walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis

Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis


Postby dogplodder » Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:25 pm

Route description: The Grey Corries

Munros included on this walk: Sgùrr Chòinnich Mòr

Date walked: 14/10/2020

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 16.5 km

8 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I say unexpected because the western Grey Corries had fallen off my radar. I had climbed Stob Choire Claurigh along with Stob Ban back in 2016 - leaving the other two to do another time. Except another time didn't seem all that likely. The problem was the pot-holed track. The first time had been by Jonathan's landrover but that was a one off and Pete didn't want me taking our car along it and neither did Moira want to take hers. So the unclaimed Grey Corries weren't even on my short list.

Stob Choire Claurigh summit with Jonathan and Rob
IMG_1169.JPG


Grey Corries ridge stretching west from Stob Choire Claurigh
IMG_1174.JPG


I must have had a conversation with Liz at some point about going in from Glen Nevis and I'm grateful to her for remembering what I'd forgotten. She got in touch in mid October to say she and Roger were planning to climb Sgurr Choinnich Mor via Glen Nevis and would I be interested? She didn't have to ask twice!

Their plan was to stay in a B & B for two nights so they could nip up Ben Nevis the day after. My original plan was to drive down early and head home straight after but then Pete offered to do the driving, which was a generous offer as he wouldn't be doing the climb and would have to spend the day hanging around Fort William while half the place was shut. So I booked us into a B & B so he had a place to go in the afternoon (from 1.00pm as it worked out) and Ian (who is in a bubble with us) would travel down with us in the morning and catch the 5.40 bus home.

Pete duly delivered us to the Glen Nevis road end where we met Liz and Roger. Keira dog was coming too on what would be her second Munro.

Pete and Keira at the start
IMG_0231.JPG


We said goodbye to Pete and set off past the encouraging sign about risk of death on this path, although from the numbers we met on our return I doubt too many are deterred by this. It was 8.30am and we were in the shade and low light of the glen so colours were muted, but by late morning the sun had broken through, lighting up the hills in their bronze and golden autumn colours.

Nevis gorge looking back
IMG_0232c.JPG


Zoomed to Sgurr a' Mhaim
IMG_0233c.JPG


Scout dog ahead
IMG_0235c.JPG


I've lost count of how many times I've been along this path but never fail to be struck by that eureka moment of emerging from the gorge into open green pasture with the backdrop of the Steall Falls and mountains all round. A bit like a first sighting of the Lost Valley in Glencoe.

Steall Falls
IMG_0236c.JPG


When the path forked right for the wire bridge we kept to the left following the course of the river. It briefly goes over rocky ground before heading closer to the river where it has been upgraded and gives easy walking.

Glen Nevis
IMG_0237c.JPG


Bridge over Water of Nevis
IMG_0239c.JPG


IMG_0240c.JPG


When we reached the Steall ruins we stopped for a snack as it had been a long time since breakfast for the two of us who'd travelled and the other two didn't put up any objection.

The ruins
IMG_0241.JPG


It was good for the four of us to be out walking together again. The last time had been in the wilds of Fisherfield back in the carefree summer of 2019.

Roger and Liz
IMG_0242.JPG


IMG_0244.JPG


Glen Nevis
IMG_0243c.JPG


As can be seen from the photos the path was pretty good up to this point. It became wetter further on but considering the rain we had had in the previous week it wasn't as bad as it could have been. But on that subject I shouldn't speak too soon.

Path ahead with the pointed summit of Binnein Beag on right
IMG_0245c.JPG


Keira and I ahead of the pack at this moment... but that soon changed once serious climbing started
IMG_0247.JPG


After we crossed the Allt Coire a' Bhuic and were level with Tom a' Choinneachaidh (to our south) we left the increasingly water-logged path and headed up grassy slopes, following the east side of the burn. As we gained height it was good to get a first look at our target hill Mor (on right) with its sidekick Beag (on left).

First sighting of Beinn Choinnich Beag and Mor
IMG_0248c.JPG


Zoomed to Beag and Mor
IMG_0249c.JPG


There was sometimes the trace of a path but mostly it was pathless. Nothing difficult, just a steady slog, with the occasional waterfall to photograph to give an excuse to stop moving.

