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Ben More (Mull)

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The massive chunk of island which is Mull sits comfortably with Morvern to its north across the Sound of Mull and Oban on the mainland to its east. It contains Scotland's only island Munro outside the Isle of Skye, Ben More. The accompanying photograph shows the Ben More group from the island of Lunga, to the west, with Ben More dominant and its two other tops to the north.

Oban is the usual starting point for Mull, with regular sailings by CalMac*. Ben More seems to be a favourite last Munro for those "compleating" and it certainly has, on a fine clear day, views rivalling any mountain in the west of Scotland.

Start from the B8035 road along Loch na Keal, where the Abhainn na h-Uamha issues. Follow the southwest bank of this burn up Gleann na Beinne Fada to reach the bealach south of Beinn Fhada. At 702m, the latter fails to make Corbett status by 60m, which should not deter the energetic from making a quick ascent of before returning to the bealach.

From the bealach, continue south and climb up the north ridge of A'Chioch (867m). The ridge becomes more defined with height, and provides an easy and enjoyable scramble. The ridge between A'Chioch and Ben More is well defined and often narrow, continuing the interest of the walk all the way to the summit of Ben More at 966m.

To descend, take the northwest ridge down screes leading eventually to grassy slopes by the Abhainn Dhiseag. A path is indicated for the last kilometre or so leading to a house at Dhiseag then the B8035 road, about 1.5km west of the starting point. To save a few minutes of road-pounding, the descent route can be left about 1.5km below the summit of Ben More, to strike off north, crossing the Abhainn Dhiseag and heading straight for the starting point.

* Ferry travels from Oban to Craignure on Mull, 45 minutes trip time. Contact or telephone (Oban) 01631 566 688. There are local buses on Mull.


Maps: OS Sheet 48 'Iona & West Mull, Ulva'
Distance: 12 km
Ascent: 1060 m
Time: 4 hours
Food & Drink: The small village of Salen is about 12km to the north, and has an Inn. It also boasts the small airstrip just east, to which those with the right connections may fly for a day visit!


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