Sat 1st June. First Summer walk of 2013. Start at 11. 00 a.m from roadside opposite Benmore Farm. Light wind, cloudy with some sunny breaks, Munro summits in cloud, temp 10-13C.
Walk in up landrover track through Benmore Glen alongside the BenMore Burn. A landslide partly blocks track after a few 100 metres. Mixture of light rain and sun.
New Scarpa Sl boots first outing, wearing well so far.
After track ends, continue diagonally to the stream that comes down from bealach and cross it, then climp up right hand side of the stream to the bealach. Steep going on a developing path,boggy in places. Need to stop for a breather and fuel a couple of times and apply sunblock and fill up the water bottle from one of the little waterfalls in the stream.
Approaching the Bealach Eadar da-Bheinn (the pass between the two hills) at 862 metres the wind suddenly kicks in very cold and strong . It's a struggle to get jacket and gloves on in the wind and chill. Stop to tighten lace as some heel lift in right boot causing rubbing. Set off up the South Ridge of Ben More. A few other walkers but all coming down off the Ben, so quiet for me as i plod up the steep ridge. Now legs really start to ache. (I'm doing this with a head cold and its hard work).
Wind turns to drizzle as approach summit crags. Scramble up one but decide to skirt the rest to save energy and time. Reach summit at 2.00 p.m. Summit is in cloud and poor visibility. Getting quite drizzly and damp at top so quickly skip down to the bealach. Here the new boots are really impressive on the descent, with tightened laces every step is confident and sure.
At the Bealach weather turns nasty as the wind increases and rain turns to Hail. Decide to press on up the North Ridge of Stob Binnein. legs really aching now and the weather deteriorates rapidly to horizontal hail. Its very slow going and I have to look down at my feet to avoide hail lashing my face form the west. Party coming up from bealach overtake me I'm going so slow. Try to turn in from the wind and hail but the eastern side of the ridge is quite exposed and a long cornice is still there running along the overhanging edge. As the party of 3 young guys returns from the summit I make the final 200 metres or so to the summit of the second Munro, in zero visibility, although as i stop on the eastern sheltered side of the summit cairn the wind drops and on the return to the Bealach hail stops and weather improves.
On the tired descent from the bealach into the glen the Sun actually comes out to dry off my soaking gear (these scarpas are great but they ain't waterproof- feet soaked). Slip only once on boggy descent, bit of cramp so refill water and refuel before the lovely sunny walk out along the burn back to the car at 5.00 ish.
Great walk, great boots, ankle and knee bearing up well apart from tiredness due to cold: 4 out of 5.
Pint in The Drovers on the way back down to Helensburgh.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.