Magnificent Mamores: A Hill Day to Remember

As part of a post-lockdown trip away to visit some new places as well as old favourites, Sarah and I managed an absolutely spectacular day in the Mamores, taking in the 2 western-most Munros of Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean. We couldn’t have asked for more spectacular weather to enjoy the amazing scenery and tick off my 51st and 52nd Munros. It’s a day that I’ll remember for a very long time!

[Sep ’20]

As part of a Highland holiday, we had chosen to stay in Fort William for a couple of nights. We struck lucky with the weather and managed to incorporate a hill day whilst we were in the area. With many Munros and Corbetts to choose from, we opted for Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean from Glen Nevis, a popular and well walked route with great views.

As we were staying in Fort William, we could enjoy a later start to the day than hill trips from home and were parked up at the Lower Falls car park around 0745 after a very tiring 10 minute drive! Once kitted up, we headed across the bridge over the Allt Coire a’Mhusgain and joined the path from here up into Coire a’Mhusgain.

A good path to start the day with

Other than the odd boggy bit, the path was excellent and the gentle slope meant we were able to gain height with little effort. The path heads almost in a straight line up into the corrie (other than a couple of switchbacks at around 400m). As we climbed higher the views got better and better. There was hardly a cloud to be seen, the air was crisp and cool and there wasn’t a breath of wind. Best of all – no midges!

Great views already
Up into the corrie

The going was simple and enjoyable and with the absolutely stunning Stob Ban to look at on the way, we made light work of the ascent. At around 750m the path tops out on the bealach between Stob Ban and Sgurr an Iubhair (part of the Ring of Steall) and from here it was a pretty sustained and rough zig-zag up through some boulders and scree towards the summit of our first Munro of the day.

Stob Ban
Final push to the summit

The views down Glen Nevis, across to Ben Nevis and behind us to the Devil’s Ridge on the Ring of Steall were absolutely amazing. Taking photos was also a great excuse for the odd rest during the final steep push to the summit of Stob Ban.

Looking down Glen Nevis
The Devil’s Ridge and Sgurr a’Mhaim
Ben Nevis

We reached the rocky summit of Stob Ban at around 1040, 2hrs 45mins after setting off from the car. Progress was definitely slower on the last 200m or so of the ascent due to the steep and loose terrain, but overall we were fairly happy with our progress so far. We enjoyed a snack and a drink on the summit and after admiring the awesome scenery and panoramic views, we set off once more and headed for our second Munro of the day.

The Ballachulish Horseshoe
The Devil’s Ridge from Stob Ban

After an initially bouldery descent from Stob Ban, the path quickly improved and there were no real difficulties as we made our way around Coire Dearg towards our second Munro. The views back towards the rest of the Mamores were simply superb and I definitely can’t wait until I can get back to finish them off with a trip around the Ring of Steall.

There wasn’t a huge drop between the 2 Munros so we reached the summit of Mullach nan Coirean in around 90 minutes from Stob Ban. Once again, the views were absolutely superb, but this time with a slightly different view as more of the mountains of Ardgour were now in view. Whatever way we looked it was just stunning!

Miles of Mamores

After another quick break on the summit, we descended on the good path down towards Glen Nevis. This was initially rough in places and at around 450m becomes very boggy and wet, so we had to carefully pick our way down between the worst sections. It had been fairly dry leading up to our walk, so I dread to think what this section would be like after sustained rain.

Upper Glen Nevis

At the end of the boggy section we crossed a stile and joined a better path through some felled forestry, soon joining a logging track for a while before turning off on another path that headed straight for the Glen Nevis road.

Nearing the end of a perfect day

Once we joined the road, there were a few hundred metres along the tarmac and we were soon back at the car after 6 and half hours, exhausted but smiling from ear to ear after an absolutely awesome day in the hills!

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