Luib Weekend – The Stob

Viaduct on Callander and Oban Railway Line (disused)

It’s March – time for a weekend away with the boys! Last weekend we were at the Luib Hotel between Killin and Crianlarich. The cloud was quite low on the Saturday morning and it was raining a little. Strong winds were forecast and possibly some snow. I suggested a local walk in the hills behind the hotel and, somewhat to my surprise, there were several takers for that suggestion. We started on the course of the old Callander to Oban railway line, which made for pleasant easy walking with one awkward section where the bridge over the Luib Burn has been removed and we had to splash across the burn (not too deep) and duck under an electric fence. We continued then until we reached the viaduct over the Ledcharrie Burn. We paused a while to admire the views first from and then of the viaduct, and then paused under the viaduct because it was magnifying and distorting the sounds of the tinkling burn. I assume that it was something to do with the shape of the arches focusing the sound waves in the way that a parabolic dish, or the whispering gallery in St. Paul’s, will.

Ledcharrie Burn 

There’s a good path up the valley of the Ledcharrie Burn, although we missed it to begin with by sticking too close to the burn itself. Although that had its compensations. Just above where I took this photo, a narrow little dry ravine just to the side of the present course of the stream looked like it might be interesting to explore.

The path climbs at a steady rate, marked by large posts at regular intervals. We stopped just above the snow line for a drink and snacks, assuming that the cold winds and spindrift we were already experiencing would only get worse as we climbed further.

I’d been looking at these hills south of Glen Dochart on the map last year when we were here and thinking that I’d like to explore them sometime, but the principal reason I’d suggested them for this day’s walking was that they offered a number of possible options once the ridge had been reached. Our first target was Lochan an Eireannaich.

By Lochan an Eireannaich 

Brass Monkeys

We pushed on a little past the Lochan to look at the towering crag named, on the OS 1:25000, Leum Eirreannaich, the Irishman’s Leap, and a sizable boulder called Rob Roy’s Putting Stone. In the process we discounted the option of continuing eastward to the Corbett of Meall an t-Seallaidh because it would mean continuing into the wind which was proving to be hard, unpleasant work.

Westward instead then. The Hardman took a bearing….

Compass Work 

…and we contoured around to the col below The Stob. Quick and easy to write that, but not quite so quick and easy on the ground.

Contouring 

Just above the col, discovering relative shelter, we stopped for our ‘official’ butty stop.

Official Lunch Stop 

The ascent of the Stob was initially steep and then became slightly difficult because there were large patches of old snow, frozen and compacted into hard névé. I’d left my crampons at home – I don’t have boots rigid enough to take them. Fortunately, the Shandy Sherpa had not only crampons, but also a pair of Kahtoola microspikes which he lent me, superstar that he is. What a fabulous piece of kit they are! With those on I was soon racing to the top! Well, plodding slowly without falling down anyway.

On The Stob 

The Crew on the Stob: The Hardman, Geordie Munro, Old Father Sheffield, The Shandy Sherpa, The Tower Captain.

Rime 

Fence post rime.

In between the patches of lying snow, every blade of grass was thickly coated with ice. It was like walking through a chandelier factory after an earthquake.

The cloud had been lifting gradually through the day and from the summit, and as we descended, we had expanding views. Predominantly grey views, but views none-the-less.

Looking back at the Stob 

Looking back at the Stob.

The Three Sisters 

Leum Eirreannaich and the ‘Three Sisters’.

We followed the valley of the Luib Burn down. Some members of the party reverted to childhood pleasures by attempting to dam the burn (with little success).

Luib Burn 

And finished the day by taking the railway line back to the hotel for a cracking meal and a wild night of revelry. Well. Half of that is true. The revelry will have to wait for another time, when we’re not so tired.

Callander and Oban Railway Line (disused)

Incidentally, the Suie Lodge Hotel is very welcoming, very reasonable, and has great home cooked food. Thoroughly recommended.

The Stob Map

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Luib Weekend – The Stob

11 thoughts on “Luib Weekend – The Stob

  1. That’s all very nostalgic and I envy your trip with a good day in the Scottish Hills and a decent inn to go back to, but I trace my knee problem to that territory. I climbed Ben More and intended to continue to Stob Binnein, but it was a whiteout with driving snow having already obliterated my tracks so I set off back with Cameron McNeish’s words in my mind from his guide to the Munros, “I vividly recall as a teenager sliding down almost all the way back to Benmore Farm. I think we descended from the summit in under an hour…”

    In stupidly macho fashion I decided to emulate, and hopefully beat Cameron and I made my fastest Munro descent ever. The left knee was never the same again

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Wow, that’s one long, steep slope, that must have been some slide. I crocked my knee in a similar way sliding down a snowy slope, although in this case it was a ski run off the side of the glacier at the top station at Tigne. It was a Red run at the time, but I believe subsequently regraded as Black. I was pretty much a beginner, wearing skis I hadn’t yet got used to and being far too ambitious. Two painful years later i had a knee op. Knee works well now though.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Oh yes, he did mention that didn’t he. They’re fabulous, although I wouldn’t want to be on anything very steep without proper crampons. The added advantage is that, unlike crampons, you aren’t likely to injure yourself with them.

  2. I really enjoyed the day, great to be out in full winter conditions and the hills and valleys were top drawer. Long way though over that terrain.
    An absolutely excellent post with just one tiny flaw…….
    You got the name of the hotel completely wrong. Our pad is the Suie Lodge Hotel. The Luib Hotel is further up the valley and doesn’t open in the winter. Having stayed there 3 years in a row you couldn’t possibly be expected to remember it’s name or even detect the fact that the photos in the link are clearly a totally different hotel. You numpty 🙂

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Oh b*****. What was intended as a good turn has completely backfired. I’ve put it right now. It was a cracking day. I was a bit tatered by the end. But felt Ok again on Sunday which is some kind of progress.

      1. I don’t think you we’re alone feeling knackered. I certainly was. When I finally get around to writing it up I’ll check the distance, must have been at least 10 miles over rough ground. Really noticed how tough I found the full winter conditions, never used to bat an eyelid but shows how out of practice we all are

  3. Lovely post Marky – I get so nostalgic when I read this stuff. Proof if any were needed that you don’t have to summit Munros to have a good time. Good that you are still in touch with the old gang….

  4. I walked through Tignes on my Tour of the Vanoise in 2004. Whilst I am sure it is fine in winter, in summer it is an eyesore accentuated by its deserted atmosphere, and apparent dilapidation. Once up above, and back into the hills it was fine, and like you I had quite an adventure route finding across pathless, trackless snow and only fifty yard visibility.

  5. […] The river valley was splendid although by this stage we were all feeling the effects of a long day and it was a tiring stretch. We had a happy 20 minutes playing dam building in the stream while we waited for some to catch up. From there it was a long plod down the valley and back to the hotel along the railway line. What started as a damp and grey trudge turned into a really fine day in the mountains. We were back only just before dark. To celebrate we partied long and hard until nearly 11pm before turning in for well-deserved sleep. You can read ED’s post of the days fun here […]

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