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Stob Binnein & Ben More from the south

Stob Binnein & Ben More from the south

Postby MiniRambo » Sun May 19, 2013 10:34 pm

Route description: Ben More and Stob Binnein

Munros included on this walk: Ben More, Stob Binnein

Date walked: 18/05/2013

Time taken: 6.3 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1459m

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Twelve months ago, a group of us made the trip north to Fort William for a weekend of good company and to conquer the Ben. That trip proved to be a successful and happy time (it was probably helped by the 31deg temperatures and cloudless skies) so, as a group, we decided to venture north again for another outing in the hills (and for those less adventurous, to spend time in the shops in Stirling, our base for the weekend).

The weather forecast had been less than favourable for Saturday, the day of our walk, with heavy rain, strong winds and zero views in the offing. However, as we travelled along the A84 from Stirling and through Callander, the weather didn't look too bad and gave us some encouragement.

We had decided to ascend the two hills from the less used southern approached starting from Inverlochlarig. There is a good car park at the end of the minor road and it is from here you cross the road, over the stile and then immediately up the steep slopes of the south facing hill.

We started walking at 10.15am. My brother Chris and I led the way followed by Malcolm, John, Claire, Anne, Yvonne, Peter and John M. The path was ok and not too difficult under foot, just a case of getting your head down and working hard. You eventually climb another stile and the path then meanders through a craggy area before reaching true open countryside marked on the map as Stob Invercarnaig. The views began to expand now and we were able to see east along Loch Voil to Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin, south towards Ben Ledi and further round to Ben Lomond and them immediately to our west, Beinn Tulaichean and Cruach Ardrain.

At the start, steep from the off

View back to the car park

Loch Voil with distant Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin

Steep section over, onwards over Stob Invercarnaig

Beinn Tulaichean & Cruach Ardrain coming into view

View back down the broad ridge

Chris and I ventured passed the small cairn and then on the narrowing ridge with the form of Stob Coire an Lochain and Stob Binnein in front of us, admittedly the tops of which were in cloud. It was at this point that we realised the main group weren't making good progress but we had arranged to rendezvous at the bealach between SB and BM in any case so we decided to press on. The wind began to pick up considerably now from the east and the temperature dropped by several degrees. Into the cloud we went and although the ridge was narrower and the wind was gusty we still felt in control.

First glimps of Stob Coire an Lochain/Stob Binnein

Good footpath

The ridge narrows and the wind picks up

Up and over Stob Coire and Lochain and the rain started to fall (well more horizontal than vertical) and crystals of the snow off the east side of the ridge were being blown at us too. We reached the summit of Stob Binnein at 1pm. We didn't hang around too long, except for Chris to take a text message to say that the weather hadn't been too good back in Cumbria with localised flooding.

Stob Coire an Lochain top

Atop Stob Binnein, time to put my coat on

We dropped down the steep northern ridge of SB to the Bealach-eadar-dha Bheinn and met a party of three sheltering behind a large rock. We decided to continue to ascend Ben More and met another couple of gents coming down. In the cloud, with wind and rain battering us, the climb seemed to go on forever. It was a wild place when we reached the trig point (2pm), so we quickly took some photos, went over to the cairn too and then started to head back to the bealach.

At Ben More trig point

....and me too!

.... and to the cairn

We (well I !!) were feeling hungry by now so we took shelter behind the rock where we had met the group of three ealier. However, there was no sight of the rest of our party. Chris checked his mobile and received a text to say that when they had reached the southern ridge of SB it had blown Malcolm over so they decided to call it a day and head back to the car. Probably a wise decision.

Food stop in shelter of the rock at the Bealach-eadar-dha Bheinn

Fully refuelled , Chris and I then descend from the bealach in a west/south west direction, checking the GPS for clarification of our route. Having dropped a matter of 100m or so we came out of the cloud and Benmore Glen came into view. We could see that we were heading for the watershed between the Benmore Glen and the Inverlochlarig Glen so made good time. Being on the west side of the hill, we were now sheltered from most of the wind. Walking over soft ground made the descent better on my knees which can ache from the pounding of a stoney path.

First view of Benmore Glen

Heading towards the watershed between Benmore Glen and Inverlochlarig Glen

At the watershed we kept high of the flat and boggy area before picking up the Inverlochlarig Burn and following it down until we reached the farm track that led us back to habitation.

At the watershed

View down Inverlochlarig Glen

The 'duck' stone

Start of the farm track

View back up the track

It was interesting to see that a hydro electric scheme is underway as you get nearer the settlement.

Hydro Electric scheme in progress

Through the farm yard and along the road back to the car where Peter and Anne were waiting for us at circa 4.50pm.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable walk and this route is a good alternative to tackling them both from the north.
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Re: Stob Binnein & Ben More from the south

Postby Graeme D » Mon May 20, 2013 11:02 am

I'm sure Kevsbald and myself saw you guys just below the skyline making your way up through some minor crags as we returned to the carpark at Inverlochlarig (my car is just out of shot to the left in the first photo). We had walked in from Inversnaid Garrison over Beinn a'Choin before camping and then walking out on Saturday over Meall Mor to Inverlochlarig. Unlike you guys, we were done and dusted before the weather turned, but we could clearly see it coming in from the north east.
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Re: Stob Binnein & Ben More from the south

Postby GillC » Mon May 20, 2013 12:03 pm

Im planning a solo attempt at these two on 1st June,,,,worth considering this as an alternative to the Northern approach..Thanks G :D
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Re: Stob Binnein & Ben More from the south

Postby dogplodder » Mon May 20, 2013 12:16 pm

Nice one. :D

How much longer do you reckon this approach is compared to the one from the north? 8)
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Re: Stob Binnein & Ben More from the south

Postby MiniRambo » Thu May 23, 2013 7:11 pm

Hi Graeme, Gill & DP

Graeme - When we saw the forecast on the Friday night, we were expecting the weather to by worse than it was at the start so we were pleased to get some views before it turned. :)

Gill - would recommend the route, however also bear in mind the single track road to get to the start. :)

DP - Its probably another 4/5km longer, however apart from the steepness at the start, it does relent and become a pleasant ridge walk on a good path. :)
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Re: Stob Binnein & Ben More from the south

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu May 23, 2013 7:45 pm

Good & interesting report, thanks for that :wink:

I like the majority did BM & SB from the north & the memories still linger now after what is a few years :oops:
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Re: Stob Binnein & Ben More from the south

Postby fingeez » Fri May 24, 2013 9:20 pm

Nice report :) and pics.

Shame you never got the weather for these. Was gorgeous for most of my walk on these :)

The south route is def a good one with these to avoid that relentless slope up ben more. I went from the south aswell but went straight up the glen and camped at the watershed before going up ben more and stob binnein in the morning then back to tent packed up and headed up and over beinn tulaichean and cruach adrain on way back to the car.
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