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Weasel's Nevis Tops Adventure

Weasel's Nevis Tops Adventure


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:00 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 20/08/2015

Time taken: 16.5 hours

Distance: 54.5 km

Ascent: 4506m

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After finishing up the Mullardoch round at lunchtime on Wednesday in scorching temperatures (and clegs) I was left with something of a quandary. I had 2 and a half more days of leave left before I had to be on call on Saturday...what to do??? My first thought was to head south and make a start on some of the 6 Tops around Ben Nevis (Sgurr Coinnich Beag, Sgurr a Bhuic on Aonach Beag, the 2 Carn Deargs on Nevis or the two on the NE spur of Aonach Mor). However, driving down the road I was undecided and did wonder about doing the walk in to Knoydart to do the Ladhar Bheinn horseshoe... to the point where I turned the car around, then decided against it...my feet were too sore after the week I'd had already. So i drove down to Fort William and into Glen Nevis, parking at Upper Steall Falls and preparing to set off as other walkers are returning after their day on the hills. The weather had gone from beautiful summer skies to my more usually encountered grey sky and drizzle and I needed to put my waterproofs on as I set out. I was planning on climbing Sgurr Coinnich Beag tonight, then camp out somewhere nearby and do Aonach Beag in the morning...I was unsure whether just to do the Top I needed or whether to continue on to the main Summit then Aonach Mor and try to tackle Stob a Chul Coire / Tom a'Sroine from the main bulk of Aonach Mor - it looked horribly craggy coming off the main plateau.

Walked out along the track past Steall falls & Steall ruins and on to a spot below the bealach between Sgurr a'Bhuic and Coinnich Beag and tried to find a suitable space to camp - wet boggy grass with not much in the way of level areas. Managed to find a wee spot on a hump although the sleeping quarters were a bit seasick... Then emptied all the non-essentials from my rucksack and set off up into the mist. it was a thoroughly dispiriting slog up the sodden hillside - visibility diminished as I went on, but the rain and wind increased. In other conditions I would have looked to see if it were possible to ascent Sgurr a'Bhuic from the shared high bealach, but it looked mighty steep and cragged and I didn't fancy trying tonight. I was wet through by the time I found a fencepost line that I followed to the summit. There are 2 cairns - don't know which is higher and frankly didn't care by this point. I had hoped to add on Sgurr Coinnich Mor, but this would involve another 2km and 250m ascent - forget it! I followed my tracks back down to the tent, squeezed into the tent and spent the next 10 minutes killing the midges that had managed to enter with me. A couple of whiskies soothed the pains and aided sleep, which was quite sound despite the sloping ground.


nevis1.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



ImageP1090762 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090763 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr a'Bhuic
ImageP1090765 by Al, on Flickr

Near the top of Sgurr Coinnich Beag
ImageP1090766 by Al, on Flickr

A bit deranged
ImageP1090768 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090771 by Al, on Flickr

Morning was accompanied by dry weather, some reduction in midges, and I set off early up the gully to the SE of Sgurr a'Bhuic - this is actually a more pleasant route onto Aonach Beag than the standard steep one from Steall ruins. No particular problems encountered, met the ordinary path up Sgurr a'Bhuic itself, crossed over the boulder-field and was at the summit in less than an hour. Headed down to Steall ruins and back to the car. It was only about 10am and I had to think what next. I was quite tired and didn't want anything too strenuous, but there was a chance to get another 2 Tops done...what about The Ben? Oh yes, that would fit the bill as an easy afternoon's work.

Sgurr a'Bhiuc
ImageP1090772 by Al, on Flickr

Gully up Sgurr a'Bhuic
ImageP1090775 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090778 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090781 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090782 by Al, on Flickr

I drove to the Nevis Visitor Centre, paid my car park monies and changed into my trainers. I'd not been fully up the Pony Track before so why not experience it? The tourist numbers weren't appauling and most seemed to be reasonably attired for the conditions. It even looked clear-ish up top - good day to pick. I breezed up the path, feeling in the zone and got to the summit plateau in about 2 hours. I stopped for lunch about 1250m as the clag came down and the wind got up. I got out my map and plotted a course for the first of the Carn Deargs, the one to the north of the main summit. As I went over the clag lifted, making finding the cairn somewhat easier. A phallic cairn marker acted as a blocker to falling down the gully about the CIC hut, I walked round this and made for the summit marker, noticing a much larger cairn over to my right with a group of helmeted climbers milling around it. Had to go over there, obviously. Then returned to the main track and up to the summit trig.


nevis2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



ImageP1090784 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090785 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090787 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090788 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090789 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090794 by Al, on Flickr



