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Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Abandoned More in favour of Binnein


Postby dogplodder » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:56 pm

Route description: Ben More and Stob Binnein

Munros included on this walk: Stob Binnein

Date walked: 12/06/2015

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After a sizzling hot day climbing Ben Challum with its compelling views of the Crianlarich duo we knew what we had to do.

Crianlarich hills from Ben Challum
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Ben More & Stob Binnein
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The target for the next day was to come back and climb this pair following the WH route up the north side of Ben More and over to Stob Binnein then down from the bealach. But I went to bed with a niggling concern that doing this would be a long hard slog in the heat of the sun which could possibly put paid to including Stob Binnein and if given a choice Stob Binnein was the one I'd rather do. So in the morning I suggested to Moira we go straight for Stob Binnein via the bealach..... and I think she was relieved, but not half as relieved as when she saw those steep grassy slopes as we passed them on the track!

We parked in the off road layby that boasts a snack van east of Benmore Farm and walked along the busy A85 to a wooden sign pointing over a muddy ditch to a low wooden stile. Well to be accurate we walked past the sign to the farm on account of concentrating so hard on crossing the road without being mown down that I missed it. As someone observed it does seem an inconsequential start to climbing a magnificent pair of hills - the Castor and Pollux of the Scottish Highlands! Once on the zigzag track height is gained steadily and we were soon away from the annoying visual effects of the overhead cables from the pylons.

Benmore Farm
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The track leads to a gate and once through that the direct route for Ben More is straight up the grassy slopes.... but we kept going on the track.

Track heading south alongside the Benmore Burn
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Towards the end of the track there's a short cul de sac off to the right which we should have taken as that's where the faint path to the bealach begins. But we didn't see it and stayed on the track then struck off over the marshy ground in a south easterly direction. I knew we were looking for a path on the south side of a stream coming down from the bealach but there were several small streams shown on the map and I didn't know which one had the path. In fact I stepped over the correct stream where it was only one foot across (and at that point had no path) and headed for what seemed to me the more significant stream which I could hear but couldn't see as it was hidden in its gully. I crossed it, still couldn't see any path but climbed up to an area strewn with errant rocks and found a flat one to sit on as it was time for our first stop.

Meanwhile Moira was chatting to two men and a dog she had met. She asked if they were climbing Ben More to which they replied "Where is Ben More?". She showed them on the map where it was and where they were and they continued happily on their way. We didn't see them again and hope they made it okay! Then she came over to where I was sitting and told me I had overshot the path which she had correctly located going up the side of the stream I had stepped over. So after a food break we returned to the path and started the climb up to the bealach. It was wet in places and sometimes disappeared but was on the whole a good path that took us all the way up to the stony ground at the bealach.

Ben Challum - from this angle looking like the Paps of Jura (which we think we saw from the summit)
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Cruach Ardrain peeping over Stob Garbh from path to bealach
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Further up
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Bealach-eader-dha-Bheinn
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Ben Lawers and Loch Tay from bealach
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Beinn Laoigh from bealach
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That big rock and Cruach Ardrain
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At the bealach I found a rock to sit on and watched three tiny figures wending their way down the zigzag path off Ben More. These tiny figures materialised into three guys on the first day of a three day walking holiday from their hometown of Guildford. They had taken the direct route from Benmore Farm and confirmed it was unrelenting and brutal on a warm day like this. We got talking about hill routes and it turned out they are registered on Walkhighlands so I took their photo to include in my report. You've heard of the Guildford Four - well here are the Guildford Three!

Gerard, James and David
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They were off to Stob Binnein next so I bid them farewell and said if they hung about at the top we might catch them later.

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Ben More from slopes of Stob Binnein
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And sure enough, at the top they were still there enjoying the views
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Next they wanted to visit the small lochan on the south ridge and were planning to drop down from there and follow the Benmore Burn back to the start. We didn't see them again but noted their car was gone from the layby so presume that all went to plan. It was good meeting you guys and hope the next day wasn't too much of a wash out with the weather!

Heading for the south ridge
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Stob Binnein summit cairn
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Moira on summit cairn
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Flat table top of Stob Binnein looking north
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Crianlarich hills and Arrochar Alps
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Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin
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After a good hour up there and a leisurely lunch we headed back down the way we had come, finding the path easier to follow on the descent and managing to hold on to it all the way back to the track. If I had found it in the first place it would have led me to the crossing over the burn which was obvious on the return!

Crossing over point
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We made it back to the car in good time and then to the Green Welly in Tyndrum for a tasty chicken pasta which hit the spot before heading up the road through Rannoch Moor and Glencoe where we had to stop to take the classic Big Bookil shot. The scenic drive north made a fitting end to a glorious day.

