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Ben More Circuit in the dry

Ben More Circuit in the dry

Postby johnbythell » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:38 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: 06/06/2018

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14.3 km

Ascent: 1320m

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Dave and I did the Beinn Fhada-Ben More circuit in almost perfect conditions after several weeks of dry weather in May. My last attempt, many years ago, had been abandoned as it was so wet, water seemed to be swelling up out of the ground. Today was much drier under foot, with high cloud keeping it cool for the climb but good visibility. Our route followed the Walkhighlands description, except we were able to cut off the northwest corner due to the dry conditions.

Ben More 01.jpg
From the start near the Scarisdale River, looking towards the island of Eorsa on the Loch na Keal.

Ben More 02.jpg
From higher up the ridge, looking towards Eorsa and better views of Ulva and the Treshnish Isles in the distance.

Ben More 03.jpg
Looking along the Beinn Fhada ridge from the top of the first rise, at about 560 m.

Ben More 04.jpg
Spot the ptarmigan.

Ben More 05.jpg
Looking over towards Ben More (right) and A' Chioch (left).

Ben More 06.jpg
At the summit of Beinn Fhada, with the little lochan just below the summit.

Ben More 07.jpg
From the bealach, looking up the first section of the A' Chioch ridge.

Ben More 08.jpg
Steep, rough ground but not much scrambling. We avoided some of the scrambling higher up on the ridge, bypassing it on the path to the left, but eventually had to climb up a steep gully to regain the ridge near the A' Chioch summit.

Ben More 09.jpg
Looking at the final ridge climb onto Ben More from near the A'Chioch summit

Ben More 10.jpg
Looking south from A'Chioch to the upper reaches of Loch Beg and over the southern peninsula of Mull, with Jura on the horizon.

Ben More 11.jpg
The view back down the route, across the Gleann na Bienne Fada.

Ben More 12.jpg
From the bealach, the route looks easier up close than it does from a distance and the loose-looking scree isn't as bad as it looks here, at least in the dry.

Ben More 13.jpg
From high up on the final ridge, looking back down the route towards A' Chioch.

Ben More 14.jpg
The summit cairn. We didn't linger because weirdly the midges were out in force here. We hadn't noticed them until then.

Ben More 15.jpg
Slightly disconcerting view looking straight down the northern slopes.

Ben More 16.jpg
The view along the summit ridge.

Ben More 17.jpg
The shattered rocks of the summit slopes from the more popular route up to the west.

Ben More 18.jpg
The well-worn path down the western route with Staffa and the Treshnish Isles in the background.

Ben More 19.jpg
The waterfalls in the Abhainn Dhiseig not looking very impressive today.

Ben More 20.jpg
Because of the dry conditions, we decided to cut the corner and traverse down to the road. Probably not a good idea under more typical conditions, but it worked well for us.

An excellent day on the mountain, thanks to the mountain weather gods. A really nice round with no serious difficulties (or at least nothing that can't be avoided), and definitely a lot more interesting than the usual route up.
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