Archive for Glen Nevis

Kinlochleven Adventures

Posted in Munros with tags , , on September 8, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

The last time we stayed at Bob and Chris’s B&B they told us that they were going to visit friends in San Francisco in September and very kindly said we could “house sit” for a few days if we wanted to.  We jumped at the chance!

We didn’t get away from Glasgow until about 6.30pm on Friday but we made good progress up the A82 and of course we had a break at The Real Food Cafe for the customary fish supper.  We eventually arrived at Kinlochleven just after 10pm.  Kate was also joining us and arrived not much later.

We knew the forecast for Saturday was bad so didn’t even attempt to do anything so just had a lazy day watching the rain pour off the hills!  And watching Scotland maintain their slim chances of World Cup qualification by beating Macedonia 2-0.  We did eventually leave the house…to go to the Clachaig Inn for dinner!  In there we met up with Seona who was celebrating compleating her round of the Munros with friends from the Jacobites Mountaineering Club and scottishhills.com.  Given the weather conditions that day that really was an impressive effort!  We also won 2nd and 3rd prizes in a raffle the prizes being 4 and then 2 bottle of AnTeallach ale!

Sunday saw much better conditions so we decided to do Mullach nan Coirean and Stob Ban at the western end of the Mamores.   We parked at the lower falls car park in Glen Nevis and took the forest track before eventually hitting the open hillside via a very dodgy stile.

Stile on way to Mullach nan Coiean

Stile on way to Mullach nan Coiean

We were soon on the summit which was Elaina’s 100th Munro so a celebratory drink of last night’s winnings was enjoyed!

Elaina celebrating 100 Munros!

Elaina celebrating 100 Munros!

Elaina celebrates 100 Munros

Elaina celebrates 100 Munros

As can be seen from the photos it was a bit clagged in so we sensibly took a bearing and headed on towards Stob Ban.

Towards Stob Ban

Towards Stob Ban

We then wandered off Stob Ban on a good path but it was only when we were half way down the ridge and saw a very well defined path below us that we realised it was the West Highland Way!  Oops!  We could have gone back up to Stob Ban but we decided that we might as well walk back to Kinlochleven then take Kate’s car back round to Glen Nevis to pick up mine.  So off we went down a bit further until Kate asked where the house key was as her car keys were in the house.  Oops again!  It was in my car (in Glen Nevis)!  We really were too far down now to go back up especially as the weather wasn’t great back on the summit.  So we resigned ourselves to somehow getting back to Fort William.  We did consider walking back along the West Highland Way but realised it was a bit too far so just headed back to the MacDonald Hotel in Kinlochleven which we arrived at at 6.30pm.  Daft question time…is there a bus to Fort William on a Sunday night?  Yes there was…at 6.05pm!  So there was only one thing for it, a taxi!  So thanks to Ali’s Taxis from Ballachulish we eventually got back to the car at 7.45pm.  Thankfully the MacDonald Hotel do meals until 9.30pm so at just before 9pm we sat down to steak and chips times 3!  Lesson of the day…take a bearing on every summit!

We decided to have an easier day on Sunday and headed up Glenoce to the Lost Valley with the aim of possibly doing Stob Coire Sgreamhach.  We made good progress up the narrowing gorge until we got to the point where you have to cross the Allt Coire Gabhail.  We decided to avoid this crossing and take an alternative route by heading up hill on the southern slopes of Gearr Aonach.  I took a route through some large solid rocks while Elaina and Kate took a more tortuous route up a scree slope.  Now there was a path of sorts and others had definitely used the route before us but I don’t think any of us realised just how high we had climbed until we found ourselves looking down on the Lost Valley from a height of about 450m.  Still, it made a lovely high perch for lunch!

Lunch above the Lost Valley

Lunch above the Lost Valley

Having spent so much time we decided to call it a day and leave Stob Coire Sgreamhach for another day.  We took the normal route out and of course had to cross the burn that we had avoided on the way up!

Elaina crossing the Allt Coire Gabhail

Elaina crossing the Allt Coire Gabhail

That night we enjoyed an excellent meal at the Loch Leven Seafood Cafe before waking to anther very wet day.  Kate and Elaina were staying for another couple of days but I had to head back so left at about 12 for a very wet drive home.  I don’t think I have ever seen as much water coming off the hills especially in Glencoe!  I just hope it has subsided a bit for Elaina and Kate tomorrow!

