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Mull's Ben More and more

Mull's Ben More and more


Postby denfinella » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:12 pm

Route description: Ben More via A' Chioch and Beinn Fhada

Munros included on this walk: Ben More (Mull)

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Fhada

Date walked: 25/07/2017

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 1260m

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Beautiful blue skies and a warm start for the first day of (nearly) a week's holiday on Mull. This was the first time either of us had visited the island apart from a day trip to Tobermory, so we were hoping to get some decent walks done. Unfortunately the forecast for the rest of the week was pants, so we jumped straight into the deep end with Ben More.


ben-more-a-chioch.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



After a few minutes' walk along the road, we followed the Scarisdale River upstream to meet the north-west ridge of Beinn Fhada. This very soon became quite tricky going, with some wet ground, tall grass and annoying flies. Once on the ridge it was steeper but drier, with the reappearance of a welcome breeze. Lovely views back over the bay, with Ulva in the distance:

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Head of Loch na Keal:

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Beinn a' Ghraig looked very tempting over to the left:

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The broad ridge gradually gets less steep, and from 500 metres or so it's relatively easy going. View ahead:

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The ridge descends slightly (with a faint path at times) past a lochan before a steep section onto the next section of ridge. Looking back:

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Despite all the blue sky so far, trouble was brewing on Ben More:

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Anyway, still plenty of time for it to clear. The last ascent to the summit Beinn Fhada's summit is a bit craggy and easiest tackled from the west / front (rather than south / right) side:

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Excellent views from the summit:

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After unsuccessfully attempting to descend directly towards Beinn More, we instead headed back off the summit by the ascent route, than branching off left to the bealach. Ahead, A' Chioch was cloud free but Ben More still had a hat on:

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Any scrambling while ascending A' Chioch was easier than expected. Glen Clachaig to the left:

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View back from near the summit - just underneath the cloud:

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We hung around the summit area for a while despite a few midges, hoping the cloud on Ben More would clear. It was one of those days when the hill seemed to be creating its own weather system despite blue sky in all the surrounding glens. For now it wasn't looking too promising:

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Unidentified (for now) bird of prey:

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Ben More's impressive northern coire:

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Meanwhile the cloud was definitely lifting a little - finally the summit was visible:

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The clearance didn't last, but the ridge was beckoning us on now. We'd been just a little apprehensive about the scrambling ahead, but in actual fact it's all very easy thanks to paths on the left side which bypass presumably trickier sections of ridge. Looking back:

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Back on the crest further up and we were in and out of the cloud:

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The top appeared very suddenly, with a huge cairn and... well, kind of a view:

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With cloud in the coires on all sides we were sitting in an odd pocket of summit sunshine:

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After the narrow paths on ascent, the motorway leading downhill came as a shock!

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It was very busy now, with lots of people still ascending even though it was approaching mid-afternoon. This is the sort of place where it would be unfortunate to need the toilet. No cover and lots of people...

Lower down the path comes close to the Abhainn Dhiseig, with some lovely waterfalls and clear plunge pools:

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The path braids around here and we probably crossed the burn too early, ending up on some quite faint and boggy paths. Anyway, they all seem to lead downhill in roughly the same direction; as long as you cross the stream before it becomes a gorge then you'll probably end up in the right place. Lower slopes:

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After reaching the (heaving) main car park for Ben More, we still had a scenic but fairly long road walk back to our own car:

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This definitely seemed like a much more interesting way to climb Ben More than just to head up and down the same path. The lower slopes of Beinn Fhada were hard work, but it's almost all excellent ridge walking from there onwards - and the scrambling was all straightforward so no problems there. 7 hours was also shorter than we were expecting, this even despite hanging around on A' Chioch. The views from higher up started to reveal what a (to us) surprisingly big island Mull really is - a recurring theme for the rest of the week!

Mull 2017
>> Next day: Iona
Last edited by denfinella on Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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denfinella
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby Andymac75 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:35 pm

Nice :clap:
What a green and pleasant (is)land :D

You very nearly got the perfect day.just a shame The Chioch weather didn't play ball.

Awesome on a clear day.

:clap:
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby PeteR » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:43 pm

I was never fussed by this Ben More..........until I did it via this route. Superb, if a little tough getting on to the Graham.
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby denfinella » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:48 pm

Andymac75 wrote:Nice :clap:
What a green and pleasant (is)land :D You very nearly got the perfect day.just a shame The Chioch weather didn't play ball. Awesome on a clear day.


Thanks Andy. As you say, not quite perfect, but we'll take it :lol:

PeteR wrote:I was never fussed by this Ben More..........until I did it via this route. Superb, if a little tough getting on to the Graham.


Worth the effort!
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denfinella
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby litljortindan » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:58 pm

Great stuff. A pity about the cloud on the summit because there are some great views to be had but looks like you could see plenty once back beneath the cloud level anyway and great views along the A' Cioch ridge before then.

I really like Mull but I've only really experienced it on quiet days so in my mind it is a place of tranquillity -doesn't sound like you got that on your way down though. Still, Ben More main route up bound to be the busiest spot.
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litljortindan
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby shaun4444d » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:03 pm

The bird in your picture looks very much like a golden eagle. Visited mull often and the hills around Ben more are a golden eagle hotspot.
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby denfinella » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:20 pm

litljortindan wrote:Great stuff. A pity about the cloud on the summit because there are some great views to be had but looks like you could see plenty once back beneath the cloud level anyway and great views along the A' Cioch ridge before then.

I really like Mull but I've only really experienced it on quiet days so in my mind it is a place of tranquillity -doesn't sound like you got that on your way down though. Still, Ben More main route up bound to be the busiest spot.


Not too bad - better than a "no views" day anyway! It was incredibly busy on the way down! Probably the busiest Munro walk we've done, though Ben Lomond (in April) came close. I reckon the other hills would all still have been deserted though.

shaun4444d wrote:The bird in your picture looks very much like a golden eagle. Visited mull often and the hills around Ben more are a golden eagle hotspot.


Thanks Shaun. I posted the photo along with a few others on the Wildlife sub-forum and a couple of others thought it was a golden eagle too :D
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denfinella
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby andyj 19 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:53 pm

Thank you for a very clear route to follow, this one seems to have far more options and contradictions than many for it's relatively low popularity.
The bird is 100% Golden Eagle, I hope he's around for me next Sept (2020), after the traverse.
Once again thank you.
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby scotsmist » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:03 pm

Great stuff. I was there in May with the dog. Saw a couple of eagles as well.

Thanks for sharing your photos :)
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby denfinella » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:44 am

Thanks both. Nice to be reminded of one of our better days out again :)
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby jr328bmw » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:03 pm

Brill report, Ben More is a fab hill.
The raptor is a juvenile WTE.
Note the relatively short wedge tail & long neck, unlike a GE.
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby Mountainlove » Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:37 am

It's nice to see views from the hill. Last time I did it, I did the straight up and down way due to no view, but that walk is a great ideas for the next time
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Re: Mull's Ben More and more

Postby litljortindan » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:58 pm

Had a very similar day to you on the same route about twenty years ago. You still got some great views and photos though. Better than I got then anyway.
Glad you escaped the flies. They have been the bane of my walking life the last couple of months. My wife is trying to convince me that darker clothing will help but I am not convinced.
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