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I'm a Mamores man

I'm a Mamores man


Postby PeteR » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:32 pm

Route description: Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean, Mamores

Munros included on this walk: Binnein Beag, Binnein Mor, Na Gruagaichean, Sgurr Eilde Mor

Date walked: 04/09/2011

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I love these hills :D

I have done the other 6 in this group last year and had two great days out on the hills :D

First was a taster on Mullach nan Coirean and Stob Ban :D That was a great introduction and I was lucky to have great weather too. This was soon followed by the Ring of Steall :D 8) What can you say about that route. Simply fantastic, and again I was lucky to have great weather. That was a tough route for me at rhe time and I was left quite de-hydrated at the end, which made for a slow descent and walk back to the car.

All that was left were the final four hills of Sgurr Eilde Mor, Binnien Beag, Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean - and hopefully in that order, so that I could enjoy the delights of the steep descent off Na Gruagaichean's summit :D :lol:

But I wanted good weather again for these four, as the views were going to be a big reason for going there. It's been a long wait :lol: as summer 2011 hasn't had as many great weather days as I would have hoped for (and as I write this a week after the event the forecast for this weekend looks decidedly ropy :shock: :shock: ).

The MWIS forecast for the area had been improving as th weekend approached, with suggestion of cloud free tops and excellent conditions, and so I made the decision that the Eastern Mamores was the walk of choice. Despite a less than optimistic start with a heavy shower early doors I was not to disappointed on any counts. Weather 8) and views 8) :D :thumbup: It was though a tougher walk than I had expected and my knees wanted to divorce me by the time I arrived back at my car :lol: but I wasn't caring as I had just had an amazing day. Can't wait to do it all again :D

I'd driven up overnight on the Saturday, kipping in the car at the Grey Mares car park (I was starting this walk from the lowest point possible, rather than miss abit of the height gain by parking at the Mamores Lodge :lol: :lol: ). On the way up the skies had looked clear, so I was hoping for a clear start, but as I say early on there was a pretty heavy shower which had dampened my enthusiasm (no pun intended :lol: ). As a result the cloud was a little low at the start, but this soon started to burn away as I headed off.

Starting off from the Grey Mares fall I thought the start to the route would be easy - and I suppose it was, although at times there seemed to be a myriad of paths and off-shoots to choose from. My approach was to follow my nose and choose the route that was heading up and vaguely to my right. Turns out my nose is a pretty good one, as I was soon finding myself joining up with the landrover track coming from the Lodge at a wonderful view point looking back down Loch Leven to the Pap :D
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Early view back toward the Pap of Glencoe

I stood here for a while soaking the view up. There was a cracking stone bench at this view point, but is was a tad wet what with the earlier rain. But the view was incredible. Had I gone back to the car now, just having had that view would have been enough for me. But I had much more walking to do yet (I discovered later I'd underestimated how long this whole route was :lol: so had more walking to do than perhaps I realised at the time :lol: ).

I followed the landrover track for a short while, until a small cairn on the left at a right hand bend marked the point where it was time to move onto the stalkers path. This path, as with all of the stalkers paths in this area, was excellent. The super keen, super fit amongst you will say it makes easy going to the plateau at Coire an Lochain, and you'd be right. I couldn't get my rhythm going though and so it probably took me longer than it should (got passed by a chap at one point who was fair fleeing up the track). But I got there in my own time.
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View back down the stalkers path

Walking up the path gave some great views back in the direction I had come, looking over toward the hills of Glencoe :D
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I think the Aonach Eagach may be in there somewhere!

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Meall a' Bhuiridh and Creise

Eventually my first target revealed itself, as I reached the plateau and the cloud was finally breaking up for good :D Sgurr Eilde Mor.
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First target of the day

I took a route to the right of the lochan, aiming for the obvious path I could see up onto the southern ridge. It was a bit of a slog up onto the summit, although I did manage to locate traces of path which improved as I got higher. I had feared it would be a clamber over big boulders all the way. Although I had to do this in healthy doses there was also a section of unexpected scrambling (nothing difficult), which improved the experience. Got passed by another chap on this section and although we were doing our own thing tended to bump into each other on an off for some while after.

Arriving at the summit the views were starting to open up for me. There was still some low cloud, but there were good views to Binnein Beag and across to Sgurr Eilde Beag 8) On the descent off the hill the view down to the north west ridge to the lochan was breathtaking :D
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Coire nan Lochain from Sgurr Eilde Beag

The path from this point on is maybe something of an acquired taste :lol: eroded, loose, gravelly scree.
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The 'path' off Sgurr Eilde Mor, with Binnein Beag ahead

But it was great fun :lol: and I was soon at the bottom and following the stalkers path back round in order to follow the main path round to munro #2 of the day - Binnein Beag. I decided to cut some of this path out and so just dropped down off the hill to the low point of the path I needed to be on. It was then a case of following this path until it plonked me next to another small lochan in front of the Beag. Here the obvious path was again to the right of the lochan and up the right hand ridge.
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At the foot of Binnein Beag

