Aonach Beag, Aonach Mor, CMD & Ben Nevis circuit

Date walked: 02/08/2011

Having managed to squeeze some time off work I headed off to Ft Wm last Friday for an o/n stay at the Glen Nevis SYHA. It has to be one of the worst places to try and sleep - people coming in late from the pub, others getting up at 0300 to climb the Ben :(. So being awake my brother and I headed off and were at the car park at the head of Glen Nevis for 0600.

My brother thought the Aonachs were a good day out. I had other ideas and fancied adding CMD and the Ben.

The midges were out in force so it was a case of boots on and quickly off through the wood to emerge with the fantastic view of the beginning of the Ring of Steall and the falls.

Steall Falls

Keeping to the track we passed the falls and continued to the little bridge at Steall Ruin and were rewarded with a view up the approach to Aonach Beag, first of the day.

Aonach Beag from Steall Ruin

It was a long and sticky climb up Stob Coire Bhealaich over grassy slopes but views of the Ben confirmed the good conditions.

Ben Nevis from the ascent of Aonach Beag

Once the An Aghaidh Gharbh ridge is reached the going is easier once the path is gained. A steeper pull sees the top gained and a well earned rest.

Aonach Beag with the Ben in the background.

The 2Kms or so between the Aonachs is very straight forward especially in good light but it could be trickier in the mist with a big drop off the east.

Aonach Mor from Aonach Beag

Having quickly gained Aonach Mor one is rewarded with a fine view of CMD on the opposite ridge. In order to get there it's necessary to back track about 750m before descending fairly steeply to the bealach during which time one gets a good view of the ridge that is the route up to CMD.

CMD from Aonach Mor

CMD and the ascent ridge

Although the base of the ridge is rounded and rocky with no discernable path it can be tackled from a number of points and the ridge path easily found. After than it's a good path up with the option of some medium scrambles for those that like.

View back down the CMD ascent ridge with Aonach Beag in the background

From CMD one follows the usual arête route to the base of the Ben, a quick rest and then the final put. After seeing no-one on the Aonachs and only few hard soles on CMD, Ben Nevis was mobbed doing a good impression of Blackpool.

CMD arête & Ben Nevis from CMD

Looking back along the arête towards CMD

CMD and Aonach Mor from Ben Nevis

Coffee and it was off the way we can and bearing right we headed southward straight down the bolder field. This is not a route for those with weak knees. There's about 500m of hard work before the steeper grassy slope is reached and looking into the coire a slight track which is the way down can be seen which disappears over the lip of the coire.

Route out of the coire to Glen Nevis

Over the lip and looking towards Steall Falls. Note the RAF Rescue heading up the glen

A path runs beside the burn all the way back to the car park which completes a great circuit taking in four Munros over about 22km and some 2000m of ascent.

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Comments: 2


Pub: Clathaig Inn
Mountain: An Teallach
Place: Torridon
Gear: Hagloff Softshell Jacket
Member: Army Mountaineering Association
Ideal day out: A day on a hill involving exposure, scrabbling, no-one else, and a pub at the end.

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 1
Sub 2000: 2

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Trips: 1

Joined: Jun 17, 2009
Last visited: Apr 04, 2021
Total posts: 16 | Search posts