walkhighlands

Aonach Mor and Beag from NF Car Park - Day 3 in Lochaber

Route: Aonach Mòr and Beag via the Gondola

Munros: Aonach Beag (Nevis Range), Aonach Mòr

Date walked: 29/04/2022

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 20.3km

Ascent: 1580m

Packed up and left Glen Nevis pretty early after 2 great days of walking there ... I'd considered doing 2 remaining eastern Mamores from the Kinlochleven side, but as I was needing to head home, I decided to leave those for another time and do Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag instead, as I'd be passing them as I set off north. This meant doing them by the Gondola route, but I had no desire to miss out on the exercise of walking up and also no desire to pay for the Nevis Range car park at the gondola, so decided to make a much longer walk for myself by doing it from the North Face car park at Torlundy. Took 2 hours in total along good forestry tracks to get to Nevis Range and onwards up the mix of paths alongside the mountain bike runs, or heading up rough ground, to get to the upper gondola station where the WH route starts from.
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Started the walk from the North Face car park at Torlundy and look the forest track to Nevis Range

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The gondolas weren't operating yet, I think it was 0930 they suddenly started up but I was in sight of the top gondola station by then. Lack of transport up explained why there were no mountain bikers on the downhill runs as I walked up, so with hindsight, I could have walked on the mountain bike track if I'd known I wasn't risking a collision before that!

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Rough tracks and paths beside the downhill tracks ended above the trees, but I took a direct line up rough, boggy vegetation from here towards the upper gondola station rather than walking up the mountain bike track

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View back down from near the top gondola station, gondolas started up just after this photo.

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Going up the slopes aboe the gondola station, amongst the ski lifts and tows, looking down to Fort William and Loch Eil

Wonderfully impressive sight down into Coire Choille-rais and along the corniced edge of Aonach Mor when the steep slog up the slope finally got to the top of the ridge. From there, it was a lovely easy walk (in these clear conditions) to Aonach Mor's summit and then down to the bealach between the 2 hills.
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Stunning views into the still-snow-filled Coire Choille-rais. Not visible in this photo, but there was a set of footprints zig zagging up the snow from Coire Choille-rais which seemed utterly insane given the avalanche risk.

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Scary cornices above Coire Choille-rais

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Heading along the edge of Aonach Mor's plateau

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Warning signs close to the top of a Neis Range ski tow

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The zig zagging footprints came out on the top plateau here. Don't know if it was an ascent or descent route .. I wouldn't have fancied it either way

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Continuing along the plateau towards Aonach Mor's summit cairn, Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis lie off to the right

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Aonach Mor summit cairn, Aonach Beag visible ahead

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Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis

Heading up Aonach Beag was easier than it looked from a distance, with a path zig zagging up the rocks. The summit area was still covered in snow, and with the small summit cairn being on the edge, it was difficult to accurately tell where the exact summit was and where the cornice started. There were just a handful of other footprints from the last couple of days, all tentatively stopping around the same place I ventured to before retreating. It looked like the high point, at least to a couple of metres.
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Heading down the grassy slope of Aonach Mor to the bealach before the steeper pull up Aonach Beag

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View back to Aonach Mor as I headed up Aonach Beag

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The Mamores to the south of Aonach Beag's snow covered summit

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Ben Nevis and the CMD arete

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As I headed back down to the bealach from Aonach Beag's summit, I noticed more tracks in the steep snow dropping down the eastern side ...

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...looks like footprints up and ski tracks down?!

Returned the same way, with the long descent from Aonach Mor to the Nevis Range car park and bottom gondola station being considerably faster and easier than the steep slog up (1.5hrs to get from the upper gondola station back to the North face car park). So at my pace, the route I took added 3.5hrs of walking on to the WH route description for these 2 munros from the upper gondola station.
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Headed back the same way, passing Aonach Mor's cairn again

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Gondola in full flow by this time, quite a few mountain bikers taking the easy way up :)


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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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Ascent: 1155m
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Distance: 17.5km
Ascent: 780m
Views: 175


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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Creag a' Chliabhain
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Ascent: 465m
Views: 123


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Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Creag Dhubh (Affric)
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gld73


Location: Inverness

Munros: 165
Corbetts: 66
Grahams: 57
Donalds: 10
Wainwrights: 84
Hewitts: 53
Sub 2000: 88
Islands: 13
Long Distance routes: Dava Way    Great Glen Way    Moray Coastal Trail    Loch Ness 360   



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Statistics

2022

Trips: 33
Distance: 474.3 km
Ascent: 24200m
Munros: 10
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 5
Sub2000s: 17
Hewitts: 13
Wainwrights 20

2021

Trips: 80
Distance: 1524.38 km
Ascent: 63341m
Munros: 35
Corbetts: 20
Grahams: 19
Donalds: 4
Sub2000s: 19
Hewitts: 17
Wainwrights 37

2020

Trips: 58
Distance: 997.35 km
Ascent: 39174m
Munros: 15
Corbetts: 8
Grahams: 18
Donalds: 4
Sub2000s: 23

2019

Trips: 65
Distance: 945.9 km
Ascent: 43732m
Munros: 23
Corbetts: 12
Grahams: 11
Sub2000s: 22
Hewitts: 2
Wainwrights 7

2018

Trips: 66
Distance: 965.05 km
Ascent: 55230m
Munros: 72
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 7
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 3
Wainwrights 4

2017

Trips: 17
Distance: 248.5 km
Ascent: 14715m
Munros: 16
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 1

2016

Trips: 13
Distance: 168.25 km
Ascent: 9706m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 1


Joined: Aug 11, 2015
Last visited: May 16, 2022
Total posts: 721 | Search posts