Monday, 17 September 2012

Lyn and Pete's Last Munro

Caledonian MacBrayne ferry "Isle of Mull" leaving Oban
 We decided to do our last Munro, Ben More on Mull, on a fine sunny day which meant watching the weather forecast and nipping up to Mull at short notice as soon as there was a favourable opportunity. It only takes about an hour by ferry from Oban to Craignure on Mull from where we drove up to Salen where we'd booked the Salen Hotel, a friendly though rather delapidated establishment.

View towards Loch na Keal with the island of Eorsa in the centre.   
Wednesday 12 September dawned fair and improved steadily as we climbed from the shore of Loch na Keal up the Gleann na Beinne Fada towards the ridge above which led over A' Chioch, a subsidiary top of the Munro, to the summit of Ben More 966m.

A' Chioch (left) is seperated from Ben More (right) by the scrambly NE Ridge     

 The forecast was right...we had bright sunshine, but we had wind as well, strong wind, though it died away fortunately as we ascended the ridge that led over A' Chioch and up to the summit.  

View South from the ridge leading to the top of of A' Chioch.

Dramatic views opened up to the South as we climbed the rocky ridge that led up to the top of A' Chioch.

View North from the slopes of A' Chioch.
 The ridge that led from the col at the head of the Glen was a delightful "rocky staircase without any difficulty" which steepened appreciably towards the top. The wind strengthened and a brief rain shower passed through before the wind dropped as we reached the top of A' Chioch.

View N. towards Beinn Fadda from the top of A' Chioch

Descending the SW ridge of A' Chioch.

Cloud is lifting from the summit of Ben More beyond as we descend from A' Chioch towards the  impressive connecting ridge. The ascent from the col below is, according to the SMC Guide, "reminiscent of the Aonach Eagach or Liathach, but there are no comparable difficulties". With a bit of effort, as we found out, you can make the ridge quite a dramatic undertaking, it all depends on the route you take up it!

The summit of Ben More, Bella seems unimpressed.

It has been a long journey from our first Munro, Carn Dearg in the Monadh Liath, which we climbed in 1993, to our final one and it was a very satisfying moment when we reached the summit of Ben More.

View from the summit down the NE ridge of Ben More towards A.Chioch

Pete opens the celebratory Champers.

The weather was kind to us as we swigged our Champers and took in the fabulous all-round view from the summit before the cloud closed in and urged our departure, we took the more direct "tourist route" for a quick and easy descent.

Loch na Keal and Gleann na Beinne Fada, our ascent route.

Descent from Ben More NW towards Loch na Keal.

Loch na Keal, and the islands of Eorsa and Ulva beyond.

The shapely summit of Ben More from Dhiseig above Loch na Keal.

1 comment:

Alice said...

congratulations! the photos are lovely :)