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Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Family expedition to the eastern mamores


Postby mrssanta » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:24 pm

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

Date walked: 20/07/2013

Distance: 25 km

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It's a couple of weeks since we did this expedition on our way to Granny's house in Islay for our summer hols, but I forgot the cable for my camera so couldn't get any pictures off it till I got home.

eastern mamores.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


This was a family get together involving me, Rudolph, Coldwetandhungry, our number 2 son (age 19) and my wee sis whose username on here is Shish. We drove up to Shish's house in the Borders and stayed overnight on friday night; with a leisurely start and a good breakfast of bacon and eggs in the morning it was 11am before we were away.
The traffic was pretty awful up through Perthshire and pretty much nose to tail from Doune to Callander which took us an hour. Of course we had planned a stop in the Real Food cafe for lunch and so it was 5pm before we reached the car park at Kinlochleven ready to head for the hills, and it was still hot hot hot.
We had read that various people had struggled to find the correct path out of Kinlochleven and we were no exception! at one point we found ourselves walking in a Southerly direction (following Rudolph - I assumed he knows the way to everywhere, it's his job isn't it?)
P7201108.jpg
the Classic Shot down loch Leven after about an hour of struggling through bracken on a steep slope

Anyway we found ourselves on a path through high bracken which soon petered out and we could see we were not too far from the path we wanted but with a deep gorge in the way. It was slow and hot going with very little usable water although through beautiful meadow with lovely wildflowers and clegs galore!
P7201110.jpg
meadow and number 2 son

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cotton grass and bog asphodel and a view into coire na ba.

Eventually we found ourselves at the top of the gorge and able to regain the correct path, after which going was better, and the views south to the Glencoe hills were smashing.
P7201122.jpg
Maybe we should change her username from coldwetandhungry to hotandbothered

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evening sun on the big bookle

P7201133.jpg
CWH eating a flapjack with part of the Aonach Eagach and the Pap of Glencoe just visible in the haze

With plenty of stops for rest and splashing ourselves with water we eventually rounded the corner in to Coire an Lochan to look for a camp spot.
P7201137.jpg
tranquillity

You would think from the map that there would be good spots to camp at the south side of the loch, but in fact this area is very lumpy with moraines and rough boulders. However there is plenty of nice flat ground north of the lochans and we camped at about NN224657 with a boys' tent and a girls' tent.
P7201143.jpg
sunset from camp, behind Binnein Beag and the Nevis range behind

We were pretty tired by the time we camped and not really revived by tea so we went to bed slightly concerned that we would not be able to manage four munros the next day and making contingency plans for a shorter walk. However, a good rest and sleep sorted that out and the next morning the heat was not so desperate. We were ready to go for the four with possible escape routes.

It's amazing how much longer it takes to get five people ready than it does two. But anyway we got away from our campsite about 9am following the good stalkers path down into the head of coire a'bhinnein and up to the bealach between the two binneins. Along here we spotted a golden eagle but I'm afraid my camera is not up to taking pictures of such things.
P7211160.jpg
some interesting rock strata on the side of binnein mor

P7211162.jpg
the wee lochan between the binneins, with ben Nevis peeping out

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looking back the way we came, it is just possible to make out our tents in front of the lochan, a red one and a green one

After a top up of the wet buffs in the outflow of the wee lochan it is pretty much straight up Binnein Beag on a steep though reasonable path. It was gorgeous at the top and we had our first lunch here, spending a good bit of time on the top drinking in the views and identifying the surrounding hills.
P7211169.jpg
classic shot of Binnein Mor from Binnein Beag

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Glen Nevis, Ben Nevis, CMD arete and that

P7211176.jpg
summit shot with self timer

P7211189.jpg
classy shot of ben nevis through some bits of grass

Next stop the big one, and the consensus of opinion was that we did not want to go the scrambly way, but preferred the easier route by the north ridge. So we pretty much "did a direct" up to the ridge with no real difficulties although the grassy slope was very steep just before we hit the ridge.
P7211196.jpg
another attempt at a classy shot of grey corries and grass, this time from about NN 214669

P7211203.jpg
a big granite block in the corrie at 213668 made a great place to sit and identify the hills and have a bit of something to eat and drink

After this it was a wonderful open ridge to the summit, which is quite small.
P7211213.jpg
from this point on the north ridge of Binnein Mor, its wee brother looks quite small. But lovely view over to the Easans, Stob Ban and grey corries

P7211214.jpg
Sgurr Eilde Mor on the left, beag on the right, our tents in between, behind is Blackwater Reservoir and in front is the scrambly Sron a' Gharbh-Choire, which we avoided.

