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Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night


Postby Kay10 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:29 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin, Beinn Tulaichean, Ben More, Cruach Ardrain, Stob Binnein

Date walked: 09/09/2017

Time taken: 14 hours

Distance: 30.9 km

Ascent: 3354m

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A week long itch!
I had been itching to go on a walk since my last one in the Lawers range on Sep 1. Classic Scottish weather was not showing signs of opening up the sky for some sunshine. I had been contemplating to do the Ben Cruachan 4-munro circuit. By chance on Friday 8, I checked the forecast for Ben More, Lo-and-Behold it was going to be sunny, no likely rain, some possible fog in the morning hours and overall a windy day. I dropped Ben Cruachan for Ben More as it's 20 miles short. Also, it offers the possibility of doing 7-munros. If truth to be told, got a bit greedy. Wanted to do as many, cause this would likely be my last walk till next summer. My family is returning back from an extended holiday on Sep 14 (With our 2 little angles [read monsters] & house chores, there would be hardly any breathing time left, let alone hill walking). Autumn-Winter weather is not for me.

Planning...
I'm thankful to all the compatriots of Walkhighlands for reporting there walks & contributing to the circuits, without these it would have not been possible for me to take up this walk (or any walk for that matter). I followed the recommendation of Alteknacker (Crianlarich 7 - a great round) to tackle Ben More first and then carry south-west to finish at the 7th Beinn Chabhair - Thanks mate!. His report & route map is a great guide for anyone interested in doing this round.

Lessons learned in the last adventure have made me a bit wiser :angel: , so my plan was to keep it practical :!: - one Munro at a time :) - see how it goes :shifty: - time & energy surplus :thumbup: - take on the next :arrow: . - otherwise abort!
Another important point, must arrive ASAP at the starting point - conserve sunlight!

Starting point would be a lay-by close to the Ben More trail head - do the walk - ending back to the car. I knew it would be a long slog coming back to the car from wherever I end up. But i wanted to keep my legs fresh for the grueling 1174m climb to Ben More. Returning to the Car would anyways be mostly on flat ground, so it wouldn't be much of an effort compared to hill walking.

Actually managed to do only 6 of the 7, nevertheless very content with the outcome :D .
gameplan.jpg
The walk circuit...prospective route in BLUE, actual one in RED.


About Picture Comments...
Anyone reading this would find some strange symbols :? in the picture comments or captions.
:idea:Let me simply (hopefully)-
△ = Summit,if any in the frame
⚐ = Viewpoint or location from where the pic is taken
@ Time Picture Taken
↖ (arrow) = Camera direction - reference ↑ Up-arrow indicating North
↖↗ (two arrows) = Panoramic shot, arrows indicating the azimuth filed of view (scanned sector) - reference ↑ Up-arrow indicating North

Sustenance...
As usual Tesco meal deal: Chicken salad sandwich + 0.5ltr Diet coke + Crisps
33gm x 2 Mars Bar + 33gm x 2 Snickers Bar ( Normally i would not eat these but its a necessary evil for this task)
1.5 ltr Water
10gm x 2 fruit sticks (nicked from my daughters stash)
Banana x 2
Asda 500mg Paracetamol tabs x 4 (just in case)

How the day went about...
Woke up at 4:00 - morning chores-shower-stretching-breakfast - left home around 6:30 - 66.7 miles to go - was at the lay-by at 7:55. The lay-by is about half a mile east of the Ben More trail head on the shores of Loch lubhair.

It was 10oC and cloudy, quite cold for me, windcheater and cap on i started off at 8:13. Just before I start off, invariably i take a pic of the car to time stamp zero mark of my walk. I got a nasty surprise, off all the preparation and planning, i forgot to take the batteries off the charger at home :( . Disappointed and in shock I started off upset leaving the camera in the car. Consolation - didn't forget the phone :) . At that time didn't realize that not having the camera was such a blessing in disguise. The camera would have been literally a pain in the neck. Now walking 500gm light :wink: .

From the Ben Head Trail head, which is just next to A85, the climb starts instantaneously. From a distance, walking on the Ben More farm road, couldn't make much of the ascent - didn't look daunting. But! when i left the road to take straight up to Ben More, i remembered the words described by various walkers- It's a truly relentless ascent up to Ben More. Every man/woman for himself/herself - there is just no path at all. There's a illusion of path created by the burns flowing down.. Above all, the slopes are extremely boggy. A decent path is available only for the last 250m or so of the ascent. I manged to dodge the bog for hardly 20 meters but after that my running shoes and so my feet were soaked in it for the rest of the day :( .

