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Ben More & Stob Binnein in reverse and in a real strong wind

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:38 pm
by findhornloon
Ben More had been on our list since my son Leo and I first saw it's majestic shape from Ben Venue, so today was the day and at 9.30 we were on our way.
Benmore Burn at the start of the walk
We decided to climb the route is reverse by heading up Benmore Glen to ascend Stob Binnein first followed by Ben More, mainly to avoid the often reported steep and unrelenting traditional ascent from the north west.
Other things to avoid along Benmore Glen - Cows ....
... and dangerous bridges.

The MWIS and general weather forecasts were favourable and winds to be 25-30mph. We enjoyed a reasonable start to the day with a mix of sunshine, clouds and light winds as we proceeded along Benmore Glen, unfortunately by the time we reached Bealach Eidar the wind really picked up making the climb up Stob Binnein & Ben More tricky and slow, the cloud level also dropped to about 1000m on the way up and never really lifted again so no views to enjoy from either summit.
The watershed of Benmore and Inverlochlarig Glens with Beinn Tulaichean beyond
The climb up from Glenmore to Bealach Eidar had a few steepish sections along the path to the west of the burn which flows down from the bealach but presented no problems. and the summit was reached at 1.00pm.
The route up to Bealach Eadar is steep but not as steep as the 1:1 NW slope of Ben More !!!
stob binnein.JPG
Our first challenge Stob Binnein summit
stob binnein summit.JPG
On the sheltered side of Stob Binnein summit, Leo's second Munro and second without a view !!
On reaching the bealach both summits were in cloud and the clouds were really moving and as it was now much cooler, it was on with the full Scottish weather gear of waterproofs, wooly hats and gloves. The zig-zags up to the summit of Stob Binnein alternated between fighting into a cold westerly gale force wind on the 'zig' and not being blown off the hill by the following gale on the 'zag' !!!
The descent from Stob Binnein, the photo just doesn't do justice to the strength of the wind
Finally the summit of Ben More after another struggle with and against the wind.
On the summit of Ben More, Leo's third Munro and third without a view !!
As a cartographer I always seem to be drawn to OS trig pillars
Only one photo was taken on the way down Ben More, it was hard enough to keep our feet never mind hold a camera in the wind. After a long day on the hill our tired legs really struggled on the "steep and unrelenting" often boggy north-west slopes down from Ben More summit, so much so that we had a serious case of the 'locking legs wobble' once we reach the land rover track and it took us all the way to the car park before we could walk 'normally' again. Leo was knackerd and confessed it was probably one of the hardest physical exercise he had ever done - imagine how I felt being 30 years his senior - then again it was our first serious climb since Ben Vorlich back in June so clearly not fit enough to take on such a beast as Ben More !!!.
A most welcome sight - the start point down below.

If you wish to see some really good photos taken on a clearer day check out the excellent report by DeeTC.
For the record here are our approx times (including stops totalling 2 hours) :
Left Car Park layby - 9.30 am
Stile at Land Rover track - 10.00 am
End of Land Rover track - 10.30 am
Arrival at Bealach Eidar - 12.00 noon
Stob Binnein summit - 1.00 pm
Ben More summit - 3.00 pm
Return to Stile at Land Rover track - 5.00 pm
Return to Car Park layby - 5.30 pm