Our blog - Mamores, Aug'17

A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !


12-14 August 2017
An extended weekend of hiking and hillwalking while bagging the 10 Munros on the Mamores mountain range above Glen Nevis and Kinlochleven.. Olly, Emma and Steven was leading....

Emma's tale of the first day on the Eastern Mamores

There were a few midges to greet us in Kinlochleven on Saturday morning but we were soon on our way heading towards the Mamores. Our goal for the day was ambitious, the 4 Munros of Sgurr Elide Mor, Binnein Beag, Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean, with over 2000m of ascent. The route climbs out of Kinlochleven and crosses the estate road from Mamore Lodge before contouring across the shoulder of Sgurr Elide Beag.

It wasn't long before we were onto our first summit of Sgurr Elide Mor with fabulous views towards Glencoe and across Rannoch Mor, and a first Munro for Declan. A significant descent took us back to the stalkers track and then we headed across to Binnein Beag for yet another fine view. The climb onto Binnein Mor is pretty tough, a long pull up of 400m on some fairly steep ground, but we were on the summit by 3pm and stopped for a well deserved break. Everyone enjoyed the high level traverse to Na Gruagaichean, and we descended via its NW top before the long descent back to Kinlochleven.

Steven's tale of the second day on Sgurr a'Mhaim

Bright and early we all met up at the road-end in Glen Nevis. Orion, with his 12 seater mini-bus was hero of the day - he crammed in several folk and returned down to the Polldubh Falls car-park so as to save weiry legs at the end of the day. All sorted, gear organised, a quick chat about the plan for the day and we set off. The midgies were nibbling - a few of the team came prepared with midge-hats, the rest of us smothered any exposed skin in Smidge or Skin-So-Soft.

Onto the path heading up Sgurr a'Mhaim, a gentle breeze took care of the midgies and we all enjoyed taking in the scenery and getting to know each other as we walked along. The group gradually stretched out on the path as the ascent steepened, Olly at the front and Emma at the back. At around 200m, the path splits, aiming right(south) makes a beeline for the col between Sgurr Ban and Sgurr na Iubhair, or keeping left(south-east), as we did, aims directly uphill in the direction of Sgurr a'Mhaim - our first Munro summit on the famed Ring o'Steall. The guides gradually let the group split, and I chummed David at the back, enjoying some banter as we hiked up the loose path. Some fine views were had, but alas the summit was in cloud. Down the southern spur of this mountain we met the occasional fell-runner coming the other way - all of them in training or recci-ing the Ring of Steall race which was taking place next month.

At the next col, David and I had some fun scrambling on the rock, going up and down a few times learning new skills. In the distance we could see the rest of the group heading up Am Bodach, so we opted to return back over Sgurr a'Mhaim and take a leisurely hike back to the cars.

Back at the road-end in Glen Nevis, I hiked to the Falls of Steall to meet up with the rest of the group coming down from An Gearanach. A bit a play on the rope-bridge for some, then back to the car-park, everyone having enjoyed their day out.

Emma's tale of the second day on the Ring o'Steall

The Ring of Steall is one of the classic mountain days in Scotland. A circuit of 4 Munros, scrambly ridges and impressive views of Glen Nevis, it is on many hill walkers wish list! Our day started with a stiff climb up Sgurr a'Mhaim, the summit cone is covered in white quartzite boulders which are often mistaken for snow from the glen, though it was just a rather chilly August wind we had to cope with. With much of the hard work over for the day we celebrated a 100th Munro for Julia with a bottle of fizz (ok, fizzy Irn bru) and thanks to Orion for the speech, by the summit cairn. Some photos taken along with the entertainment of the creation of a human 100 shape by the cairn we set off for the Devil's Ridge. In summer this is a relatively straightforward traverse although we were in the mist for some of the way, it didn't take us long before we reached the top of Sgurr an Iubhair and after some food we continued to Am Bodach.

At last the mist cleared and we were rewarded with excellent views for the rest of the day. We spread out on the steep descent from Am Bodach and by the time we were heading up onto Stob Choire a Cairn some legs were beginning to tire. Especially those who had the 2000m ascent in them from yesterday! It's good to save the best to last, and the approach to An Gearanach didn't disappoint with an entertaining scramble along the crest of the ridge which was a little unnerving, but very achievable for a couple of members of the group. We lingered a little on the last summit before descending on a good stalkers track which drops all the way into Glen Nevis just east of the Steall Falls.

Olly's tale of the final day on the Western Mamores

It was a nice dry start to the day as we hiked up through various forestry operations and up onto the ridge of our first Munro of the day, Mullach nan Coirean. The wind and clag picked up a few hundred metres from the top, but this didn't appear to dent the spirits of the lovely group of people I was with, and they kept a keen pace despite it being rather blustery at times, and their third successive day in the Mamores.

A bit of map and compass work saw us onto the right path and along the roller-coaster of ups and downs along the ridge to Stob Ban, all the while aware of the beautiful big corrie to our left, with occasional glimpses across the glen to the back of Ben Nevis and across to Carn Mor Dearg and the Aonachs. The burns were all in spate as we descended back down, with each of the normally small-ish waterfalls looking fairly spectacular, especially Lower Falls which were 1-2 metres higher than they had been the night before. Before long we were all back at the car park, enjoying the warm glow of a great day spent with a wonderful group of people in magnificent hills.

More photos by Olly, Emma and Steven are here on Flickr.

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