Soaked feet is a minor distraction. The more i ascended, the world was getting more and more beautiful around me. The sky was clear now in the north. On the East was pretty dark with cloud cover. One could start to see the near & distant northern mountains, the water bodies and Cruach Ardrain range in the west.

Dot as forecast, around 9:00 Ben More started to shroud in the fog, lucky for me, it was foggy only at the summit. Visibility was quite good for the main ascent. The sun started to come up from behind Ben More. I manged to look at it with naked eyes ( not recommended - however the light was naturally filtered by the fog). It was surreal!
approaching_ben_more.jpg
Mood of the morning during Ben More ascent...
...starting from bottom-right-clockwise Ben More in sight @8:22↘ , Overcasted Loch Lubhair @8:25↗ , Arrival of the mist blanketing Loch Lubhair @9:06↑ & The Sun rising over Ben More filtering through the fog - note low exposure pic @9:46→ .

I had to put in extreme effort to reach the summit. Was dehydrating rather fast with all that sweating and hard breathing. I think i was pausing to take a 10 sec breather after each 100 steps interval.

Trivia alert! Don't know why i was singing one line endlessly "Súbeme la radio que esta es mi canción" alll through the walk. Well of course in my mind - People will prefer me singing in vacuum :lol:

At last touched the trig point at 9:55.
20170909_095651.jpg
Ben More Trig point (⚐ Ben More @ 9:55 ←)

The scene up here was very dull due to the fog. Thankfully zero wind otherwise would have been a freezer. If not for the trig point and the altitude freeze, it was impossible to tell if I'm on sea level or a km up in the sky. No views, quite disappointing! Nothing much was there to do, ate a Mars bar and started looking for the trail southwards to Stob Binnein. Fog was quite dense, had to tread very carefully.
benmorefog.jpg
Into the fog (⚐ Ben More @ 9:56 ↖↗)

The fog was such a damper. I started to think of cutting the walk short if its continues like this. Luckly that didn't happen. I would have descended around 30m and I was out of the fog. Could see now some notable mountain features. When i looked back at Ben More, was surprised to see that only small section of the peak was actually covered in fog, otherwise it was all clear down below, but still dense cloud above. Not bad given the fog was over. It started to get a bit windy from the east, blowing away the clouds slowly.
Stobfog.jpg
△Stob Binnein (center) & △Cruach Ardrain(right) under a humongous dark cloud & some mist (⚐ Ben More slopes @ 10:07 ↙↘)

The trail from Ben More to Stob Binnein is straightforward clear-and-dry but involves steep descent and ascent.
Half way up on the ascent, I saw the first walkers (3 guys) of the day coming down. We exchanged the usual greetings, weather talk and happened to have a quick chat with the senior most. He complimented me for my walk timing, till then i was feeling i had been quite slow. In reality i might have been slow, but some nice words always keep the spirits up :) !

By the time i reached the summit (10:54), all the cloud cover was gone and this marked the beginning of a stunning day to come. Without warning, nature unfolded its breathtaking beauty. It's always such an emotional experience. For me its difficult to express in words. Tried to capture some in the phone camera. Unfortunately no camera can capture it either. You have to be here in the moment to appreciate these natural wonders.
BenMore.jpg
△Ben More off-center-right (⚐ Stob Binnein @ 10:54 ↖↑)

Cruach Ardrain n Beinn Tulaichean.jpg
△Cruach Ardrain (center touching cloud), △Beinn Tulaichean (left) and △Stob Garbh(right) (⚐ Stob Binnein @ 10:55 ↙↖)

Leach nan Tarmachan.jpg
△Stob Coire an Lochain (right) & △Meall na Dige (left) (⚐ Stob Binnein @ 10:54 ↓↘)

I was alone at the Stob. Could see 2 figures walking up from the southern Stob Coire an Lochain ridge.

Next destination - Cruach Ardrain in the west. Yes of course, but there is no actual path - you need to discover your own approach. From here, its a long 550m drop into the valley :wtf: and roughly 450m up to Stob Garbh. I had never attempted anything like this before. Many before me have done it, so must be doable - right! :mrgreen:.
I started the descent straight down - Approaching the UNKNOWN :crazy: .

