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Magnificent Mamores Meander - with a twist

Magnificent Mamores Meander - with a twist


Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:08 pm

Route description: Stob Ban (Mamores) and Mullach nan Coirean

Munros included on this walk: Mullach nan Coirean, Stob Ban (Mamores)

Date walked: 21/04/2015

Time taken: 5.9 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 1178m

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A pre-arranged outing to make the most of the continuing weather window. Cat (cmarcol) had volunteered/suggested the outing and after looking at my red balloons was kind of regretting offering to be the pilot for the day :lol:
We have walked a few times before and have taken it in turns to drive, which makes sense as we are almost a stones throw apart, providing you have a strong throwing arm :lol:
Cat suggested Stob Ban and I assumed she was meaning a trip to the Grey Corries, so the route was studied and downloaded to my phone. However we had crossed wires :roll: as Cat was fancying the Mamores and had a very good reason for heading back to the Mamores. I will let her explain and divulge all the gory details :wink:
So Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean were to be the destination and they proved to be an excellent work out in more ways than usual :lol:
Cat was uplifting me at 7am and we set off, the first major decision was which way to head, up the A9 to Dalwhinnie or west to Crianlarich and through Glencoe. I suggested the A9 so that was the way we went, returning by the other route.
We arrived at the far end of Glen Nevis and parked in the large car park which was almost empty, I suppose being a Tuesday we could hardly expect it to be heaving :lol:
As Cat had been along the initial part of the walk, navigating or keeping to the path was easy. I would imagine after a wet spell the path would be more like a burn, there were a few boggy patches and that after the recent dry weather - probably caused by snow melt :wink:

ImageDSCF0993 by martin_beswick, a low level shot of Glen Nevis

The path climbs gradually up to the bealach at the top end of Glen Nevis and as you start the gradual ascent the views start to open up. Just before we reached the bealach the first patch of snow appeared, we surveyed the surrounding area and even though there were obvious footsteps on the snow, we skirted round the side of it as we did for the majority of the day. Having said that the only real snow field that we had to negotiate was on the summit of Stob Ban, more of that later :wink:

ImageDSCF1005 by martin_beswick, - Cat demonstrating the good meandering path

ImageDSCF1006 by martin_beswick, - Glen Nevis from a bit higher up

ImageDSCF1008 by martin_beswick, - this shot indicates how the glen narrows towards the top

ImageDSCF1012 by martin_beswick, - water feature on the way up

ImageDSCF1014 by martin_beswick, - zoom to a couple who followed us all day

ImageDSCF1015 by martin_beswick, - another water feature

ImageDSCF1019 by martin_beswick, - interesting singular trees surviving on quite steep slopes

ImageDSCF1024 by martin_beswick, - large snow field which was easy to cross, Stob Ban can be seen peeping up in the back ground

ImageDSCF1025 by martin_beswick, - Stob Ban looming a bit larger and looking rather impressive

ImageDSCF1026 by martin_beswick, - Cat demonstrating how warm it was even when being surrounded by snow

Before we knew it we had reached the bealach, where we had superb all round views which was mainly dominated to the west by the "Ring of Steal" which looked interesting, undulating and challenging 8)

ImageDSCF1030 by martin_beswick, - Stob Ban getting bigger

ImageDSCF1029 by martin_beswick, - Glen Nevis again

ImageDSCF1039 by martin_beswick, - Nice cornice with Ring of Steal in the background

ImageDSCF1036 by martin_beswick, - view to the south

We decided to have our 'elevenses' before tackling the interesting ascent of Stob Ban and after the fuel stop the hardest part of the walk began 8)

ImageDSCF1040 by martin_beswick, - The way ahead avoiding the white stuff to the right

ImageDSCF1044 by martin_beswick, - looking back towards the Ring of Steal

ImageDSCF1047 by martin_beswick, - nice bit of blue snow

ImageDSCF1053 by martin_beswick, - looking down on the West Highland Way and a few ants walking along it

Having said that there is an excellent path that winds it's way steeply up the side of Stob Ban, interrupted occasionally by some mild scrambling over larger obstacles :lol:

ImageDSCF1055 by martin_beswick, - looking back, first shot of the Ben with it's own individual cloud

ImageDSCF1057 by martin_beswick, - Stob Ban summit getting closer

ImageDSCF1059 by martin_beswick, - looking back down to the bealach

ImageDSCF1060 by martin_beswick, - first view of Mullach nan Coirean and the ridge that takes you there

ImageDSCF1062 by martin_beswick, - Devils Ridge and Sgurr a Mhaim (Ring of Steal)

The summit of Stob Ban was reached after a few stops, purely to take photo's and to admire/take in the views :lol:
The summit area was tiny and what looked like the highest point was snow covered and as the approach shots show didn't look entirely safe. So we gingerly took a few steps near to the highest point and quickly retreated :lol:

ImageDSCF1066 by martin_beswick, - snow covered summit

ImageDSCF1069 by martin_beswick, - Cat pointing at something :lol:

ImageDSCF1072 by martin_beswick, - West Highland Way winding it's way north

ImageDSCF1073 by martin_beswick, - the north ridge up Stob Ban, we were tempted to venture out that way 8)

ImageDSCF1077 by martin_beswick, - ready to drop?

