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Blue skies & pork pies: Ben More - Crianlarich

Blue skies & pork pies: Ben More - Crianlarich


Postby BoyVertiginous » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:32 am

Route description: Ben More and Stob Binnein

Munros included on this walk: Ben More, Stob Binnein

Date walked: 15/03/2015

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1060m

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***We didn't do Stob Binnein today, the system only has the walk of both & applies it automatically***

Planned this about a week in advance and the weather forecast looked fine from the bbc but, mwis were painting a much gloomier picture. The Ben More webcam was showing fine conditions so, decided to go with the gut and stick to the plan of tackling Ben More from Benmore Farm, rather than any of the lower alternatives we'd considered.

Set-off from home at a civilised 7am and cloudy skies made way to a sea of blue the further north and West we headed. After a quick stop in Callander for pork pies, we pulled in at the roadside by Benmore Farm. No sooner had we done so and the rescue chopper emerged from the Glen and landed in the field opposite. We hadn't even got out of the car but, they'd obviously heard we were coming. :roll:

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By the time we got ourselves sorted out and fed and watered the dog, it was after 9am when we set off up the track alongside Benmore Burn. Opting to follow the track until it ran out, we kept the dog on the lead at this point as there were several sheep around, and then take a line up towards the bealach.

On route to the bealach as Ferris (btm right) waits for us to catch up...
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No snow in the glen...Image

I'd been up on Ben More over a year prior in full Winter conditions but, was forced to retreat (at a, we thought at the time, mere 50-75m from the summit) due to winds that were making it difficult to stand up in and almost zero visibility.

The rescue chopper appeared to be on manoeuvres between Killin, Crianlarich and Tyndrum. It was in earshot, if not in sight, above the surrounding hills all the way up the glen until we reached the bealach and eventually headed off a little before noon, we presumed to fuel-up.

Sugar-coated summits to the NW...
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After leaving the track, it's pretty steep and relentless so frequent breathers were taken, a chance to take in the views on what was proving to be a beautiful day. The line we took actually spat us out above the bealach on the shoulder of Ben More and so, at 900m, we were still walking on grass. Not far to go and still snow-free...
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It was different story over on Stob Binnein, however...
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On approaching the summit, I realised that the final crag/tor (centre of the last but one pic) was where we'd sheltered, and retreated from, over a year ago. In the clear conditions, I could now see that we'd been much closer to the summit than we'd realised last time and paced it out from there...a mere 40 paces! :roll: Neverthless, it had been the right decision at the time plus, here we were enjoying the hill on a beautifully clear day, with views aplenty. :roll:

Having got all the way to about 1000m without difficulty, we initially considered skirting beneath the crags up to the summit (mainly to keep the dog away from the icy snow cornice on the East of the hill) but, what little snow there was here had iced over and it was pretty treacherous so, we opted to head over the top, still on soft snow thankfully (with the dog back on the lead) and reached the trig. On the way over to the cairn, the summit plateau was of solid ice and we should really have donned crampons here but, it seemed daft for the sake of a few feet. That said, when we did decide to descend, re-crossing the summit to return the way we'd come up, was treacherous indeed and even a couple of little sections we'd walked across in ascent without difficulty, were now very precarious, with that SE edge waiting to greet any slip that would have quickly turned into a rapid slide.

Thankfully, not the true angle of the summit...
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We stopped for refreshments, sheltering from the stiff breeze at the summit cairn. The pooch on claiming his first Munro...
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Seaplane fly-by...
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There were some lenticular clouds on the horizon to the North but, too far away for my wee camera to do any justice...
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The time came to go and, with the aforesaid iciness, we took a line over the rockier summit sections for grip and descended the way we'd come up, passing the point at which I'd turned-back previously (grrrr), and then a steep and knee-jarring walk back out to the track, before paying my Mum (Mothers Day) a visit on the way home.

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Sadly, we later learned that a life had been lost on Ben Lomond, the real reason for the rescue chopper heading off when it did. The circumstances were such that it certainly brought home that it'd be worth the hassle of sticking the crampons on, even if just for a few yards, as in conditions like we had that day, tragedy is absolutely avoidable.
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BoyVertiginous
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1142
Munros:177   Corbetts:62
Grahams:21   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:37   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Jun 14, 2011
Location: california

Re: Blue skies & pork pies: Ben More - Crianlarich

Postby Avocetboy » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:52 am

Well done ferris and love the photo of stob b.
Avocetboy
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 340
Munros:50   Corbetts:18
Grahams:7   Donalds:9
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:14   
Joined: Feb 6, 2011
Location: Boston, Lincolnshire

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