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Conival and Ben More

Conival and Ben More


Postby bootsandpaddles » Tue May 08, 2012 1:53 pm

Route description: Ben More Assynt and Conival

Munros included on this walk: Ben More Assynt, Conival

Date walked: 02/05/2012

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1546m

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CONIVAL AND BEN MORE ASSYNT

I had been looking forward to these two ever since I walked past them on my way to Cape Wrath a few years ago. I have been gradually working my way up the country ticking off Munros and at last I find myself way up north. It was a superb day as I set off from the car park near the hotel at Inchnadamph. Loch Assynt was a deep Mediterranean blue with Quinaig towering up behind.
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Loch Assynt and Quinaig
The broad track crosses a burn and winds up past Glenbain cottage before giving way to a footpath. At a small plantation the track divides: the left hand branch leads to Conival. It was a very pleasant walk alongside the River Traligill spotting lots of great camping spots along the way.
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Traligill Burn
Great views across to Canisp.
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Canisp
After a couple of kilometres the path steepens, still following the burn, and leads up to a flatter grassy area and finally, after a short scramble up a rocky wall, to the bealach between Beinn an Fhurain and Conival. There beneath my feet was a sea of brilliant white, quite a shock when the air was so clear on the west side.
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Clouds
Scrambling up boulders and scree I encountered a patch of fairly solid snow but I kicked a few steps and found myself at the summit of Conival.
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Conival
The ridge across to Ben More looked enticing so I didn’t hang around. There was quite a lot snow on the rocky descent to the ridge so I proceeded with caution until I reached more level ground.
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The ridge to Ben More
The ridge was quite rough but good fun and after crossing a few more patches of snow I reached the small summit cairn of Ben More.
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Conival from Ben More


I decided to make it a more circular route by continuing towards the south summit and dropping down to Dubh Loch Mor.
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Dubh Loch Mor
The ridge itself presents a nice little stretch of easy scrambling.
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South ridge
The descent to the loch, however, was horrendous. If you have been using the same pair of knees for over 60 years it is not to be recommended!
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Knee wrecking descent
It would have been better to have gone further along the ridge to where the slope eases somewhat. However, I finally made it to the loch and indulged myself in a cup of tea to aid the recovery process. Then up to the bealach between Conival and Breabag Tarsuinn. From there I decided to head across Loch Mhaolach-coire: a little blue bird on the map indicated this to be a nature reserve. However, there was not a bird in sight! So I cut down to the Traligill Caves which were much more interesting and well worth a visit. In one cave water rushes down under ground: I wonder how far you can go underground?
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Caves
It was only a short distance back to the car park where the car told me it was 27 degrees! I had forgotten my sun screen so had got a bit burnt: I had to put my fleece on to protect my arms! :oops:

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bootsandpaddles
 
Posts: 653
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Re: Conival and Ben More

Postby monty » Tue May 08, 2012 3:19 pm

What a smashing day for the walk Boots.... Superb photos of remote hills. Love the cave. Nice :D
monty
 

Re: Conival and Ben More

Postby quoman » Tue May 08, 2012 3:44 pm

Thats a excellent report and photo's... plus its very handy as i am going up there in a couple of weeks to do the four.
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quoman
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Re: Conival and Ben More

Postby dooterbang » Wed May 09, 2012 12:36 pm

Love this area.

You got great weather...i didnt :( :D
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dooterbang
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Re: Conival and Ben More

Postby EwaMH » Wed May 09, 2012 1:29 pm

I've just had to postpone a birthday trip up that way that was meant to start in just under 2 weeks...gutted...and seeing your reports is making me want to cry as much as it makes me really excited for finally getting there.
What conditions you got!! Amazing! I can only hope we get half of that :)
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EwaMH
 
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Re: Conival and Ben More

Postby davetherave » Sun May 13, 2012 12:52 pm

Ben More south ridge was our highlight of the day when we did those 2 Munros. We eventually reached the summit of the Corbett Breabag in the dark.

Thanks once again. Dave
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Re: Conival and Ben More

Postby oap2046 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:18 pm

I agree that the descent from the south ridge of Ben More Assynt is horrendous. I don't know why the SMC book of Munros suggested it as a route. I am glad I had two Leki sticks to give me some stability on the very steep grassy sections. These sections ended in vertical cliffs so a route had to be found to get around them onto some more grass and some more cliffs. It took me one and a quarter hours to get down to the loch at the bottom.
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