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Benbaun Mountain Binn Bhán A name in Irish
(Ir. Binn Bhán [OSI], 'white peak') County Highpoint of Galway In County Highpoint, Arderin, Vandeleur-Lynam Lists

Height: 729m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 37 Grid Reference: L78558 53903 This summit has been logged as climbed by 337 members. Recently by: Brado, Glanman2, oldsoldier, guestuser, nolanlyn, Onzy, geohappy, Jas62, dr_banuska, quinnthebin, seekyou, MichaelO, markwallace, LarryHealy, patlynch
I have climbed this summit: YES (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -9.831791, Latitude: 53.521228 Prominence: 684m,   Isolation: 0.9km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 478532 753923,   GPS IDs, 6 char: Bnbn, 10 char: Benbaun

Binn Bhán means 'white peak' and is the highest mountain in Galway. You could say it is the Mont Blanc of Connemara. There is a lot of white rock here, mainly quartz, though this is more a feature of Benbrack. An odd thing about the Twelve Bens of Connemara is that nobody seems to know exactly which are the twelve peaks in question. There are at least 20 peaks with names in binn in this area. However, the notion of twelve peaks goes back at least to the time of Roderic O'Flaherty, who wrote in 1684 of the twelve high mountaines of Bennabeola, though he did not enumerate them (O'Flaherty, 106). In Irish the question doesn't even arise: there is no number, they are just na Beanna Beola, 'the peaks of Beola'. Beola was a giant and chieftain of the Fir Bolg, whose name also features in the village Tuaim Beola (Toombeola).   Binn Bhán is the highest mountain in the Twelve Bens area and the 89th highest in Ireland. Binn Bhán is the highest point in county Galway.

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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Binn Bhán in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
Picture: Peaty Knockpasheemore ridge and Ben Baun summit in background
 
White it is ...
by yambox  4 Aug 2011 Climbed Ben Baun and Ben Free on June 15th 2011.
From Kylemore Lough take right on the R344 towards Lough Inagh. Right after the woods, take the first small road right to Glencorbet (not indicated, only 5 houses).
There's space for about 5 cars on your right hand side after the bridge and before the first stable.
Follow the asphalt road until a 90 degree right turn and take left into the direction of Glencorbet farm. The most difficult part of the journey is crossing the river. Cross the river as soon as you see the opportunity. Some say you can cross 200 m before the farm, but I couldn't - I had to go back. Take your plastic boots with you or some fresh socks - just in case ...
After crossing the river, you have to go straight up Knockpasheemore Ridge (the slope in front of you and the river at your back). There is no clear path. The slope and the ridge itself are one big spunge. Watch your step on this massive heap of peat. During our journey it was very wet everywhere and I had wet feet ...
Once you're up the ridge, turn right and find your way through the peaty labyrinth towards the white rock of Ben Baun. Then straight up the white rock without any danger towards the windy top.
When you have little time but enough to do a small extra, go down to the west into the saddle between Ben Baun and Ben Free and hop up Ben Free in 10 minutes.
Back down into the saddle and downhill to the river at Glencorbet Farm. Be careful when descending from the saddle : before traversing to the right be sure you are deep enough to pass below the vertical rocks at the West face of Ben Baun.
Crossing the river at the same place and back to the car. This walk takes you around 3 hours - stops not counted.
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Binn Bhán in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
by simon3  5 Aug 2004 This visualisation shows the main twelve bens from the east.
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Binn Bhán in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
Picture: Looking into Glencorbet, with Mweelrea behind
 
by murphysw  11 May 2008 Driving along the R344 I noticed that there is new fencing all along the base of Knockpasheemore, as well as a lack of parking spaces. Glencorbet though, provides a good base for tackling the mountain. There is plenty of parking at L796574 (Point A). Follow the path towards the Glencorbet farmhouse, but about 200m before you reach this, cross the river at a bend where its easily crossed, then ascend the Knockpasheemore ridge. This ridge looks trickier to ascend the further you head into Glencorbet so best get it over with. The top of the ridge is undulating and covered in peat hags which luckily were dry. The great dome of Binn Bhan though is very stony. When I got to the summit the mist had momentarily moved in but I'd seen enough on the way up. The Bens are a most impressive range. A word of warning though, dont try and descend the ridge too early. I'd recommend going to about L796553 (Point B), or thereabouts, before heading down to the Kylemore river. I also noticed my compass stopped working on the way down the ridge. Despite looking across at Mweelrea and knowing that to be due north of me, the compass was showing that as east and Clifden as north. Strange, maybe time to invest in GPS!
Point A: L796 574 Point B: L796 553
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Binn Bhán in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
Picture: Benbaun from Benfree, with hiker in the col
Looking at the mountainviews with a fellow MountainViewer
by wicklore  8 Jun 2010 Arriving at Benbaun from Knockpasheemore ridge involves negotiating 270 metres ascent over varied rock, scree and intermittant grassy patches. Thin trails appear and disappear in the scree, helping at times to avoid that 'one step up, two steps back' feeling. I was glad to have my sunglasses in the bright sunlight as the glare off the white rock was dazzling!

Arriving at the curiously broken summit trig pillar, I was presented with the magnificant views south to the Bens of Glencoaghan, and west to Muckanaght & co. Perhaps what makes these mountains all the more startling and impressive is how they contrast with the deep valleys below. Both Bencollaghduff and Muckanaght for example have grey cliffs plunging several hundred metres to the green and verdant valleys at their bases.

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to a fellow MountainViews member, Dominic Divilly, at the summit. He was with a small group who expressed surprise at my intention to continue the traverse via Benfree, Muckanaght, Bencullagh, Maumonght and finishing at Maumonght SW Top. This route would leave me a long long way from my car back on the Lough Inagh road. They marvelled at my intention to hike out of the lonely valley at the end of the traverse and hitch the 25 or so kms back to my car. I appreciated receiving a MountainViews members message from Dominic the next day enquiring as to my health and whereabouts! (my plan to hitch worked out well as I got two lifts covering nearly the whole distance)

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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Binn Bhán in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
 
by pdtempan  21 Oct 2003 Gleninagh and the Maamturks seen from the summit of Benbaun, August 2003
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Binn Bhán in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
Picture: Binn Bhàn, mighty Binn Bhàn
The Cairn of Coins
by wicklore  3 Sep 2011 This photo of Binn Bhàn was taken from the slopes of Binn Bhraoin North Top, and it offers a new perspective of the highest point of Galway. When on the summit of Binn Bhàn last year I contemplated whether there was a safe route down to Màm Eidhneach (Maumina col), between Binn Bhàn and Binn Dubh (Bencollaghduff) in the lower right of the photo. I didn’t take the chance, and looking at the mountain from Binn Bhraoin last week I could see that a route would have been tricky to say the least.

There are a few places in the Irish mountains which shelter hidden Mass Rocks, sites of Prayer and Pilgrimage or places special for other reasons where locals and walkers alike visit and leave a simple gift. There is a one such place below Binn Bhàn near Màm Eidhneach. It is overlooked and protected by the craggy southern face of Binn Bhàn. It is a tall triangular cairn of rock, with a shelf space open half way up one of its sides. In this space many people have placed coins, some dating from the 1960’s. It was a pleasure to see these old and new coins mixed together with no apparent ill-minded interference. It is a fine place to pause and take a rest while admiring the views, Binn Bhàn towering on one side and Binn Dubh towering on the other. An offering to the mountains aside, I still wouldn’t tackle Binn Bhàn from Màm Eidhneach though!
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