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Ben More & Stob Binnein from the South

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 4:28 pm
by ChrisH
Ben More & Stob Binnein from Inverlochlarig, with return via Inverlochlarig Glen
I agree this is a preferable and more enjoyable than the direct ascent of Ben More from the North.
This version of the walk returns by Inverlochlarig Glen, rather than retracing your ascent over Stob Binnein. While this avoids the slog back up SB and the steep final descent down to the car park, it is probably not any quicker as the grassy section through the Glen has no marked paths and is quite slow (although quite easy).

Start from the Inverlochlarig Car Park and over the stile signposted to Ben More. A very steep, direct path until it meets the wire fence (stile) when it traverses right, crosses a stream and the angle eases. The path curves back to the North and rises up onto the beautifully formed ridge giving fine views up towards Stob Binnein (this point about 1hr from start). Follow the ridge which is well defined and fine walking without being too steep until the final slope up to the summit of Stob Binnein - great views (about 2 hrs from the start).
Steep descent from the summit down the well defined zig zag path to the bealach between Stob Binnein and Ben More.
The walk can be shortened here by omitting Ben More.
However, the path up to the summit is not too step and after about 35 mins Ben More summit is reached (about 3hours from start). Two short 'walls' on the final approach to the summit can be avoided, if required, by diversions to the right. The summit is superb with great views.
Return to the bealach and at the the lowest point between the two summits take an ill-defined path right(West) down towards Benmore Glen. The path is quite steep and boggy in places but generally follows the left side of the stream. Follow the path to where the angle starts to ease. Here the normal path back to Benmore (for those who started the ascent of Ben More from the North) turns right. (this is about 1hr from the summit of Ben More)
Now head left (South) towards Inverlochlarig Glen. There is no defined path and the walking is mostly on grassy wet slopes. Walk South heading up towards the col between Benmore and Inverlochlarig Glen again no path but straightforward walking on wet, grassy slopes (boggy in places but with gaiters no problem). Continue South along the floor of the Glen.
Even though these 2 summits are very popular this section is seldom frequented and is very tranquil and feels quite remote (deer, buzzards etc). This section goes on much longer than you would expect from the map until eventually (about 1.5 hrs) you join the wide Land Rover track (right hand side of the stream) which leads easily back to Inverlochlarig.
Note: work on a local hydro-electric scheme near the farm currently means a diversion from the track off to the right and slightly uphill to skirt around the farm before returning back to the car park where you started. Total time with summit stops about 7.5hrs. A very satisfying day, especially in clear weather when the views are superb.