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Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban


Postby AndyHall » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:30 am

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr a'Mhaim, Stob Ban (Mamores)

Date walked: 04/03/2010

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 9 km

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It felt like every morning at the end of February had been spent heading into work in Inverness looking North and West to the snow covered hills, brilliant white against the clear blue sky... just what you need to motivate you for a day in the office... Weekends would come round and bring low cloud, wind and yet another huge dump of snow.

March began and the same scene repeated itself... finally common sense kicked in and after a quick check of the forecasts I booked my day off for the Thursday! A few texts later and a plan was starting to form... Fort William and some of the hills up Glen Nevis – up Sgurr a'Mhaim, across the Devil's Ridge, along to Stob Ban then back down the ridge.

After negotiating the slow moving chicanes of Highland Cattle and parking at the lower car park we were heading up to our first target of the day, Sgurr a'Mhaim. Finally, a hill with a short walk in! We start gaining height quickly, and soon the views start opening up.

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This winter has seen my first forays into winter walking and up to now they've been accompanied with lots of cloud so I start getting a bit excited when the high wispy cloud from the start of our walk continues to clear and as we climb higher the hills of Glencoe (I think!) peek into view above the shoulder we'll be crossing later when we head up to Stob Ban

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AT this point the peace is shattered by an RAF Hawk shooting up the glen between us and the ridge down from Stob Ban. The pilot pulls up and over the headwall and is out of sight before I'm anywhere near the power button of my camera. The camera goes away again and as I zip up the pocket the Hawk returns on the other side, between us and Ben Nevis before shooting away back over Fort William and out of sight. Always wanted to see that...

By now the crampons are on for the first time since I learnt how to use them on a Glenmore Lodge course in January. The ridge down from Stob Ban has started looking a bit more defined now as the sun picks out the lines of gullies and ridges

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Good progress so far, the weather is fantastic so time to pose for photos...

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and for a bit of fun... inspired by a photo in a report I saw in the forums a month or two ago

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The Ben has started to look pretty fine...

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Up on the summit of Sgurr a'Mhaim and the views take my breath away...

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View along the Devils Ridge... ...eep...

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and from further down as we approach it

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Michelle negotiates the Devil's Ridge – this bit was very much on the edge of my comfort zone

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With the Devil's Ridge behind us we head up to Sgurr an Iubhar for some lunch. A cold breeze decides to join us so we drop back off the top to find a sheltered spot. On the way I start getting distracted by the raised footprints... first time I've seen them...

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After a quick bite to eat we're on our way again on the ridge up to Stob Ban

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We make good time and soon it's just one last push to the summit

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The descent has a wee scrambly bit... I usually love this kind of stuff – but that's in summer when I know exactly how much grip I'll get when I stick my feet down. Still getting the hang of this crampon use – must learn to trust the ironmongery... No pics of the trickier bits (as usual no spare hands for photo taking when I'm hugging on to the rock and my ice axe). Looking back to the bit we'd just come down, the photo doesn't do it justice (honest) but once again my comfort zone was somewhere behind me...

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Cloud had started building up and was soon hugging the top of Ben Nevis

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The rest of the walk was pretty straightforward, working our way down the thinning snow patches until it was off with the crampons for a (very) short plod back to the car.

Winter Munros No 2 & 3 complete and total Munro count now at 19... More importantly I've had by far and away the best views I've ever seen in the hills.
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Last edited by AndyHall on Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby monty » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:44 am

Nice report Andy.
Lovely pictures. Great views from the ridges and summits. Isn't it just annoying when the good weather always disappears at the weekends :lol: :lol: Your really spiderman arn't you (fun pic) :lol:

I was up Stob Bann last year in the mist so its nice to see it on a good day, albeit covered in white stuff. Probably heading up that way in may to do my remaining four mamores. Thanks :D
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby Paul Webster » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:52 am

Fantastic first report Andy - well done!

Quite a brave choice of route to be doing that so soon after your skills course :crazy: - looked pretty scary.
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby AndyHall » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:07 am

I have my friend Michelle to thank for the route choice, she's much more experienced than I am - had to talk her out of an easy ice climb before we settled on the ridge walk! I was quite surprised how straightforward some of it felt despite looking a wee bitty terrifying from a distance!
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby Milesy » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:01 pm

Fantastic. Love this kind of report. I am weighing up a excursion for this saturday and The Ring of Steall or part of like you is definately on the table just now. Just trying to find out some info on the current snow conditions up top. Keep up the good work!
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby soulminer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm

A great little read that, pictures better than the words though :lol: :thumbup: Terrific walk, only done Devils ridge once from Mullach Nan Coirean, Stob Ban{summit buried by snow :shock: ) Up the zig-zags onto the ridge and to Sgurr A' Mhaim, not as much snow on the ridge when we were there though. Good effort, cheers.
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby AndyHall » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:32 pm

soulminer wrote:A great little read that, pictures better than the words though :lol: :thumbup: Terrific walk, only done Devils ridge once from Mullach Nan Coirean, Stob Ban{summit buried by snow :shock: ) Up the zig-zags onto the ridge and to Sgurr A' Mhaim, not as much snow on the ridge when we were there though. Good effort, cheers.



Thanks soulminer, I'll take that as a compliment on the photos :D Great weather and stunning scenery certainly go a long way to taking good photos with a compact camera
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby soulminer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:57 pm

Hi Andy :wave: ,
It was meant as such 8) , big fan of quality photos.
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby alanm » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:14 pm

Wow! Brilliant pics..you should skive off work more often :D ....walk of the month!
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby AndyHall » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:13 pm

alanm wrote:Wow! Brilliant pics..you should skive off work more often :D ....walk of the month!


Cheers Alan it wasn't skiving!!! That day off was hard earned! I'm going to have to take a few more off and try and catch up with your Munro count!
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhaim & Stob Ban

Postby Glenrothes » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:28 pm

Andy, Great photos and welcome to winter Munros - Great arnt they!!!!! :thumbup:
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