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She cried More, More, More..
by basscadet » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:25 am
Route description: Ben More and Stob Binnein
Munros included on this walk: Ben More, Meall Ghaordaidh, Stob Binnein
Date walked: 23/02/2013
Time taken: 12 hours
Distance: 21 km
Ascent: 2364m10 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I set off at 9, up the steep path – well not the path exactly because it was completely frozen under a couple of inches of ice, but close by the path on the hard frozen grass Still managed to slip and hurt my wrist though The weather was rather hazy, and a few snowflakes were falling. There looked to be clag up above, but the higher I got, the higher the clag got It was very still though, which made for a lot of sweating, despite the cold temperature.
I made the ridge, the path disappearing under the snow, and pretty soon needed to get the crampons out. There were a fair few lumps along the ridge, I kept on thinking ‘this must be the one’ but then it turned out not to be. Should look at a map occasionally I spose..
There were clag patches coming across regularly with brilliant sunshine inbetween, and the ravens circling up above. It was just lovely
I met a chap with a couple of dogs that looked vaguely familiar - a Rottweiler and a similar looking Ginger dog. He seemed to recognise me too, because he knew some surprisingly accurate information about me.. Slightly unsettling! I am surely not that memorable..
Then the clag withdrew enough for me to see Stob Binnein. Looked like quite a climb but it wasn’t really. Unfortunately the summit was in clag when I got there and while I hoped for a stop, it was far too cold, and there were no views to be had
So onward a short distance, then the descent. Oh michty me it was icy, steep and ever so slighty terrifying I picked my way down carefully, my crampon points barely scratching the surface of the snow, ice axe very much at the ready. It crossed my mind that if my weight wouldnt get my crampon points in, I had little chance of saving myself with my axe if I were to fall, but I didn't
I finally got stopped at the bealach for a cuppa and my piece. The clag was now nowhere to be seen, and the sun was out. It had got busy, and there was a steady stream of fellow walkers coming down from Ben More.. Slightly inconvenient seeing as I was bursting for a pee.. Come back clag, all is forgiven!
I had rather a long stop, and texted Dougie to let him know how I was getting on. It had taken me a bit longer than I had expected to get this far with it being so icy. I had to be a bit more careful than usual.
I picked my way across the bealach, crampons not required here, but I couldn’t be bothered taking them off just to put them on again in 10 minutes
Then it was the steep ascent of Ben More. This side of the hill was facing the sun, so far less ice was encountered, and despite the steep angle I made reasonable progress.
Looking back to Binnien, I could see a paraglider up above the summit. Sounded like he had some kind of engine, but I couldn't be sure
Up near the top there were a couple of steps that required some use of the axe, but before I knew it the trig came into sight, and so did some breathtaking views I sat behind the cairn for quite a while, trying to figure out which hills were which. I could see across a significant amount of the country. Snowy peaks contrasting with the bluest sky ever!
Eventually I tore myself away to make my descent. I knew it was going to be a steep knee-killer down the front to Glen Dochart I couldn’t find the path off the summit in amongst the snow and mass of footprints, so I shimmied down a wee gully next to the trig, where a couple of folk had climbed up, and headed toward the farm I could see far below. More steep icyness, but nothing near as bad as coming of Binnien. I suddenly got that unsettling feeling like I was coming to the top of a cliff I had found a mass of footprints, but had lost them again, and I wondered f the path had gone off to the side, but I managed to find the way down between the crags and the path became a lot more prominent after that. It was steep though, and I was forced to take my time, even though I knew the ice and my reluctance to leave Ben More summit had made me a little bit late for getting picked up.. The path was again filled with ice, so I was forced onto the only slightly less icy hillside where I slipped a few times.. Jings I was glad to get down to the track and some relatively flat ground! Only a couple of hundred yards down, I met Dougie who had arrived and come looking for me, so a jolly wee caper down to the car.
After driving round to pick up Sunny, we headed up to Killin and round to Glen Lochay. We found a decent camp spot, in a field beside a lovely wee burn. Unfortunately the locals weren’t completely happy with our presence and bleated loudly in protest. Funny looking sheep with impressive looking horns. We were careful to shut the tent up tight before sleeps that night!
