Soggy Stob Ban and Murky Mullach nan Coirean

Route: Stob Ban (Mamores) and Mullach nan Coirean

Munros: Mullach nan Coirean, Stob Ban (Mamores)

Date walked: 10/10/2019

Time taken: 7.25 hours

Distance: 14.8km

Ascent: 1155m

My first walk report. Could have picked a better one in terms of (a) weather and (b) photographic content but anyhoo...

My wife and three pals had undertaken to walk the West Highland Way in what turned out to be a more or less unrelenting rain-fest. I was going to meet them at the finish and had traveled up to Glen Nevis Caravan Site a few days before, intending to get a bit of walking in for myself. Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean looked tempting so, barring a total wash-out, that was my goal.
Come the morning, when I awoke, Glen Nevis was 'happed in mist', but after breakfast it had cleared somewhat and off I set. At Achriabhach the only other occupant of the car park was a German registered campervan. At least I had beaten the crowds...

My route, more or less as Walk Highland has it, apart from a few detours.

Track_10-OCT-19 162901.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I started off with a look at the Polldubh waterfall in full spate.
Polldubh Falls

The path was initially damp and muddy and up ahead clouds were gathering over Coire a Mhusgain.
Into the valley, ahoy, ahoy

Over to the north-east, Càrn Dearg and Bealach Cumhann rose above Glen Nevis.
Carn Dearg and Bealach Cumhann

The view back down Glen Nevis was still clear. In the foreground is an illustration of the general conditions underfoot. Across the burn I could hear stags roaring, and after some effort picked out tiny brown figures high up on the slopes.
Glen Nevis

The view forward was also still clear. Ish.
The way ahead

But soon came the clag.
The weather closes in

I really shouldn’t have been here, having missed the zig-zags which take the path higher up the slope. This path crossed the burn and then after a slight scramble ended at a rock wall which would have been essayable in the dry, but not when it was running like Niagara Falls.
The wrong way?

So I forged directly up the slope until I regained the proper track, much to the bemusement of the natives.
Back on track

Getting across this involved a detour and a grazed hand. Once across I met the owners of the camper van who had decided to turn back because of the weather.
Crossing the torrent

At the bealach. I dug out my waterproof trousers and carried on.
Heading off from the pass

Phantoms loomed out of the mist. Some minor scrambling was required but nothing terrifying.
Phantoms in the mist

At the top of Stob Ban. I had half intended to return the way I had come up, but then decided I was doing not too bad, and although it was wet, it wasn't torrential, so I would carry on. I hunkered down in the lee of a rock and ate my lunch.
Top of Stob Ban

Discretion and the best part of valour and all that, I went round the base of the knoll, stumbling over the shattered rock.
Not this time.

A break in the mist revealed Coire an Lochain, and Glen Nevis beyond.
Coire an Lochain

Looking back to Stob Ban.
On the ridge

Another break to the south-east briefly revealed the glen of the Allt Nathrach, and Kinlochleven away in the distance, towards where my wife and her chums were making their way from Kingshouse over the Devil’s Staircase. Tomorrow they would be taking their sodden 16 mile hike to Fort William.
Towards Loch Leven

After a bit of a plod I was happy to suddenly come upon the summit cairn of Mullach nan Coirean.
Second summit of the day

Hefty buttresses descend into the misty depths of Coire Dearg. I really must get back up here on a nice day (see also several other hills).
Coire Deirg buttresses

The Allt a’ Choire Dheirg being generously fed from Allt Coire an Lochain.
Allt a Choire Dheirg

The descent down Sròn Riabhach started promisingly.
All downhill from here

But then turned boggy.
Begin the bogging

Then steep, rocky, boggy and wet.
The path steepens

At last, the stile to the promised land of no more bog.
Stairway to heaven

A last look back at the horror.
Bye bye boggy

What Walk Highland describes as a ‘thankfully much drier’ path.
Drier, maybe

At the sharp bend on the forestry track there was a sign for the Achriabhach Trail, which I nearly took before realising it was (a) back uphill and (b) maybe involved a dodgy crossing of the raging torrent that was the Allt a' Choire Dheirg. Luckily I spotted the proper descent behind a pile of spoil and eventually made my sodden return to an empty, bar one, car park. Apart from the German couple I met at the start, I reckon I was the sole wanderer on the circuit that day.

The statistics. Not too shabby; generally as long as I get midway between the Walk Highland estimate I reckon I've not done too badly.
Vital statistics

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Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Deuchary Hill
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Views: 53

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Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Skiddaw
Hewitts: Skiddaw
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Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Latrigg
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Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers
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Views: 42

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Attachment(s) Munros: Driesh, Mayar
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Ascent: 943m
Views: 33

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Attachment(s) Corbetts: Goat Fell
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Ascent: 837m
Views: 30

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Attachment(s) Date walked: 04/04/2017
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User avatar
Location: Fifeshire
Occupation: As little as possible
Interests: Doing as little as possible (hills and whisky excepted)
Activity: Mountaineer
Pub: The next one
Mountain: The next one
Place: Not Callander
Gear: Folding Sit Mats
Member: National Trust for Scotland
Royal Scottish Geographical Society
Camera: Nikon DSLR
Ideal day out: As long as it's sunny...
Ambition: Walk a hill in sunshine

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Last visited: May 29, 2020
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