherave » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:12 am

You sure had a tough day to contend with. You did well to bag Ben More though, well done.
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby MG1976 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:29 pm

Well done Stephen, on managing to get this one done.
I tackled it the very same day with my eldest son (4) and it was not a nice day to be taking on this beast.
We opted to take the landrover track all the way up the glen, but not too long after taking to the hillside proper, my boy ended our attack in one short, but very clear sentence.

"Dad, can we just go home? I don't want to climb mountains today. It's too wet and too I don't like the wind."

I couldn't argue with that, and didn't see the point in trying to worse him up a hill when he wasn't enjoying it.
We tried, and "bailed". No shame in that.

Anyway, glad you managed to keep going.
Martin
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby StephenT » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:42 pm

Martin
I think I might met you at Crianlarich Youth Hostel the night before?

I'm sure that if either of my sons were with me i would have heard
MG1976 wrote:"Dad, can we just go home? I don't want to climb mountains today. It's too wet and too I don't like the wind."
and they are 14 & 17! :)

Cheers
Stephen
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Re: First Solo - Ben More and no more today

Postby MG1976 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:24 pm

That would have been us.
We we're indeed staying there on Sunday night.

M
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