Hardly 40m down, I was not able to stand up straight. I'm very fearful of heights. Quickly i sat down and almost pressed the panic button. Sitting down made me feel comfortable and safe. I slowly started to slide-stop working on my limbs gripping firmly wherever I could and finally got going. I saw the 2 figures now at the Stob above - watching me. I'm sure my ridiculous 5 point descent technique could have been quite amusing to watch :shock: . Anyways, it was working for me and i used it time and again throughout the day :thumbup: .

This technique is a bit straining on the shoulders but very easy on the knees. Obviously i didn't use it on each and every descent :eh: only where i felt scary standing up and staring down the steep valley. Neither i was sliding all the way down, manged with just the feet as well occasionally :lol: .

Descending Stob Binnein , one has to be very careful, you cannot just come straight down in a line. The slopes are scattered with big boulders and cliffs - watch out! Its quite similar while ascending Stob Garbh. There are several tall cliffs, navigate your way around them unless you are a rock climber. The slopes are generally dry, but watch out for the hidden burns under tall grass, temporary small surface streams flowing over grass and patchy boggy grounds.
Of course, depending on people's navigation skill, they can certainly take a better route than mine.
acdc.jpg
Terrain on the slopes


Trivia alert! I was not sure of crossing the valley as these are the grounds for deer stalking - I would not like to be caught up in the line of fire, same time wouldn't want to disturb the hunt. Anyways, i was not going to turn back :wink: made an assumption that suits me -
"The hunt would likely be taking place around dawn when the deer start for breakfast - this would give time good to prepare the meat for supper".
Lucky for me no hunt was going on. Leaving this ridiculous thought aside - As recommended please always follow the code
!

I didn't manage to get any interesting pics - too occupied and concentrated on getting me down and up safely. Here are some random pics though, clicked when i found some spots to stand up straight :D .
asort.png
Some random pics...
..shot somewhere between Stob Binnein descent and the top of Stob Garbh.

Half of the ascent is also very steep. Was scrambling most of the time - yes on grass :crazy: !
Got some excellent views looking back north-east towards Ben More & Stob Binnein.
BenMoreSaddle.jpg
The saddle - △Ben More(left) & △Stob Binnein (right) (⚐ Ascending Stob Garbh @ 13:19 ↑↗)

Reached Stob Garbh at 13:35, boy it was a long 2&1/2 hours since departing Stob Binnein.
fromstbglasNorth.jpg
Distant northern mountains & beyond the ridge △An Caisteal (left )(⚐ Stob Garbh @ 13:36 ↖↑)

In these 2&1/2 hours i had finished 1/2 liter of water and a Banana. It was well past lunch time, getting very hungry. Couldn't go much further, the legs needed rest as well. Had my sandwich and coke somewhere on the flats on the way to Cruach Ardrain.

There is a small but decent path (boggy in places) to Cruach Ardrain from here. I met 3 walkers (a couple and a gent) here we had the usual greets. The couple went past very swiftly. From the gent i found about about the return path from Stob Garbh & Cruach Ardrain. I was having doubts, wanted to have an exit plan as my legs, specially knee area was showing signs of fatigue. Thanked him and we parted ways.

Would have not walked much when i lost the path over a cliff (or a massive rock). Lucky for me, the couple who had just went past were returning. I waited to tail them since they had been on the path earlier. I got curious, why they had returned and got into a chat with them. I came to know that both of them have already been there and done that - Munro compleatist :clap: ! Incredible! - and now they are on their rounds to cover the Munro tops along with their son - amazing. It's nice to have these interesting encounters - there's always so much to learn from the experts. It was funny, i was all covered in cap, gloves and jacket in contrast they were having their sweaters tied around their waists :lol: .
Cruach Ardrain n Beinn Tulaichean Stob Top.jpg
△Cruach Ardrain (right), △Beinn Tulaichean (left) (⚐ Stob Garbh @ 13:58 ↙↓)

They were very kind to guide me up to Cruach Ardrain. After descending Stob Garbh, the direct approach ascent of Cruach Ardrain is a steep 200m rocky incline, again no actual path here and also signs of landslide. In no time both of them vanished at the top. Man they are swift - seemingly on nuclear powered cores 8) . They were walking upright and i was scrambling, scared to death looking down. I made it to the summit 10 minutes behind them at 14:43.

