Ben More and Stob Binnein from the South
by DrMagpie » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:52 pm
Route description: Ben More and Stob Binnein
Munros included on this walk: Ben More, Stob Binnein
Date walked: 12/01/2012
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 14 km7 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I vividly remember reaching the top of Ben More from Crianlarich on a very cold March day and thinking "I never want to tackle that ascent again!" This left a slight problem - how to climb Stob Binnein? Having read a few reports on Walkhighlands, I decided to give it a go from Inverlochlarig.
With the promise of fine weather all day, I left Edinburgh early. The journey was suprisingly quick without the usual procession of lorries and coaches through the Trossachs! I quickly had my boots on and was ready to go.
I'd heard the start of this route was punishingly steep, and can confirm the reports weren't exaggerated. The photo doesn't really do the gradient justice. Although as you gain height, fantastic views open up over Loch Voil, and across to the Arrochar Hills.
It's a huge relief when the top of the steep section is reached and the route ahead becomes clear.
From here, a gentle ridge walk leads to the top of Stob Coire and Lochan. A slight dip and a fairly steep ascent and I was stood on top of Stob Binnein. As promised, despite a strong wind, the weather was absolutely beautiful. Clear blue skies and views across much of the Southern Highlands.
Now it was decision time - to go across to Ben More or not? With the weather as good as this and with plenty of daylight left, how could I refuse?! I set off quickly to the bealach-eadhar-dha-bheinn and began the long ascent up Ben More. Although steep, there's a good path that leads all the way up. Despite the lack of snow, there was some fantastic neve around the short scrambling step - a chance to get the ice axe out!
The views back to Stob Binnein were stunningly beautiful
Unfortunately, I could see clouds beginning to roll in from the west covering the distant hills. I made a swift retreat down to the bealach and cursed the fact i needed to retrace my steps over Stob Binnein to reach the car park! As I started reascending the clouds came in and the snow started. With the strong wind, I was blasted by horizontal hail for the entire journey back up Stob Binnein. I met the only other walker that day on the summit of Stob Binnein and through the wind and snow chatted about the appalling weather we'd had this year.
With no more ascent, all that was left was to retrace my steps to the car park - a welcome sight at the end of a long day.
Despite the longer route and having to retrace your steps over Stob Binnein, this route was definitely preferable to the long slog up Ben More from Crianlarich.
by gary » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:59 pm
I have only done them from the Crianlarich side and I am in the same mindset as yourself, never again.
A few of my friends have still to do them so might recommend doing them they way you have and might even join them.
Is it really not as hard?
by SMRussell » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:59 pm
Some lovely photos in there too
by DrMagpie » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:22 pm
Gary - the initial bit's steep and unpleasant but there is a path from start to finish unlike the Crianlarich side. The steep sections only to the 700m contour. The rest of the route to Stob Binnein is up a broad ridge with spectacular views. Definitely not as intense as the ascent of Ben More. The longer distance and reascent of Stob Binnein does make it a long day though!
SMRussell - I agree a circular route would be much better. Apparently you can descend from the bealach and follow the glen back to Inverlochlarig but this descent looked incredibly steep and not entirely safe with snow and ice on the ground. You can hop across from Stob Coire an Lochan to Meall na Dige and descend to Monachyle. This adds some variety but extra distance to the route! Would definitely consider this way if tackling Stob Binnein alone.
by Bay Bloke » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:26 pm
To break up the return trip you can turn it into a circular by dropping into Inverlochlarig Glen from the bealach. It's pathless to start with and a wee bit boggy but you eventually pick up a landrover track back to the farm.
Edit - just noted your comments, the descent is a bit steep so perhaps one to avoid in the conditions!
by DarrenJeffrey » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:05 pm
You wouldn't happen to have the sat nav coordinates for the car park at inverlocharig would you?
by DrMagpie » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:20 pm
Don't use a sat-nav myself. There's a walkhighlands forum where sloosh's given coordinates for lots of car parks. This one's under "Beinn Tulaichean & Cruach Ardrain from Inverlochlarig"
The link's http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2752
Can't take any credit for this but hope it helps!
by scooby0511 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:54 pm
Can't believe the photograph of Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin, I was up Ben Vorlich on Saturday morning and could barely see 12ft in front of me, so will have to do it again as I didn't have the right gear to takle Stuc (Crampons ordered when I returned home).
Thanks for the link to Car Park co-ordinates
Lovely photos. I done these from Inverlochlairig as well. Its a nice route.
by nathan79 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:00 pm
by xpfloyd » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:25 pm
nathan79 wrote:I can maybe take these two hills off of the "i'm never doing that" list.
by Fudgie » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:02 pm
by 2dalmatians » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:10 pm
by quoman » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:11 pm
that route looks at lot easier than the Crianlarich side and nice photo's to boot.
by Alan S » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:07 am
I done the same route as you a few years back and totally agree with your comments as it is one steep walk and nearly finished my hillwalking for good when i had to go back over stob binnein
Godd to see another report from this side