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There's no More limits

There's no More limits

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:34 pm

Route description: Ben More and Stob Binnein

Munros included on this walk: Ben More, Stob Binnein

Date walked: 22/06/2019

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 1354m

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At last! Decent weather forecast for the south-west! Time to drive down to bag some new Munros! :D :D :D

I had been kidding with the idea of leaving Ben More and Stob Binnein as our final Munros, but in the end, they looked too tempting. Now the most likely candidate for the final M is Ben Cruachan, but who knows, we might change our minds ten times yet. In the end, we still have 25 summits to choose from (Ben Lomond doesn't count as Kevin has already done it). A week holidays on Mull with compleating on Ben More would be a good final, too. Or maybe something on Skye?... Only time will tell.

As for Ben More and Stob Binnein, we always intended to climb them from the north, as it's the only convenient route for us, driving from Inverness. We got up at a painful 5am in the morning, but by the time we arrived in Crianlarich, there was no room to park left by Benmore farm, so we drove 500m further east to a large layby at the west end of Loch Iubhair. Even this spot was busy with campers and fans of barbecued full English breakfast, but we managed to squeeze in. The route we took is a classic traverse of the two Munros, with the descent into Benmore Glen:

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The morning was bright but with a chance of showers in the afternoon:
2019-06-22 ben more 004.JPG

Not much to say about the route up. It's roughly 1000m of steep ascent, most of it a boring slog:
2019-06-22 ben more 005.JPG

The first 150m is on a good track, so we made quick progress. A few morning midges buzzed around, but as soon as we stared gaining height, they were gone.
2019-06-22 ben more 006.JPG

We were nicely surprised to see that the old path up Ben More is currently undergoing a renovation and the lower section has been nicely done. It's still work in progress but the new path saved us a lot of bog misery :D
2019-06-22 ben more 007.JPG

Views pop up very quickly, looking down we could see the zig-zagging track at the bottom and Loch Dochart in the background:
2019-06-22 ben more 010.JPG

Loch Iubhair and the hills beyond, including Beinn an Imirean, a Corbett still on our to-do list:
2019-06-22 ben more 017.JPG

I thought we were rather slow, but about half way up we caught up with people in front of us. Maybe I'm not as old and used up as I think :lol:
2019-06-22 ben more 013.JPG

My satisfaction didn't last long, at some point we were overtaken by a pair of teenagers, hoping up the hill at the speed of light :lol: :lol:
Higher up we slowed down, trying to enjoy the experience rather than push it too hard...
2019-06-22 ben more 020.JPG

Towards the end of the first long ascent, it gets a bit rocky but the path is more than obvious:
2019-06-22 ben more 024.JPG

It's one of those routes, when you look back down to what you have just climbed and think "never again!" :lol: :lol:
2019-06-22 ben more 027.JPG

Weather was deteriorating and when we reached the summit of Ben More, it was cloudy, winy and quite cold. Still, I was happy to pose with the summit cairn:
2019-06-22 ben more 039.JPG

Kevin by the trig point - his 256th Munro:
2019-06-22 ben more 105.JPG

I was surprised it only took us 2 hours to reach the first summit... We might not be a pair of galloping teenagers, but we still feel like there is no limits for us :D :D
With wee Lucy (her 114th Munro):
2019-06-22 ben more 113.JPG

We decided to stop on the summit fora bit longer, hoping for the lingering cloud to burn off. And it was the right decision. As we sat behind a rock, sipping our tea, we watched the "dancing cloud" spectacle revealing the surrounding views.
One minute, the cloud was "glued" to the neighbouring mountains:
2019-06-22 ben more 109.JPG

...but soon it started to disperse...
2019-06-22 ben more 116.JPG

...and in 15 minutes, we were treated to a clear view of our second target, Stob Binnein:
2019-06-22 ben more 054.JPG

The traverse to Stob Binnein requires dropping and re-ascending another 300m, but we are used to big ascents these days, especially if it's on a good path. As we started to descend, we met a few groups of walkers heading in the opposite direction. Kevin said, if we ever get the opportunity, we might explore this duo from the south and include the outlying tops of Stob Binnein. But that's something for the far future. At the moment, we should concentrate on Munro yet-to-do!
The WH description mentions a short scrambling section just below the summit of Ben More. Turned out it's avoidable but there is hardly any difficulty to it:
2019-06-22 ben more 056.JPG

Lower down, the path was eroded and we had to be careful not to go A over T :lol: :lol:
2019-06-22 ben more 128.JPG

Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean ridge:
2019-06-22 ben more 130.JPG

We crossed the bealach, where a large group of walkers sat behind a big boulder. By now, the mountain was busy with more people heading up or down, traversing the ridge in both directions. These hills are extremely popular and understandably so, to the extent we struggled to take photos without somebody else in the frame :lol:
On the way up Stob Binnein, with Ben More in the background:
2019-06-22 ben more 068.JPG

Kevin showing the strength of his muscles. Yes, darling, you can still lift a heavy rucksack with one arm :wink:
2019-06-22 ben more 138.JPG

Kevin's rucksack on the summit, looking north-east towards Loch Tay:
2019-06-22 ben more 079.JPG

Weather has improved again and when we arrived on Stob Binnein, we were basking in sunshine. The northern and western sky looked very dark with some potentially stormy cloud building up, but the wind direction suggested to us that the bad front should drift past without reaching us. Lucky strike this time :lol:
Me (256th Munro) and Lucy (her M no. 115) posing with the dark cloud behind us:
2019-06-22 ben more 089.JPG

Kevin still grinning, happy to be one in front (damn it, I have to climb that bl**dy Ben Lomond!!!)
2019-06-22 ben more 153.JPG

Another strike of luck, we were alone on the summit for about 10 minutes before other walkers arrived, so we could take some nice panoramas without somebody's walking pole or sun hat in the way :lol: :lol:
View south:
2019-06-22 ben more 094.JPG

North back to Ben More (and the dark cloud):
2019-06-22 ben more 095.JPG

South-east, with the the lower top, Stob Coire an Lochain, to the right:
2019-06-22 ben more 096.JPG

Cloud building over Beinn Tulaichean:
2019-06-22 ben more 087.JPG

Ben Lui group:
2019-06-22 ben more 085.JPG

The ridge to Stob Coire an Lochain looks interesting, but that's a target for another day:
2019-06-22 ben more 141.JPG

It was windy on the top so we hid again behind a rocky outcrop and finished our food supplies, before descending to Bealach Eadar da-Bheinn. We ignored a branch of the path heading level across the slopes of Ben More and stuck to the instructions in WH route, heading straight down into Benmore Glen. The first 100 or 200m were quite wet and slippery, it took time, but later the ground becomes more grassy and a bit less steep. At roughly 600m Kevin checked our position with his GPS - and this was the last time he saw it. When we returned to the car, we realized he must have dropped it somewhere on the bottom half of the descent, or possibly when hopping over the boggy ground in the glen itself.
2019-06-22 ben more 097.JPG

We thought about going back to look for the device, but it was possible that it fell into Benmore Burn, and even if it didn't, we didn't know exactly where Kevin dropped it, could be anywhere from the last point he looked at it. Shame, but the GPS was old and sometimes played up (a few times it went on strike, did strange things). So if you are in the area, you might find it still laying somewhere in the grass/bog of Benmore Glen... Feel free to keep it. It's a bit out of date but it still works (most times ha ha).
2019-06-22 ben more 103.JPG

We have bought a replacement since and funny, Kevin just wanted the very same model, a basic Garmin Etrex for recording our routes and pinpointing position. Now, he has to make sure that it's well strapped to his rucksack or camera bag, because if he loses it again, he'll have to go back and look for it, no matter how much time and effort it takes! :lol: :lol:
As for Ben More and Stob Binnein, they were a nice surprise when it comes to views. A bit of a slog to start with and yes, busy as a bus stop in the city centre, but we liked them and maybe we'll re-do this route in winter conditions at some point in the future.
My next story will take us to a certain pair of Corbetts and a less known plane crash site. TR in progress :D
Last edited by BlackPanther on Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: There's no More limits

Postby past my sell by date » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:56 pm

Ben More - my second Munro - in 1957! and there was no (awful eroded) path :D . But why didn't you do the circuit starting up the East ridge of Ben More? It's a bit longer but it's nothing like as steep and you get a couple of Munro tops - Stob Coire nan Lochan and Meall na Dige (almost FOC :lol: :lol: ). Yes I know sadly there's much less interest in the tops now :(
past my sell by date
Posts: 822
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Joined: Apr 24, 2013

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