Easy day out & good conditions in the Mamores

Person approaches summit of Na Gruagaichean
Me approaching Na Gruagaichean summit

Back to the Mamores & better luck this time (Munros Completed : Stob Coire a’Chairn (53), Na Gruagaichean (54)).

Climbers descend from summit of Na Gruagaichean
Na Gruagaichean summit descent into NW col

Saturday, the following day we woke up again to a frosty morning. However, the forecast again was superb. We had decided to drive to Kinlochleven and attempt the Mamores from the South as I had been here 2 yrs ago and remember the option of attempting Na Gruigachean from the SSW ridge by the sheep pens. We started at 10:00 by the road that turns up to the Mamores Lodge Hotel and walked the short 2km up the road and past the Hotel and the stalkers lodge. Just over the bridge, rather than turning left past the sheep pens and up the main valley we bore right to gain the main ridge.

There isn’t any marked track here (at least couldn’t find one) and so we picked the best route we could and climbed over the fence. We soon encountered the snow line but the wide ridge made the navigation easy. About halfway up we put on the crampons and were soon on the final steeper section to gain the main narrow ridge that led all the way up to the summit.

 

 

Climber standing on col below Stob Coire a Chairn
Me on col between Na Gruagaichean and Stob Coire a Chairn looking toward Stob Coire a Chairn

The ridge was great with magnificent views all around and we finally arrived on the summit at 2pm. Just before the summit we encountered a group of young lads reaching the summit from the E from Binnein Mor who had bivi’d outside the previous night. After leaving the summit we headed NW down the short steep section to the tiny col, and from here it was then another short steep section to gain another ridge and then across and down to the main col.

Here we could have returned back via the main valley but decided to continue on to Stop Coire a Chairn as we had made good time. We reached the peak at 3:45 pm, took our usual photos and dropped down to the col between here and Am Bodach.

The first 100m were steep and it was a case of planting the ice axe and moving down one step at a time. The snow condition was very good being fairly deep and soft which provided good traction. It was easy to follow the valley down and not long after we found the track which is well defined and were soon back at the sheep pens. The long walk back along the road wasn’t enjoyable as by this time we were very tired but we were back at the car by our allotted time of 6pm.