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Grey Corries, Great Curves

Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:54 pm

Route description: The Grey Corries

Munros included on this walk: Sgùrr Chòinnich Mòr, Stob Bàn (Grey Corries), Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh

Date walked: 26/10/2013

Time taken: 9.33 hours

Distance: 27.3 km

Ascent: 2007m

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This weekend was meant to see us tackle the grey corries and the aonachs, but weather forecasts through the week didn't seem exactly promising - winds in the region of 60mph and heavy rain for saturday and worse for sunday :roll: I did think about calling off the hills altogether, but that isn't the way of the weasel, so with some apprehension we set off on friday afternoon to brave it out in a tent in the Bunroy campsite in Roybridge. A thoroughly miserable drive up in darkness and heavy rain seemed to set the tone for what was to come...

Up early on Saturday morning and off along a seriously suspension-challenging track to the parking space past coire choille farm. Unsure of how bad the weather was going to get I reckoned it would be best to head round anti-clockwise so that we could cut Stob Ban out if necessary. Buzzard perched in skeletal dead tree as we left the car. Along through the woodland, choosing to disregard the signs prohibiting access as there were "forest works" going on - the workers were not out of their beds yet :)

P1040924 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040925 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sickly Child had obviously had sleeping pills for her breakfast as she laboured up the steady slopes of Beinn na Socaich with the velocity of a sedated snail (makes a change from me being the zombie last weekend :lol: ), so I had some time to sit and take some snaps of the impressive corries over on Aonach Mor.

P1040927 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040928 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking back down our ascent route, little fluffy cloud in sight, but where's sick kid?
P1040929 by 23weasels, on Flickr

As we headed up the hill we could see the first top of Stob Coire Easain ahead. Weather so far had been better than expected, but clag awaited ahead. Grabbed a snap of the ridge from Easain to Laoigh in case we didn't see any more of it :lol:

P1040933 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040934 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There's some narrow scrambly bits from the top of Easain down to Bealach coire Easain. Our progress was complicated by very slippy wet quartzite rocks and a mix of drizzle and clag which made me reach for my goggles - maybe loooked daft but at least I could see. They stayed on for most of the day.

P1040937 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040939 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The route to Sgurr Choinnich Mor wended its way across moss and rocks, terminating in a shapely peak. On the way we came across a deep cleft in the quartz which would be troublesome should one walk across it when covered by snow :shock:

P1040944 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040953 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040945 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040948 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Down below the clag let through a view of the Coire Eoin with the Allt coire an Eoin shining like a ribbon of silver.
P1040949 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The path from the summit continued down to Stob Choinnich Beag and looked like you could head onto Aonach Beag from there - would be a good route to follow to do the 4 corries and the aonachs if one had 2 cars.

Returning along the ridge after an early lunch in a wind-sheltered spot, the clag had largely lifted and we could see Stob Coire an Laoigh up ahead.

P1040952 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking up to the north, the clouds had lifted enough to reveal a succession of peaks heading off into infinity
P1040956 by 23weasels, on Flickr

while looking back to Sgurr Choinnich the sun poked a finger of celestial light onto the lower slopes of what was becoming an increasingly glamourous hill as we walked round it

P1040960 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The pull back up to Stob coire Easain was much easier than the descent, partly because we could see properly and partly because food and coffee had re-animated the sickly one. Turn east at the top and onto the ridge towards Stob Coire Laoigh.
P1040961 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We also got a good view over Beinn na Socaich, outlining the way we'd come up...
P1040962 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back to Sgurr Choinnich and beyond
P1040965 by 23weasels, on Flickr

To the south, shafts of sunlight burst through clouds, illuminating the Mamores

P1040967 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040968 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sick kid at the top of Laoigh - Number 170 for her
P1040970 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The ridge continues to Caisteal, passing some strange rocks that look as if the roads department have been up here marking double white lines...
P1040973 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040975 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Some sharp drops over to the north side of the ridge...
P1040977 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The ridge continues on past a couple of tops until Stob Choire Claurigh is reached. On the way we met the only other soul we saw all day, wearing a bicycle helmet. As you do :wink:

P1040982 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040983 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040986 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking back along the ridge
P1040989 by 23weasels, on Flickr

By this time the weather was deteriorating, we were back in clag. But it was only about 2.30 and we had plenty of time left to head down to Stob Ban, which involved a sharp change of direction south from the summit of SCC, picking our way over bogs and rocks. We lost around 250m in the descent to Coire Rath, where we picked up a good path once again.

