At last I managed to fix up a climb with Big Jesper, who had just about got all his 10K runs out the way. He came up with the idea of doing a couple of the Mamores, Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean. Weather looked a bit iffy, but with some possibility of avoiding rain, it seemed like too good a chance to miss. After a bit of hard negotiating I managed to get the start from Mid Argyll delayed by a whole 15 minutes, to 5.45 am!
Within a couple of hours we were getting on the gear in the car park at Polldubh - coin meter not working, whether by design, or accident? A quick glance at the falls by the bridge, then through the gate, south onto the path which heads into the glen, alongside the Allt Coire a'Mhusgain.
Having gone through a lightly wooded area, you ought to make sure you catch the path as it hooks round to zig-zag more steeply, NE up the slopes of Sgurr a' Mhaim, then southerly again, round Coire a' Mhusgain. Then comes into view the more impressive, steep approach towards Stob Ban. It didn't seem particularly taxing to this point, but we must have gained a good height up to here. Unfortunately, the top was covered in cloud, but we hoped optimistically for an opening, as we headed onto the now rocky, steepening slopes. It was a bit tricky here and there, occassionally requiring a minor bit of a scramble, across rocks, but nothing your granny couldn't handle.
A brief break in the cloud showed us Loch Leven and the Aonach Eagach ridge to the south and down Glen Nevis, but all too soon, it was swallowed up, as we turned onto the summit, taking just under the two hours. Time only for a photo or two, some coffee and grub, as the light rain added to the chilly, biting cold wind. After a quick bearing and identifying the way off by the north ridge, we set off down the rocky trail, which then levels off into a more pleasant walk round the edge of the corries. Well, it would have been more pleasant had the wind not frozen our hands and my lugs. And, just watch, there are the odd steep drops along the route!
From here we could now see the contrasting white quartz of Stob Ban, against the now red granite slopes of Coire Dearg. Geology lesson over, as we soon reached the second summit, as indicated by the massive cairn of Mullach nan Coirean. Lots of stone around, so I had to add my wee bit to it. I think it took about another hour between the summits. By now it was starting to clear and now warmer as gloves and jacket also took effect. Before long we were starting to sweat, as we made our way down the stony ridge in a northerly direction, towards the forest of Glen Nevis.
A further walk through the felled trees, onto the forest road, then down through more trees, alongside another burn, took us out at Achriabhach, onto the main road, then a hundred yards or so, back to the car park to enjoy a rest and some wonderful views! All in all, a great trip, despite the lack of visibility at the top, taking us about 4h 40m.
Must add that we really enjoyed our wee pint, some grub and braw view at the Creagan Inn!
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