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When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores


Postby Mountainlove » Mon May 27, 2013 3:54 pm

Route description: Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag, Mamores

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

Date walked: 25/05/2013

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 19.4 km

Ascent: 1866m

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There are days which are simply perfect in mountain climbing terms and unfortunately (or maybe just as well), there are not many, which makes some days just stand out from the rest.
The plan to climb Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag goes back 2 years. At that time I had planned to walk the 10 Mamores in day , but had to give up after reaching Nr 8 (Binnein Mor) :( :( :(
The main reason for giving up was the fact that it was getting dark and I had no head torch with me (you live and learn). I was however really annoyed about it :evil: :evil:
A year after, I had a second attempt well equipped that time, but what I did not realized at the time was how much snow was still left on top of the hills which made me too slow (second lesson learned - check webcams) Apart from cramming as many hills in as possible that day , I called it a day after re-visiting the first 3 Munros again. Something was definitely teaching me a lesson, or wanted me to visit the last two alone.

It would take another year until I finally decided to finish the Munro range via the Kinlochleven route.
I set off at 9:30 during one of the nicest days so far this year. I had printed out the walk description, but after the first few minutes realized that there were no red waymarks to be seen. :?: :?: Instead there were 2 signs. One leading towards the 'Grey Mares Waterfall' and the second one to 'Loch Eilde Path'. As far as I knew from map, the path would lead high above the loch, so I guessed that was the right way. I continued on the lovely path and soon saw the first glimpses of the stunning views down Kinlochleven.
I am not sure if I missed a cutoff , but after about 20min the path lead towards the houses in the valley???

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Start of the walk

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The new sign

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The first part of the walk

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The walk up Creagan Sgiathan which is the little hill on the right


I stopped and saw another faint path leading up the hill. Shrugging my shoulders I followed that one, but after a few minute the path turned into a deer track. Mmmm I digged out the GPS to check were I was
and soon discovered I was in the middle of nowhere (ARGH) I could have turned back, but checking the map, all I had to do was to climb up Creagan Sgiathan to my left and reach the path again - easy!
Cursing myself I climbed up the hill and crossed a boulder field which was a bad move. I could have walked around it (but was too lazy) and as a thanks left over brambles from last year cut my legs to shred...(at least sniffer dogs would have to problem to find me)

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The walk up...there is an easier way around it!

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Lovely views towards Kinlochleven

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Finally the path


I reached the top of the hill above the tree line and a deep gorge was the next obstacle between me and the path. I did not fancy the crossing so checking the map again I decided to walk alongside of it until it narrowed out. It was a good move as I found another faint path, which eventually joined the original path close to the off cut up the hill.
From there it was easy and with some breaks I reached the lochans after 2.5h.

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Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag


The views up there were simply stunning and I have to say that Sgurr Eilde Mor is one of my favorite mountains right now. The mountain which seem to rise from the loch, is just picture perfect and I found it hard to drag myself away. Even though I was keen to climb it , the suggestion to climb Binnein Beag first made sense. The path is easy to follow and I made good time and the bouldery top wasn't half as bad as I expected it.
Enjoying the views towards Ben Nevis and the Mamores made me think back about the past time I stood at the top of Binnein Mor (tired and with the treat of approaching darkness) and for the first time I was glad, that I did not had time to climb the last two at the time. The views and area is so beautiful and in my opinion they should not be rushed (third lesson taught by the Mamores)

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Panorama views across the Mamores and Ben Nevis from Binnein Beag

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Binnein Mor

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Me

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Binnein Beag



The freezing wind soon made me leave the summit and return my steps to climb the last hill of the Mamores.
As much as I like Sgurr Eilde Mor as a mountain, the path up is horrendous. There is scree and there is scree...but the drama which one is supposed to climb to reach the top of Sgurr Eilde Mor is something else.
On the plus side, the slide down (walking is pretty impossible) is rather easy on the sand like texture of the steep path. The views the Mamores give you are some of the best in Scotland and my last Munro did not disappoint me.

