Ben More and Stob Binnein in video. This is a recap, selection of pictures and a short video showing the arduous climb and 360 degree view from the Ben More and Stob Binnein summits.
Folks, this Ben More and Stob Binnein hill walking outing is well overdue due to the fact I wanted to include my first short hill walking video and launch my dedicated Neil’s Healthy Meals YouTube channel. So, apologies for the delay!
Its been quite a few months since we chatted specifically about getting out and about hill walking in Scotland.
In fact I can’t believe the last hill walking update was the climb of Meall Chuaich in December last year. Wow, where has the time gone?
If you haven’t ever been out hill walking and have the ability to it, then I urge you to do so.
It helps to clear the clutter from our heads, built up from those long hours we all do at work and to see things in a clearer perspective.
In other words it helps to keep our mind and body fit for all of those challenges that life may throw at us.
Anyway these 2 mountains, Ben More and Stob Binnein, I’m pretty sure I last climbed yonks ago was when I was a student.
So, when an opportunity of a free Saturday and with the weather actually looking favourable came around in April it was time to give them another go!
Fortunately these mountains are not too far away for Mike and I to reach being only about a two hour drive from central Scotland.
That means we’re lucky enough to be able to get there, climb them and be home for dinner!
The walk starts from the side of the A85 main road just east of Ben More farm.
We managed to arrive still in time to find a space to park Mike’s car and check out our route.
Although challenging, these are popular hills and you need to arrive relatively early to claim your parking space.
With the weather having been quite rotten recently, there would have been a lot of people wanting their “mountain fix” too so we made sure we arrived early at 9am.
The path starts right beside the main road which means as soon as you step through the hedge (Mike above) you’re climbing already!
I mentioned in the introduction that this is an arduous climb. It is. You’re pretty much starting off at sea level.
Many of the other mountains in Scotland might give you a good few hundred meters height advantage from where you start but there’s very little of that here.
So as you can imagine you’ll burn plenty of calories on this climb!
The path through the hedge then joins a farm track which winds uphill where we pass through a gate on our right at approximately a height of 300m.
That farm track climb does at least allow a decent warm up before you set foot on the hill.
Just shortly after that gate there’s a place where we leave the track and begin the ascent of the steep, grassy and initially boggy slope ahead.
Parts of the hillside don’t actually have much of a defined path so you’re free to choose your route. Which is just basically heading straight upwards!
Another good thing about Mike and I arriving relatively early meant that at this stage we pretty much had the hillside to ourselves.
Except for those keen people who passed us on their way down who must have started at about 6am!
Whilst this is a steep climb (have I said that enough 😉 ) the views back are simply superb!
And, although a bit grey and overcast, it wasn’t raining and the cloud level was high enough not to be enshrouding the mountains meaning we could pick out all the summits of the other Munros in the area.
That’s precisely what we did and you’ll need to watch the video where I’ve “pointed” them all out.
Just look down at that gradient we’ve climbed.
As you can imagine, it’s hot work climbing these mountains.
The thing is as soon as you get too hot and take off a layer of clothing if you stop for just a moment your core temperature rapidly drops with the wind chill so you’re having to put that layer of clothing back on.
However, that does mean that you don’t want to be standing about for too long. It’s better to just keep moving!
At this part of the climb you round the rocky shoulder of Cuidhe Chrom.
The good news here is that after this the going becomes a little easier.
As the defined path rounds this corner you’ll get great views of Loch Tay (see video), weather permitting, before climbing the final slopes to the top of Ben More.
Ben More’s summit is marked by a large cairn. It’s 1174 metres high and there are no higher mountains in Britain anywhere further south.
There were a few other people who had climbed from the other direction at the cairn so Mike and I got this clear shot looking south to our next peak of Stob Binnein taken for us at the old triangulation pillar nearby.
We’d made good time. It was 12.04 when the picture was taken. We’d left the car at about 9.30 after our morning coffee.
Morning coffee before we climb has always been a standard ritual. Plus it means no thermos flask to have to carry up the mountain, just plenty of water.
Straight after the triangulation pillar the descent to the bealach begins.
Then at the bealach the ascent up to Stob Binnein begins.
There’s no other way around it. You need to descend all that way back down that you’ve just climbed to climb all the way back up.
Good cardio exercise though!
From the bealach the zig-zag path to the summit of Stob Binnein is clear.
Stob Binnein’s summit is 1165 metres high and therefore just slightly lower than Ben More.
The panoramic view and particularly the south view from the summit (video) over Loch Lomond and The Trossachs is stunning. You can easily pick out the summits of Ben Vorlich, Stuc a’Chroin, Ben Ledi and Ben Cruachan.
Again, the way back down from the summit is to descend all the way back down to the bealach, but this time we head directly downhill (instead of uphill again) to the west from the bealach to reach a track along the glen.
That track eventually reaches the gate we passed at the start where just after where the climb began.
These were challenging mountains in terms of their steepness. In comparing notes with Mike recently as to how he felt after this climb we both agreed that walking about for a few days after was pretty painful!
Check out the video below to see the complete view from Stob Binnein and more of the climb of Ben More.
Ben More and Stob Binnein Video
After careful deliberation with my other half, adding in music and titles was much better than you trying to understand my out of breath running commentary and Scottish dulcet tones.
Anyway let me know what you think about the video and look out for the next one, A’ Mharconaich and Geal Charn coming soon.