P1040990 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040992 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Clag precluded the taking of any more photos as we wound our way up any one of the multiple zigzag paths that climb Stob Ban. Up on the summit a swift snap, no views to marvel at so onwards we went.
P1040994 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Still smiling!
P1040995 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The downward path is easy to see and not too hard on the knees.

P1040996 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We could see the Allt na Lairige sinuously threading its way along the valley and, much to our relief, a top notch landrover track which would take us the six or so kilometres back to the car. We paused at the bothy (very inviting and tidy) for a snack bar and ten minute's respite from the weather, then set off at a good pace with the rain on our backs back to the starting point, passing the rather alarming figure of the "wee meenister", who, when approached from this direction looks like he's relieving himself :lol:

P1040997 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1040998 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Very relieved to get back into the car and to shed the waterproofs. had enough light left to negotiate the lunar potholes track back to civilisation. Did think about popping into the Roybridge Hotel for a pint, but there was obviously some kind of function on as the car park was full of coaches & minibuses - when all we wanted was a good pint and an open fire. Back then to the tent and the delights of noodles :wink: We checked the forecast for the next day at the reception office - although the gust windspeed had dropped from 90 to 80mph we still didn't fancy being up on the Aonachs :(

P1050001 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1050002 by 23weasels, on Flickr

After a night of rain with an extra hour due to BST ending we got up quite late, having thought we might nip up something like Beinn Challium on the way back down the road. I was perturbed to see that the day was looking reasonable as we packed up the tent - didn't seem to be much wind at this level and the rain had gone off - maybe we should have done the Aonachs... however the conditions deteriorated steadily as we went down the road. We did stop in the layby by Kirkton farm and thought about doing Challium, but having neither map nor route on the GPS we decided that wasn't a brilliant idea and headed home in torrential rain instead. Probably a good idea, all things considered :D
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby robertphillips » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:24 pm

well done on getting these done despite the poor forecast. :clap: more or less used the same route when I done them.
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby dooterbang » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:38 pm

Another great read.

Pity you didn't have 2 cars as you would have added the other moontins in no problem.

Looking forward to the next adventure :)
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby riverlodge » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:01 pm

this is another great report WM, but it depresses me hugely as it reminds me what i have missed all summer.

my last trek north to bag some hills was at the may bank holiday (when it was still effectively late winter).
i not only had a freezing night in my tent at the lovely bunroy park that you have pictured, but in among my hills i got blizzarded off the grey corries ridge after going up stob ban and claurigh. i recovered and warmed up with some excellent beer and grub at the (heaving) stronlossit (guess i at least have that one over you) but otherwise it just makes me fed up how long it now is between my trips!
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby Silverhill » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:36 pm

Great hills these are. One of my favourite trips! Well done considering the weather. :D Although you still got reasonable views I’d say.
I did them in June in similar conditions (report to follow sometime) and also initially planned to combine them with the Aonachs. But I reckoned the weather would delay me and I would risk missing the bus at Torlundy to get me back to Spean Bridge where I was staying. Also I was slightly apprehensive of ascending to Stob Coire Bealach given the weather. Maybe another time. It would be a tremendous traverse! 8)
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby Collaciotach » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:30 pm

Grand report and decent weather, it has been relatively grim here in the West last two week's .

Did these in October 2 yrs back ,night in the bothy and round by Stob Ban first ,great hills but the walk out along the puggy line was murder after a long day so wise choice of direction :D
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby SMRussell » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:47 pm

Fab! The Grey Corries are stunning and your snaps makes them look exceptional :clap: Great to see smiles despite the clag.
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby Scotjamie » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:03 pm

Great report wm - still to do these so your report and pics help to whet the appetite :clap:
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby PeteR » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:46 pm

Another cracking report Alastair :clap:

Some fantastic photos too of a great, great ridge :D
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Re: Grey Corries, Great Curves

Postby aliceandrew » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:55 pm

Great report, and fantastic photos, did these bad boys a few years ago now in heavy wind and rain.
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