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May 14, 2017
Ben More mountain (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Mhòr, meaning "great mountain") is the only Munro on the Isle of Mull and the highest peak in the Inner Hebrides apart from the Isle of Skye. It is also the only Munro that requires a ferry journey to reach it and is often the last one attempted by “Munro Baggers”
At Achaban House we are aware that many of our guests intend to climb Ben More as part of their stay, therefore we decided it was essential we should do the walk so that we could then provide information to our guests with authority. This gave us the perfect excuse to take a day off on a magnificent sunny Sunday in May and head for the hills of Mull.
From Achaban, the drive to the starting point for the climb is less than an hour through stunning landscapes. Much of the journey is along the beautiful coastline of Loch Scridain, with several otter hotspots, so there is no need to rush. On reaching the crofting township of Pennygael, we turned off at Kinloch, travelled for around 15 miles and parked at Dhiseig on the shores of Loch na Keal. Passing the sign for the Benmore footpath, we followed the sign that says 'up'. Which pretty much sums up Ben More; there is no preamble, you very quickly start to climb.
As we began the ascent, we met other walkers of various nationalities who were truly delighted to be so fortunate to be on the mountain on such a day of sunshine and warmth, generating a pleasant camaraderie on the mountain. A very close sighting of a juvenile white-tailed eagle was an added bonus.
Going at a steady pace with a stop for lunch, we made the summit in 2.5 hours. Having experienced some windy conditions on the way up, we were amazed to find the weather conditions completely calm and warm at the top. We were therefore able to bask in the sunshine and soak in the outstanding views at our leisure while watching three white-tailed eagles spiralling on the thermals overhead. We could clearly see all the isles of the Inner Hebrides including Skye, Rum, Coll, Tiree, Eigg and the seven Paps of Jura as well as much of the Scottish mainland and a hint of the outer Hebrides. The views from Ben More provide a unique perspective of many of the great landmarks of the west coast of Scotland, surely one of the best from any mountain in Scotland.
As we made our way back down the mountain, we were grateful for the waterfalls which were perfect cooling off spots for our overheated limbs and feet. Apart from the white-tailed eagles, other wildlife spotted included a ptarmigan, a dipper, red deer, great northern divers in summer plumage and a frog half way up the mountain!
For more information on how to tackle this walk, try Walk Highlands website summary of the Ben More walk