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Stob Binnein from Inverlochlarig

Stob Binnein from Inverlochlarig

Postby U059361 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:30 am

Munros included on this walk: Stob Binnein

Date walked: 03/03/2017

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 9.5 km

Ascent: 1100m

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As I was driving up to Lochearnhead with the intention of walking Ben Vorlich I caught a glimpse of Stob Binnein covered in snow and suddenly I was turning off the road and driving to Balquhidder and on to Inverlocharig. I have done this walk before and the ridge to the summit is one of my favourite walks. When I drove into fog over Loch Voil I thought here was a bonus for atmospheric photos if I could get above it before it disappeared. I got ready and started walking at 10:30am. It is a steep start climbing up Leathad nam Fiadh.
ImageStob a'Choin from above the car park by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
After a brief glimpse of the hills around I was in cloud. I climbed as fast as possible to get above the cloud and eventually managed it. Great views and atmospheric photos taken.
ImageStob Breac above the fog by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
ImageStob a'Choin and Beinn Tulaichean by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
There has been some work on the path since I last was here, more stones in place to stand on, but more erosion too. After crossing the fence by the style, I was getting into snow. There was quite a lot in the gulley where the path climbs up to Stob Invercarnaig so I avoided the worst by cutting along the open grassy slope and climbing up further along. Good view of the lochs from here.
ImageLochs Doine and Voil by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The path goes across a gully and up to the shoulder of Stob Coire an Lochain. Here the snow had been blown into it so I stayed on this side and clambered up the less snowy bank to cross over at the top of the gully. The snow up to the start of the ridge was not deep nor cover complete but still glad I had started with my gaiters on. The wind was now blowing more forcefully here but progress was easier here so I kept warm. I tried to keep out of the snow banks as much as possible but the snow was easy to traverse as it was not frozen solid.
ImageFirst look at Stob Coire an Lochain by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
At the cairn the view confirmed what I'd seen from the road. Complete coverage of Stob Coire an Lochain. It looked fantastic and gave me an energy boost to keep going even though I was feeling it from not walking much this year and the rush to get above the cloud.
ImageFrom the first cairn on the ridge back down to Loch Voil by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I noticed a set of footprints in the snow, so someone was ahead of me. I chose my own route but crossed the trail up the ridge. Here the wind was blowing the snow over the ridge and the footprints had disappeared in places. I added a hat under my hood to keep my head warm.
ImageNa Staidhrichen is reached by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I was careful not to walk too near the snow edge as there were corniches even if they weren't prominent.
ImageNa Staidhrichen over to Stob a'Choin by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The snow was starting to get deeper and the going a bit harder but the footing was fine here.
ImageCruach Ardain and Beinn Tulaichean by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The views made the effort well worth it and despite the cold wind I was comfortable enough to keep going.
ImageStob Binnein and Ben More from Stob Coire an Lochain by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Here I got the first clear look at Stob Binnein and Ben More. I could now see someone at the top, the foorprints I had been following. This gave me the last boost I needed to convince myself that I could make it to the top.
ImageNa Staidhichean from Stob Coire an Lochain by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The last part of the ridge was different under foot. Now it was solid ice and snow and so time for spikes. I got a little rest while putting them on. The snow here was frozen and holding my weight so the spikes were perfect for going up the final steep slope. It didn't look like the footprints had spikes so my route went straight up instead of around. To my amazement I hit the top, I had clambered up on adrenaline alone.
ImageBen More and Glen Dochart from Stob Binnein by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
ImageStob Coire an Lochain from Stob Binnein by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The view was fantastic but the wind here was chilling me. I didn't even take my gloves off for the photos. It was 2:00pm. Three and a half hours to get here. There was no sign of the walker who had been at the top, I assume they were headed for Ben More. I took my photos, soaked up the achievement and then headed straight back down. With spikes on the steep slope was easy and I was soon back on the ridge and past Stob Coire an Lochain.
ImageRidge from Stob Coire an Lochain by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
ImageWide view of ridge from Stob Coire an Lochain by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
ImageLast look at Stob Binnein an Stob Coire an Lochain by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The wind was so fierce here now that even my footprints had disappeared in bits and snow devils were dancing along the slope below me. I was showered in drifting snow at several points along the ridge. I kept my spikes on until I was off the ridge proper. It was soft snow in patches now and the spikes were making snowballs anyway so off they came. When I reached the gully I followed the path and crossed over the snowdrift this time as it was now soft. In the gully to drop down to the style, almost all of the lying snow had disappeared so I just kept to the path. I was making great time. By the time I got over the style, my legs were really feeling the descent, so the last steep drop to the car park was slow and sore. I kept as much to the grassy banking as possible to make it smoother to come down. I was still very glad to get over the final style and into the car park. The sun was still shining but would soon disappear. As I sat on the car boot changing my footwear I could now bask in the afterglow of a fine walk. It was 3:30pm, I had come down in one and a half hours. It had been so cold I hadn't eaten my lunch so I did so in the car, looking at all the photos I had taken. So glad to have done this walk even though I was shattered. A curling match tonight, the perfect warm up for it :lol:
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Re: Stob Binnein from Inverlochlarig

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:44 pm

Fantastic images, what a day.
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Mal Grey
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

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