Stob Binnein and Ben More from the south Walking

A striking pair of conical peaks, the massive Ben More and Stob Binnein are a bit of a slog from any direction. While they may be more often recommended from the Crianlarich side, the alternative from the picturesque Balquhidder glen has a lot to recommend it, with a cracking bit of ridge walking on the southern approach to Stob Binnein. To avoid having to climb Stob Binnein twice, turn the obvious out-and-back route into more of a circuit via the Inverlochlarig Glen, a rugged return that's likely to be a lot lonelier than the hills above.

Stob Coire an Lochain from Stob Binnein  © Dan Bailey -
Stob Coire an Lochain from Stob Binnein
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Detailed description

NN4458618476 Across the road form the car park, the northbound ascent path is obvious. Follow the well-worn trail as it climbs the steep lower slopes head-on, before it kinks left and then back right to skirt Stob Invercarnaig. Having crossed a burn, the path turns north again, climbing to the broad grassy shoulder at the end of Stob Binnein's south ridge. Climb more steadily north to a minor summit at 890m.

NN4430820601 Beyond a small saddle the ridge, here called Na Staidhrichean, takes on a narrower, more sculpted shape, giving an enjoyable ascent to the top of Stob Coire an Lochain. In winter conditions the right edge overlooking the corrie can often be corniced.
Heading for Stob Binnein  © Dan Bailey -
Heading for Stob Binnein
© Dan Bailey -

NN4383522078 Descend gently north-northwest to a col, then follow the ridge crest up towards Stob Binnein. The final summit slopes are comparatively steep, and may need care in icy conditions. Being so tall, yet relatively close to the edge of the highlands, Stob Binnein offers expansive views. Southwards from here, there's no higher ground in the British Isles.

NN4347522733 The descent north is quite steady, but again needs some care (and crampons) if it's icy. On about the 1050m contour, trend a little left to safely skirt above the steep broken ground of Creagan Dubha. You'll have lost a lot of height at the big level col of the Bealach-eadar dha Bheinn (literally: the pass between the hills). In good weather you might be tempted to stash packs here - a massive boulder is the obvious spot. Grassy at first, and then rockier as you gain height, the ascent of Ben More (big hill) is a bit of a plod.
Stob Binnein from Ben More  © Dan Bailey -
Stob Binnein from Ben More
© Dan Bailey -

NN4327024410 Retrace your steps south to the col, and then from the vicinity of the big boulder look out for the well-used path that descends right (west). This soon follows a burn downhill towards the Benmore Glen. To avoid descending all the way to the floor of the glen, cut off left as opportunity affords, to make a pathless descending traverse towards the pass at the head of the glen. This is rough going, with several little burn cuttings to cross.

NN4216022643 From the pass descend south into the Inverlochlarig Glen. The broad head of the glen is quite boggy, and at first there's little trace of a path. Beyond a narrowing in the glen, descend a little more steeply into the broader lower glen, passing below the craggy flanks of Cruach Ardrain and Stob Binnein. Cross to the right (west) side of the burn, and pick through the bogs and hummocks to reach a vehicle track. This leads easily down to Inverlochlarig.

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Further Routes

by Dan Bailey UKH

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