Colin's Munros


Ben More & Stob Binnein; map 365; 19th August 2014.

Route: 9.2 miles, 1435m = 4700' ascent, 6-7 hrs.

Weather: Excellent sunny, still day in morning, but stiff breeze & clouded over in afternoon. Cold & dry all day. +1°C at start, +4°C at finish.
Route: For only the Munros Ben More and Stob Binnein, a start at Ben More farm is more sensible. However, to include the Munro top Meall na Dige, a start at the foot of the NE ridge of Ben More is better, although it does involve crossing some rather tedious pathless ground. Nevertheless, this route makes for a much finer ascent of Ben More.
For a clockwise choice, it should be possible to find a path up most of the Allt Coire Chaorach valley (about 1 mile) but it seems more difficult to find a path going down the valley. This valley is always very wet and full of peat hags. Nevertheless, in good weather I would certainly choose an anti-clockwise direction since the ascent up the NE ridge of Ben More is such a pleasure in all ways. There is a faint but very easy under-used path in good condition on the ridge crest above the standard path, highly recommended for ascent with its excellent views in all directions.
The only downside is at the start. The usual choice is to follow the path (now signed) to the forest edge at about NN46032527, and then to break westwards on a wet, peaty path beside a deer fence up to the ridge. One then has to go beyond the tourist route to the ridge crest itself to enjoy the views. Instead, I have gone up the left side of a short, newly cleared area soon after the track splits at the sharp bend near NN45162698. The remaining tree branches and roots are not a significant problem and after 250 to 300 yds this took me out onto very easy grassy slopes. It also saves a mile and a half on the standard route.
15/11/07: On this occasion I took a clockwise direction. The ground was frozen solid above 900m, especially on N/NE facing slopes. This made the northerly descents from Stob Binnein and Ben More problematic & slow at that height. For this reason it seems better to do this round in the reverse direction under winter condions as ascent of frozen ground is easier than descent, and south facing slopes are generally less frozen making them easier for descent than north facing ones. As noted above, the views are also better! However, the anti-clockwise direction is more exposed to the prevailing wind with most of the ridge climbing being into the wind, and the valley descent having the wind behind. So, in poor conditions when the ground is not frozen, going clockwise makes more sense.
Under poor wintery conditions, I have also descended east from the bealach between Ben More and Stob Binnein. Although very steep, craggy and rather unpleasant, it is not impossible.
19/08/14: The GPS route given here dates from August 2014 and incorporates a recent re-routing of the path through the forest. Much of it is now a horizontal path along a wind break rather than a Forestry Commission track. This path is indicated by green "Open Hill Access" signs.

0845 Layby on A85 at Z-bend at Allt Coire
Chaorach. Take path
SW to forestry track at gate/stile (2 mins).
166   00.0 milesNN45472758Orange
  SW to fork at very sharp bend in forestry track
& take left fork.
220 600.55 milesNN44882707 
0900 Continue track ESE for about 330 yds
250 900.7 milesNN45162698 
1000 Either Cross 250yds of cleared forestry
remains before reaching open ground,
then ascend to ridge at deer fence.
Or Continue track for 550yds to
two green "Open Hill Access" signs
and follow indicated path to forest edge
before ascending path west to ridge.
7505901.7 miles NN44492559 
1100 Ridge path SW to M Ben More (trig pt) 117410152.75 milesNN43262446Orange
1130 Descend path S to bealach 862 3.3 milesNN43252358 
1205 Path S to M Stob Binnein 116513203.85 milesNN43482277Orange
  Path S to col 1045 4.2 milesNN43722227 
1220 Path SSE to T Stob Corrie an Lochan 106813454.35 milesNN43832207No Orange
  Path E to lochan on bealach 885 4.85 milesNN44572231 
1255 ENE over bump to T Meall na Dige 96614255.25 milesNN45062265Orange
  Descend NE ridge to col with Stob Creagach 820 5.55 milesNN45412296 
1345 Descend N to confluence of main streams from
the two corries on either side of Stob Binnein.
535 6.15 milesNN45122390 
1410 Initially N to avoid peat hags,
traverse NE to stile/gate in deer fence.
There is a grassy track, if it can be found.
415 7.2 milesNN46032527 
1420 Cross diagonally 350yds NW to path end at
lower left corner of forest by next stream
395 7.37 milesNN45822552 
1430 Follow hill access signs along green track,
initially horizontal, then bend back downhill
beside clearing edge to forestry track
by two green "Open Hill Access" signs
285 8.25 milesNN45262662 
1500 Track N down to gate & path over to A85 layby 16614359.3 milesNN45472758Orange

Ben More; 29th November 2006.

Route: 3.4 miles, 1010m = 3310ft ascent, 3½ hrs

Route: The route here is for those in a hurry. Usually a circular walk is done, starting or returning via the bealach south of Ben More, from which Stob Binnein is an easy addition. For those doing only Ben More, I recommend using the NE ridge as in the route above rather than this route.
Weather 29/11/06: Very strong winds (40+ mph), cloud at 4000'; 14°C at start, 11°C at end. Some snow lying above 3000' but crampons unnecessary. Too windy to do more than just Ben More.

1245 Park at sign "To Ben More",
100yds E of Ben More Farm. (Orange)
165   00.0 milesNN41582597
1300 Gate on track. Leave track and ascend direct for summit.
Path follows ridge to left of dimple (Sloc Curraidh)
in the NW face, beside remains of dike on upper parts.
3001350.65 milesNN41952555
Path SE to M Ben More (Orange)
(Attempted crossing to Stob Binnein, but too windy)
117410101.7 milesNN43262446
1615 Path N for 100m, then head at 310° for Ben More Farm
to gate on track. (Path seems to end 150m S of gate.)
300  NN41952555
1630 Parking on A85 just E of Ben More Farm. (Orange) 16610103.4 milesNN41582597

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