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Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mamores

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:14 pm
by Jaxter
A “lazy” start (and not being properly packed and ready :roll: ) saw me arrive at Glen Nevis and opt for the “easy option” on day 1…. Parking up at the car park just past Achriabhach and attaching my hardware to my pack, I was off.

Despite being super late (it was about 10 :shock: ) it wasn’t warm so I set off wearing many layers. I headed off on a quick march through the strange gates that are leaning over on themselves (anyone else nearly lost fingers on these :shock: ?) and followed the path up alongside the Allt Coire a’ Mhusgain.

A lot of the ground was relatively frozen but there were still some boggy sections. The last occasion I was here was possibly the hottest day of last year and was bone dry but I can imagine it being quite a quagmire during wetter times :shock:

I avoided the path off to the left (the descent from the Ring of Steall) and continued up the glen. Although some of the tops had been a wee bit misty when I set off, things were clearing nicely – looking back was very bonny
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And ahead to Stob Ban
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As I climbed higher up I could see the scale of the rocks – almost Torridonian!
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The sun was making an appearance too!
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Soon I was into snow although the path was still clear and the well worn footprints meant that crampons weren’t needed just yet…. :crazy:

However some of the snow looked fairly unstable – this bit is just hanging on :shock:
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I began catching people up; I overtook a group as I was heading into the corrie and then I could see this party ahead, looking very intrepid as they climbed the snowy slopes ahead
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I caught the next group up as they stopped to put their crampons on, so it seemed sensible to do the same 8) Soon after I reached the ridge and could see Stob Ban ahead – the last wee section looked like it might be a little tricky
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It was very cold – the wind was strong and blowing bits of loose snow around but the views were outstanding – Beinn a’ Bheithir
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There were some incredibly impressive cornices along the ridge so care was needed to stay well away :shock:
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I overtook the group ahead of me just before the final climb up to Stob Ban – I jokingly suggested they wanted to use me as a guinea pig :lol:

Look at that cornice :shock:
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Hi ho Hi ho it’s off up a ridge we go…. :lol:
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Looking back – the Devil’s Ridge & Sgurr a’ Mhaim
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The climbing here wasn’t difficult and although it required care it was nowhere near as bad as it had appeared from afar. What was very evident however, was the gigantic cornice on the top – people ahead of me had broken through it so it was easy enough to climb out onto the top but the snow was so deep that the cairn was completely buried. Judging by the size of the cornice I judged that (when standing a safe distance away from the edge!) I was higher than the cairn anyway, and there was no was I was going any closer to the edge for anything :lol: :shock:

It was a bonny view ahead along the ridge to Mullach nan Coirean
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Definitely nae Jaxter on this precarious summit (Inn Pinn? Yes I know, but there was nae giant cornice there :lol: )
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I moved on a little before stopping to get a few photos, as despite the insecurity of my position it really was a stunning viewpoint!
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The sun glinting off Big Ben
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Looking towards the 912 spot there were two more people a short distance ahead
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Looking from the 912 spot back towards the summit of Stob Ban – just beautiful.
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Sgurr a’ Mhaim & The Devil’s Ridge
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The Long and Winding Road
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Looking back again
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It wasn’t really hanging about weather as the wind was freezing so off I went, giving the edge of the ridge a very wide berth :crazy:

Soon I caught up with the couple ahead of me – they were visiting from Gloucestershire and seemed to be enjoying Scottish Winter 8) We walked together along the next section of ridge towards a large cairn.

My new pals
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Ben Nevis again
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Looking back to Stob Ban – what a lovely looking hill
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Nevis, CMD & the Aonach becoming visible
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This cairn heralded the tip of Coire Dearg (which was bulls**t – it was white! :lol: ) I left my new friends behind as I began the journey around the corrie.

Wind whipping up snow ahead
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There were a few interesting sections along here – with crampons on the temptation is to stick to snow as much as possible when it gets rocky, but there were a few scrambly moments where significant care was required; looking back to one such moment as my pals negotiate it behind me
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Ahead again – yes, another cornice photo :shock:
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With the visibility near perfect the navigation was easy and cornices were easily avoided but I could imagine that in less good conditions it could be pretty hazardous :shock:

Looking back as I begin the final ascent to Mullach nan Coirean
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Ben Nevis & pals
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Ben Nevis & all of today’s ridge
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Reaching the summit of Mullach nan Coirean there was no danger of this cairn being buried – it was huge!! I did climb it, of course, but not in time for a self timer :lol:

More familiar summit pose
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Fort William and towards Glenfinnan
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Stob Ban (on the right) and the Mamores
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Beinn a’ Bheithir
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Stob Ban
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The Aonach’s & Grey Corries
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The mighty Garbh Bheinn of Ardgour
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Sun on Big Ben
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Blue skies & Mamores
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Loch Linnhe – I did consider walking out to the extra summit but in the end my tired legs and mega plans for the next few days won out. I’ll be back for sure!!
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It seemed a shame to go down when I could stay and see this….
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My pals from earlier arrived after a while and we had a wee chat as I soaked up more views before I decided to see if I could find the way down….the top section was steep and icy and would have been impossible without crampons (as would a lot of today!)
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Looking back along the Mamores
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I’m not sure what these hills are but I loved how the sun was hitting them as I descended 8)
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As I dropped lower I got a different perspective on today's hills – mighty impressive for sure :D
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Looking back up – after the initial steep section it was easy walking on the snow
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Coire Riabhach
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Eventually the crampons came off and it was a steep and increasingly squishy descent until I reached the stile and new path through the woods…such a relief to my knees!
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Back at the car I chilled out and headed for some food as I just couldn’t be bothered cooking – I can recommend the Ben Nevis Inn; lovely vibe, friendly people and delicious food 8)

As I walked back across the bridge back to my car afterwards it was a glorious evening in Glen Nevis
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Back at the car it was planning time – would the weather align with my mental plans for the next day? 8)

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Stob Ban & Mullach nan Coirean.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Re: Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mam

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:13 am
by HalfManHalfTitanium
Superb report and photos! The cornicing looks fantastic.

Very useful information for me, as I've got a week in Fort William coming up. This route (and several others in the area) is one I'm hoping to do!

Tim

Re: Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mam

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:46 pm
by malky_c
Looked like good fun - some interesting cornices too. It has certainly been the winter for them. I have waded through plenty of snow since January, but I've only really had one 'proper' winter day out (axe, crampons, cornice dodging) like this. Grab it while you can - next year will probably be back to warm and wet again :lol:

Re: Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mam

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:41 pm
by Mal Grey
Good stuff! I like Stob Ban, as its one of those hills that took me two attempts to get to the top of (thanks to dodgy snow on the north ridge first time around).

So, I presume you're now going to entertain us with more reports. Good, as having just returned from my own wild Scotland trip (floating on things rather than up stuff), I need a diversion from the grey of a Surrey day in the rain.

Re: Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mam

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:52 pm
by Jaxter
HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Superb report and photos! The cornicing looks fantastic.

Very useful information for me, as I've got a week in Fort William coming up. This route (and several others in the area) is one I'm hoping to do!

Tim

Thankyou - yes it was mighty impressive :lol:
I suspect most of the white stuff will be gone unless the big yellow thing in the sky goes away but they will surely be awesome hills (and probably easier) without it :lol:



malky_c wrote:Looked like good fun - some interesting cornices too. It has certainly been the winter for them. I have waded through plenty of snow since January, but I've only really had one 'proper' winter day out (axe, crampons, cornice dodging) like this. Grab it while you can - next year will probably be back to warm and wet again :lol:

I've been incredibly lucky with weather this winter actually, a lot of the good weather has coincided with weekends 8) Next winter probably starts in June :lol: :lol:



Mal Grey wrote:Good stuff! I like Stob Ban, as its one of those hills that took me two attempts to get to the top of (thanks to dodgy snow on the north ridge first time around).

So, I presume you're now going to entertain us with more reports. Good, as having just returned from my own wild Scotland trip (floating on things rather than up stuff), I need a diversion from the grey of a Surrey day in the rain.

Cheers - I can imagine it being tricky to get to - was a wee bit dodgy even last weekend. I've about 2 months worth of reports to catch up on, so using my easter holidays to get some done. Prepare yourself for a deluge :lol: :lol:

Re: Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mam

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:10 pm
by Alteknacker
Really excellent report and pics; and, as you say, a moment's reflection on the scale and extent of those cornices makes one realise how risky it could be in clag.

Hope there's plenty of the white stuff later this week at Braemar...

Re: Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mam

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:09 am
by Sunset tripper
Great hills and great report as usual.
Love the Mamores :D

Re: Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mam

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:14 pm
by Graeme D
Nice report, but I hope you don't mind me saying that the coolest thing about it is how the route map looks like Scooby Doo's heid! 8)

Re: Look at the size of that...cornice - Snow day in the Mam

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:28 am
by Jaxter
Alteknacker wrote:Really excellent report and pics; and, as you say, a moment's reflection on the scale and extent of those cornices makes one realise how risky it could be in clag.

Hope there's plenty of the white stuff later this week at Braemar...

Thanks - think it’ll all be wet and slushy sadly :(



Sunset tripper wrote:Great hills and great report as usual.
Love the Mamores :D

Thankyou, they are awesome hills 8)



Graeme D wrote:Nice report, but I hope you don't mind me saying that the coolest thing about it is how the route map looks like Scooby Doo's heid! 8)

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: