I spent last year not doing any hills, recovering some health - plus waiting for the puppy to grow. We've been doing the Campsies and Kilpatricks, and she has had a shot at Ben Lomond (hellweather denying the summit). So looking around for a plausible bag or two, Ben More was settled on. Forum advice suggested the southern approach and thus adding Stop Bennein.
Started early for me but late for a walker, about 11am. Someone is playing peek-a-boo. (The reason she is over the other side is I had to return to the car for the camera, of all things).
The initial ascent was theoretically tough - twisty, steep, hot weather - but I just leant in and hammered it and didn't really feel it. At the time. There is a wee cairn before the Little Sister proper, so I called it Baby Sister and we had some boiled eggs and chunks of cheese.
The fun easy ridge between Little Sister and Stob Bennein proper.
Didn't take long to reach Stob Bennein. Gorgeous views, some more eggs, cheese, and water, and a quick selfie.
Honestly I could have returned right then and there for a great day out, and perhaps should have. But I met other walkers who gave encouragement, so we went for Ben More looming easy-looking in the near distance.
The top of Ben More really is beautiful, the views but also the local rock formations.
The re-ascent of Stob Bennein is looking very tough at this point, but the reason I'm out here is not just to enjoy but to train, and another 300 meter ascent is a third of click up. The wee figures you might make out on the right felt otherwise and headed into the Easy Out valley.
That re-ascent ahead smashed me. I packed the camera away - sorry, no more pics - drank the last of my water (2.4 litres total) and marched on. Dry mouth, joint pain from the descents, thighs turning to lead, and the difficulties of keeping ever-excitable Pixie on a leash (needed now as as the sheep moved in) made the return feel very slow.
Got back to the car park at 21:10 and never has two flasks of almost-cold tea tasted so good!
Pixie loved it - though today she's sleeping making the occasional "hurrumph" groans.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.