The path to Beinn Tulaichean is well defined and has the most benign descent-ascent (in this particular circuit).
I was behind the Super-Munroist family. Touched the summit at 15:24.
Cruach Ardrain.jpg
From right to left - △Stob Garbh, △Cruach Ardrain, △Stob Glas, △An Caisteal & △Beinn a'Chroin (⚐ Beinn Tulaichean @ 15:29 ↙↖)

The family seemed to be making a pit stop here. I took the opportunity to seek further guidance - What would be the best way to proceeding from here to Beinn a'Chroin?. There are no paths - one need to self-navigate. I was making up a mind map from the terrain but was not so sure if it would be good way. The gent suggested a route similar to what i had in mind - got a confidence booster! I thanked them and i was off!

The route (look at the pic above)- descend a bit from Beinn a'Chroin not too much to the keep the ascent to Stob Glas to a minimum but not too less as well - the slopes high up are too steep and rocky along this section (the north-earstern ridge joining Cruach Ardrain and Stob Glas). Descend again from Stob Glas to the the base of Beinn a'Chroin and proceed.
Seemingly, there is a possible route of walking back up on the path towards Cruach Ardrain and then cutting west on the ridge to Stob Glas - i didn't opt it as i was trying to avoid the back ascent.

Beware, from high up it's difficult to gauge the depth of the terrain. Ground far down looks at level with higher ground. Anyways, naturally the route needs corrections on the go. The slopes again are pretty - rocky towards the summit - grassy otherwise with burns - avoidable bog - mildly wet.

Trivia alert! Had a wild west moment just as my head was rising over Stob Glas. There were two reddish-brown animals grazing just about 20 feet from me. Been so familiar with finding only sheep on the mountains, it didn't register to me that i was looking at a mum-deer and her faun until they raised their heads curiously to look in the direction of some strange noise - it was me breathing heavily. It spooked them - the game was on - a quick draw duel - who makes the first move - me taking the phone out of the pocket and taking the shot or them getting out of the frame. I was the loser even before the game started - by the time i pulled the phone from the jacket pocket - they vanished in thin air - not to be seen ever :( . It would have been great to shoot wild deer. Anyways, i didn't had the time and energy to pursue them for a shot.

The Stob Glas region is extremely boggy and unevenly humped - a bit difficult to navigate - was confusing for me to determine a good approach going down in the valley towards Beinn a'Chroin from Stob Glas :problem: . Moreover, the descent into the valley is riddled with huge cliffs - approach with extreme caution - i had the scariest episode here. At one point of scrambling down on the grassy slopes - i manged to put my self in a precarious position. What i thought was a steep grassy section turned out to be a overhanging cliff :wtf: - the sheer vertical drop made me cling on the grass like a scared kitten :crazy: . I kept my cool and slowly ascended back up and then came down the fault between the cliffs. The fault has very steep slope with long grass and bit of rock. But manageable with my pioneering 5 point contact descent technique :D
5ptdescent.jpg
How it's done!
My super silly unorthodox descent technique...helps me overcome the fear of heights...quite comfortable too ;-)

Fear was gone, i was now in the valley which was flooded with brilliant late afternoon sun light - awesome view at the feet of the giants. The valley seems like a marsh land (legs were in water up to the calf), possibly the grazing ground for deer. During the descent, I could see several paths (disturbed or bent grass tracks) crisis crossing the wet lands - probably made by a herd of deer or sheep :).
wetlands.jpg
The valley of the deer...wetlands △Beinn Tulaichean (left), Garbh(center-small elevation) & △Beinn a'Chroin(right) (⚐ Stob Glas Bheag @ 17:02 ↙↘) - ...Can you spot the floating blue whale?

When i was near the base of Beinn a'Chroin, it was confirmed that the the tracks in the marsh were of deer. I saw a small herd appearing from nowhere, running towards the Garbh and gone. But as i climbed up, i could see them curiously investigating my activity - spotted a faun in a protective cover in the center of the herd - beautiful creatures :) . They were at a distance in bad light - beyond the limits of the phone camera for close-ups.
Encounters.png
Some encounters with the other kind...
....Somewhere in between Beinn Tulaichean descent to the beginning of Beinn a'Chroin ascent...
Frog or Toad? , Certainly Wild berries but not sure blue or black? & The herd of deer on the Garbh..this is the only time I missed my camera.

