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Corries & Aonachs

Corries & Aonachs

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:55 am

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Beag (Nevis Range), Aonach Mòr, Sgùrr Chòinnich Mòr, Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh

Date walked: 13/08/2017

Time taken: 16 hours

Distance: 43 km

Ascent: 3773m

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Another weekend of Proper Big Hills in pursuit of Allison's Tops. A drive up to Roy Bridge on Friday afternoon to camp at Bunroy campsite, one of our favourites, with plans for the Grey Corries on Saturday and probably the Aonachs on Sunday (although the Innises plus Stob Ban and an adjacent Simm also were in the mix). Campsite quite quiet for the time of year, rain stayed off til we pitched.

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

Drive to Coire Choille with Fats Domino singing the blues. Road no better, no worse than usual. One camper van already at the parking place. Into the trees - a whole section has now been harvested, allowing light in to what was a dark passage. Miss the stone cairn for the start of the path up Beinn na Socaich and have to back track a couple of hundred metres as a result. Steady incline up boggy hillside to the first Munro Top of the day. There are 8 of them along the Corries' ridge, only one of which (Sgurr Choinnich Beag) Allison requires for her mission, but they all come in handy for my "Tops - the second round". We ascend to the second, Stob Coire Easain as the clag starts to come in and some drops of rain begin. Damn - we had been assured by the campsite owner and his Met Office forecast that there would only be sunshine today (hence the shorts we're both wearing). Waterproofs on we start down the steep rocky nose towards the regally posing Sgurr Choinnich Mor.

Off into the heather
ImageP1160878 by Al, on Flickr

Aonach Mor
ImageP1160879 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160881 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr Choinnich Mor & Beag
ImageP1160882 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Stob Coire Laoigh
ImageP1160887 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160888 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160889 by Al, on Flickr

Top of Stob Coire Easain
ImageP1160891 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr Choinnich Mor
ImageP1160893 by Al, on Flickr

Weather coming in
ImageP1160894 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160895 by Al, on Flickr

I'd forgotten how narrow the summit ridge was on this one. We reach the cairn and look down at the small hump of Sgurr Choinnich Beag. Further on is Sgurr a'Bhuic on Aonach Beag which may be on the menu tomorrow. Over to our left are the Mamores, Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnien Beag closest to us. After some luch we press on to Beag then start back up the spine of Mor - there's no sensible bypass route that avoids re-summiting. We meet a group of folk including 2 chaps wearing RAF kit coming down to Bealach Coire Easain as we're going up. Back on the ridge proper we saunter along to Stob Coire an Laoigh. A light aircraft is flying low along the ridge line and waggles his wings as we wave up to him. We pass over another 3 Munro Tops on the way to Stob Choire Claurigh, admiring the shapely peak of Stob Ban and the wonderful lines of the Corries themselves, ash grey as if from the dead fires from the time of dragons.

Onwards to SCBeag
ImageP1160897 by Al, on Flickr

Mamores - Binniens & Sgurr Eilde mor
ImageP1160898 by Al, on Flickr

Top of Sgurr Choinnich Beag and our return path
ImageP1160902 by Al, on Flickr

Pointy peak of Stob Ban
ImageP1160905 by Al, on Flickr

Corries ridge stretching ahead
ImageP1160906 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160907 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160908 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160911 by Al, on Flickr

Moody skies
ImageP1160915 by Al, on Flickr

Steep peak of Stob Coire na Ceannain
ImageP1160919 by Al, on Flickr

We pass out and back to the steep peak of Stob Coire na Ceannain before regaining the path, over the final Top of the day, Stob Coire Gaibhre, looking back on the immense Coire na Ceannain with its central lochan. Down the northern shoulder, steep at the end, to rejoin the track. Past the Wee Meenister who looks like he could use a new coat of paint - there's something positively psychedelic about his robes now - Allison considers he resembles a wizard more than a man of the cloth these days. Back to the car after a fine day out.

ImageP1160920 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160921 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160923 by Al, on Flickr

Coire na Ceannain
ImageP1160924 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160925 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160926 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the tent it's good enough weather to eat our tea outside - before the rain starts again. A showery night, with no view of the sky - so much for seeing the meteor showers! We wake early enough, but it's raining and it's quite hard forcing yourself to get up when the tent's shuddering under rain.

