Our blog - Around Lochaber, 19-21 Dec'17

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

Bagging a few Munros around Lochaber

19-21 December 2017
Three days hiking up a few Munros around Lochaber, including Beinn a'Bheithir and Carn Mor Dearg. Steven was leading....

Hayley and Izzy wanted a few days hiking in and around the Lochaber area. The intention was to mop up a few stray Munros left on their to-do lists. There were several to choose from, which gave us the luxury of tweaking the days to fit around what the weather had planned.

The peaks in the selection list included some easterly Mamores, Carn Mor Dearg, the Laggan hills and Sgurr Choinnich Mor at the western end of the Grey Corries - all within driving distance from thier accommodation at the Corran Bunkhouse.

Day 1

The snow which had prevailed until yesterday more or less had all completely thawed away with the mild temperatures. A strong wind was forecast to pick up in the afternoon from the south. So, the decision was made to go for Carn Mor Dearg !

We met up in the North Face car-park, with Raymond joining us for company. A fine hike through the forest on the new paths quickly got us to the mountain-rescue car-park and the cracking views (yes, even today, if brief) up toward the north face of Ben Nevis. Just as we were about to branch off the main path, a mountain rescue team passed us - with Andy Cloquet as part of the group ! Good to see his cheery face ! On the path - mucky at first, faint higher up, we picked a route onto the hill, keeping to the west of the crest. The last 50m or were, to use the words of the MWIS, arduous - practically crawling to summit. But we did it, hi-5's all round !

We re-traced our steps back to the car-park, chuffed with our summit in the bag and the sense of achievement against the wind. A plan was hatched for the next day - the eastern Mamores !

Day 2

After pouring of the maps on the previous evening, I was coming to the conclusion that the eastern Mamores was a bit much to complete in daylight. Turns out the girls were too !

So we opted for a bit of easy scrambling on the two Munro summits of Sgor Dearg and Sgor Dhomhuill on Beinn a'Bheither.

Arriving in the car-park by the houses in Gleann a'Chaolais still in dark, we got our stuff together and headed up the fine track. A zig and a zag, onto the constructed (and waymarked) path, we were quicky though the dense forest and out onto open hillside. The col between the two Munros was reached, we were out of the cloud and enjoyed some views while have a break for some food.

The beauty of doing these Munros this way, is that rucksack can be left at the col, while we detoured there-and-back to the summits. Ah, the joy of hiking rucksack-free - it almost feels naughty ! Sgorr Dhearg first - an easy hike up grass then through scree took us to some fabulous views with peaks popping though the cloud inversion. Sgorr Dhonuill next - some easy scrambling, no views as alas the cloud had returned, and a bit of sliding some snow on the return.

Day 3

On the third day we met again in the dark, this time at the road-end in Glen Nevis. No other cars around (weird !), we set off up the path using our head-torches. Gradually daylight arrived and we could pick out the devestation of this year's landslip.

Further on, the Falls of Steall looked stunning. As the day progressed, the girls decided at a moraine that this was a good point to end their days in the area. It had been a cracking few days taking in some lovely views and peaks, but now it was time to return and get ready for Christmas !

More photos by Steven are here on Flickr.

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