Waterfall below Sgurr a' Bhuic
IMG_0250.JPG


Following Roger
IMG_0251c.JPG


Ian and Roger were in the lead and decided they would summit the Beag first, which if I'd had more of a spring in my step I might have done too. But 'spring in step' is not what jumps to mind - 'squelching through porridge and black treacle' is more like it. So Liz and I said we'd head for the bealach and meet them there. In any case we had other things to do like taking photos and putting the world to rights, which due to the strength of the wind had to be done face to face. The men only had climbing to concentrate on.

SW to An Gearanach and Sgurr a' Mhaim
IMG_0255c.JPG


Sgurr a' Bhuic and Aonach Beag
IMG_0256c.JPG


East along Abhainn Rath towards Corrour
IMG_0258c.JPG


Heading for the bealach
IMG_0257c.JPG


As I might already have hinted, traversing the side of the Beag was a wet affair. Liz was ahead of me and Keira was ahead of Liz when Keira spotted three random sheep and was on the verge of reacting as dogs do when Liz called her and remarkably she came. I was mightily relieved and put her on the lead (Keira not Liz). But having a dog on lead with poles in hands on tussocky, sodden ground isn't always the best combination and I managed to execute a sideways slip that got me into a close encounter with a large puddle on that soggy hillside. I got up as quickly as I could but the whole of my left side was soaked - one trouser leg, one side of down jacket and one glove. My right side was dry so it could have been worse.

That apart it was good to reach the bealach in time to see Ian and Roger finish their descent off Beinn Coinnich Beag. The other good thing about the bealach was to find a stony path to follow. It's so much easier to have solid ground to walk on. The views were pretty good too.

Beinn Coinnich Beag
IMG_0260.JPG


BCB and Aonach Beag
IMG_0259.JPG


The men led the way and really it should have been easy from then on but, as I'd been finding on other climbs since a mild bout of an unidentified viral illness with fever back in March, I was struggling. I told Liz to go on ahead and I'd follow at my own slower pace interspersed with sit downs when I had to.

From a bit higher up as needing a breather
IMG_0262.JPG


North to Loch Lochy (zoomed)
IMG_0264c.JPG


When I sit she sits too
IMG_0266.JPG


Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Mor (zoomed)
IMG_0267c.JPG


I found the last part of the ascent harder work than it should have been, reached the top a little after the others and felt slightly unbelieving to be there. When it comes to hills I'm a dreamer and a schemer as to how it can happen but it hadn't even crossed my mind to climb this particular hill. We sat on that airy summit and cracked open lunch.

Sgurr Choinnich Mor summit
IMG_0269.JPG


Not sure what Roger's doing
IMG_0271c.JPG


Summit from east (Ian's pic)
WhatsApp Image 2020-10-26 at 2.14.40 PM.jpeg


NE to Grey Corries main ridge
IMG_0270.JPG


It was about 1.30 we started our descent which allowed three and a half hours to be back at the road end for 5.00 where Pete would be waiting to take Ian to FW to catch his bus home. The ascent had taken four and a half hours so three and a half was possible but it made more sense for fleet of foot Ian to go on ahead to make sure. So off he galloped and was soon out of sight. He reached the car park at 4.30 where Pete was already waiting and delivered him to the bus station in time for Ian to get food before his journey home. Pete then returned to meet me and Keira. So big thanks to Pete for all the ferrying up and down Glen Nevis he did that day.

The descent was without incident, no more slips or interaction with sheep or puddles and the views were lovely.

West from SCM summit
IMG_0268.JPG


Keira checking out the bealach lochan
IMG_0273c.JPG


Descent towards pointed top of Binnein Mor
IMG_0275c.JPG


Glimpse of Ben Nevis (zoomed)
IMG_0276c.JPG


An Gearanach and Glen Nevis
IMG_0277c.JPG


By the time we reached the meadow at Steall Falls Roger was away ahead. Several groups of people were wandering around, making it feel really busy. Two young Asian girls were standing looking at the falls then started back along the path just behind us. I instinctively stood to one side and said they should go ahead as they'd be quicker than us old things (or words to that effect). They said they had been watching us and had said they hoped when they were "that age" they would still be doing stuff like this. No idea what vast age they thought we were, but that made us smile.

