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The Grey Corries

The Grey Corries


Postby Silverhill » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:39 pm

Route description: The Grey Corries

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Choinnich Mor, Stob Ban (Grey Corries), Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh

Date walked: 14/06/2013

Time taken: 11 hours

Distance: 25.5 km

Ascent: 1879m

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I have just come back from my 2014 munro holiday. Before I start on the reports, I should really finish off those of 2013…. :roll:


Stob Ban and Grey Corries.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Last day of my holiday, but it promised to be a good one with a trip I had eagerly been looking forward to. Thanks to a lightweight day yesterday the mojo had returned in full force for the Grey Corries. :D
I drove to Corriechoille from Glen Spean. Near the cottage it was made clear that parking here was not the done thing. But I knew there was space further up, where the track meets the line of the old tramway. So I turned right at Corriechoille. I’d just gone through the gate and was about to shut it when in the far distance I spotted two trucks laden with timber coming down the track. I parked next to the track, patiently waited for them to go through and shut the gate behind them. Manners go a long way. Further along I found the little layby and parked up.

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The only other person to be seen all day

The track makes for good progress and it wasn’t long until the first of Grey Corries, Stob Coire na Ceannain, came into view, with a clear summit! When I arrived at the bothy more cloud had rolled in and Stob Ban looked just about cloud free, but not for long.

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Bothy

I crossed the Allt a’ Chuil Choirean at the ford and picked a way up the northeast ridge of Stob Ban. At around 550m I found a path, which got me to the summit quickly. With the high start at 460m, the altitude at the bothy, Stob Ban indeed is an easy munro. Just below the cloud base I’d taken a few pictures of the surroundings. As expected there were no views from the summit.

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Sgurr Innse from just below the cloud base

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Summit Stob Ban

I descended first WNW down steep slopes then north to the lochan at the bealach. From there a path went up the initially well defined south ridge of Stob Choire Claurigh. Back into the cloud. Unfortunately the path got lost in a couple of boulder fields and the ridge became a slope. I could be walking anywhere, which was a slightly unsettling thought. Hm, a living GPS would have been handy here, but a compass bearing would have to do. I also told myself that as long as I was walking uphill all would be fine. :lol: It came as a bit of a surprise to actually emerge exactly at the cairn!

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Summit Stob Choire Claurigh

So far the Grey Corries were very grey. But this was about to change. As I dropped down along the southwest ridge towards Stob a’ Choire Leith, the cloud got thinner and further along even disappeared! No blue skies, but I quite happily settled for views! :D

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Stob Ban emerging slowly from the disappearing cloud

The walk along the ridge from Stob Choire Claurigh to Stob Coire Easain is superb. The pictures will tell the story. This trip is firmly on my list of favourites. I’m sure I will return! 8)

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On the ridge

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Looking back towards Stob Choire Claurigh

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The dark cliffs of Stob Coire an Laoigh

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A glimpse into Glen Nevis

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Summit Stob Coire an Laoigh

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Sgurr Choinnich Mor

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Another glimps into Glen Nevis

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Looking back to Stob Coire an Laoigh

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The Aonachs from Stob Coire Easain

From Stob Coire Easain it seemed only a short distance to Sgurr Choinnich Mor. But I knew better. The southwest ridge of Stob Coire Easain is very bouldery and rocky. I descended east of the crest for a while and then crossed over to the west side. Not sure whether that was the easiest way, but I got down to the bealach OK. Then a steep climb to reach the northwest ridge of Sgurr Choinnich Mor and a very pleasant walk to the summit.

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Summit Sgurr Choinnich Mor, looking back along the Grey Corries

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The Aonachs

The views back along the main Grey Corries ridge, towards the Aonachs, the Mamores and beyond were fantastic. What a grand finale to my holiday, to see so many of the hills I’d enjoyed in the past two weeks. I sat for while to soak in the surroundings. :D It would be another 50 weeks before I’d be back, so I wasn’t in a hurry to leave.

However, dark clouds were gathering in the west, which prompted me to make a move on. This time I went back up Stob Coire Easain west of the crest. It was good fun scrambling up. With the bad weather closing in I made quick work of the fine north ridge towards Beinn na Socaich, but not without looking back many times and taking more pictures of the stunning scenery.

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The Grey Corries from Stob Coire Easain

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Sgurr Choinnich Mor from Stob Coire Easain

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The cliffs of Stob Coire an Laoigh

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Looking back to Beinn na Socaich

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Bad weather catching up

I was heading for the dam at the Allt Coire Choimhlidh, but descended down to the river too soon. The river was a torrent and there was no path on either side. So I had to climb up again and try a bit further along. This time I followed the broad ridge down to just before the fence and then descended. Here the slopes were less steep and the river was calmer. I crossed the river just south of the lochan and picked up a path on the opposite bank.

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Crossing point and path opposite

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Tramway

The path passes the dam and then becomes a track, which I followed past the tramway and a bend to the left and then right. At the next junction I turned right. This was timber country. The air was heavy with the smell of felled trees. And as always with production forests, it did its best to confuse me by means of newly built tracks which didn’t show on the map. But according to the compass I was still walking in roughly the right direction. And indeed I got back to the car without a detour.

I sat in the car for a while, before driving off. Just staring into the distance. So that was it, end of my 2013 holiday: 14 days, 34 munros. I felt a bit sad to have to leave. But to be fair, I don’t think my legs would have managed another day of bagging. :wink:
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Silverhill
 
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Re: The Grey Corries

Postby simon-b » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:09 pm

An excellent report, Silverhill. I did this walk two weeks ago, and I share your enthusiasm for the ridge between Claurigh and Easain, an absolute classic. You did well to remember the details so clearly from a year ago.
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Re: The Grey Corries

Postby Silverhill » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:45 pm

Thanks simon-b! It’s not too difficult to remember details of a Grey Corries trip. Those hills made a big impression! 8)
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Re: The Grey Corries

Postby AnnieMacD » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:20 pm

Great report - it makes me want to go there! Love the first picture - great set-up (and get-up)!
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Re: The Grey Corries

Postby rockhopper » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:21 pm

nice one, silverhill - certainly a great ridge to walk when you're up there - cheers :)
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Re: The Grey Corries

Postby Silverhill » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:36 pm

Thanks Annie and rockhopper!
You’ll love it when you get there Annie! I also look forward to climbing your local hills. Your TR’s about them are whetting my appetite! 8)
Rockhopper, your trip up the Grey Corries was a bit of an epic, also including the Easains! :clap:
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Re: The Grey Corries

Postby ancancha » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:59 pm

Looks an interesting landscape and will be good to check out the tramways as well.
Thanks
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