Buachaille Etive Mor
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So were we right to abandon More in favour of Binnein? I suppose I'll never know but I think so. It hadn't occurred to me not to do the two together until seeing what climbing in the heat did to my pal the day before. She wouldn't have liked that steep ascent but she would have had a go for my sake and in the end I couldn't do that to her. Better to reduce the target and have a day we both enjoyed - with lots of stops to chat to folk and enjoy the surroundings. Sometimes less is more.
Last edited by dogplodder on Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stob Binnein and the guys from Guildford

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:56 pm

Lovely shots, and a great place to be on a beautiful day :D :D - we may have passed your or your car on our way round to the Glencoe ski centre ... but more of that to come, eventually :lol: :lol:
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Re: Stob Binnein and the guys from Guildford

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:08 am

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Lovely shots, and a great place to be on a beautiful day :D :D - we may have passed your or your car on our way round to the Glencoe ski centre ... but more of that to come, eventually :lol: :lol:


We had a good look at those two on the way through Glencoe - looking so different from when we went to climb them in a pea-souper last summer. Glad you had such a good day! :wink:
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby shredder » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:41 pm

Looks like you had a great day out with views to match. 8)
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby basscadet » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:06 pm

Can totally relate to that.. The heat is my worst enemy - even on chilly days I have to stop to cool down, and the confused heatstroke state is all too familiar!
Looks like it was worth getting out though, some cracking pictures and sounded really quite fun :D
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby 2manyYorkies » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:34 pm

Beautiful photos. I went up on a pleasant November day, but had mist on both tops and completely failed to find the path off the bealach in truth. Had the pleasure of watching local farmers whizzing all over both mountains with their dogs rounding up the sheep, amazing skills on display.
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby dogplodder » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:33 am

shredder wrote:Looks like you had a great day out with views to match. 8)


Views were superb. :D
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby dogplodder » Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:52 am

basscadet wrote:Can totally relate to that.. The heat is my worst enemy - even on chilly days I have to stop to cool down, and the confused heatstroke state is all too familiar!
Looks like it was worth getting out though, some cracking pictures and sounded really quite fun :D


There was a great wee breeze at the top which helped us cool down. All in all a fabulous day! :D
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby dogplodder » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:04 pm

2manyYorkies wrote:Beautiful photos. I went up on a pleasant November day, but had mist on both tops and completely failed to find the path off the bealach in truth. Had the pleasure of watching local farmers whizzing all over both mountains with their dogs rounding up the sheep, amazing skills on display.


Good you got some entertainment to compensate for no views...! 8)
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby gerardg » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:53 pm

Hi from the "Guys from Guildford"!
Great photos of a great day out and I'm glad that Moira made it up Stob Binnein as well.
We saw you both on the summit from the lochan.
Given the weather, we went coast wards the next day to Arrochar and climbed the Ben Narnain and The Cobbler rewarded by grey but largely dry skies - thought about Beinn Ime whilst we were there, but rain and low cloud later in the afternoon drove us down.
So we tried a different tack and went the the Fyne Ales brewery at the head of Loch Fyne and walked unexpectedly into the 2015 Fyne Ales Beer Festival!!! Talk about serendipity.
Last day up Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin in brilliant sunshine - couldn't be better!!
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:04 pm

gerardg wrote:Hi from the "Guys from Guildford"!
Great photos of a great day out and I'm glad that Moira made it up Stob Binnein as well.
We saw you both on the summit from the lochan.
Given the weather, we went coast wards the next day to Arrochar and climbed the Ben Narnain and The Cobbler rewarded by grey but largely dry skies - thought about Beinn Ime whilst we were there, but rain and low cloud later in the afternoon drove us down.
So we tried a different tack and went the the Fyne Ales brewery at the head of Loch Fyne and walked unexpectedly into the 2015 Fyne Ales Beer Festival!!! Talk about serendipity.
Last day up Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin in brilliant sunshine - couldn't be better!!


Good to hear from you Gerard and glad to know your next two days were as good as the first and you managed to fit in 6 hills along with the Fyne Ales Beer Festival! :D
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:04 pm

That looked brilliant, think I need to go back - I don't think I saw 10% of the views you got (and no midgies!!).
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:21 pm

Gordie12 wrote:That looked brilliant, think I need to go back - I don't think I saw 10% of the views you got (and no midgies!!).


I deliberately didn't send you a link to this as it was like rubbing salt in the wound - but you found it anyway. You'll just have to go back in October when the midge menace has hibernated. :evil:
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Re: Abandoned More in favour of Binnein

Postby katyhills » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:42 pm

Lovely report and pics. Can't beat the views from the tops of hills on a clear day :)
Ben More's a slog right enough, but a great feeling to do both. Never had any views on either of them when I've done them. Great when you meet other people too and they're having a good time.
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