P7211217.jpg
Top of Binnein Mor looking south

We didn't hang around so long here, but we all felt we were up for the third Munro, Na Gruagaichean. No problem at all with route finding to this one, but the ridge towards the top has some slightly airy bits where there was a stiff breeze making it a little nerve-wracking for some.
P7211218.jpg
ooh gorgeous ridge from Binnein Mor to Na Gruagaichean, with Aonach Eagach behind, and Bidean behind this.

P7211225.jpg
top of Na Gruagaichean, with four lovely pairs of legs. If this weather holds, I will need to invest in some shorts! Pic by Rudolph

There is an old stalkers path which bypasses the 1062m top to the south and is in sound condition although it would appear to be not much used. It took us right back to the top of the path down to our tents.

After a swim in the small lochan and a cup of tea, the boys and I decided to whizz up and down Sgurr Eilde Mor while shish and cwh had a rest as they did not fancy the loose scree. so that is what we did. It was actually quite difficult in places if you like your feet on Terra Firma, but we made it to the top and back in a little over an hour.
P7211248.jpg
ma boys on sgurr eilde mor

P7211250.jpg
the compulsory shot from Sgurr Eilde Mor down to the lochans

Back at camp we couldnt decide which blow-up meals we each wanted so we just made four and passed them around in a circle, followed by puddings of custard and fruit. Anything would have tasted delicious, it was a beautiful evening and plenty of breeze now to keep the midges at bay.

In the morning we wended our way back down to Kinlochleven, this time there was no trouble at all finding the correct track and after some co-op sandwiches and a lovely drive through Argyll we arrived at Kennacraig for the Islay ferry with an hour to spare. On the way down we met lots of people - DofE groups and people out for walks, in sharp contrast to the very few people we had met on the hills on Sunday - none to talk to and only a couple to wave at from a distance.

So I have now done 111 Munros by the day before my 50th birthday - at this rate I will compleat when I am just 127, you are all invited to the party! I took 189 pictures on this trip, so hard to choose!
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mrssanta
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby Silverhill » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:58 pm

What a lovely family outing you had mrssanta and happy belated birthday! Many thanks for inviting us all to your compleation party in 77 years time. That would be quite cool, your OAP kids and a whole load of (over)centenarians on a hill. :lol:
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:12 am

Fantastic report Mrs S :clap: Looked like a truly memorable outing with four great munros to boot!
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby L-Hiking » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:28 am

Great Stuff Mrs S, I don't think I could persuade my number 2 son up there with me unless he could carry his X Box :lol:

Cheers
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby dooterbang » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:27 am

Fantastic - great way to spend a day with the family.

I read Bods report on this last month and have been itching to do these 4 from Kinlochleven...now sooper itchy!!

Cheers.
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby basscadet » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:07 pm

Oh looked like you had a brilliant time.. :clap: Golden eagles too, sounded amazing! :D

Must get back to these ones.. :? Lucky for me Dougie still has a couple of mamores left to do, so bound to be up there sooner or later 8)
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:07 pm

Lovely, bet you all enjoyed that one. Sounds like you took the path i took when i did a Corbett and Graham up this way. Could see the path but couldn't get to it due to the gorge. It's always nice to find a differant route though. :crazy:
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby soapy27 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:46 pm

Cracking hills these . was up there last week and had an amazing day .Great report and well done to all :clap:
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby rockhopper » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:26 pm

Great trip, mrs s, and looked like you all really enjoyed yourselves ! Long may it reign - my two aren't so keen now..not very cool I gather :roll:

Am also hoping to go back here some time - saw nothing in the clag (despite a decent forecast :o ) - cheers
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:40 pm

Wonderful report Kate. :clap:

Lovely to see your family all out having another adventure together :D :D :D

As for that steep climb up, we took that option too- not a great idea, spent an awful lot of time sliding down :lol: :lol: :lol:

