Hill: Ben More
Date: Tuesday 11th July 2017
Company: Myself and Becky
Distance: 12.4km, Ascent: 975m
Time: 5Hrs 55Mins

On Monday evening, after spending an enjoyable half-day on Staffa and subsequently having dinner in Bunessan, we made our way round to Dhiseig, at Loch Na Keal, to park up for the night allowing for an early start in the morning for an ascent of Ben More. To avoid cattle, and to avoid taking up numerous car parking spaces, I parked circa 1km along the road beyond Dhiseig. Prior to retiring for the night we were treated to a lovely sunset.

Sunset beyond Loch na Keal:

We awoke nice and early the following morning and after some breakfast commenced walking around 6.30am.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

During the walk along the road back towards Dhiseig, we saw a couple of Heron and were delighted to spot two wild otters having fun out in the loch. Alas they were some distance away so I failed miserably to get any good pics using my 200mm lens.

One of two wild otters swimming in Loch na Keal (zoom):

Grey Heron:

It was already a beautiful morning and seeing the otters, on top of seeing numerous Puffin the day previous, had already made the trip worthwhile from a wildlife perspective.

We soon reached the start of the tourist route track leading up Ben More. This would be my third ascent of Ben More with previous ascents in 2004 and in 2015. All going well this would be Becky's 16th Munro.

Becky at start of track:

We followed the good track as far as Dhiseig and then the wet, grassy track beyond which runs alongside the Abhainn Dhiseig.

Looking back to Loch na Keal:

Loch na Keal:

Given this is the only Munro on Mull, and given the popularity of this hill, the path is not great.

Looking back to Loch na Keal:

Looking back to Loch na Keal:

As we gained more and more height, we were hoping that the day would further improve and that we would get good views from the summit. Unfortunately, the opposite happened. As we progressed uphill, the weather deteroriated and the cloud level dropped to around 750m.

Ascending Ben More:

On reaching the summit we had a drink and some food and sat patiently hoping the cloud would lift. After waiting 25 minutes with no views whatsoever we decided to head back down such that we did not get too cold sitting up there in the clag.

Becky at the summit of Ben More:

A glimpse of Loch Scridain in descent:

Descending Ben More:

Looking back:

Looking back towards the summit of Ben More:

We had our only break on the way down at a height of circa 460m. It was good to again be below the cloud and to get some views.

A wee break half way down:

Looking back:

We reached the road around midday and then walked back along the road to the van.

View towards Dunan nan Nighean:

Walking back along the road:

Disappointing not to get views from the summit but still an enjoyable walk. To get cleaned up after our walk we made our way to Craignure for a shower and swim at the Isle of Mull Hotel and Spa before heading up to Tobermory for dinner. En-route, as well as spotting numerous Buzzards, we also saw a distant Eagle.

Mull is difficult to beat for wildlife so a visit is worthwhile for that alone. Mull is also a stepping stone to get to Iona and Staffa. Getting to Mull from Lochaline is not expensive - only c.£20 return for myself, my daughter and the van. Well done Calmac.

On the negative side, it's a shame that in fifteen years of visiting Mull I have seen little to no improvement in the roads. There are also still few facilities to be found outwith Tobermory and Craignure. I don't know if Mobile phone companies even know that Mull exists as coverage on the island is mostly non-existent. Also really disappointing to see some large wind turbines creeping onto this island. This is wild land and turbines should not be here.