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What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?


Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:39 pm

Route description: The Grey Corries

Munros included on this walk: Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh

Date walked: 17/09/2020

Distance: 17.2 km

Ascent: 1385m

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When I saw the Met Office forecast of sun and cloud for the tops of the Grey Corries I assumed it meant high clouds occasionally masking the sun, but overall good visibility. Wrong, but delightfully so :D :D . What it meant was lovely sunny conditions with ground fog emerging from the corries and gently cloaking the tops before evaporating - then repeating, until mid afternoon. Fantastic conditions for an autumn walk.

Given all the Covid restrictions of 2020 our holiday travel plans had evaporated too, so in mid September we treated ourselves to a few days staying in small hotels and B&Bs to tackle hills that are further away than an easy day trip from the east end of the Black Isle. Our first targets were three of the Grey Corries (Stob Ban having been climbed as a singleton a few years earlier).

A few days before this trip I'd got involved in a local issue of interest to the local paper so the evening before our walk I was involved in a flurry of email exchanges with a friend at home that I thought would provide the journalist with all the information that was needed from me. Wrong again :roll:

We started out following the WH route for these hills parking at the lower of the two small car parks passed Corriechoille with its lichen encrusted signpost
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before stopping to add to the multitude of photos of this wee man.
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As we headed up the slope passing the forestry the first of many waves of mist rolled in,
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but I had hope that the Met Office would prove right and visibility from the summits would be good.

Higher up as things were looking better
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Now as cameras on phones have got better I've abandoned carrying a camera and just use my phone, which is how I came to check my email on a refreshment stop. The consequence was a second flurry of email exchanges this time with a journalist on the Ross-shire Journal as we made our way up the slopes. Can I really say this slowed us down? Yes, but if I'm honest taking multiple photos of the amazing atmospheric changes didn't help either, (nor my general slowness but we won't mention that :shock: :shock: ).

Aonach Mor appearing through the mist
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Looking towards Stob Coire na Ceannain
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Mist filled corries
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Stob Coire na Ceannain and its lochain
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The arret leading onto Stob Choire Claurigh
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By the time we reached the ridge heading up to Stob Choire Claurigh I'd lost connectivity but fortunately had sent the journalist enough information for the story that appeared in the paper a week later. Now all I needed to do was focus on the photography :roll: :roll: , oh and walk a bit further.

Once past the arret and we headed up to the first munro of the day
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At the top we were met with superb views and two walkers we'd met on the first part of the walk but who had included Stob Ban in their round. By the time we met up on the top of Stob Choire Claurigh they were on their 2nd Munro and we were on our first - so we'd moved fast then :lol: :lol: .

Did I mention the views?
Sgurr Innes tucked away on the left with the Easains
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The western Mamores being caressed by mist
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Looking west towards the Aonachs and the Ben
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Summit oldies
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(Sometimes I think I include these pics to convince myself that I was there :shock: )

We treated ourselves to a lazy lunch before heading off along the path to our next goal - but who in their right mind would want to hurry this route?
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The immense whaleback of Aonach Mor, looking like the biggest wave on a wild ocean of rock
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Looking into Coire Cath na Sine
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And north west towards Coire na Lochan
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The crags on the way to Stob Coire Cath na Sine
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Heading towards Caisteal and the mist comes back
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Grey corries ridge
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Heading up Caisteal
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Quick breather :wink:
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Looks like a gateway to a short cut; not one I'd like to take
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Crags heading up to Stob Coire an Laoigh
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... and close up
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Looking back at the route we'd walked
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with Stob Ban on the right, with the Easains in the centre.

Heading for the summit of Stob Coire an Laoigh
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From the summit we could see the Ben being kissed by gentle clouds
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The Mamores were misty
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and Sgurr Choinnich Mor had its own wee crown
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We had a food break and a "conference" about our next moves. Really we'd taken our time to enjoy doing these two Munros so did we really have time to go on to Sgurr Choinnich Mor then make our way back to Stob Coire Easain then back down, knowing we'd have to negotiate forest paths in the growing darkness and possibly miss the limited time for serving food at the the hotel where we were staying (Covid restrictions)? There was no real argument, we knew that if we went on to Sgurr Choinnich Mor we'd be under a lot of time pressure so, rather than spoil what so far had been a wonderful day, we opted to come off the ridge after Stob Coire Easain and head back. But even as we decided this a cunning plan was forming ...