Due to my choice of route, the ascent to Beinn a'Chroin got pretty steep. Had to scramble most of the time all the way up due to steep slopes. Anyways, the slope is pretty similar to the rest - wet - all grass except near the summit where it's quite rocky which requires scrambling. Interestingly no burns here.
Made it to the Beinn a'Chroin summit near the evening at 18:02.
Beinn Tulaichean.jpg
Near View: △Cruach Ardrain (center) & △Beinn a'Chroin (right)
Far view: △Ben More(just behind Cruach Ardrain) & △Stob Binnein (slightly off-center-right)
(⚐ Beinn a'Chroin @ 18:02 ↑→)
...Can you spot the Maiden admiring an apple? Don't you? Well i see her - probably cause I'm missing my better-half dearly:)

It was time for final assessment - 2 more Munros (An Caisteal & Beinn Chabhair) to tackle - diminishing light & energy - dwindling supplies (less than 300ml or so water left & one Mars bar & the meal deal crisp pack ) - cracking knees & dehydrated.
The answer was simple - the path to An Caisteal from Beinn a'Chroin looked very long but well defined - so that's it! No more Beinn Chabhair - its impossible in given condition to approach the Unknown - no paths.
Nothing disappointing, had been a great rewarding day already :D

The path to An Caisteal is well defined but is very narrow at the descent laden with loose stones. At one point lost the path - but then traced it back. The final ascent is very rocky ridden with boulders - overall dry path with avoidable boggy patches.
After almost 1.5 hrs reached the the final Munro at 19:27- the castle in the sky An Caisteal. Got extremely windy by then. The views from here in the setting sunlight were magical.
SettingSunCenter.jpg
Sunset over the distant mountains of west.
Some identifiable objects - from left to right - Loch Lomond - △Beinn Chabhair, △Ben Vorlich (Loch Sloy)-far somewhere left of the sun & on the right of it △Ben Lui (⚐ Stob Binnein @ 19:28 ↖↙)

InAdifferentlight.jpg
Looking back at the Munros in a different light.
From left to right - △Ben More, △Cruach Ardrain, △Stob Binnein( peeping from behind Cruach Ardrain), △Beinn Tulaichean, △Beinn a'Chroin, △Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)-far-right &
Interestingly An Caisteal can be seen virtually in its shadow (⚐ An Caisteal @ 19:28↗→).

goodbye.jpg
A very long way down to civilization... Final pic of the evening! Twistin Hill (left-near-low), distant northern mountains and to the right Ben More et al.(⚐ An Caisteal @ 19:29 ↑↗)

Before i dwell into the night, the joy of making it to the summits! :wink:
Ben6More1.png
Bagged 6 more... wee show off :p
⚐ Ben More @ 9:55 ←, ⚐ Stob Binnein @ 10:54 ↖, ⚐ Stob Garbh@ 13:35 ↑
⚐ Cruach Ardrain @ 14:43 ↗,⚐ Beinn Tulaichean @ 15:24 ↘,⚐ Beinn a'Chroin @ 18:02 ↓
& ⚐ An Caisteal @ 19:27 ↗

And now the fun begins - read nightmare :(...
Looking down from An Caisteal, i could see more or less a good path down to Twistin Hill in the North. But beyond that i could make out Loch Dochart due to reflective water - and that's roughly the direction i would be heading.
The wind had gained high speeds, bringing in greater wind chill.

Reality struck hard! There was absolutely no way i could make it all the way down to A82 in day light or twilight. I had to rush now. I started off trying to jog down as quickly as possible - was really painful. It would have been around 20min leaving An Caisteal and the Sun was gone behind the mountains. Surrounded by mountains and in the shadow, the twilight was not helping either :cry: .

Anyways, there was still a path, even though boggy was manageable but not for long. Somewhere on the Twistin Hill i lost the path and it got quite dark - the land became all gray. But was lucky to be now at a vantage point where the snaking farm road was identifiable(appearing distinctly grayish-silver) from the rest of the background terrain.
"That was my light at the end of the tunnel."

