On Several occasions whilst heading north towards Ben Nevis and Glencoe I have passed the twin peaks of Ben More and Stobinian and decided I must climb them at some stage though It wasn’t until ecently that I put my words into action and set out to finally explore the two Munros. The peaks rise over 1000m above Strath Fillan and Glen Dochart and it was from Benmore Farm in the latter glen not far from Crianlarich that I made my ascent.
Just before the farm (heading towards Crianlarich) there is plenty of roadside parking and a path is signed through the hedge and trees to join a zig zag track leading left up the hillside. After going under the power line and passing through a gate higher up, a faint path leads off up the steep slope to the left. The path fades in and out of existence as it climbs steeply-sloping boggy terrain which is hard going at times but as height is gained the route improves and the ground becomes drier. Besides – the views across the Highlands improve steadily as you get higher and compensate amply for any hardship encountered lower down. The upper section where the ridge becomes rockier and more pronounced is a delight to climb without being difficult. After a false summit and an easy section the cairn and trig point on the summit of Ben More are reached with the view to the marginally lower Stobinian beyond.
The viiew from where the path to Ben More leaves the farm track
Looking north westwards into the wild landscape of the Highlands from the upper part of the ridge
The top of the ridge was fun but not difficult – Loch Iubhair and the view along Glen Dochart towards Killin and Loch Tay
The views became transient as the cloud base was reached on the summit of Ben More at 1174m. Looking across to the second peak – Stobinian which is slightly lower at 1165m
The route between Ben More and Stobinian is easy to follow being on a good path all the way with a couple of short rocky steps down from the summit of the first Munro. The harder one can be avoided. The route involves a descent to 800m and consequently a climb of over 300m to Stobinian. Thankfully I was told about a route that was in neither my guidebooks nor marked on my map that descends from the bealach or col so saving re-climbing Ben More. It is a little wet in places with odd sections of bush whacking as it descends steeply to pick up a path and eventually the track I started out on. To find the start of the path descend by the prominent large boulder on the bealach and go straight down the western side – the path initially follows the burn or stream itself before descending to the left of it into the wild Benmore Glen.
The wild country on the eastern side of the ridge from the approach to the summit of Stobinian.
The view south from Stobinian over the region known as the Trossachs
Looking back to Ben More from Stobinian. The weather had improved by this stage. Anyone spot the very subtle photobomb here?
The wild and remote feeling Benmore Glen which marks the route back to the road
As I write this there is a rather important referendum taking place that will determine the future relationship between the great nation of Scotland and my own country England. Whatever the outcome I hope that it’s the right one for the long term future of the people. I have always believed though that problems – which can include certain very unpopular individuals in London – are best confronted when we stand shoulder to shoulder.
Pete Buckley September 18 2014
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