The Mamores

2 Day Expedition - Glen Nevis, Fort William

Start Point:

Day 1: Carpark at the end of the Glen Nevis road

We left the other car at the small carpark at Achriabhach GR146685 to save our legs a couple of miles at the end of day 2.

Grid Reference: Day 1:OS Sheet 41, GR167691
Day 2:OS Sheet 41, GR208654
End Point: OS Sheet 41, GR146685
Time: Day 1:7-11 hours
Day 2:8-12 hours
View Location: Click for scalable multimap
Buy OS Map: Buy Map at MapsWorldWide

Introduction

For the obsessive munro bagger the possibility that 10 munros are on offer in one shot is a salivating prospect. For the realist completing all 10 hills in one day is a massive task, only feasible with iron-man stamina and very kind weather.

Heading across the Devils Ridge
 
Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean Morning just off the ridge Looking out to Sgurr Eilde Mor

Click on thumbnail for full size image.

Being realists (at least with regards to the weather) we compromised and decided to walk all 10 munros in one outing over 2 days, with a high level overnight camp to reinvigorate the soles of our feet. The idea that we'd have to carry tents, extra food and sleeping bags for the duration was incidental... that was until we initially strapped on our overladen rucksacks.

This is a fantastic walk, that is well worth the effort, planning and patience to wait for the correct weather to make it a truly memorable expedition. Waking up just off a 3000ft Scottish ridge is an unmissable experience to be enjoyed by everyone at some stage in their hillwalking career... weather permitting of course.

There are many different ways that these hills can be tackled, so all I can hope to do is provide you with our own route... which was successful in so far as we achieved the summits we hoped to and managed to get back to the car in one piece.

Route - Day 1

  • From the carpark at the end of the Glen Nevis road follow the path which leads East then South through the forest.
  • Once out of the forest it's a case of getting the long walk in completed... so continue to follow the clearly marked pathway in a easterly direction for about 4km.
Hiding from the weather on Binnein Beag
  • We picked our way across the river at GR214688 using some stepping stones (using this term in the loosest possible context as 1 member of the group managed to get a tad damp).
  • From the river head south east up the slopes of Binnein Beag. It's a fair slog to the summit esspecially since we weren't blessed with the best weather!
   
  • The summit of the first munro, Binnein Beag (943m, GR222677), provided a welcome retreat from the elements.
  • From the Binnein Beag we had a rapid descent SW down the steep scree slope before continuing past the lochan and then starting SW up the ridge which leads all the way to the summit of the second munro Binnein Mor (1130m, GR213663).
  • From Binnein Beag we decided to attempt only one more munro before pitching our tent... head south to the top at GR212637 (where we ditched our rucksacks) before heading SE for 700m to the bealach, then go NE to pick up the path alongside Coire an Lochain. From the lochain it's a bit of a slog due east up the rocky slopes to achieve the summit of munro number 3, Sgurr Eilde Mor (1010m, GR231658).
  • Once you've thoroughly enjoyed the wetness of Sgurr Eilde Mor it's a case of retracing your footsteps to pick up your rucksack at the top...of the top.
  • After picking up the rucksacks we followed the ridge WSW for about 400m before dropping down the south side to set up camp at GR208654. This wee spot had a small stream nearby and just enough flat ground to pitch out 2 man tent. And so ended the first day.

 

Route - Day 2

  • It's a fantastic feeling to wake up a couple of minutes from the main ridge, especially considering the improved weather conditions, and so the second day began.
  • From the camp make your way back up on to the ridge and it's only about half a kilometre SW to the summit of the first munro of the day, and the fourth of the expedition, Na Gruagaichean (1055m, GR203652).So depending on how many wee drahms you've enjoyed in the tent it will be either 8:30am or nearly midday.
  • From Na Gruagaichean head over the lower top (1036m) and then drop down and follow the clear westerly ridge (there's a clear path... in summer) up to munro number 5, Stob Coire a' Chairn (981m, GR185661). This hill forms part of the group of five hills that make up the "Ring of Steall".
  • At Stob Coire a' Chairn we once again ditched our rucksacks and followed the clear path northwards along the ridge to munro no. 6, An Gearanach (982m,GR188670).
  • From An Gearanach retrace your footsteps to recover your rucksack then continue along the ridge SW towards the impressive Am Bodach... this is an intimidating looking hill and in actual fact whilst the steep slopes do run all the way to the summit (1032m,GR177652) it actually took less effort than we had initially expected.
   
Awndy, Liam and dog on penultimate hill
  • Drop from the summit of Am Bodach and continue along the westerly ridge to the top Sgorr an Iubhair. At this stage we again risked ditching our heavy rucksacks and as such thouroughly enjoyed the jaunt north over the sinisterly named "Devils Ridge". The ridge is exposed in some areas, but in good weather posed little difficulty, if however the wind gets up I'm sure it takes on a totally different persona.
  • Once the summit of Sgurr a Mhaim (1099m, GR165668) has been enjoyed sufficiently then you get the pleasure of the devils ridge all over again... to lead you back to the rucksacks at Sgorr an Iubhair. Alternatively, if by this stage you're starting to flag a bit then Sgurr a' Mhaim is a good stage to bail out and head back to the car... though it does help if you make this decision before ditching your rucksack!
   
  • From Sgorr an Iubhair it's just under 2km west along a clearly defined track to the summit of munro no. 9 Stob Ban (999m, GR148645). Here we met one man and his dog, Irish doctor Liam and the dogs name escapes me at present. (Again if you're getting a bit knackered then there is no problem in descending from this hilltop to get back to the car at Achriabhach.)
  • The last munro Mullach nan Coirean, lies WNW of Stob Ban. To attain this last summit in the group follow the winding ridge westwards, there are no severe drops and climbs but it is just under 4km of walking to munro no.10 Mullach nan Coirean (939m, GR123663).
  • Once at the top of the last munro in the group we really felt as if the challenge was completed... we had however lost sight of the need to walk back to the car! After a couple of Mars bars follow the NE ridge down from Mullach nan Coirean, this leads down to the forest in Glen Nevis where we picked up the zigzagging forest roadways and then the forest walk which leads almost directly to the car at Achriabhach.

In hindsight this is a big hillwalk... and I've only detailed the route that we took. There are many alternative routes around these hills approaching from the southside, and simply breaking the hills into more bitesized chunks. There is also the option of making it a three day event and camping out twice at height though does involve carrying a lot more food and evening time beverages/pick me ups/nightcaps. Respect to the nutter that we met at about 11am on day 2, this guy had kicked off at 6am in the morning and was well underway for comfortably tackling all 10 summits in one day.... crazy.

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