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Mamore Mia - Wild camping in the Mamores

Mamore Mia - Wild camping in the Mamores


Postby portinscale » Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:30 pm

Route description: Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag, Mamores

Munros included on this walk: Am Bodach, An Gearanach, Binnein Beag, Binnein Mor, Mullach nan Coirean, Na Gruagaichean, Sgurr a'Mhaim, Sgurr Eilde Mor, Stob Ban (Mamores), Stob Coire a'Chairn

Date walked: 28/05/2016

Time taken: 50 hours

Distance: 41 km

Ascent: 3220m

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We set off intending to go to Knoydart but a suspect forecast for Sunday and slow traffic caused a rethink en route. Plan B was a traverse of the Mamores. This was something I had long wanted to do but increasing decrepitude made it unrealistic in a day particularly as i have been struggling with my right knee all year. However a multi day camping trip seemed feasible and had the advantage of a complete immersion in the hills.

We therefore rolled into Kinlochleven after 1pm and hurriedly packed our bags and wolfed down some food. With heavy packs, progress was slow but we followed good paths up through the woods and then over the open moor to the bealach under Sgurr Eilde Mor.

[imgImageIMG_3706 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
The woods above Kinlochleven

[imgImageIMG_3707 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Looking south over Loch Eilde Mor

[imgImageIMG_3711 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Sgurr Eilde Mor

We dumped our sacks with some relief and floated up Sgurr Eilde Mor. There was some loose scree but it was generally reasonable going with no one else in sight. The views were wonderful and extensive. We could also see our campsite next to Binnein Beag.

[imgImageIMG_3717 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Going up SEM looking towards Binnein Mor

[imgImageIMG_3713 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
SEM summit

Back at the sacks we were faced with a dispiriting descent and ascent but the stalkers path made light of it and we soon reached the lochan below Binnein Beag where we pitched camp an had a meal. One couscous and chilli con carne later we set off up Binnein Beag for even better views and back to the tent by 8pm.

[imgImageIMG_3722 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Summit of Binnein Beag looking to the Grey Corries

[imgImageIMG_3723 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Binnein Mor from Binnein Beag


It was the camping which was the making of the trip because it felt a complete experience to just exist for a time amidst the hills totally away from civilisation. We took all our water from the burns and slept in the bosom of the hills. The only sounds were water and the call of a sandpiper and it was very peaceful. There were lots of insects but no midges.

[imgImageIMG_3727 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Lochan camp looking to Binnein Mor

The next morning was sunny and we struck camp and headed up the north ridge of Binnein Mor. It was a bit unpleasant getting on the ridge but the gentler slopes above were like a stairway to heaven; it was still early and we had the summit to ourselves.

[imgImageIMG_3733 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Binnein Mor -stairway to heaven


[imgImageIMG_3734 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Looking back to Binnein Beag and the campsite

[imgImageIMG_3738 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Binnein Mor summit


The compelling ridge continued to Na Gruagaichien. Ralph Storer builds up the difficulty of the gap between the two tops but it was straightforward and we struggled to see what the fuss was about.

[imgImageIMG_3741 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Looking west along the ridge

[imgImageIMG_3743 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Approaching Na Gruagaichen


This was followed by quite a big loss of height. The plan was to take a stalkers path to below An Garbhanach and pick up water there. Somehow we missed it and traversed too low on some steep ground. Margaret took a bit of a slide on steep grass which she was most unhappy about. We were glad to reach the water as we were carrying as little as possible to save weight.

Now for the Ring of Steall. Again we left the bags to go to An Ggearanach and back - a good feature of this walk was that we did the best bits twice. Unladen the scramble was straightforward.

[imgImageIMG_3755 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
An Gearanach

Back at the bags we cooked up a pasta bolognaise and set off up Stob Coire a Chairn. It was steep but short and after a quick breather we set off down the ridge to Am Bodach. We hadn't been looking forward to this climb but a bit of Kendal mint cake got us up.

[imgImageIMG_3756 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Sgurr a Mhaim from Stob Coire a Chairn

[imgImageIMG_3757 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Looking west to Sgurr an IUbhair and Stob Ban


As always the views were stunning but the sky looked a bit threatening so we gave up our promised rest and pushed on for Sgorr an Iubhair. It was a little wet by the time we got there but the rocks were warm and dried themselves. We dropped down to to bealach before the Devil's ridge and left our bags. Then a quick and entertaining jaunt to Sgurr a Mhaim. This is one big hill but a lot easier when you don't have to climb out of/descend into Glen Nevis.

[imgImageIMG_3761 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
The Devil's Ridge

[imgImageIMG_3765 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Sgurr a Mhaim summit

[imgImageIMG_3767 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Back along the Devil's Ridge -the campsite lochan is just below the bealach


Back at the bags again we had an easy descent on a very good path to lochan coire nan miseach and camp. The ground by the lochan was not flat but there was a good pitch 50 m below by the burn. We were tired and fed and in bed by 7pm although we got up briefly later to enjoy the evening light. We slept well.

[imgImageIMG_3771 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Lochan Coire nam Miseach

[imgImageIMG_3773 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Camp 2 below Stob Ban

Next morning the sky was brilliant blue again. We struck camp early although we were in deep shade and could not dry the tent' which made it heavier.We were up on stob Ban by 9am with the last big climb behind us. After some debate we left our packs at pt 846 and went unburdened to Mullach nan Coirean and back. Clouds were coming and going which made it wonderfully atmospheric but we were in the sun all the time.

[imgImageIMG_3774 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Stob Ban

[imgImageIMG_3779 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Ben Nevis from the tent

[imgImageIMG_3786 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Climbing Stob Ban looking south to Bidean

[imgImageIMG_3783 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Ben Nevis fromStob Ban


[imgImageIMG_3789 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Mullach nan Coirean and the end of the ridge

[imgImageIMG_3794 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Looking back east along the ridge

[imgImageIMG_3798 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Stob Ban north ridge

[imgImageIMG_3800 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Descending Stob Ban to Mullach nan Coirean

[imgImageIMG_3807 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Beinn a Beithir

[imgImageIMG_3810 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Looking east to Sgurr a Mhaim

[imgImageIMG_3811 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Looking back east along the ridge

[imgImageIMG_3812 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Mullach nan Coirean summit



Back at the bags eventually, we headed downhill without massive difficulty (but with dissension in the ranks as to the best line) to the ruined croft on the West Highland Way. It was then a long, hot and footsore slog back to Kinlochleven. We were both struck by how our senses had been sharpened by our time in the hills; colours seemed brighter and our senses of smell and taste were enhanced. We were tired when we got back to the car but also rejuvenated.

[imgImageIMG_3820 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
Tigh na sleubhaich

[imgImageIMG_3821 by Trevor Price, on Flickr[/img]
The long and lonely road
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portinscale
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 23
Munros:199   Corbetts:5
Grahams:1   Donalds:4
Hewitts:138
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Sep 12, 2011
Location: Cumbria

Re: Mamore Mia - Wild camping in the Mamores

Postby kevsbald » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:51 pm

The essence of the Mamores is right here. Great report.
User avatar
kevsbald
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2125
Munros:257   Corbetts:111
Grahams:73   Donalds:50
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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