It's only 650 ft to the top :lol: :lol: My legs were beginning to feel it too, and certainly felt every inch of the walk to the top of this little munro :lol:

But again the views were worth the effort. On the way up the view of Binnein Mor opened up superbly :D
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Binnein Mor from the route up Binnein Beag

Also got a view of the Big Boochil as well :D
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Glencoe from route up Binnein Beag

At the summit the views all round were fantastic (I seem to run out of superlatives to describe the hills and the views when writing up reports and whatever word I do use really can't do them justice. Nor can my point-and-click camera either :lol: )

Had great views of the Grey Corries, Ben Nevis, the Aonachs, Glencoe, the Easains and the seemingly ever present Schiehallion :lol: :lol: :lol: But, I'm limited to the number of photies I can upload (we need more capacity) and there were more great views to come, so if anyone who hasn't done this route and who wants to know what they're missing you'll just have to try it for yourself. It's well worth it :D :D

It was another fairly steep descent off the hill on scree and boulders and a walk across the saddle toward #3 of the day - Binnein Mor. On the saddle the views of the Ben, CMD and Aonachs were brilliant :D
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The Ben

By now my legs were done :shock: And there was still a long way to go!! :cry: There's an obvious path to the right of the coire, which got me onto the north ridge of the hill, but it was slow going just getting to the path in the first place :lol:
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Heading for route onto Binnein Mor


Got nice views back toward Binnein Beag and the Grey Corries 8)
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Binnein Beag and Grey Corries from route up Binnein Mor

Met a chap out with his small dog, which he had in a harness so that he could simply pick it up when it couldn't scale the boulders we were walking over to get to the path. Kept me amused at the time :lol: The final walk up onto the summit was pretty good, but I was suffering with me knees, so slowing up and was eventually overtaken by another couple of chaps just short of the summit :shock:
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Ridge up to Binnein Mor summit

On the way up the north ridge views toward the other Mamores started to open up, as well as views toward Na Gruagaichean. I had read about the descent from that hill being steep and slippery, even if the worst of it was only a short section. The view as I made my way up Binnein Mor wasn't really helping me much :lol: :lol:
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Na Gruagaichean

And then I arrived on the summit :D The summit ridge of Binnein Mor is narrow and airy and heralded a complete change from the hard work that had gone before.
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Binnein Mor summit ridge

Suddenly it was a case of a short airy trot along to the summit - possibly the smallest cairn you will ever see and completely out of keeping with the size of the hill whose summit it marked :lol: :lol:
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Binnein Mor's wee toatie cairn

All round, there were great views from Binnein Mor, toward Binnein Beag and the Grey Corries and the general Glencoe area 8) 8)
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Binnein Beag from Binnein Mor summit

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Bidean nam Bian and the Aonach Eagach

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Meall a' Bhuiridh, Creise and the Big Boochil

From the Binnein Mor summit the ridge route leading to the final munro of the day, Na Gruagaichean, was also set out before me. Despite my knees complaining loudly every time I tried to walk all of a sudden my enthusiasm for the walk had returned (well, it had never really left, but was just struggling to be heard over the noise of my complaining knees :lol: :lol: ).
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Route to Na Gruagaichean

I really enjoyed the walk along the ridge to Na Gruagaichean. It was all easy going along a great path. The views all round were fantastic and the walking was suddenly much easier :D Eventually I was on the final summit. I've got to admit at times I wasn't sure I would manage all four as the effect of clambering over the boulders on Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beagand really taken it out of me. But what I lack in fitness I probably more than compensate for in stubborn determination and I was damn sure I was going to complete this walk.

And for the view down Loch Leven alone it was worth the effort 8)
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Loch Leven from Na Gruagaichean summit

The view to the north west top was pretty good too
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Na Gruagaichean north west top

Note the by-pass path to the left if you want to avoid the scramble. I completely ignored it when I was there and simply went up the ridge. Loved it :D :lol: 8)

But first there was the descent of Na Gruagaichean :lol: :shock: As expected it was steep, but at the top it wasn't too bad (especially when compared with anything that had gone before). There is though a short section toward the bottom, described in the guide I was using as being surfaced with ballbearing-like grit. Yep, it was pretty much as described. But with due care and attention I was soon on the bottom and making my way up onto the north west top :D
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Looking back at Na Gruagaichean descent path

The two chaps who had passed me on the way up to the Binnein Mor summit were just ahead of me on Na Gruagaichean, and we made our way down off the summit together - they then motored back to Mamore Lodage ahead of me.