So that's how we climbed the most westerly Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis and now all I've got to do is work out how to claim the one that remains, Stob Coire an Laoigh. Back along the same route (and a bit further) from Glen Nevis or by the normal descent route from the ridge that goes to road with pot-holes I'm not supposed to drive along? That is the question.
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3779
Munros:232   Corbetts:58
Grahams:18   
Sub 2000:28   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:05 pm

That's a fine route in from Glen Nevis and looked like a crackin' day. Though I haven't been in for a couple of years the potholed track past Corriechoille is fine if you have a normal car. Don't take your Ferrari in there though! :shock:
For the hill you want to climb there is another option. There is a car park in off the road opposite the Highbridge turn off just past Spean Bridge that I have used. There are tracks, paths and cycle paths through the Leanachan Forest that you can link up with the Walkhighlands descent route. The WH descent route is great and takes a cunning path through the debris of the forest lower down. I have only used it once and I remember it was a long haul coming down after a long day but fairly straightforward. Here is the route you could have a look at, but loads of options through the forest initially, and there is always the chance of some forestry work going on. Maybe someone has been there more recently?
All the best. :D


New_Route (24).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

User avatar
Sunset tripper
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Nov 3, 2013
Location: Inverness

Re: Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:17 pm

Thank you for a lovely day and for writing it up :clap: :clap: I was so glad to have the opportunity to walk this route with you, since you gave me the idea and chances to meet up were so rare last year, not that this year is looking good so far :( .

I was going to suggest the route that Sunset Tripper has given, the tracks through the forest are very well signposted so it should prove a rewarding route. :D :D
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 1038
Munros:264   Corbetts:18
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:19
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis

Postby Graeme D » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:37 pm

Lovely report and pictures, including the canine variety. I cannot wait until I can do this sort of thing with Luna. We are both straining at the leash! In "normal" circumstances, my mind would now be turning to planning big days with her over the coming spring months and kick starting her hill walking career in earnest! I'm still trying to do that but with that familiar dread of not knowing whether they will come to fruition.
User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3648
Munros:225   Corbetts:109
Grahams:66   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis

Postby dogplodder » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:38 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:
For the hill you want to climb there is another option. There is a car park in off the road opposite the Highbridge turn off just past Spean Bridge that I have used. There are tracks, paths and cycle paths through the Leanachan Forest that you can link up with the Walkhighlands descent route. The WH descent route is great and takes a cunning path through the debris of the forest lower down. I have only used it once and I remember it was a long haul coming down after a long day but fairly straightforward. Here is the route you could have a look at, but loads of options through the forest initially, and there is always the chance of some forestry work going on. Maybe someone has been there more recently?



Thanks ST that's a great suggestion and thanks for the map too. This idea appeals a lot and all we need now is longer daylight and a lifting in travel restrictions which hopefully will come together nicely. :wink: No harm in dreaming... 8)
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3779
Munros:232   Corbetts:58
Grahams:18   
Sub 2000:28   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:29 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Thank you for a lovely day and for writing it up :clap: :clap: I was so glad to have the opportunity to walk this route with you, since you gave me the idea and chances to meet up were so rare last year, not that this year is looking good so far :( .

I was going to suggest the route that Sunset Tripper has given, the tracks through the forest are very well signposted so it should prove a rewarding route. :D :D


It looks a fine route and Moira and I have a tentative plan to try it once the days are longer. Here's hoping.... :-P
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3779
Munros:232   Corbetts:58
Grahams:18   
Sub 2000:28   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis

Postby dogplodder » Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:00 pm

Graeme D wrote:Lovely report and pictures, including the canine variety. I cannot wait until I can do this sort of thing with Luna. We are both straining at the leash! In "normal" circumstances, my mind would now be turning to planning big days with her over the coming spring months and kick starting her hill walking career in earnest! I'm still trying to do that but with that familiar dread of not knowing whether they will come to fruition.


I'm sure it won't be long before you have her up her first big hill and she'll love it! Ben Chonzie's not too far from you? The last time we were in Crieff I was going to take Keira up Auchnafree Hill which I've not done but there are signs everywhere saying dogs much be kept on lead at all times which I can understand if landowner has had problems with sheep worrying but disappointing if your dog's recall is good. :?
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3779
Munros:232   Corbetts:58
Grahams:18   
Sub 2000:28   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Unexpected Grey Corrie from Glen Nevis

Postby shredder » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:19 pm

That looks a great route and the views from the top are beautiful, well worth the effort it was to get there. :thumbup:
shredder
Walker
 
Posts: 55
Munros:7   Corbetts:1
Islands:22
Joined: Feb 13, 2012

8 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Brucebob, Craggy Craig, frogman219, hindsight, Joyce skinner, karenwebster, Lornab1989, MAH1 and 66 guests