Next up was the NW Carn Dearg which needed a descent of around 250m down a loose rather treacherous boulderfield/scree slope. Didn't much like that, but once the bealach is reached it's a matter of crossing green slopes up to the summit of this Top. Met a couple of fit lads who'd just come up Surgeon's Gully. It was otherwise unpopulated and so quiet compared with the hustle bustle of the main part of the mountain. I now had little option but to return up the boulderfield - I might have tried going off into Coire Eoghainn if the car had still been in Steall Falls, but that wasn't much help for getting back to the visitor centre. It was not too bad going up the scree and I rejoined the path and romped down, dodging past the multitudes. Back at the car in under 6 hours and in plenty of time to drive round to my favourite campsite, Bunroy at Roy Bridge. £7 for a pitch - amazing value. I pitched then headed for a fantastic hot shower - my first for a week :shock: Then went over to the Stronlossit Hotel for a proper meal and a couple of pints, then enjoyed some time in the sunshine at the campsite reading my book before the rain came on.

NW Carn Dearg
ImageP1090796 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090797 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090801 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090802 by Al, on Flickr

My final day would be the 2 Aonach Mor Tops. I had seen these a couple years back when walking into the Grey Corries and fancied the ridge - I decided to walk up it rather than trying to descend from Aonach Mor. There were a few options for where to start from - there was a path in from the Ski Centre and also one from Coirechoile - I decided on the latter partly as I wanted to experience driving that lunar surfaced road in the 4x4 rather than last time in the MX-5 :lol: Before any of that I had to get breakfast and the tent down - this was majorly unpleasant due to the midges, which were waiting in the tent vestibule for me to leave the security of the bug-netted area.


nevis3.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



After driving along the track I set off about 7.30 and looked at the dismal morning - dry at present but rain seemed likely and clag was hovering over the tops. It's a fair wander through the forest plantation - which was also dismal with no birdsong. By the time I'd emerged at the dam by the Allt Coire an Eoin the rain had started. There was a short steep section through bracken up by the treeline, then onto open marshy ground and the moderate slopes up the side of Tom na Sroine. Clag was fully down by now and I saw little except a group of young stags. Got to the top of Tom na Sroine and descended along the crag-bordered ridge to Stob an Chul Coire - the cliffs look intimidating, but by keeping to the west side of the ridge all difficulties are avoided. I was having more difficulties keeping my vision clear due to the combination of clag/condensation on my lenses and the driving rain. I was also soaked through and having a great time :wink: Got to the summit cairn, to notice another smaller cairn a wee bit further on...damn these multiple highest points!

ImageP1090805 by Al, on Flickr

Stob an Chul coire
ImageP1090808 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090810 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090813 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090814 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Tom na Sroine
ImageP1090815 by Al, on Flickr

On to Stob an Chul Coire
ImageP1090816 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090818 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090821 by Al, on Flickr
Retraced my steps and was pleased to see the rain depart as I got back to the forest track - I took off my waterproofs and was able to get some of the wetness out of my trousers before returning to the car and driving home. Weird to be coming down the A85 on a Friday afternoon rather than driving up it, but there you are.

An efficient week then - 21 Munro Tops under the belt, leaving only 15 to go, and another 18 Munros to the second round effort. the schedule is still on track!
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weaselmaster
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Re: Weasel's Nevis Tops Adventure

Postby basscadet » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:13 am

Wow Al, you are so keen, it makes me blooming exhausted just reading about it :lol:

I saw a lone figure on the Aonachs tops on Saturday.. Dad and I were on the main ridge.. Must of been you? 8)
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basscadet
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Re: Weasel's Nevis Tops Adventure

Postby Borderhugh » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:57 am

Well done Alistair. You are one fit man. Havent quite read all your reports yet. We did the Aonachs and Grey Corries on saturday. Sadly the weather forecast was wrong and ended up doing the Grey Corries in the clag :(
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Borderhugh
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Re: Weasel's Nevis Tops Adventure

Postby basscadet » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:04 pm

Borderhugh wrote:Well done Alistair. You are one fit man. Havent quite read all your reports yet. We did the Aonachs and Grey Corries on saturday. Sadly the weather forecast was wrong and ended up doing the Grey Corries in the clag :(


Us too - I was looking for you, but didn't manage to find you and presumed you went on a different day :lol: Was right dreichit for a while aye.. :roll:
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basscadet
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Re: Weasel's Nevis Tops Adventure

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:15 pm

basscadet wrote:Wow Al, you are so keen, it makes me blooming exhausted just reading about it :lol:

I saw a lone figure on the Aonachs tops on Saturday.. Dad and I were on the main ridge.. Must of been you? 8)


Nah, it was Friday morning I was up there.
Couldn't see over to the main ridge at all due to the clag
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weaselmaster
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Re: Weasel's Nevis Tops Adventure

Postby RiverSong » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:23 pm

Quite incredible, all those long walks you have undertaken over the past week, makes me wonder what you did in a previous life to develop all that stamina?? :problem:

Enjoyed your photos of the Ben :D
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