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

So a bit later start today - we drive round to a very busy car park in upper Glen Nevis and prepare for the off. We meet a young couple asking if this is the way up Ben Nevis - we direct them back to the visitor centre. This is the first time we've been along the path to Steall Falls since it was damaged/repaired and it looks different in places. Plenty of tourists though. Steall Falls is quite impressive today - we march on towards Steall ruins and begin our walk up to Sgurr a'Bhuic, pausing to eat handfulls of perfectly ripe blaeberries. The first time we did the Aonachs, we bypassed Sgurr a'Bhuic, scrambling over a boulderfield to avoid a few dozen metres of ascent - pathetic! We achieve the top and pause for lunch in a little bit of shelter - mighty cold windchill up here today.

ImageP1160928 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr a'Bhuic
ImageP1160929 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160933 by Al, on Flickr

Across to the Mamores
ImageP1160935 by Al, on Flickr

Top Sgurr a'Bhuic
ImageP1160938 by Al, on Flickr

Onwards and upwards - nice sheer cliffs to our right. Clag unfortunately comes in, but doesn't stop us seeing a large patch of snow in one of the gullies. The summit cairn is reached and we continue on - I'd forgotten how rocky the descent to the bealach with Aonach Mor is. Then it's just a smooth walk up to the cairn on Aonach Mor. As we reach the cairn a group of figures emerge from the clag. It turns out to be part of a Compleation party from Forfar. The longer in the tooth members have taken the gondola up, whilst the "younger folk" including the Compleater-to-be - Alison Stewart - are climbing up under their own steam. We chat for a wee while and hope the older folk aren't kept waiting too long - it isn't warm today.

Yesterday's hills - Sgurr Choinnich Beag & Mor
ImageP1160939 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Top Stob Coire Bealaich
ImageP1160941 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160942 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Aonach Beag
ImageP1160943 by Al, on Flickr

Snow patch
ImageP1160944 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Aonach Mor
ImageP1160946 by Al, on Flickr

Part of the Compleation party - the vintage section, great folk
ImageP1160947 by Al, on Flickr

It's down the scary loose path towards the bealach with Carn Mor Dearg next, something that gave Allison nightmares the first time we did it (in bad snow). It is quite unpleasant but not too traumatic. We set off along the river into Coire Guibhsachan, sometimes finding evidence of a path then losing it again. As we descend, I'm curious about the impressive knobble that sits on the right of the river - I check the GPS - Meall Cumhann - I remember, that's a Simm. Allison is struggling with pain, so extra ascent is not pleasing to her ear, so I set off alone, leaving her to follow the river back to the path.

The Simm, Meall Cumhann visible at the end of the spur
ImageP1160950 by Al, on Flickr

Carn Mor Dearg on L of valley
ImageP1160951 by Al, on Flickr

The loose path
ImageP1160952 by Al, on Flickr

Boggy return path
ImageP1160957 by Al, on Flickr

Meall Cumhann
ImageP1160960 by Al, on Flickr

A nice wee hill this, a Hump as well as a Simm :wink: It has the benefit of being drier underfoot than the usual return route by :wink: the river and affords some fine views of Aonach Beag and the Mamores. There's even a path in p;laces with boot prints - unusual on a stand-alone Simm. Finally the sun is coming out - I strip down back to shorts and t-shirt and enjoy the romp back down to the track. Getting back to the car is hampered by even more tourists than earlier in the day - not sure what draws them here, though quite a few seem taken with the wire bridge over the Water of Nevis. Each to their own.

Towards Aonach Beag
ImageP1160962 by Al, on Flickr

Ben Nevis
ImageP1160964 by Al, on Flickr

View to car park
ImageP1160966 by Al, on Flickr

Summit lochan
ImageP1160969 by Al, on Flickr

Glen Nevis
ImageP1160970 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160971 by Al, on Flickr

Ring of Steall
ImageP1160972 by Al, on Flickr

Steall Falls
ImageP1160978 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160979 by Al, on Flickr
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