The morning came, we slept on, and were up far too late to contemplate the Haesgarnich foray we had talked about. We finally prised ourselves out of the tent about 11, and decided that the rather less ambitious Meall Ghaordaidh was the best option for the day. We drove back down the glen, but had troubles getting parked, there were so many cars.
We were soon on our way up the track which turned out to be fairly steep at points. At least the sheep were a lot friendlier round here..
We soon found the telltale baggers cairn and headed up the path, only to lose it almost straight away.. it didn’t really matter though and we plodded up the featureless hillside - a pretty dull ascent to say the least
Then we got up to the ridge and it started to get snowy underfoot and a lot more fun.
The advantage to arriving late was that the majority of the other walkers were on their way down. We watched a group of guys capering and bumsliding their way down from the summit as we stopped to put our crampons on. From the amount of footprints I could tell it was a very popular hill indeed!
Finally we were on the last steep section that was infinitely more fun due to the snow. The sun was blazing as we hit the summit, but it was a cold breeze and we stopped slightly too long for lunch and got chilled. It was another beautiful vista which was hard to drag yourself away from.
We initially had the summit to ourselves, but then another chap turned up who had full ice climbing gear – a bit extreme for Meall Ghaordaidh! Then another couple, so with things getting busy, we reluctantly headed back the way we had come. It was a speedy descent, about an hour including a stop. I amused Dougie with a comedy face plant but other than that, it was an uneventful tramp back to the cars.
Well what a weekend it was weatherwise.. Anywhere above the snowline would have been amazing this weekend.. Hope you were all out having just as much fun as we did.
by rockhopper » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:08 pm
by SusieThePensioner » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:04 pm
Your first walk looked really good even if it was a bit slippery and some amazing photos
by quoman » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:34 pm
by basscadet » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:18 pm
rockhopper wrote:must be a trait with all you youngsters these days.....
Oh I like you
The gashed wrist is healing.. It was more just annoying because it was just where my walking poles rub tbh..
Aye, t'was the kind of perfect winter weather that only comes along a couple of weekends of the year.. Hope we get some more..
by coachmacca » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:32 pm
by PeteR » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:56 pm
by jonny616 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:45 pm
by old danensian » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:55 pm
By the way - do you hire Dougie out for taxi services?
by kevsbald » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:41 am
by Mountainlove » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:17 am
by IainG » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:25 am
by basscadet » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:29 pm
Thanks ahbody for all your kind comments
old danensian wrote:Enjoyable couple of days there BC - but you're not doing a good selling job on Meall Ghaordaidh. It's now slipping down my list into the "well if I have to get out today" category.
By the way - do you hire Dougie out for taxi services?
Yip, Meall Ghaorididh is one of those hills that you would only do the once.. I felt bad dragging Dougie back tbh.. but there was some fun snow, and some cracking views, so probably the best time to do it.. In summer it would be a depressingly boggy boring slog right enough
As for hiring out Dougie, well I tend to monopolise his time Everyone needs to find their own Dougie I think and mine is taken
Mountainlove wrote:Great pictures and well done for leaving at 11 I am no fan of early morning starts so I can relate to it! Sounds you had a great time out!!
I find it easier to fill a few hours in the morning, drinking tea, scoffing porridge, than I do filling an afternoon if you know you are going to have a short day.. Weekends are for relaxing, as well as mad-bagging.. Good to get a nice balance
jonny616 wrote:great read and pics. I did Ben More twice (nearly) in one week straight up the front, torture but the sledging back down was fab.
Och aye, I thought the back was pretty steep, but the front was a right knee cruncher.. I can see why my pop advised me to go up from behind! Sledging would be mental though.. You'd get up a right good speed, but oh the crags You're a braver man than me (not hard, me being a girl and all)
PeteR wrote:Great report with some fine photos I must return to Ben More one of these days, as I saw nothing when I was there - even walked straight past the cairn the clag was so thick I did retrace my steps though and get the official 'tick' in the box
Oh we all have munros like that.. I am planning a reascent of ben Mheadhoin in the gorms, as I think I was up the wrong tor.. And slioch, as I found a cairn, but didnt find the trig, even though my GPS said I was at 982m
I've heard multiple stories of folk bagging the wrong cairn on Wyvis as well.. Oh the hills can be cruel sometimes..
by SusieThePensioner » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:52 pm
by johnkaysleftleg » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:35 am