Here survival instinct kicked in - had a jolt of Adrenaline and i simply started off in a straight line towards the farm road down the grassy slopes in North-Eastern direction. I was slipping, skidding, running, doing my 5-point inverted crouch. My eyesight got acclimatized to the low light pretty good. I could have used the phone torch - but i felt it would be do no good - where i point that would become the path and also would narrow my field of view and focus. My ears were listening sharp for falling water to detect any burns to avoid. These slopes are extremely boggy with waist tall grass (for a short man like me at 5'6'') and boulders, watery holes hidden under it.

Half way through towards the farm road, i got blocked by the barbed fence cutting west to east. I was very happy to see it, as now i could simple follow it down to the road or perhaps i would find a stile to cross. Going along the fence i realized that the land is very muddy and slippery. The fence is not very tall - rising just above my waist. I didn't want to step on the lower wires due to the barbs and chances of slipping a foot. Having come down so far without a scratch, getting hurt now would be a disaster. I tip-toed - pressed the barb down with one hand and covering the groin with another ( thin running shorts do no good in these situations) i managed to cross the fence. Continued down till i reached the road - what a breath of relief! - the ordeal was at last over :shifty:

There was still a lot of farm road to cover (around 1.3 miles) until i reach A82. With only gentle slopes there was nothing to complain. I reached the lay-by on A82 close to 21:15 - it was completely dark. Exhausted-Hungry-Dying for water. Only the crisp pack was remaining. Its better than nothing - i munched on it while walking towards the A85. It's good to have some carbs in for the 4 mile slog to the car.

It was time for another new thing - walking on the A roads in pitch black - of course i was keeping off the bold white lines. Turned on the phone torch ( by the way i had replaced the phone batteries with the back-up one on Beinn a'Chroin so there was plenty of charge left to burn the torch and the gps) to see the road and been seen by the road traffic. The night drivers were considerate to dim the beams for this crazy crisp munching night walker.

In all this melee of exhaustion and hunger took me a while to notice something very beautiful hanging over me from the clear skies. But then i noticed - a spectacular stars studded sky - absolutely magical - stunning. It's a shame, urban dwellers like me can't have the pleasure of this natural spectacle every night.
That was the icing over the cake! Getting down late in the dark was in the end not that bad after at all :lol:

Ended up at the car at 22:16 totally destroyed. Gulped down 1 liter of water form the reserve. Tried do some stretching - was impossible - every joint and muscle was in severe pain. Took paracetamol and drove off in 10 min.
Driving was such a pain. Night hours with almost empty roads didn't add more misery.

23:53 Home at last just in time to wish my love a very Happy Anniversary by mid-night over the phone. Somehow managed to take shower - no way i was able to bend, lie down or lift the feet to scrub off the mud and sand. It had to wait till next day. Ate the left overs. Was not able to sleep until 2:00, took a while for the aches and pains to dim a bit. Still recovering after a week of the walk - its getting better day by day but not as fast as i expected :(
theaftermath.jpg
The Aftermath!


Everything in a nutshell...
profileTimeline.png
Here are some stats.... Route profile & timeline

If I ever get another chance, I would certainly do this walk again to complete the 7 . Must start early though or in longer summer days and plenty supplies, mainly loads of water :D . Probably get proper hiking shoes (runners are no good) and a pair of walking poles which would help to distribute the load during descents.

Overall it was such an exciting day. Witnessed the mountains in various lights of the day - marvelous!
I highly recommend anyone interested in doing this round - its tiring & testing but absolutely worthwhile.
Adios :wave:

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Kay10
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby Fife Flyer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:44 pm

Wow, that was impressive :clap: :clap:
Your reports really are great fun to read and you are as daft as me at biting off more than you can manage :lol:
I never walk without my poles, they are invaluable on the ascent as well as the descent. One thing you should consider is a head torch, they are light I always carry mine but so far have not had to use it. The closest i came to extracting it out of my rucksack was Fisherfield when I got back to my car at 22.30 in May on a proper path.
Like you when I started I didn't walk over the winter months, but when you start again in the Spring it is agony so I head for the Borders or the smaller hills nearer home.
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby dogplodder » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:19 pm

That is amazing - the distance you covered and hills climbed and I don't think I've ever seen a report quite like that! :clap:
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:49 pm

Glad if my report was of help - this is one of the reasons I do them.

