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Ben More & Stob Binnein SSSSSTEEEPPPPP!
by munrowalker » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:15 pm
Munros included on this walk: Ben More, Stob Binnein
Date walked: 22/08/2009
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 17 kmRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Leave house: 7am
Start time 8:40am
finish time: 2:40pm
distance: 17km (i think forgot to check satmap at end)
Hills tackled: Ben More & Sob Binneinn
Wind: fair bit
Rain: of course
Well first off I have to apologise for there not being any pictures on this report.
All entirely cause I took my camera with me, made sure I had the sd card inserted. But did I check that the battery was ok? Did I heckers like!
Started out by parking in car park recommended in Paul's route description (and gpx file) 1/2 mile away. Loads of campervans where people had been kipping overnight, mmm think they were trying to avoid paying campsite fees?
Anyway weather had been lovely all the way up to the start at Crianlarich, so naturally instant I arrives it starts to make a turn for the worse, sun disappears and distint sight of mist creeping over the top.
Quick burst along road for the 1/2 a mile to the start. You can park right at start of hill, but I've had my wing mirrors ripped off a few times so nae taking any chances!
There's a wee sign saying way to Ben More (I'm doing this by memory as I've nae photos, grumble so anything I say may be slightly incorrect). Through a wee bit of bushes and over the stile and your onto the path with Ben More, looming, and boy do I mean looming ahead!
See a couple of guys up ahead so I know I'll not be on my own on the hills for a change which is always nice. Path zig zags up through a couple of parks to get to one of the routes up the hill. And boy does it look steep! Can't see a direct path up, just looks like its a case of climb climb and keep on climbing if you're going up that way.
Now unfortunately I was on a schedule today. I needed to be back home pretty damn sharpish as we had guests coming at six, so I needed to be up down and back at car by 3pm. Had a look at that route and thought, no way will I do that way in six hours (especially as guide time was 8hrs). Pauls' route had the return coming back down the bealach in between Ben More & Stob Binnein and that looked like it was less steep and by that reckoning would be a lot quicker. Oh and if I wasn't back in time, well not worth the hassle of weeks of moaning for being late!
Catch up the two guys ahead and they ask me what the way up the hill was, which they'd missed if they wanted the loads of steepness route. Once again amazed that people aren't all that organized and KNOW how to work out their route. Its easy enough to rectify in good conditions, but in mist its rubbish! Anyways they decided to take the steep route, me I was on a schedule so cracked on along the Benmore Burn.
Nice easy landrover path along here. Passed some cows having a nice old site down on it, didn't even bother to move when I marched past them. Which was weird, cows are usually so stupid they'll take off, unlike horses who think, ah humans = treats!
Get to the point where the path ends and you can see the beallach clearly between Ben More and Stob Binnein. And this is where I start to think hmmmm, maybe other way was going to be just as fast. IT WAS STEEP!
I reckoned the incline was 45-50% at some points! Oh and it was wet as well, rain over the last week had made it extremely slippy and the foot steps were all mushy and mud was flying everywhere as I stomped up the hill!
Nice burn to follow up the hill, water was flowing so fast that it had started carving itself new routes down the side.
Continued to be muddy all the way up to the beallach and that is my overriding memory of that section, mud!
Oh and it rained as well, actually put on my waterproofs for a while it was that bad, but as usual rain was only on for 5 mins so wished I hadn't bothered with them as I always do.
Still got to the Beallach on good time and saw a few other people heading down Stob Binnein.
Now I decided to head up that one first as it was out of the mist and Ben More was still in it. Good qualiy path up here, quite stony but a really nice green colour alongside of that that zig zags along the face of it. But its steep, reckon as steep as Ben More looked. But its not that long of a slog up there, reckoned only about 40mins of a good hard push to reach the summit.
Stayed all of five seconds at the top though as wind and rain and mist were fair howling in now. Now as you've probably guessed I'd taken off the waterproof trousers after the earlier rain and had decided NOT to put them back on again as I was just going to put up with wet legs! Well I was soakit! Still prefer that to feeling like boil in the bag with waterproof trousers on!
Back down to the beallach in about 10-15 minutes and rain stops and wind is behind, mist clears as well, with a ncie view up the face of Ben More. Can't say I was getting goods views all around as mist was still fairly settled in.
Saw a couple of guys up ahead, looked a bit older. Battered up the path up here towards the summit of Ben More, again it WAS STEEP!
Saw the guys who had asked for directions earlier on just coming down off the top of Ben More. Methinks ah route up Beallach must be quicker, I've saved meself some time.....
Little, and boy do I mean little scramble just at the top of Ben More, thats easily avoided by going right (or left even). and then its at the summit, with a trig point.
Sat down next to the older guys who I'd seen earlier on. Had a wee chat to them. They were both in their 70's and had only started Munro'ing last year! They'd been making good progress and was well impressed. They were from Granegmouth, and as I always get they asked me where I'm from. I'm from Keith and have a VERY distinct north eastern doric accent. Actually I'm now amazed if people don't ask where I'm from!
Nice cup or two of hot juice, and its time to get cracking again. Didn't even eat my sandwiches today as was in that much of a desperation to get down and get home!
Now in my infinite wisdom, aye right mair like stupidity I decided to go back down by the beallach again!
Or should I say slip down by the beallach as boy did I slip and slide down here it was that wet. Not sure how many times I ended up on me arse or full body sliding down as I went onto me arse. I always try and dig my heel in and get grip when its wet going down hill but this was impossible at times and down I went, even got a wee rip in me rucksack for my troubles.
Still may sound like I wasn't enjoying myself, but actually the more muckit I am , the more I feel I've got out of the hill!
Back down to the Benmore Burn and onto the path, and dry land. Back past the cows that were still sitting down, lazy gets!
Cracking views across to Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean. They were both muddy as well, must be something about Crianlarich this muddyness!
Also met the older guys from the top of Ben More again who had went down the north face of the hill, and that was quicker! Adn dryer as well, they weren't soakit or muddy at all!
So in hindsight if I'd only just went up the steep face of Ben More in the first place might have actually saved meself some more time and been less like a mud monster!
Back onto road and quick walk back to car, past a fair few cars who had sneaked in at the sign to climb Ben More. Changed out of soaking clothes in car and drive home.
Got moaned at for mess of my clothes that have been washed twice now and still not clean! But thats less of a moan than I'd have gotten for being late so I'll take that.
Another crackimg day out, and abiding memory is of steepness and mud! oh and add check camera battery to my checklist before setting off!
45 down, 239 to go. Cannae believe the number might be changing soon!
Apologies for rambling on a bit, no photos so have maybe overcompensated a bittie!
by sloosh » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:13 pm
by cairney » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:54 pm
Tell me about it!!!!
Was on my hands and knees cliombing up, and it was, would you believe a nice sunny day!!
Views were worth it at the top
The NE ridge of Ben More is a treat and a loop over Stob Binnein and Meall na Dige makes for a great day.
- mountain coward
by Freewheelin » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:36 pm
The route Kinley mentions is definitely the easiest, but the route from Inverlochlarig (Balquhidder side) looks pretty good too.
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