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The Eastern Mamores & Outliers

The Eastern Mamores & Outliers

Postby mountain coward » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:17 am

Munros included on this walk: Binnein Beag, Binnein Mor, Sgurr Eilde Mor

Date walked: 02/01/2011

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A couple of years ago I was staying at the very nice bunkhouse at Kinlochleven (the one slightly up the hill, not the one by the river). I decided to do the odds and sods of the Mamores, i.e. the ones not part of the main chain; Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag – I also decided to do Binnein Mor as I didn’t feel I could miss out Beag’s big bro!

The route I took crossed the river over the road bridge
Kinlochleven River.jpg
From the road bridge - the route through the woodland goes up the left of the ridge ahead
and then passed by the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall
Kinlochleven Mare's Tail.jpg
and uphill through a very pretty woodland. It was a really hot day and I probably didn’t set off until 10am so was really feeling the climb up here. As I came out of the woods I sat down on a hump to zip off my trouser bottoms to cool down. This enabled most of me to cool down... except my bum which was suddenly on fire! Of course, what had I done? sat on an anthill to change! This necessitated finding a burn and sitting in it to cool off and neutralise the acid!

I was soon on my way again and met the landrover track coming from Mamore Lodge which I followed to Loch Eilde Mor. I then found the faint track which climbs up to the little lochan in Coire an Lochan between Sgurr Eildes Mor and Beag. This final parts of the track to the lochan and its pretty little bealach had some lovely little waterfalls and the pass itself is very atmospheric. Sgurr Eilde Beag towers above you on the left, you can see Binnein Beag poking up sharply in the gap, and Sgurr Eilde Mor rises steeply up on your immediate right.
Mamores,Sgurr Eilde Mor1.jpg
Across the lochan is a great view of Binnein Mor.
Mamores,Binnein Mor.jpg

I passed the lochan on its south side on a small grassy ridge and set off up the south ridge of Sgurr Eilde Mor. This is quite a steep climb and about half way up gets very rocky indeed. There is no walking to be had – you clamber up boulders the whole way from there – luckily they’re quite secure. As with all steep climbs, it’s not long before you reach the summit.

There is an extremely steep route down the west ridge but it has a reputation for being quite unpleasantly loose so I decided to go along the long ridge to the north-east and then descend to the north where the fancy took me. In truth, my descent was also steep and loose but was much shorter than the direct west ridge to the loch so wasn’t as intimidating. I still ended up coming down on my bum though in places.

In order to make the most of the various stalkers tracks through and from the bealach, I headed back to the north of the lochan and found the track which zigzags down below the first of the NE ridges of Binnein Mor and heads straight for Beag. The path rises back up again from a burn and contours round to the lochan at the foot of Binnein Beag. This is a really pretty lochan and makes for great photos of the mountain.
Mamores,Binnein Beag.jpg

I’d been dreading Binnein Beag ever since I’d seen it’s ferocious looking scree cone from the Grey Corries and studied the maps – there didn’t look to be any way up it which avoided my pet hate of steep scree. When I approached it from this side however, there was a small narrowish ridge leading up directly from the lochan which wasn’t as steep. I set off up it and it turned out to be completely okay – a really nice route with (several) paths up it and pretty firm underfoot – it is also a very short and effortless ascent. The summit is a cute little place with great views all round, especially of the Grey Corries and the Water of Nevis. Binnein Mor also looks super from there (as it does from most angles really).

I descended the same ridge and headed past the little lochan to the corrie between the NE and North ridges of Binnein Mor. This corrie had a couple of minute lochans and, although it looked really grassy, is quite stony underfoot. I headed for a little path I could see rising up diagonally onto the side of the north ridge. This took a great line up to the ridge with the least effort (probably another stalkers path). The ridge at first was quite easy but steepened considerably towards the end of the summit ridge.

I reached the summit ridge and, either I had sunstroke or was exceedingly tired (I think it was the latter – I’d been going pretty fast all the way and don’t really have breaks). Anyway, the ridge consists of quartzite blocks and is relatively narrow and this was the point where I started to stagger badly, nearly going off one side or the other a couple of times, especially when I dropped my lens cap down the side and had to retrieve it.
Mamores,Binnein Mor ridge.jpg

Luckily I made it to the end of the ridge where it becomes quite a bit wider and it gently makes its way to the south summit.
Mamores,Binnein Mor fm S Peak.jpg
Mamores,Sgurr Eildes fm Binnein S top.jpg
From there all I had to do was the descent back to Kinlochleven – a descent which turned out to be surprisingly long. First of all, the descent heads to the SW termination of the ridge – officially classed as Sgurr Eilde Beag although there isn’t really much of a rise or summit, just a cairn.
Mamores,Sgurr Eilde Mor.jpg
Mamores,Binnein Mor fm Sgurr Eilde Beag.jpg
From there you follow a well-engineered zigzag (another stalkers path I would think) which takes you down the extremely steep side of Sgurr Eilde Beag and back to the lochan on the first bealach. This path then turns and continues down to the landrover track at about the point where it crosses the track back down to the woodland and Kinlochleven, its pubs and my tea.
Last edited by mountain coward on Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
mountain coward

Re: The Eastern Mamores & Outliers

Postby Papagenos » Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:54 am

This is a great route and you get a real feeling of remoteness when you walk it. You were right to avoid the scree slopes on Sgurr Eilde Mor they are not pleasant to descend.
Mountain Walker
Posts: 56
Munros:44   Corbetts:11
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:26
Joined: Jun 29, 2008
Location: Kinlochleven

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