This is a great bunch of hills, isn't it? and I'm glad you got that fine weather for the 2nd half of the walk. You got some great pics. :clap: :clap: :clap:

If the route you between Stob Beinnein and Stob Garbh is really as you've shown on your map, that's pretty hairy! There are some big cliffs on the WSW side of the descent, as you can see from my report! Not surprised at your novel 5 point descent technique!!!.

Ref dehydration: I've drunk from high level streams all my life, and have never been ill. Sometimes the water is very brown, but this is just peat colouring; and like I say, I - and many others - have done this over extended periods without ill effect. Having said that, I know there are varying views on this - you can look up some threads on this site if you're interested.

Finally, you might want to consider using the GPS function for your maps. I used to use a very similar app to you for my maps, until someone pointed out to me the GPS function in WH. If you're interested, ping me a private email, and I can probably save you a bit of time learning (click on your handle Kay10 in the top left hand corner, then on "account settings", then "private messages".

Keep reportin' :D
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby The Lady In Ivan » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:24 pm

I really, really enjoyed that report - Thank you!

Love the way you present your photos, love the way you present your stats. Love your humour and your ability to laugh at yourself. A breath of fresh air!!

Can't wait to hear about your next adventure.
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby Sgurr » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:00 pm

Excellent adventure. Wish I had started serious walking while still young enough to do stuff like that. Have you considered one of those purifying mug gadgets? It's hard to carry enough water for a trip like that.
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:31 am

Brilliant report, really in awe of what you achieved :clap: :clap: and great photos of a stunning area. You've made me realise why I did these mountains in small steps :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby rockhopper » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:55 am

Excellent report, well written and illustrated :thumbup:
Took me two trips for these six - nowadays, think I'd need a tent to do the whole lot !
For longer trips where I think I'll need more water, I carry a sawer mini filter and pick up water as I go and take at least one head torch just in case (and a second for backup for trips when I know I'm going to need to use one) - cheers :)
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby Mal Grey » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:37 pm

Excellent report, the enthusiasm shines through, despite the pain!
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby Kay10 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:46 pm

A BIG THANK YOU to you all for your overwhelming response, compliments and invaluable tips :angel: :thumbup: :thumbup: .
Honestly, i was in doubt that my second report has ended up to be too long and quite monotonous :shifty: .
Pleased to know it got liked by many :D
Hope it would excite some to take up this walk!

Wow, that was impressive :clap: :clap:
Your reports really are great fun to read and you are as daft as me at biting off more than you can manage :lol:
I never walk without my poles, they are invaluable on the ascent as well as the descent. One thing you should consider is a head torch, they are light I always carry mine but so far have not had to use it. The closest i came to extracting it out of my rucksack was Fisherfield when I got back to my car at 22.30 in May on a proper path.
Like you when I started I didn't walk over the winter months, but when you start again in the Spring it is agony so I head for the Borders or the smaller hills nearer home.
by Fife Flyer

Great to know i'm not the only daft :lol:- I guess we like to test our limits (in my case i hit it too early more often) :wink:
The poles and head torch are in my next outdoor shopping list. Thanks a lot to bring it to my attention- did'nt think about it! - Will keep the body acclimatized by doing smaller hills - would be great fun with family as well.

That is amazing - the distance you covered and hills climbed and I don't think I've ever seen a report quite like that! :clap: by dogplodder

Just came close of imitating the veterans - certainly the journey is one hell of a Joy . Very pleased to know you liked it so much - Thank you!

Glad if my report was of help - this is one of the reasons I do them.

This is a great bunch of hills, isn't it? and I'm glad you got that fine weather for the 2nd half of the walk. You got some great pics. :clap: :clap: :clap:

If the route you between Stob Beinnein and Stob Garbh is really as you've shown on your map, that's pretty hairy! There are some big cliffs on the WSW side of the descent, as you can see from my report! Not surprised at your novel 5 point descent technique!!!.

Ref dehydration: I've drunk from high level streams all my life, and have never been ill. Sometimes the water is very brown, but this is just peat colouring; and like I say, I - and many others - have done this over extended periods without ill effect. Having said that, I know there are varying views on this - you can look up some threads on this site if you're interested.