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Creise and the Buachaille

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Towards the east and Schiehallion

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Panorama views from Binnein Beag

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Hard to beat views down the lochan

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Sgurr Eilde Mor

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Sgurr Eilde Mor



Even though I would have liked to stay longer, I had to get back and on my walk down, I was determent to find the right path this time. I knew there are 2 options and I opted for the wide track, which would lead me to the stone bench.
Shortly after the bench you will see a gate which you will have to cross and make your way down to Kinlochleven. The path is lovely, but the last bit reminded me about the scree on top of Sgurr Eilde Mor. A complete nightmare and at the end I was glad to have missed that path at the start, as in hinsight the path I took was much easier.

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Bench with a view

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The hill (Creagan Sgiathan) I walked up in the morning

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Bluebell

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The forrest

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The grey mares fall in the distance
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Mountainlove
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon May 27, 2013 4:26 pm

Great report, sounds like you had quite an adventure, glad to hear I am not the only one who wanders off the beaten track :wink:
A GPS is next on my shopping list :)
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby Belgian_Hiker » Mon May 27, 2013 8:04 pm

Mountainlove - are you sure that's pictures of Scotland with all that sun and blue sky ?
Great pictures - thanks for sharing !

Hope the weather is that that when I'm over next month....
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby Mountainlove » Mon May 27, 2013 8:14 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Great report, sounds like you had quite an adventure, glad to hear I am not the only one who wanders off the beaten track :wink:
A GPS is next on my shopping list :)


Many thanks :) Oh trust me even with a GPS one can wander off beaten tracks...but thats all fun isnt it? :D

Belgian_Hiker wrote:Mountainlove - are you sure that's pictures of Scotland with all that sun and blue sky ?
Great pictures - thanks for sharing !
Hope the weather is that that when I'm over next month....

It feels like it was the 3rd day this year with weather like that...from what I read online (if one can believe it) it looks promising for June (fingers crossed!!!) 8)
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby Tomsie » Mon May 27, 2013 8:26 pm

Glad you had the gps to gget you back on track.
Forrest photo is nice.
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby Bob the Dog » Mon May 27, 2013 8:42 pm

A great report and your photos really do the scenery justice. Thanks for whetting my appetite for this area.
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby MarilynMunro » Mon May 27, 2013 9:06 pm

wonderful set of pics, and what weather. Thought I might have been the only one who aimlessly wandered around at the start of this walk. Thanks for sharing
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby coachmacca » Mon May 27, 2013 9:29 pm

MarilynMunro wrote:wonderful set of pics, and what weather. Thought I might have been the only one who aimlessly wandered around at the start of this walk. Thanks for sharing


I always find the hardest bit of navigation on any walk is the first bit finding the start of the bloody track :lol:
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby rockhopper » Mon May 27, 2013 9:37 pm

Cracking day for this trip and a great set of photos esp up by the lochans ! Would fully agree with you on the Sgurr Eilde Mor scree - like taking "three steps forward and slipping two back" on the ascent. Think I'll need to go back some time - saw nothing on my trip up here :roll: - cheers :)
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby Clach Liath » Mon May 27, 2013 9:45 pm

What a great day you had! :D And even better pics. :clap: Thanks
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby PeteR » Mon May 27, 2013 9:55 pm

That view down to the lochan is a stunner :D Remember my trip on these hills - I could have just sat and looked down on the water for hours :D
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby Meatball » Mon May 27, 2013 10:13 pm

I enjoyed that!
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby SusieThePensioner » Tue May 28, 2013 12:14 pm

Loved your report and, those photos are just fabulous :thumbup: What a great day!! :D
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby Fudgie » Tue May 28, 2013 2:10 pm

You're not the only one who missed that path at the start :oops: :lol:
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Re: When mountains teach you lessons - the eastern Mamores

Postby joekell » Tue May 28, 2013 2:38 pm

Great report and amazing pics certainly put these mountains onto my radar sometimes missing the path is a good option there is times I've nearly went up the wrong hill :? :? :? :lol:
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