May 29th, 2016
R and I expanded our climbing area a bit today and drove out to Crianlarich to climb Ben More and Stob Binnein. We’d actually intended to go yesterday but the weather was not so great in the morning although it had got really nice by late afternoon.
Got up at 6am today and noted with a sigh that Beinn Bheula wasn’t even visible out of the lounge window. I’m getting to know the weather around here though, and I had a feeling that this was just mist that would burn off quickly – so we (I) threw together some sandwiches and we were ready to start our ascent before 8am. Visibility was still virtually zero, but after we had ascended a few hundred meters, the miracle started to happen, and within a few minutes, all was clear.
Ben More has a reputation of being a bit of a slog with a long unrelieved climb straight to the summit, and for that reason doesn’t seem to be as popular as its size and location would lead it to be. This was all the better as we only met a handful of people all day – not like the Cobbler or Ben Lomond which have a lot in common with Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday afternoon.
It was a long, steep ascent, but actually compared to some of the others we have done, it was relatively easy in that there was a clear path and no mud (because it has been so dry of late). We got to the summit of Ben More at 10:30am. The figure in the picture is R who was starting to suffer from the sun as we forgot the sun cream.
Ahead we could see Stob Binnein (Peak of the Anvil). Luckily the bealach between the two mountains only drops 300m, so once you are at the top of Ben More, getting to the other peak is pretty easy.
We tried to spot Beinn Donich from the top but couldn’t pick him out amongst all the other hills – although we could see a sea loch which may have been Loch Long. In the other direction we could see Ben Nevis (our plan is to climb this via the arret later this summer).
As usual, the way down was more tiring than the way up and we both started to suffer from a lack of water (bring more next time) and too much sun. We made it back to the car by about 3:30pm and luckily (as neither of us had thought to bring a wallet) there was enough change in the car for R to buy a can of diet coke from a van in the layby. During our brief walk down the side of the A85 I have never seen so many motor bikes and the noise and smell of all the vehicles was quite a wrench after the beautiful quiet hills – roll on the arrival of electric autonomous cars…
The boys were waiting for us when we got home and had a quick poly about on the steps by the front door to welcome us.