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Desperado Duo in Awesome Autumn Mamores

Desperado Duo in Awesome Autumn Mamores


Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:20 pm

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

Date walked: 26/10/2016

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 12.6 km

Ascent: 1233m

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Various commitments meant we had not been able to get out for a while and then Monday, suddenly looked like a perfect day to for a trip to the Mamores. We quickly planned our route for Mullach nan Coirean and Stob Ban deciding to follow the suggestion in Ralph Storer '100 Best Routes on Scottish Mountains' and start with Mullach nan Coirean.
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9:00 arriving at the lower falls carpark and Polldubh in full autumn colour.
We left the road for a charming path through the woods, which was mentioned in the book and as descent route on the Walkhighlands but not shown on OSMaps.
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Charming forest path.
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With added waterfall bonus.

The first time it crossed the forest track it was easy to pick up the other side :D but then it met the track again :-? . We needed to turn left, but the track to the left was heading downhill :( We scouted around for a path but couldn't find one so we decided to go right and uphill. We could have checked the route directions which were on my phone, but why would you want to do that :lol: The path continued uphill through felled forestry and gradually dwindled into muddy tire marks from the forestry vehicles. We were heading directly towards Coire Dearg with no still no signs of any paths that would lead up onto the ridge of Mullach nan Coirean. We had to face the awful truth, either we would have to read the route directions and retrace our steps or head up the steep slopes of felled forestry. So we took the sensible decision and headed up the felled forestry. Not too bad as this type of terrain goes, tedious but not the yet mantraps construed of rotting branches.
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Tedious but no man traps.

Above the forestry was the heather. Steep became very steep and at times very slippery, tedious deteriorated to desperate. I looked down to reassure myself that if my legs gave out I wouldn't fall far. There was nothing below me for at least 100m if not more, my shaky legs just became a bit shakier and I renewed my vow to loose weight as I pulled myself up with a handful of heather hoping it had strong roots. At last the top of the ridge came in view, a bit of light relief on a shoot of loose small boulders and stones before the the gradient eased and thankfully it was not a false horizon ahead of us. The irony of this is that I had read and even commented on a walk report by Backpacker in April, where they had made the same mistake on this route. :lol: :lol: We checked the route when we got home and we should have found a path about 30m along the track :lol: Oh well! At least it wasn't a boring slog and added a bit of excitement to the day. We came up onto the path near the end of the forestry fence. Our tussle with the heather had felt like a lifetime , but had only last about 1:2Ohr, ahead of us was a nice gentle gradient (everything in life is relative) to Mullach nan Coirean and we could relax and enjoy the views. We met a guy on his way down, who had made an early start and ascended Stob Ban by its north ridge. The Route he took looked excellent, :thumbup: we felt quite jealous that we had not thought of it ourselves, a good excuse to come back. :)
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A more gentle slope, Ben Nevis in the background.
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Across Sgurr a Mhaim to Aonach Beag and beyond.
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Out to the NW
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Mullach nan Coirean and a very large Cairn.
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Midday, definately deserving of dinner.
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An impressive summit but time to get along
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The ridge initially broad and grassy.
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But soon gets narrow. Looking towards Kinlochleven.
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The pinnacles.
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The white summit of Stob Ban and Red Granite (?) 0f Coire Dearg
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Mild scrambling over the pinnacles. There was a path just below but sticking to the edge had better views and was more fun.
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Looking across Coire Dearg
We were looking across the Coire and admiring our route up the forestry :lol: when another walker heading the opposite way to us stopped for a chat.
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Whiter than white minor summit.
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15:00 on Stob Ban.
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And everything stops for tea.

The descent path leading from Stob Ban looked frighteningly narrow from the summit and it was tempting to rush straight off to get it over and done with, but it would be a crime not to savour the situation on such a beautiful day.
It was time to face the decent
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The descent, narrow but nowhere near as fearsome as it looked from above.
and we even braved a scramble along the rocky edge rather stick to the path.
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The mountain and the veiws just kept on giving.
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The crags of Stob Ban
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Gentler terrain as our path joined the path coming down from Sgurr an Lubhair.
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Final Autumnal look SE up Glen Nevis.
The decent through Coire a Mhusgain was surprisingly long, for once we were moving fairly quickly, overtaking a few other parties and still did not reach the carpark until 17:45.
A superb and very varied day, despite our early excitement. I had been really looking forward to walking in the Mamores and today has exceeded my expectations, I can't wait to come back.
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Cairngorm creeper
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Re: Desperado Duo in Awesome Autumn Mamores

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:58 pm

A great duo :D We did exactly the same route a few years back, and also in late autumn. The ridge between the two Munros is a delightful traverse.

Looks like more trees have been cut on the ascent slope since we were there - I remember we found a reasonable path through the felled area and then climbed alongside an old fence. It seemed a popular line of ascent, judging by the number of footprints.
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Re: Desperado Duo in Awesome Autumn Mamores

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:50 pm

Some stunning photos there. Very timely report too, we've been eyeing up various options in the Mamores recently but unfortunately I picked up a bug and we didn't get - but this will come in very handy. :D
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Huff_n_Puff
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Re: Desperado Duo in Awesome Autumn Mamores

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:23 pm

BlackPanther wrote:A great duo :D We did exactly the same route a few years back, and also in late autumn. The ridge between the two Munros is a delightful traverse.

Looks like more trees have been cut on the ascent slope since we were there - I remember we found a reasonable path through the felled area and then climbed alongside an old fence. It seemed a popular line of ascent, judging by the number of footprints.

It was lovely at this time of year, I read your report after we got back, wish I had read it before and we may have found the path :lol: certainly a very large area has now been freshly felled.
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Cairngorm creeper
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Re: Desperado Duo in Awesome Autumn Mamores

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:27 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Some stunning photos there. Very timely report too, we've been eyeing up various options in the Mamores recently but unfortunately I picked up a bug and we didn't get - but this will come in very handy. :D

I hope your felling better soon. As Black Panther said this is a lovely duo and I think west to east probabley gives the best views and saves the nicest bits to the end, although I would recommend finding the path out of the woods :lol: We did wonder if the start of it may have been hidden by some of the recent felling, but it is just likely that we did not look hard enough in the right place.
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Cairngorm creeper
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Posts: 692
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
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Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Grantown-on-spey

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