1174 m. |
Translation: Big hill
Pronuncation: byn moar
Ben More and Stob Binnein (2004-05-13). We had shyed away from doing these two hills on the second day of our vacation as the weather had been uncertain and we wanted to make sure that we would get the most out of the circuit of these two famous Munros. So, after having completed six exhausting walks that week we finally set out to climb the biggest Ben More in Scotland. Us being keen on a good ridge walk and not only on bagging the two hills we had decided to do the full circle of Coire Chaorach.
We started just east of the bridge over the Allt Coire Chaorach on the A85. The track there lead into the fir plantations. After about fifteen minutes we reached the burn and crossed it by some stepping stones. The track then climbed uphill with some steep and some slightly boggy sections. There must have been some path improvements in recent years because it did not require good boots and a sense of humour (Storer) to reach the forrest edge. From that point we struck a line up the corrie heading in a south-easterly direction to join the ridge by means of an obvious grass slope leading up to Leacann Raibhach. Once on the ridge we continued in a south-westerly direction until, after some prodding around in the clouds, we reached the cairn of Stob Creagach. The terrain was a little confusing, since the ridge is quite knobby and visibility was limited to about 50 to 100 metres in the clouds. Nonetheless we decided that no real threat of getting lost existed since even our modest navigational skills should allow us to stick to a south-westerly direction and to keep clear of the steep slopes above Coire Chaorach.
The next kilometre the ridge was even more rocky and knobby. We had some route-finding difficulties but made it to the summit of Meall na Dige alright. Soon we descended a few metres to a flatter section, the bealach between this hill and Stob Coire an Lochain. Below Meall na Dige a faint path appeared and we managed to stick to it right to the summit of Stob Coire an Lochain. At this ante-summit of Stob Binnein set in and we wrapped ourselves in Goretex to protect us from the moisture and the. The wind picked up considerably once we reached the summit ridge leading to the Munro. A few minutes later we rested close to the summit of Stob Binnein, crouching behind some rocks to protect us from the elements. A visibility of about 20 metres, thick clouds and continuing drizzle added to the fun. The sandwiches were gone in no time and there was nothing else that would have tempted us to stay any longer at Stob Binnein’s summit. Down the northern ridge of the Stob we went. Soon we reached the col between the two munros where, in strong winds, we got our fist glimpses of the knobby ridge on the opposite side of the corrie, which we had climbed three or four hours earlier.
From the col it was a steep grind to the summit of Ben More but we made it there in about 25 minutes – which says a lot about the steepness of these 312 metres of ascent. At the summit of Ben More we were close to the upper limit of the clouds: Some sunshine came through the mist and we were releaved of the gloomy atmosphere of the day for a few minutes. The pause we had here was considerably more pleasant than the one on Stob Binnein. We parted from the summit and continued on our traverse of Coire Chaorach by heading down the north-east ridge of Ben More. This ridge was really interesting, with some outcops and bands of rock to be negotiated. Further down the terrain became more grassy and close to the fence encircling the plantation of trees we left the ridge to head for the re-entry spot at the forrest edge and the walk back to the A85 and our car. On our way down into Coire Chaorach we were able to enjoy some nice views of Stob Creagach and Meall na Dige but not of the summits of Stob Binnein and Ben More, which stayed inside the clouds all day.
So? We did the scenic ridge walk of the two dominant Crianlarich hills and we did not get one scenic impression of them. It could have been worse, it could have rained … 🙂
Description Ben More, which rises impressively above Glen Dochart just east of Crianlarich, is the highest mountain south of Strath Tay and one of the most imposing in the southern highlands. It is well seen from Strath Fillan, a few kilometres to its north-west, from where its height above the strath and the sweep of its northern slopes rising a thousand metres from glen to summit are very obvious. This long relentless climb is a challenge to hillwalkers. The traverse of Ben More and its equally fine southern twin, Stob Binnein, is one of the classic hillwalks in the southern highlands.The ascent of Ben More, either by itself or as the start of the traverse to Stob Binnein, is usually made from the A85 road in Glen Dochart, starting a short distance east of Benmore Farm. The ascent goes directly up the north-west shoulder, keeping to the north-east of the big hanging corrie on this side of the mountain. The traverse from Ben More to Stob Binnein goes along the connecting ridge. To return to Benmore Farm descend to the col between the two peaks and go down into the Benmore Glen where a track on its east side leads back to the farm.