Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park: Stob Binnein and Ben More

When it came to choosing a few Munros to bag over the course of my birthday weekend, it didn’t take us long to decide where to go: Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. We’ve explored embarrassingly little of it since moving to Edinburgh, but are (very) slowly rectifying that. Past Balquhidder, there’s a cluster of four Munros that can be combined into a two-day/one-night circular route. We tackled Stob Binnein and Ben More on the Saturday (this post), and Cruach Àrdrain and Beinn Tulaichean on the Sunday (stay tuned for those two).

When we arrived at the little car park in Inverlochlarig, there were just a few spaces left. We parked in one of the remaining shady spots, slathered ourselves in sunblock and pulled on our rucksacks. For the first kilometre or so, we followed a grassy track up through the ferns to Stob Invercarnaig.

Woe betide anyone who thinks it’s a gentle stroll up to Stob Invercarnaig

On a sunny day, there’s zero shade to be had, and the combination of no shade and a steep slope made for a tougher than expected start. But with views like these, who were we to complain?

Looking back towards Inverlochlarig
Loch Doine (front) and Loch Voil (back)

Although there was a well-defined track along Na Staidhrichean (I wouldn’t know where to begin with pronouncing that, so it’s just as well this is a blog not a vlog), the endless false summits on this section of the route drove us both a bit potty. When we reached Stob Coire an Lochain, we stopped for lunch – at which point grey clouds swept in to replace the bright blue skies, and it felt decidedly chilly.

Coming up: the lumpy summit of Stob Binnein

We stopped just long enough to eat our sandwiches, and then ploughed on towards Stob Binnein (1,165m). True to another walker’s words, there was a little bottle of whisky tucked beneath a few rocks in the cairn at the summit.

Stob Binnein

We spent a few minutes at the summit admiring the views, and then dropped down to Bealach-eadar-dha Beinn (862m). If you’re doing both Stob Binnein and Ben More, as we were, then what goes down has to go straight back up again (and a little more). We descended 303m to the bealach… and then climbed 312m to reach the summit of Ben More (1,174m).

Ben More
Looking north-west towards Crianlarich

Another bank of cloud swept in just as we reached the trig point, leaving us with partial views to the north but extensive views to the east and south.

Looking south to the summit of Stob Binnein

We were following a GPS route from Walk Highlands, which served us pretty well on the whole but occasionally took us on some rather iffy paths. Like this one:

Path or no path?

The stones are part of a stream that had dried out during a recent heatwave. I’ll let you be the judge of whether anything in its vicinity could really be called a path. We picked our way down the hillside towards Benmore Burn, and then across an exceptionally boggy/watery stretch of grass alongside the water. (I wouldn’t fancy this on a soggy day.)

Descending into Benmore Glen
Towards Beinn Tulaichean

Suffice it to say, we were very relieved to reach a stony, dry track a short while later. We followed this for a short distance, crossed the little red bridge over the burn (just about visible in the photo below) and set off up the hillside on the other side of the valley to find a spot to camp for the night.

Wild camping views

As is often the case when wild camping, this was easier said than done. We eventually found a patch of hillside that wasn’t too boggy and/or filled with holes and pitched up.

Ben More (left) and Stob Binnein (right)

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Parking | There’s a small car park in Inverlochlarig with space for c. 15 cars. You can’t miss it: it’s on the left-hand side just as you reach the end of the public road.
  • Maps and guides | Pack a copy of OS Explorer OL46 – and know how to read it.
  • Distance | 13.3km/ 8.3 miles; 1,479m of elevation gain.
  • Misc. | You’ll be exposed to whatever the elements throw at you on this route, so be prepared for anything the Scottish weather gods might throw at you: blistering sunshine, bitterly cold winds and just about everything in between.

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6 thoughts on “Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park: Stob Binnein and Ben More

  1. Wow, it’s so green and also so jagged; that’s not a combination I’m used to. Here, the mountains are usually jagged because they’re made of rock and almost nothing grows on them. Having so many plants makes them look softer somehow. So pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point about the weather! Scotland is very green for a reason 😂 We had a heatwave for a few weeks in July, but fortunately the grass/plants in the area we were in didn’t seem to have suffered too much.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, what a beauty! From the photos you took, it’s as if you were walking along the ridge of a green mountain– how daring! Weather looks incredible, despite the clouds sweeping in, and it’s great you finally got to Loch Lomond! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hikes we did in this part of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs are amongst the most picturesque hikes I’ve done in the UK – such a beautiful area 🙂 Definitely made for a memorable birthday weekend. Fortunately, it’s a pretty wide ridge between the peaks, so not quite as hair-raising as the pictures might make it look!

      Liked by 1 person

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