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Ben More and Stob Binnein

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Ben More means the big hill and it certainly dominates this corner of Scotland, lying with its equally large partner Stob Binnein just east of Crianlarich. To do both hills inevitably means some compromise, between distance traversed and convenience. This route attempts to come up with the best option, requiring only one car, taking in both summits and presenting the most interesting ascent routes. The downside is a few kilometres of track bashing at the end of the day.

Start from the car park at the end of the public road west from Balquhidder, 700m east of Inverlochlarig. Take the steep grassy slopes directly to Stob Invercarnaig, the south spur of Stob Binnein. The ridge now continues north to Stob Coire an Lochain (1068m) along a delightful grassy ridge with fine views of the Crianlarich hills to the west.

Drop down slightly then climb up the steepening ridge to gain the summit of Stob Binnein. There are crags on the west flank which can provide some shelter from a cold east wind if necessary. From the summit, descend the rock-strewn slope to the Bealach-eadar-dha-Beinn, 862m (the bealach between two hills, logically enough!)

Looking up towards the final climb, you may be excused for feeling lethargic but it is not as long, or as steep, as it appears - believe me! A good, steady climb up this, north at first, then north-east, then north again before hitting the summit of Ben More perched on a crag on the edge of all things. Once you reach here, you will be happy that you did not slog up the unrelenting slope from the north of the mountain. Views to the north include the Ben Lui group, while to the west are the Crianlarich Munros.

Retrace your route back to the bealach, then turn SW to head for the watershed between Benmore and Inverlochlarig glens. Continue south down Inverlochlarig Glen and pick up first a path, then a track leading down the glen to Inverlochlarig and the road back to the car park.

Note: These hills are fairly high, with exposed upper slopes. Bear this in mind when planning a winter ascent. A pleasant shorter day may be grabbed if the weather is threatening by turning east from the first top, Stob Coire an Lochain to climb Meall na Dige (966m) and taking its south ridge to return to the road.


Maps: OS Sheet 51 'Loch Tay & Glen Dochart' & 57 'Stirling & The Trossachs'
Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 1200 m
Time: 6 hours
Food & Drink: It has to be the Kingshouse at Balquhidder - not only is it the closest - you will be ready for some refreshment.


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