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Ben More (and more and more...) & Stob Binnien

Ben More (and more and more...) & Stob Binnien


Postby Fudgie » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:24 pm

Route description: Ben More and Stob Binnein

Munros included on this walk: Ben More, Stob Binnein

Date walked: 05/11/2011

Time taken: 6 hours

Ascent: 1500m

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I had a free Saturday so as last week went on, the forecast seemed to get better and better and there was no way I was going to pass up the chance of tackling a couple of hills. I had looked at doing these two for a while and my friend Mick who was coming along fancied them too so we made a plan to get up early and have a go at them. As we drove up the side of Loch Lomond, we could see the cloud lifting and blue skies appearing which is always a welcome sight so after about an hour we parked up at Ben More farm and started to make our way up the track.

We were about ten minutes away from the car when Mick remembered that he had forgotten his phone (Doh! :lol: ) and it was lying in full view so as he ran back down to get it I took the chance to take the first couple of pictures of the day. I had thought about bringing my Nikon D300 but the weight of that and a couple of lenses put me off so I thought my iPhone will be sufficient. The two pictures below were taken a couple of minutes apart and they show how quickly the weather was improving:

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At this point Mick returned so we carried on up the track with the grassy slope looming large and we could see a couple of groups ahead of us who were slowly making their way up. We had both tread the route description on here along with a few walk reports and we were under no illusions as to how much of a climb it would be but when you see it looming in front of you it seems to go on forever (hence the thread title).

As we zig zagged our way up in an effort to relive the tedium of the climb, we told ourselves that although it was tough going, at least we were gaining height quickly (although it didn't seem like too much of a positive at the time :) ) and whenever we turned around to look back across towards Crainlarich, it was a great sight to see the other tops high above the low clouds.

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Up.
Up.
Up.
Up we went and the summit seemed to be moving further and further away although the weather was getting better all the time and thankfully my waterproofs were still wrapped up at the bottom of my bag. I could even take off my fleece jumper as the climb was hard work and the cool breeze was ideal as we continued to huff and puff our way up the slope. We were both expecting a path to have appeared by this point but we didn't think much of it when suddenly a clear path appeared in front of us. We looked back down the hill where we could see it starting about 100ft below us and we laughed at ourselves before continuing on up the relentless slope.

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We then met the start of the stone dyke which we knew started about two thirds of the way up and it gave us a bit of a boost. After a breather to take a couple of pictures and watch the fog cover Loch Tay we started moving again to continue the punishing climb. As the climb started to ease off, we caught up with a couple of guys and a dog and they had stopped for a few minutes. We had a brief chat with them and then carried on up as we knew we weren't far away and finally we arrived at the cairn much to our relief. The cloud was intermittent at this point but for the most part we had a great view as we scoffed down some much needed food and water. Within ten minutes three groups of folk arrived all with a massive smile on their faces at the sight of the cairn. We also had a look ahead to what lay in store for us.

(The first picture was a good silhouette so I've changed it to black and white)

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As is the norm, we quickly descended into the bealach before having to regain the height necessary to reach Stob Binnien and as we started to go back up, the cloud started to come in and without being too thick, it did distort our view for most of the climb and as we reached the summit, we were surrounded by cloud although visibility was still pretty decent. there were a couple of guys on the summit who had came up the other side and we got chatting away to them for a bit. Without warning the cloud lifted and we could instantly see down to Ben Lomond and across to what looked like Beinn Narnian. Our view would disappear and reappear every couple of the minutes but everyone on the summit (there was about ten at this point) started discussing what they could see and debated about which mountain was which. The wind had picked up a bit and I finally had to put the heavy jacket on and it took me a few minutes to heat up with the following picture being taken just as the jacket had been zipped up:

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Looking back towards Ben More:
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We had been at the summit for about twenty minutes so it was time to head back and we quickly descended back down to the bealach. Earlier in the day I had explained to Mick about a broken (or is it brocken?) spectre and as we dropped down we saw what looked like one down and tried to capture it with the camera:

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Buoyed by this wonderful sight we wasted no time in getting down on to the grassy (and frequently muddy) descent and eventually my footing gave way and my entire left trouser leg became covered in mud :o I've read people on here saying that this is a better way to ascend but I found it difficult enough going down this way never mind going up it. Before long we reached the landrover track and as we looked back up to both summits, they were both obscured by the cloud as the sun lit up the slopes.

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We were back at the car soon after with the walk taking us 6 hours which we both thought was good going considering how long we spent at each summit. As we drove down Loch Lomond the weather was wonderful and we couldn't resist stopping at Inveruglas to take a picture of Ben Lomond on one of those rare days when inthe summit wasn't hiding in the clouds. A great day all in and there is very little stiffness in my legs which I find strange considering how much effort I put in.

(I've boosted this a bit in Photoshop)

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Fudgie
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Re: Ben More (and more and more...) & Stob Binnien

Postby EmmaTowle » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:43 pm

Tis a fair wee slog up the front isnt it! Glad you managed to get further than I did.

Loving your slightly doctored pic at the end there!
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EmmaTowle
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Re: Ben More (and more and more...) & Stob Binnien

Postby Fudgie » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:45 pm

EmmaTowle wrote:Tis a fair wee slog up the front isnt it! Glad you managed to get further than I did.

Loving your slightly doctored pic at the end there!


Aye it really seems to go on forever but it was well worth it in the end. The photographer side of me was never going to pass up an opportunity to take a picture like that.
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Fudgie
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Re: Ben More (and more and more...) & Stob Binnien

Postby EmmaTowle » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:58 pm

I bet I was so close. Will get her next time. Any encounters with scary rams on the farm track?
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EmmaTowle
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Re: Ben More (and more and more...) & Stob Binnien

Postby Fudgie » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:03 pm

We didn't see any of them at all thankfully so the only worry was trying not to get too mucky on the final descent to the track :)
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Fudgie
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Re: Ben More (and more and more...) & Stob Binnien

Postby EmmaTowle » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:04 pm

Jammy sod! haha :)
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