Mamores in a day, maybe…

Posted in Munros with tags , , , , on September 2, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

After I left school I spent a couple of years working at the Onich Hotel and spent a lot of time doing low level walks around Glencoe and Glen Nevis. Although I did do Ben Nevis by the ” so called tourist” path I didn’t really have the confidence or experience to do other hills such as those in Glencoe or the Mamores – most of my walking had been done on the North York Moors.   I remember visiting Kinlochleven many times and looking up at what I now know to be Na Gruagaichean and thinking that they were well beyond my capability.

However since I got back into hillwalking some seven years ago I’ve really got to know the Lochaber hills quite well and in particular the Mamores which are probably now my favourite hills.

Anyway I’ve had a notion of doing all the Munros in the Mamores in a day.  I did plan to attempt this a few years ago on an OM meet but was distracted by friends who wanted to do the Aonach Eagach in a nun’s outfit (more of that another day!).

I know it’s not the same as Tranters Round or Ramsay Round but still enough of a test for a nearly fifty year old!  So that’s the challenge I’ve set myself for next summer.  Better keep up the gym membership!

Fersit Munros

Posted in Munros with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

Had a very pleasant weekend camping at Glen Nevis Campsite where we met up with other members of Air Na Creagan Mountaineering Club.  We had great plans for Saturday but on seeing the weather we decided to take our time driving north stopping at the Real Food Cafe for a cuppa.  We then had dinner at the Ben Nevis Inn before joining the ten club members who had done Ben Nevis, some via the CMD arete, some by the tourist route.

On Sunday we made up for our lazy Saturday by doing the two Munros to the west of Loch Trieg, Stob a’ Choire Mheadhoin and Stob Coire Easain.  We had thought of doing a circuit but Coire Laire looked distinctly boggy so we decided to re-ascend Stob a’ Choire Mheadhoin and return the way we had come.

Looking northeast from the pillar at NN337767

Looking northeast from the pillar at NN337767

Heading towards Stob Coire Easain

Heading towards Stob Coire Easain

We were very lucky with the weather especially compared to the previous day, just getting caught in a heavy shower right at the end.

Heavy end of day shower over Loch Treig

Heavy end of day shower over Loch Treig

The rain continued as we drove home but we broke the journey with a stop at the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum which had its wood burning stove going full pelt…well it is August!

Thanks to Elaina for the photos ‘cos some numpty left his camera at home!

Aonachs Revisited

Posted in Munros with tags , , , , , on July 15, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

We’d planned a few days up in Kinlochleven at our favourite B&B run by Bob and Chris, the only decision being which hills to do. I’d done the Aonachs a few years ago in glorious winter conditions but Elaina hadn’t so it seemed a good opportunity to revisit them.

We had great intentions of being on the hill by 9am but it finished up being 10am by the time we got to the car park at the end of Glen Nevis.   The weather was glorious as we wandered up to Steall falls, not as impressive as they can be but still a fine sight.

Elaina looking towards Steall falls
Elaina looking towards Steall falls

Just before the bridge at the Steall ruin we headed north beside the Allt Coire Giubhsachan to the bealach between Carn Mor Dearg and Aonach Mor.

Looking back to the Mamores
Looking back to the Mamores

A quick stop for a bite and to replenish our water supplies as well refresh ourselves by dunking our heads under the mini waterfall!

Cooling down!
Cooling down!

It was hard work scrambling first over boulders then a steep grassy slope to the col bewtween the two Aonachs. A gradual incline then took us to the flat summit of Aonach Mor at which point one of the forecast heavy showers blew in.

Some bloke on summit of Aonach Mor!
Some bloke on summit of Aonach Mor!

The rain quickly cleared and we were soon on our way towards Aonach Beag. From there we took the south-west ridge back towards the bridge at Steall ruin. We quickly picked up, and then lost a good path! Eventually, after some meandering we found ourselves just 50 metres from the bridge. Just one minor problem…fast running streams on either side of us joining to block our route! Fortunately a bit of backtracking up stream led to an easyish crossing point! At this point another shower came in along with accompanying rainbow.

Rainbow over Binnein Beag
Rainbow over Binnein Beag

The rain was actually quite pleasant as it kept the midges away as we strolled back to the car. A very different day from the last time in the snow but still a cracking circuit.