Belated happy birthday greetings XXX
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby Morecambe Monkey » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:05 pm

A smashing report on possibly my favourite area. Sounds like you took the same 'route' up through the bracken as i did back in May! What a great way to spend a family weekend. :)
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:15 pm

Good stuff , children take them up the hill , tis good for them :D
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby ChrisW » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:00 am

Lovely to see a family out there together Mrs S, not sure I'll be around to make the party for your completion :lol: Great choice of photos from the available pool :wink:
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby mrssanta » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:46 pm

Silverhill wrote:What a lovely family outing you had mrssanta and happy belated birthday! Many thanks for inviting us all to your compleation party in 77 years time. That would be quite cool, your OAP kids and a whole load of (over)centenarians on a hill. :lol:

Thanks. I'm kinda hoping to speed up a bit and compleat before I am completely past it!
johnkaysleftleg wrote:Fantastic report Mrs S :clap: Looked like a truly memorable outing with four great munros to boot!

Indeed was a superb trip don't get views like that every day
L-Hiking wrote:Great Stuff Mrs S, I don't think I could persuade my number 2 son up there with me unless he could carry his X Box :lol:

Cheers

He was very patient with us slow girls. Number one son wouldn't be seen dead up a hill with us.
dooterbang wrote:Fantastic - great way to spend a day with the family.

I read Bods report on this last month and have been itching to do these 4 from Kinlochleven...now sooper itchy!!

Cheers.

Get yourself up there Dooter, just get the right path first time though!
basscadet wrote:Oh looked like you had a brilliant time.. :clap: Golden eagles too, sounded amazing! :D

Must get back to these ones.. :? Lucky for me Dougie still has a couple of mamores left to do, so bound to be up there sooner or later 8)

We have one Mamore left at the other end, but I'd happily do these again
Johnny Corbett wrote:Lovely, bet you all enjoyed that one. Sounds like you took the path i took when i did a Corbett and Graham up this way. Could see the path but couldn't get to it due to the gorge. It's always nice to find a differant route though. :crazy:

Good to see some competent folk have made the same mistake.
soapy27 wrote:Cracking hills these . was up there last week and had an amazing day .Great report and well done to all :clap:

Thanks Soapy. Can see why so many folk love these ones.
rockhopper wrote:Great trip, mrs s, and looked like you all really enjoyed yourselves ! Long may it reign - my two aren't so keen now..not very cool I gather :roll:

Am also hoping to go back here some time - saw nothing in the clag (despite a decent forecast :o ) - cheers

Not cool at all, but cheaper than going to Granny's by train and bus, and more fun than staying home alone!
pollyh33 wrote:Wonderful report Kate. :clap:

Lovely to see your family all out having another adventure together :D :D :D

As for that steep climb up, we took that option too- not a great idea, spent an awful lot of time sliding down :lol: :lol: :lol:

Belated happy birthday greetings XXX

Thanks Pauline, was especially good to have my sister's company, and makes the other lot better behaved!
Its not too bad being old, hope you have something good planned for yours. Xx
Morecambe Monkey wrote:A smashing report on possibly my favourite area. Sounds like you took the same 'route' up through the bracken as i did back in May! What a great way to spend a family weekend. :)

Oh I'm sure it's the route all the best people take, why be conventional?,
Collaciotach wrote:Good stuff , children take them up the hill , tis good for them :D

That's what my mum always said, she was right after all!
ChrisW wrote:Lovely to see a family out there together Mrs S, not sure I'll be around to make the party for your completion :lol: Great choice of photos from the available pool :wink:

Aww never mind, we'll have to manage without you :(
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Re: Family expedition to the eastern mamores

Postby shish » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:31 pm

Oo, it's taken me ages to get on here and say summat.
A fine report Mrs Santa, but you forgot the amazing dragon flies, each one a different set of colours, and even up to the highest lochans.
...and the divers in the lochan we camped beside. I'm sure they were breeding birds, just one pair, and what a haunting noise they made in the gloaming. I hope they didn't mind us being there. At least we were way round the other side of the loch.

Doesn't Rudolf always go South when he sets off on a journey? :lol:

It was great to be on this expedition with my lovely sis and her equally lovely family, so here's to many more! :D
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