Leaving Stob Coire an Laoigh for Stob Coire Easain
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It was a gentle walk to the next peak where I took the opportunity to get a short of the hill we weren't going to do.
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At the top of Stob Coire Easain we met a couple from Fort William who kindly took this photo
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which featured in a Christmas jigsaw entitled Escaping Lockdown 2020
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(kindly created by our son and his fiancé who feature in the jigsaw too)

The couple from Fort William regaled us with wonderful tales of having the big hills to themselves during lockdown, not that we were jealous of course :o . They too were weighing up whether to continue to Sgurr Choinnich Mor or like us leave early, after a rest break at the top they chose to come off and caught us up just as I slipped into to boggy puddle and let rip with some choice words :oops: :oops:

The route down was very straight forward, although it got very wet (as did we :shock: ) on the final slope down to the forestry. The path through the forest starts out rough and wet, but once it meets the forestry track it's easy walking. I must admit I was apprehensive about the last part as can I find navigating forest routes tricky but this was really well signposted and we were soon back at the start of a wonderful walk.

And the cunning plan ,,, well some time ago Dogplodder had said she fancied doing the two western Grey Corries from Glen Nevis, perhaps this could be the basis of a joint operation :lol: :lol: . It was and lead to another great day, you can read Kathleen's report at
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=102877

As for the news from the hills ... I was very satisfied with the outcome :D :D
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Huff_n_Puff
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Re: What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

Postby Grisu » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:05 pm

What a nice report and lovely pictures - it hardly couldn't be better with the mixture of sun and mist!
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Grisu
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Re: What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

Postby Graeme D » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:10 pm

That's my kind of jigsaw! :D These are amazing mountains and I never tire of seeing pictures of them looking resplendent on days like this one. Thanks for sharing! :clap:
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Re: What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

Postby dogplodder » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:30 pm

Your phone camera takes very good photos. I love the mist filled corries one and Mamores in mist one, but to be honest they're all stunning. :clap:

So glad you didn't include SCM or I'd have missed out on a great day a few weeks later!. 8)
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Re: What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:40 pm

Grisu wrote:What a nice report and lovely pictures - it hardly couldn't be better with the mixture of sun and mist!


Thank you - definitely one of our most memorable hill days this year, although under the circumstances they have all become special :D :D
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Posts: 1061
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Re: What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:43 pm

Graeme D wrote:That's my kind of jigsaw! :D These are amazing mountains and I never tire of seeing pictures of them looking resplendent on days like this one. Thanks for sharing! :clap:


When you can't get out on the hills doing a jigsaw of them has its compensations :lol: :lol: Definitely agree about these mountains being amazing.
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Huff_n_Puff
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Posts: 1061
Munros:271   Corbetts:19
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Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:1   Islands:19
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:51 pm

dogplodder wrote:Your phone camera takes very good photos. I love the mist filled corries one and Mamores in mist one, but to be honest they're all stunning. :clap:

So glad you didn't include SCM or I'd have missed out on a great day a few weeks later!. 8)


Thanks, these conditions must be peculiar to the Grey Corries, a few days later on a crystal clear day in the Glen Orchy Hills we could see mist clinging to the tops of the Grey Corries, seen below on the right :D :D

Image
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Re: What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

Postby Anne C » Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:38 am

Wonderful read and what gorgeous photos! :clap: A bit of rising mist (as long as it doesn't hang around TOO long :roll:) makes for such a great atmosphere.
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Re: What news from the Mist Covered Mountains?

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:49 pm

Anne C wrote:Wonderful read and what gorgeous photos! :clap: A bit of rising mist (as long as it doesn't hang around TOO long :roll:) makes for such a great atmosphere.

Thanks Anne, I agree a bit of well trained mist is a joy :lol: :lol:
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