The scheduled plan for the April walk was to climb the twin peaks of Stob Binnean and Ben More from the south approach which is reached by turning west off the main A84 at Balquidder and driving the 8 miles along the north shores of Loch Voil and Loch Doine to the end of the public road at Inverlochlaraig. The weather forecast for the area indicated that, although the day would probably be dry with clear summits, there could be problems with high winds in excess of 50mph on the Munro tops with a wind chill factor as low as -12 degrees and this forecast proved uncannily accurate. In view of this, the decision was taken to curtail the walk to only take in Stob Binnean which, at 1165m, was still a fair test in the conditions.
The 10 club members met at the good car park at Inverlochlaraig and set off over the stile north up the steep but well defined track towards the first point of the day at Stob Invercarnaig (700m) where the ground levelled out somewhat before rising again towards the cairn at Stob Coire an Lochan. At this point the effects of the increasing wind strength could really be felt and after a bit of discussion as to whether or not it was wise to continue, the wind seemed to drop slightly and the decision was made to take a quick dash up the last 130m to the top without tarrying too long at the summit.
For most of the group this was the first time they had tackled this particular peak from the south but all agreed that it is a much better approach without the relentless steep trek up the more normal route from Benmore farm on the A85.
The next club walk will be a scrambling day on May 4th or 5th at Jake’s Rake, a well known scrambling route on Pavey Ark in the Lake District, ahead of the Skye weekend at the end of May. Members are also reminded to keep the date of May30th free for the 45th Anniversary walk. A bus has been arranged to transport walkers to the start at the Grey Mare’s Tail with pick up at the end of the walk at the Crook Inn and then return to Lanark.