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Ben More & Stob Binnein

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 8:29 am
by harkinchristopher
I had fancied these two for quite some time but had been putting them off after hearing the word 'hellish' used multiple times to describe the ascent! However I really wanted these two in the bag and the forecast looked good. We parked up at the roadside and set off around 9.20am with the sun already splitting the skies (it was useful to get here early - having to park at the layby further along the A85 would have added a bit more to the walk).

After following the small sign directing us through the trees and hopping over the style, we started the uneventful walk up the track and reached the gate with no real issues. It was already time to de-layer as it was starting to get rather warm (sun lotion at 9am!). The Walkhighlands route description mentioned to pick a point after the gate and head straight uphill - at this point, it was looking pretty steep and ominous.

Our route uphill, blinded by the sun

View from the gate back towards Loch Dochart

We decided just to go for it and off up the hill we went (On the return leg, we noticed a small cairn further up the track which may have marked a more sensible place to pull off the path). Not much to report here as we found the next bit similar to most stories about this hill - it really was a good old "eyes down, keep walking" plod upwards.

Views starting to open up

Higher up, we noticed a more defined path to the right (which we hadn't been following) so we trekked across the hill to pick this up. Once on this, the going was much easier (this was probably where the small cairn at the track was aiming for). Soon we picked up the drystone dyke which followed the side of the Sloc Curraidh corrie. A final section of track later (much easier at this point) which swings to the left, and some mild scrambling over some mossy rocks and we made it to the summit.

Happy Walkers - the cairn at last!

Lonely trig point


Stopped at the cairn for the obligatory photo but over towards the trig point was much more sheltered and the views around were cracking - a top lunch spot. We've been pretty lucky this year to have the summit to ourselves on a few munros and it was the same here. I really would've happily sat here all day.

Looking over towards Stob Binnein, the route seemed to be fairly straighforward and the path well defined. We could see the summit clearly from where we were as well as some people at the top so we knew it wasn't unreasonably far away.

Towards Stob Binnein

Setting off again the going was slightly slower in getting down to the bealach - always sorer on the knees going down and a bit of scrambling involved on one rocky section. It felt like we had lost a lot of height when we hit the bealach and it's always a thought knowing you're about to have to make it up again!

Rockier on the way down

The path ahead

The ascent up Stob Binnein was much more pleasant than Ben More. We weren't racing up, just taking it easy and having a few breaks to enjoy the views but still made it from the bealach to the summit in just under an hour. The views from this summit were also cracking. A really great day to be on the hills.

Summit Two

The route back down from the bealach was initially pretty boggy (with a few slips and slides) and soon the track came into view.

Track back

Rather than heading down hill and hitting a right towards the track (as most people seemed to be doing) - we made a beeline diagonally towards it and were soon happily back at the car feeling pretty accomplished!