From the north west top the views toward the rest of the Mamores was immense :D :D :D :D :D I just found myself standing there soaking it all up for a while (by now I was probably the last on the hill, but did I care - nah :lol: :lol: )
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The rest of the Mamores from Na Gruagaichean north west top

Coming off the north west top was a bit steep in places, but never too bad. I took it slowly and eventually got onto the saddle with Stob Coire a' Chairn on the Ring of Steall. At this point I decided to ignore the stalkers path and simply make my way off the hill in as direct a route as I could (the path wanders off to the left to eventually come back on itself and I coudn't be doing with that!!). I'm sure I saved all of about 5 minutes :lol: :lol: but in my head I thought I was being clever :lol: I was eventually on the path lower down and then the tamac track to the Mamore Lodge. I then had the walk down until turning off the road onto the WHW back into Kinlochleven and the welcome sight of my car :D :D

All in all a fantastic walk. Yeah it was tough on my legs (took at least three days to get over this one :lol: :lol: ) but the views were immense from all the summits and in all directions. The weather was excellent too, after a bit of a dodgy start. I was so glad I stuck at this one and did the four in one sitting :lol: Already can't wait to get back some time in the future.

:D 8) :lol: :D 8) :lol: :D 8) :lol: :D 8) :lol:
Last edited by PeteR on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby kev_russ » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:11 pm

Great report Pete. Some cracking pics tae :)
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby ChrisW » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:25 pm

Fantastic PeteR, some stunning pics with that 'point and click' (you do yourself a disservice saying otherwise), I reckon determination trumps everything...pure unadulterated bloody-mindedness works for me every time :lol:
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby gammy leg walker » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:27 pm

Great effort Peter to keep going,I was up that way a few weeks ago,and only managed the 1st 2 before my gammy knee & ankle told me enough was enough :( just means I need to go back & complete this section :) but that will need to wait till next year now.
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby soulminer » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:50 pm

A fine report on some 4 terrific hills. Some nice images to boot- great memories :lol:
Cheers
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby Yipyipcoyote » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:12 pm

Nice report. Glad you liked it. I agree that the views in all directions from all the Munros you tackled are exceptional. Much clearer than when I did it on 20th August. Some great pics.
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby skuk007 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:12 pm

Great report Pete, love the title. :lol: Can't think of a witty reply to that one.

Some great pics too, especially like the "Binnein Beag from Binnein Mor summit" one.

I like to look at a map in my Munro book to try and visualise the path taken while I'm reading reports without a GPS track. I got a bit confused when I seen your "The 'path' off Sgurr Eilde Beag, with Binnein Beag ahead" pic, did you mean this showed the path off Sgurr Eilde Mor? :?

Time to put cod-liver oil capsules on your xmas list for those knees. :lol:
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby monty » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:25 pm

Your certainly getting round Peter.
Thats a great report with some superb pictures. The Mamores is one of my favorite areas so good to see all the views. Thats quite a tough walk so good effort especially with dodgy knees :lol:
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby trickeyja » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:42 pm

Great pictures!
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby PeteR » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:33 pm

ChrisW wrote:Fantastic PeteR, some stunning pics with that 'point and click' (you do yourself a disservice saying otherwise), I reckon determination trumps everything...pure unadulterated bloody-mindedness works for me every time :lol:


Thanks Chris. Not sure there's anything that could improve my pictures from my walk this Sunday up Meall Ghaordaidh - except some sunshine perhaps :lol: :lol: A complete contrast to the wonders of the Mamores :shock:

gammy leg walker wrote:Great effort Peter to keep going,I was up that way a few weeks ago,and only managed the 1st 2 before my gammy knee & ankle told me enough was enough :( just means I need to go back & complete this section :) but that will need to wait till next year now.


Thanks GLW - enjoy the two remaining hills when you get back. These really are great hills. I'm sure I'll be back soon enough to do it all again :lol:

skuk007 wrote:I like to look at a map in my Munro book to try and visualise the path taken while I'm reading reports without a GPS track. I got a bit confused when I seen your "The 'path' off Sgurr Eilde Beag, with Binnein Beag ahead" pic, did you mean this showed the path off Sgurr Eilde Mor? :?


:lol: :lol: :lol: Well spotted. I knew I'd get my Sgurr's and my Binnein's mixed up. All corrected now, thanks :D

monty wrote:Your certainly getting round Peter.
Thats a great report with some superb pictures. The Mamores is one of my favorite areas so good to see all the views. Thats quite a tough walk so good effort especially with dodgy knees :lol:


Thanks Monty. I totally mis-judged how long this walk was or how long it would take me :lol: :lol: But once I'd started it was a case of keeping going 'till I'd finished. And I'm glad I did :D
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby Alastair S » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:29 am

Great stuff there Pete - and lots of really super photos. These seem really photogenic hills. Particularly like the first one of Loch Leven.

Also looks like a real energy-sapping day - must have been well over 2,000m of ascent.
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:13 pm

Great round this one and pretty hard going, well done
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Re: I'm a Mamores man

Postby Harmen NL » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:18 pm

Ahh so this is what it looks like up there, when there isn´t a snow storm and you can actually see something! :)
Well done on a nice long walk.

Grtz, Harmen.
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