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A day of two halves

A day of two halves


Postby basscadet » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:29 pm

Route description: The Grey Corries

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Beag (Nevis Range), Aonach Mor, Sgurr Choinnich Mor, Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh

Date walked: 22/08/2015

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 20.5 km

Ascent: 1846m

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So this weekend, I went over to meet my dad in Spean Bridge on Friday evening, the Grey Corries in our sights. I had suggested we tag on the Aonachs, and surprisingly my Dad was up for it :) Can't remember why I thought he wouldn't be now.. I had looked down at the descent from the Aonachs to the Grey Corries on an ill fated trip a few years ago, and hadn't fancied it in the snow, but I had vowed to go back for another look, and this was the day :D
We drove up to Corriechoille on the track, which I thought improved from previous visits, and set up the tent. Unfortunately dad's van had failed to start, so the tent was a last minute grab. The midges were out as we pitched up, and we spent a fine evening spinning yarns. 8)
We were up and about early, and it didn't take us long to set off in dads car, for the Gondola. It wa a little misty, but with a lot of blue sky and it looked so promising! We got there too early, but the cafe was open so we drank tea, ate scones, and watched the mountain bikers doing their crazy things..
Just before 9.30, we were allowed onto the gondola, and enjoyed the trip up into the clouds.

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Aonachs & GC 22-AUG-15 02.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We headed along the track for a while, heading for the right hand shoulder, but somehow just following a fence through the boggy bits :?

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We made it onto the rockier ground though, and onto the baggers path eventually. There were some cracking views out over the great glen :D

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Its a steady plod upward, and the ski stuff never makes a hill look bonny. That part didn't last long, and we got up onto the plateau without any bother. Of course it helped that we started halfway up :D

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With most of the climbing over with, it was an easy saunter to the summit, which was claggy..

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We didn't stop, as it felt too soon, so we set off down grassy slopes, on a path that was more like a baggers motorway than a path :roll:

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The climb up was steeper and rockier but we seemed to reach the summit with hardly any effort at all.

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We continued along the ridge, steep, undulating, grassy slopes leading down to a path that skirted the top of the impressive cliffs. We met a couple of guys going the other way. Popular route! :) The views over to the mamores were brilliant, and I bored dad with tales of my previous explorations there.

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Soon we reached the small cairn that marks the top of the descent down to the Grey Corries, and it was every bit as steep as I remembered it :shock: Dad went first, and I followed gingerly behind. Awkward, slanting, grassy ledges led near vertically downward. It was easily the steepest, most precarious descent I have encountered on the hill :crazy: After the initial section, the path went right to the top of an unappealing gully, so we went left, down grassy slopes, a once well used path now overgrown evident in places. We made it down to the boulder field below, which we crossed before tackling a series of rocky ledges which required some actual hands on down climbing before we reached the bealach below. 8) Looking back at it as we ascended again, it looked very impressive indeed.

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It was during our ascent of Sgurr Coinneach beag, that the weather suddenly deteriorated, and the views disappeared :( Waterproofs were fumbled for as the drizzle set in..

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Dad found a bypass path a fair way up, so I traversed above him, not wanting to lose hm in the mist. We were soon on the final climb up to Sgurr coineach Mhor, which was windy and wet at the top, so just the quickest of photos and we were off.

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The next part of the ridge is the best bit, with slabs, and boulders to traverse, but in the damp it was very greasy indeed, which added to the fun to start with but became more annoying as the ridge wore on :lol:

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A very long, rocky coll, took us to the short ascent up to Stob Coire Easain, where we met a chap on his way down. He thought it was a munro, and I believed him until I looked at my map 5 mins later and found that he next one was it :lol:
Before we got there, the weather really deteriorated though, and we were forced to fumble r our waterproof troos. Man it was grim :shock:

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All chat subsided as we put our heads down for a wet trudge out to Stob Choire Claurigh. It did stop for a wee while, and we grabbed the opportunity to cram some food and have a wee seat. Legs were getting heavier by this point :wink: The rain started up again, so it was back to disgruntled trudging in the mist, over Stob Choire Claurigh, and onwards down the ridge. We went over a horrible boulder field where everything was loose and slippery, which I didn't remember, so was probably uneccesary, but it was hard to tell in the clag. My back had started to ache, and I felt slightly odd, so we had another break. I was sure I remembered the ridge being grassy :?
We found the grass, and some clag free hillside, just a little further down.