Finally, you might want to consider using the GPS function for your maps. I used to use a very similar app to you for my maps, until someone pointed out to me the GPS function in WH. If you're interested, ping me a private email, and I can probably save you a bit of time learning (click on your handle Kay10 in the top left hand corner, then on "account settings", then "private messages".

Keep reportin' :D
by Alteknacker

There are various nice reports but yours is something i was looking for. Your report was my reference - without it i don't think i would have been able to take this route let alone plan it. Certainly these are a great bunch of Hills and had been lucky to have a good weather. Many before me, like you have done it in worst conditions :clap: :clap: :clap: .
Route from Stob Beinnein to Stob Garbh was my first attempt of navigating through the steep unknown and my inexperience led to the hairy route :shock: - had to ziz zag go back and forth avoiding the cliffs.
I was skeptical about drinking from the streams even though had used them for cooling the head, rinsing the mouth and washing off sweat and bog during the climbs in hotter days. Usually the stream water looks quite like bottled water and now would not ignore it as a backup resource.
I used the GPS with google mymaps. Often i was straying off the path due to the demanding ascents and descents and then it was becoming a pain to course correct :? . After some time i just stopped using it for navigation but only as a template. Appreciate a lot for offering your help - will do ask :D .

I really, really enjoyed that report - Thank you!

Love the way you present your photos, love the way you present your stats. Love your humour and your ability to laugh at yourself. A breath of fresh air!!

Can't wait to hear about your next adventure.
by The Lady In Ivan

I'm genuinely very flattered :D - glad you enjoyed all of it!

Excellent adventure. Wish I had started serious walking while still young enough to do stuff like that. Have you considered one of those purifying mug gadgets? It's hard to carry enough water for a trip like that.
by Sgurr

I'm sure you have had much more exhilarating adventures yourself. I'm inspired and trying to follow adventurers like yourself :D . No i didn't know about the mug - thanks for pointing to it! would look-up - indeed would come very handy. Greatly appreciate all of you for these invaluable tips.

Brilliant report, really in awe of what you achieved :clap: :clap: and great photos of a stunning area. You've made me realise why I did these mountains in small steps :lol: :lol:
by Huff_n_Puff

Thank you! I was doubting it very much - the phone camera turned out to be a gem - manged to get some decent shots of the stunning beauty - here tried to do some justice in the limited resolution of the blog . I'm sure you could do this round in one go! - its fun :D . It's not about the destination but it's all about the Journey - innit :wink: !

Excellent report, well written and illustrated :thumbup:
Took me two trips for these six - nowadays, think I'd need a tent to do the whole lot !
For longer trips where I think I'll need more water, I carry a sawer mini filter and pick up water as I go and take at least one head torch just in case (and a second for backup for trips when I know I'm going to need to use one) - cheers :)
by rockhopper

Many thanks :D. There are very many great reports here that helped me shape mine :D - yes i have added the filter and torch in my shopping list - very useful items.

Excellent report, the enthusiasm shines through, despite the pain!
by Mal Grey

Thanks a lot :D - sorry took me a while to respond - family reunion and the recovery :lol: kept me occupied. Actually, couldn't thank you all enough for fueling my enthusiasm :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:47 pm

Another great report - how disappointing that you'll not be out walking again for so long, having got the bug: I was hoping to see you tackle the Mullardochs in one day and other feats a la Alteknacker. Oh well. you'll manage something else before the snow comes.
Was good to meet you on your way round - I liked the nuclear powered cores comment :lol:
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby roscoT » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:22 pm

A great read - your writing style in infectious, it's clear you put a lot of work into making this report entertaining - thanks! Love all the various graphics too. Very different to anyone else's reports on the site.

Absolute beast of a walk too :clap:
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby Kay10 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:50 am

Thanks very much guys!

weaselmaster: It was a pleasure meeting you guys up there & many thanks again for your guidance. Certainly i hope too to do few more before the snow :D ! -

roscoT: Thanks for the generous compliments :D - you are putting me under pressure :crazy: - i'm out of ideas now- don't know how i'm going to better any future report :lol:
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:38 pm

Kay10 wrote:.... don't know how i'm going to better any future report :lol:


Keep doing what you're doing - you can see that folk love your reports!!!
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Re: Ben-6-More... An intense day & a scary night

Postby nickbell59 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:09 pm

More soon please, I love your style, you should write a guide book!
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