UKH

Ben More via A'Chioch Walking

The highest point on Mull, and the only island Munro outside Skye, Ben More is a grand rocky peak with huge maritime views. If simply bagging the summit is your priority, then the up-and-back route from the northwest is nice enough; but a full traverse over the satellite summit of A' Chioch and up Ben More's sharp northeast ridge is the classic day out, a top quality hill round with some easy but exposed scrambling.

A' Chioch from the dramatic upper ridge leading to Ben More  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
A' Chioch from the dramatic upper ridge leading to Ben More
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Detailed description

1
NM5068336771 A rough path follows the southwest bank of the burn, passing above a series of cascades and pools in a ravine and then a larger waterfall. Above this, continue beside the burn into boggy Gleann na Beinne Fada, with an impressive view of Ben More to your right. Detouring left to climb Beinn Fhada adds another summit and some more quality ridge walking to the round, but the route of less resistance is described here. At the head of the glen a steady ascent gains the col between Beinn Fhada and A' Chioch.
Loch na Keal from Gleann na Beinne Fada  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Loch na Keal from Gleann na Beinne Fada
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com

2
NM5378234445 Turn right to get established on A' Chioch's north ridge. Beyond a broad grassy area the ridge narrows and steepens dramatically, rearing up to the sharp summit in a series of rock steps. Stick with the crest for some enjoyable scrambling, with a short airy crux step. Take care for loose rocks, and avoid the rubbly flanks below the crest (a grassy flanking path down on the left is less fun and arguably no safer than the ridge itself).
On the north ridge of A' Chioch  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
On the north ridge of A' Chioch
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com

3
NM5350033349 From the summit cairn there's an imposing view of Ben More's sharp northeast ridge, the crest you're about to traverse. An easy initial descent soon leads to steep, rocky ground leading down into a little col at the start of the Ben More ridge.
Heading for the northeast ridge of Ben More  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Heading for the northeast ridge of Ben More
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com

4
NM5307733281 The initial notched crest can be avoided via a series of scrappy trails just down on the left flank, but the higher line is better. As the ridge begins to steepen where it meets the flank of Ben More the temptation to veer off the crest grows stronger. But though very exposed, the best rock is found in a direct climb up the very edge, and the real difficulties are brief. By contrast the left flank is less hands-on, but much looser. A good compromise is to skirt left on a rubbly path below the initial steep nose of the ridge, then immediately turn right to climb a scree gully up to the crest. Easier scrambling then leads in style up the arête to Ben More's summit.
Looking back at A'Chioch from the northeast ridge of Ben More  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Looking back at A'Chioch from the northeast ridge of Ben More
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com

5
NM5256833087 As the high point of Mull the summit offers a huge view over the island. Descend the popular bagger's path down the mountain's broad northwest ridge. At first quite steep and rubbly, the going gradually eases on the grassy slopes leading down to the Abhainn Dhiseig. On the lower ground cross the burn and follow an intermittent trail across boggy terrain, northeast past the cottage at Dhiseig and on down to the road. Back at sea level, a short walk along the quiet road returns you to the start.

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