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It was straightforward marh down the ridge, I even managed to somehow avoid all the bog I remembered from the lower setion, down toward the track. My back by this time was agony, and to add to our woes, my dad fell and hurt his leg, so we were a sorry pair, hobbling down the track to the car :lol:
Despite the rubbish weather, and the fact I'm gutted that dad didn't get to see the Grey Corries properly, I still had a braw day, so well worth the soaking 8)
Last edited by basscadet on Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby ancancha » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:58 pm

The grey summer continues :(
Some of that terrain looks really interesting, and good informative photos despite the clag :clap:
Hope you both recover quickly :!:
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:09 pm

Took my good lady up the Gondula and onto the Aonachs :D

Hope ur not going for a second round haha :D
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby mgmt! » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:39 pm

nice report and pictures basscadet, love the fact you can walk with your dad . i was in your area climbing tower ridge, was well peeved the good weather forecast turned to mist and rain :?
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby basscadet » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:24 am

ancancha wrote:The grey summer continues :(
Some of that terrain looks really interesting, and good informative photos despite the clag :clap:
Hope you both recover quickly :!:


Oh despite being fine on Sunday, Monday I had the achiest thighs I have had for a long time :lol:
managed clubercise easily last night, so well and truly recovered now - Thanks :)
Living in Edinburgh, we at least have seen some sun during the week. handy that our office has a balcony :D

Collaciotach wrote:Took my good lady up the Gondula and onto the Aonachs :D

Hope ur not going for a second round haha :D


Och naw.. No second rounds.. but my dad has turned into a fierce bagger so if I'm walking with him, its up some munro's :crazy:
And my excuse for the gondola was its good training for our holidays in The Dolomites in a few weeks :wink:

mgmt! wrote:nice report and pictures basscadet, love the fact you can walk with your dad . i was in your area climbing tower ridge, was well peeved the good weather forecast turned to mist and rain :?


Oh I could tell from my Dads wistful stories about the north face that he wishes he was there instead.. Shame it deteriorated for you :?
On Sunday I tried a couple of buttresses on the Buachaille, but every time I got to 550M, the gusts of wind got too scary and I was forced to retreat downward :(
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby scottishkennyg » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:26 pm

Nice one BC..great to be able to get out with your da too..
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby dav2930 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:38 pm

Excellent stuff BC, looks like you had a great day out with your dad (falls and aching backs aside!). That descent from Aonach Beag to the bealach is alarmingly steep isn't it? I remember it well (from 2001). I did a similar round as a two-dayer starting from Corriechoille and going up Stob an Cul Choire to reach Aonach Mor. The steepness of the descent to the bealach after AB took me completely by surprise and felt really precarious with a heavy backpack! I pitched my tent just past the col on a grassy ledge on the northern side of Sgurr Choinnich Beag. That evening the clag and rain came in and next day's traverse of the Grey Corries was pretty wet and miserable; yet, once you resign yourself to being wet and seeing only the greyness of a few yards around, it's surprising how much enjoyment there is still to be got out of it! :eh: :lol:
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby basscadet » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:52 pm

dav2930 wrote:Excellent stuff BC, looks like you had a great day out with your dad (falls and aching backs aside!). That descent from Aonach Beag to the bealach is alarmingly steep isn't it? I remember it well (from 2001). I did a similar round as a two-dayer starting from Corriechoille and going up Stob an Cul Choire to reach Aonach Mor. The steepness of the descent to the bealach after AB took me completely by surprise and felt really precarious with a heavy backpack! I pitched my tent just past the col on a grassy ledge on the northern side of Sgurr Choinnich Beag. That evening the clag and rain came in and next day's traverse of the Grey Corries was pretty wet and miserable; yet, once you resign yourself to being wet and seeing only the greyness of a few yards around, it's surprising how much enjoyment there is still to be got out of it! :eh: :lol:


Aye, there were some cracking camping spots up there.. Almost went up there for midsummer once, but wasn't sure, so ended up in Kintail :roll:
The descent is something else.. Not for the fainthearted at all!
last time my heavy backpack had already helped me fall down Nevis onto the arete, so I really didn't fancy it in the snow the day after! It was braw t go back for a better look :D

scottishkennyg wrote:Nice one BC..great to be able to get out with your da too..


Always special going out with Da 8)
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby mgmt! » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:24 pm

mgmt! wrote:nice report and pictures basscadet, love the fact you can walk with your dad . i was in your area climbing tower ridge, was well peeved the good weather forecast turned to mist and rain :?


Oh I could tell from my Dads wistful stories about the north face that he wishes he was there instead.. Shame it deteriorated for you :?
On Sunday I tried a couple of buttresses on the Buachaille, but every time I got to 550M, the gusts of wind got too scary and I was forced to retreat downward :([/quote]

Not much beats the north face, we were in the cic hut but sundays wind put paid to any climbing, enjoy the dolomites look forward to the reports
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Re: A day of two halves

Postby dogplodder » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:14 pm

There's nothing quite affects the mood like the weather! 8)
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