After taking quite a few photo's it was time to move on and start the descent over the loose stones and scree, a path had been worn into the stones and zig zagged down. We decided to venture out and have a peek at the approach route from the north ridge, however we didn't go very far as Cat was a wee bit freaked out by the narrowness and exposure of the ridge :lol: The main problem was we would have had to cross the exposed ridge in both directions :wink:

ImageDSCF1085 by martin_beswick, - north ridge, looks interesting and rather narrow

ImageDSCF1086 by martin_beswick, - Cat on the approach to the north ridge, view to the south in background

ImageDSCF1078 by martin_beswick, - looking back up to the summit of Stob Ban and the stoney scree descent

ImageDSCF1088 by martin_beswick, - the way ahead, summit of Mullach on the far right

ImageDSCF1094 by martin_beswick, - the Ben in cloud for a change

ImageDSCF1096 by martin_beswick, - the couple who were following us, taking the high route

ImageDSCF1102 by martin_beswick, - looking back at Stob Ban, looks totally different

ImageDSCF1103 by martin_beswick, - noticeable change in rock colour

The walk along the ridge between the summits was very pleasureable and the little sting in the tail was the trudge up to the summit of Mullach nan Coirean :lol: We knew it was psychological but we still huffed and puffed :lol: The summit cairn was worth the effort, a very well constructed mound of stones, which made an excellent spot to take some photo's of and from :wink:

ImageDSCF1113 by martin_beswick, - first real view of the summit cairn on Mullach

ImageDSCF1114 by martin_beswick, - summit cairn in the foreground with the ridge leading to Meall a' Chaorainn in the background

ImageDSCF1116 by martin_beswick, - the Ben still in cloud

ImageDSCF1115 by martin_beswick, - can't remember what direction this was :lol: :lol:

ImageDSCF1117 by martin_beswick, - how to climb a cairn :lol:

ImageDSCF1118 by martin_beswick, - summit pose

ImageDSCF1122 by martin_beswick, - another summit pose

ImageDSCF1124 by martin_beswick, - and another 8)

ImageDSCF1130 by martin_beswick, - looking back, what a shot 8)

And so to the final descent, this where things didn't exactly go according to plan :lol: We could use lots of excuses, too much talking, lack of concentration, enjoying the views etc. End result we started the descent down the wrong shoulder :lol: This after I had made a mental note of the descent route, by looking over the route the night before and Cat was also aware of the possibility of taking the wrong shoulder :lol:
It wasn't until we had descended maybe 100m that Cat realised the error, especially as the shoulder we should have descended on was to our right, with a rather large gully in between :lol:
We contemplated going back, but after checking the map and surveying the way ahead (down) we decided to continue. We could see we weren't the first muppets to descend this way as at times there was a path 8)
In the distance we could see a fence coming up the side of the shoulder and a newly constructed style over the fence which was obviously there for a reason :lol:

ImageDSCF1138 by martin_beswick, - the shoulder we were descending

ImageDSCF1139 by martin_beswick, - fence and style

ImageDSCF1140 by martin_beswick, - fence going downhill

ImageDSCF1142 by martin_beswick, - looking back up our descent route

We opted to make use of the style and follow the fence downhill, the descent turned out to be very easy on tufty grass intermingled with the usual heather. The one concern we had was we knew there was going to be a river/burn/stream to cross at the bottom, however when we reached the burn, crossing it required no wandering up and down the bank, makes a change for me :lol:
Once across the burn we reached another style and this is the point where we were back on track :lol: We estimated that our mistake was probably a much quicker descent and as the majority had been on grass, far easier on the joints :lol:
After the style there was a nice stoney path that descended through the deforested area, that really does look a mess. You would think in this day and age there must be some way of tidying up after the timber has been removed :( There are diversion signs that virtually direct you back to the car park, avoiding any active forestry work. We arrived back at the car park in just under 6 hours, feeling rather pleased with our days efforts 8)
Big THANKS to Cat for 'volunteering' to drive and for your great company, the only time there was any silence was when we were puffing and panting going uphill :lol:
Off out tomorrow before the weather changes, little hill/s :wink:
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Re: Magnificent Mamores Meander - with a twist

Postby simon-b » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:17 am

Another good one, Martin.
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Re: Magnificent Mamores Meander - with a twist

Postby Jock McJock » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:42 am

Nice report and pics. Stob Ban is starting to stick out like a sore thumb on my Munro map, need to get that sorted soon :D
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Re: Magnificent Mamores Meander - with a twist

Postby hopper68 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:23 am

Good report and some cracking pictures.
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Re: Magnificent Mamores Meander - with a twist

Postby rockhopper » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:02 pm

Enjoyed that - looked great (posing notwithstanding :wink: ).
Must get back here some time having seen nothing first time round :roll: - cheers :)
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Re: Magnificent Mamores Meander - with a twist

Postby cmarcol » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:45 pm

Cat was fancying the Mamores and had a very good reason for heading back to the Mamores. I will let her explain and divulge all the gory details :wink:


No :lol:

e decided to venture out and have a peek at the approach route from the north ridge, however we didn't go very far as Cat was a wee bit freaked out by the narrowness and exposure of the ridge :lol: The main problem was we would have had to cross the exposed ridge in both directions :wink:


Hey! I would have had no problem crossing it once but crossing it knowing I had to go back that way..... NOPE

We could use lots of excuses, too much talking, lack of concentration, enjoying the views etc. End result we started the descent down the wrong shoulder :lol: This after I had made a mental note of the descent route, by looking over the route the night before and Cat was also aware of the possibility of taking the wrong shoulder :lol:


Not at all. Anyone can blindly follow a GPS :lol: We were practising our true navigation and map reading skills :wink:

Excellent day - cheers for the company. I'll definitely return to ascend via the North Ridge some day (not the North Buttress though :shock: )
Next stop for me - Ring of Steall!
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