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The MunrosThe Munros
Looking up to Ben More from the farm track
Looking up to Ben More from the farm track. The summit is hidden at the head of the corrie on the right.
Country: Scotland
Location: Above Glen Dochart (near Crianlarich).
Accommodation: Hotel, B&B and Youth Hostel at Crianlarich.
Transport: Buses between Crianlarich and Killin.
Maps: Landranger Map 0051: Loch Tay & Glen Dochart
Trip Date: 6 June 1993
Introduction

Ben More (big hill, 1174m) and Stob Binnein (either peak or anvil, 1165m) are two imposing mountains to the east of Crianlarich - they are the 15th and 17th highest Munros. From Glen Dochart, Ben More shows its impressive bulk well but Stob Binnein is hidden. A better view is from Strath Fillian (walk a little way along the West Highland Way) where the corrie climbing up to the broad peak of Ben More is obvious and the more elegant peak of Stob Binnein peeks up to the west.

A long and classic traverse of the two mountains can be done from Loch Doine to Glen Dochart, or vice versa, but this cannot be done as a round trip (needing either two cars or a helpful driver). The alternatives are either a loop from Benmore Farm (as described) or a longer route up Ben More's north-east ridge from a point 4.5 kilometres east of Benmore Farm.

Route

Start the trudge up to Ben More from the A85 road 150 metres to the east of Benmore Farm where a stile gives access to a farm track. Follow the farm track uphill for a few hundred metres until it levels off (roughly the point shown in the photo above). Abandon the track and head SE straight up the unrelenting grass slopes. These become steeper as you climb towards a band of crags. A stone dyke provides a reliable guide closer to the crags. Keep to the north-east side of the dyke to avoid the dangerous hanging corrie to the SW with its vertical and rocky headwall. Fear of walking into this corrie is one reason why I abandoned my only winter climb of Ben More (along with zero visibility, a snow storm, strong winds and not being as fit as I thought).

At the top of the dyke, a path forms to clamber through the crags where the gradient eases and the path circles around to join the north-east ridge to the summit. The crags form the top of the grassy slopes seen in the photo at the top of the page. This has an OS pillar on top of a crag providing some welcome shelter from any breeze. More shelter can be found in a cleft in the crag next to the OS pillar. The time from the farm is about 2.5 hours - most of it spent slogging up the grass slopes. The views are tremendous, especially east to Loch Tay with the Ben Lawers range prominent in the distance.

Stob Binnein from Ben More
Stob Binnein from Ben More

To continue to Stob Binnein, leave the summit to the south for about 200 metres and descend an indistinct ridge to the SW along a clear path. The ridge broadens and turns to the south before coming to the wide flat Bealach-eadar-dha Beinn col ("the pass between two hills"). Climb up the north ridge of Stob Binnein, hugging the east side if possible to appreciate the craggy edge of the north-east corrie. The tiny summit plateau is soon reached with its summit cairn at the south side. The plateau is surrounded by steep slopes and rocky crags on all sides except the north but there is an abrupt path that leads further south if you want to bag the Top of Stob Coire an Lochain (1066m). This top is just visible peeking from behind the shoulder of Stob Binnein in the adjacent photo.

Start the return to Benmore Farm by dropping back down the north ridge to the bealach. Then head down along the banks of the burn draining the col to the west. This is occasionally steep but quickly drops 450m to Benmore Burn. If the sun has come out then there are a couple of gigantic boulders by the stream suitable for a bit of sunbathing. Follow the burn downstream until the farm track is regained for a pleasant stroll back to the A85 road.


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