Ben More and Stob Binnein
This is a strenuous but exhilarating walk taking in two of the best known and most popular Munros in the Southern highlands. The walk starts at Benmore Farm (NN414 258) a couple of kilometers east of Crainlarich on the A85. From the farm we follow a track that winds its way up the lower slopes of Ben More to a gate at 300m. From here we start to climb steeply, initially over steep boggy ground with the path appearing a disappearing. As we climb higher the views open out and become quite spectacular. Higher up we will find a much more defined path which climbs relentlessly up the north-western shoulder of Ben More. It is steep and exhausting work but the views are spectacular to the north, east and west. The summit of Ben More is marked by a large cairn and at 1174m there is no higher point to the south.
To gain the next summit we must now descend a clearly defined path for some 312m to the bealach before starting up again towards Stob Binnien. As we descend the rocky slope we will encounter a short section that requires some scrambling skills, although this can be bypassed fairly easily. An large boulder marks the lowest point and makes a convenient lunch table or wind break. The path up Stob Binnien is clearly seen and zig-zags here and there to ease the otherwise steep climb. The route up holds no particular obstacles and the summit at 1165m should be easily reached. Views from here take in most of the Trossachs with in the foreground the long south ridge with its clear path that we will follow on our descent to Inverlochlarig where our transport will be waiting. But after leaving Stob Binnein we have one more summit to gain before our final descent. It is Stob Coire an Lochan at 1068m.
The climb up Ben More is steep and unrelenting with only a short distance near the top where it eases slightly. Given reasonable weather the views do go a long way to make up for the considerable effort required to reach the summit. Once Ben More is checked off Stob Binnien is not quit so demanding but still a stiff pull up. But once again, given reasonable weather the views this time to the south and east open out to wide vistas with range upon range of hills disappearing into blue distance. Coming off the hill is as steep as the ascent and requires concentration and stamina after what is a demanding day.
Walk duration - 6-7hrs The ascent of the north side of Ben More is a sustained steep and demanding climb, and the summit ridges can be very windy. Much of the route is on rough and stony paths, but there are also pathless sections, some of which are often very wet underfoot. There is one avoidable minor scramble.
For Medium, Hard and Extra Hard walks we ask walkers to make sure they have full hillwalking gear, by which we mean definitely the following: Boots, warm clothing, warm/quick drying trousers (not denim jeans), waterproof jacket and over trousers, rucsac, hat, gloves, spare fleece, packed lunch, spare food and drink, small personal first aid kit including any medications, mobile phone, headtorch, and bivvy bag if you have one, and possibly also these other items, depending on personal preference: Gaiters, rucsac cover, walking poles, spare socks, map, compass, GPS, lipsalve, camera.
The nature of hill walking potentially involves leaders or other participants in providing close assistance to others. For everybody’s protection those people classified as ‘vulnerable adults’ or young people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an appropriate carer or responsible adult. No special arrangements are available to provide independent supervision for vulnerable people, and the accompanying carer takes full responsibility for them. The carer or parent is best placed to judge the capability of their charges.
We do ask that you only bring children on a walk if you are confident that they will be able to complete it comfortably. At all times, children must be accompanied by an appropriate adult who must take full responsibility for them.
3. Lower age limits.
No children under the age of 16 are allowed on Extra Hard or Hard walks. Children over the age of 12 are permitted on Medium and Easy walks provided that they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
In common with other similar events and in consideration for others, dogs are not allowed (guide dogs excepted).
Please do not smoke on walks, out of consideration to others.