3 summits for 2 blue balloons

Munros: Ben More, Stob Binnein

Date walked: 10/12/2018

Time taken: 6.8 hours

Distance: 14km

Ascent: 1800m

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First time out for a couple of weeks and that is being kind, as my last walk was only for 17 minutes so I don't think that really counts as a workout!
My original plan after watching the forecast daily was to head out on Sunday, but on Saturday the forecast deteriorated and Monday looked like the best day - decision made.
I posted my intention on FB and was surprised to get a volunteer to accompany me - Colin who I had met earlier this year and I wanted to start walking at sunrise. I was a wee bit concerned about my fitness and didn't fancy digging my head torch out of my rucksack. As it is just about dark at 4pm I mentioned to Colin that I fancied setting off at about 8am.
I thought Iast climbed these two 18 years ago and after just checking it was actually 19 years and I tackled them from the north and all I remember about the day was the long and seemingly never ending struggle up Ben More. I may have been 19 years younger but I certainly wasn't fitter, even though it took me 7 hours.
I wasn't exactly sure where the car park was on the single track road and the road kind of reminded me of the Glen Dessary road, a few blind summits and the road was very close to Loch Voil with plenty of bends and no crash barrier to prevent a wet car should anything go wrong. The temperature was -2 and there were quite a few icy patches to keep me on my toes.
I arrived at the car park at 7.40 to find Colin already sitting patiently in his car so after a brief chat we were soon on our way,

Looking back at the cars, just about light and that was just before 8am

Looking west further along the road

It wasn't long before we seemed to be stopping fairly frequently to take the odd photo whilst we got our breath. For anyone who is contemplating tackling these two from the south I would recommend it, the only drawback is the initial ascent of 500m in the first 1km, after that the gradient is far more leg friendly.

Just in case you don't believe me, this photo kind of shows the angle of ascent

Looking east and back along the road to the 2 lochs Doine and Voil

Looking back down towards the car park

Glen Sgionie to the south

Loch Voil with a bit of fluffy cloud lingering

Colin and Jura in the distance

Cracking weather and views

First of many shots of the Lawers range, looking impressive

Colin admiring and taking in the views

First target Stob Binnein with a sprinkling of white stuff

Looking NW towards Crianlarich

Arty shot looking east towards Loch Tay & Lawers again

Jura posing, not for the first or last time

Stob Binnein and Ben More not looking that far away

Stob Binnein

Once on the higher ground the underfoot conditions became very firm, the snow was crisp so we made an executive decision to put on our spikes. It turned out to be a wise move as the descent off Stob Binnein down the north side was pretty trecherous, not only was it steep it was also snow covered and very firm.

Spikes, for anyone has never seen them, these are like mini crampons, easy to fit as they slip over your boots

Looking back along the ridge before the final ascent up Stob Binnein

Looking SE, visibility superb as the usual pollution rising from Grangemouth can be seen

Ben More from the summit of Stob Binnein

Video 360deg from the summit of Stob Binnein

Arty shot

Just about the only wildlife we saw

Jura posing again

Ben More with the shadow of Stob Binnein

Looking back to SB, sun almost peeking out

They had to be photo'd

Another arty shot

Ben More trig

Looking NW from Ben More

Colin making good use of the trig

2nd video from our 2nd summit

Looking back to SB

Ben Nevis on the far left

Zoomed shot, Grangemouth, Wallace Monument and Longannet all easily seen

We are now plodding back up Stob Binnein, it was actually easier on the firm crunchy snow

Shows the steepness

The way up and ahead SB

Colin stopping to take another photo or two

The way ahead, all the going up bits are now out of the way

This was just about the point where the spikes came off

Steeper part of the descent soon to come

Final shot of the two lochs again

This turned out to be a cracking day and a huge thanks to Colin for his fantastic company and of course Jura for being here there and everywhere. What a difference the wonderful Scottish weather can make, when we get decent weather there is not a better place on this planet - bold statement I know, but that is my thoughts.
Checked my blog and this has been my 2nd most productive year for Munro's, hopefully 2019 will be even better. We already have planned visit to Glen Affric, hope to return to Knoydart as that peninsula is something special.

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Fife Flyer

User avatar
Location: Guess?
Occupation: Retired
Interests: Driving, cycling & music
Activity: Munro compleatist
Pub: None in particular
Mountain: The last one
Gear: Walking poles
Camera: Fujifilm
Ideal day out: Anywhere as long as the weather is half decent
Ambition: To stay safe

Munros: 127
Corbetts: 46
Grahams: 35
Donalds: 89
Hewitts: 2
Sub 2000: 74

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Joined: May 15, 2013
Last visited: Dec 15, 2018
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