Stob Bàn and Mullach nan Coirean

Thursday 18 October 2012

14.5 km/1168 m/06:45 hrs

When I left Mull after climbing Ben More the previous day, the weather had changed for the worse – there was even a dusting of snow on Ben More. The drive to Fort William was in wind and rain, and my hopes to be able to do Tranter’s Round as a backpacking trip faded.

After checking in at the Glen Nevis YH I went for a bar meal and to use the WiFi at the Glen Nevis Bar. Unfortunately, all the weather forecast websites agreed about the next few days: It would stay windy and cold, with more rain to come 😦

I decided against the backpacking trip, booked another night at the hostel and tried to find a short easy walk that I could even do if the weather should be really horrible the next day. In the end I settled for the walk up Coire a’ Mhusgain from Achriabhach to visit Lochan Coire nam Mìseach, my planned camp site for the first night if I had gone ahead with Tranter’s Round.

As I didn’t have any big plans for the day, I started after 10:00 from the car park at Achriabhach. In opposite to what was forecast, it was dry, sunny and pleasantly warm!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clouds rolling up the glen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

View down the glen, with a glimpse of snow-covered Ben Nevis on the right.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Impressive crags on Stob Bàn’s E flank.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stob Bàn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

View along Glen Nevis to Fort William.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At Lochan Coire nam Mìseach I met a family of four on their lunch break. After a brief chat with them I wandered around the lochan, trying to find a suitable pitch for a future camp, but due to the sloping terrain the only possible places seemed to be beside the stream near the outflow of the lochan.

With the weather being so much better than expected, I had already decided not to walk back the same way, but to return via the Devil’s Ridge and Sgùrr a’ Mhàim or to walk over Stob Bàn and Mullach nan Coirean. The fact that the Devil’s Ridge was in cloud whereas Stob Bàn was clear, made the decision easy.

From the lochan I took the path up to the southern edge of Coire nam Mìseach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From there a clear path leads up to Stob Bàn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Close-up of the summit crags.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The last part of the ascent is rocky but not difficult, as the path continues all the way to the summit.

View down to Coire a’ Mhusgain and Coire nam Mìseach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Approaching the summit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The last section of the West Highland Way, Beinn na Caillich and Mam na Gualainn on the left.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The ridge leading to Mullach nan Coirean.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

View from the summit cairn – the Devil’s Ridge between Stob Choire a’ Mhail and Sgùrr a’ Mhàim in the clouds on the left.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Summit area covered in quartzite scree, with the N ridge behind (an interesting route to try sometime!).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The path follows the edge of Coire an Lochain and Coire Dearg over various tops, some of them marked with cairns.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A few rocky outcrops on the way can easily be bypassed on the S side.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mullach nan Coirean summit and descent ridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The ruins at Tigh-na-sleubhaich down in the Lairig Mòr (zoomed).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

View back along the ridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kinlochleven.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Loch Linnhe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Unfortunately, the clouds over Ben Nevis were reluctant to lift…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meall a’ Chaorainn and Mullach nan Coirean.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The summit above Coire Dearg.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Loch Linnhe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mullach nan Coirean summit cairn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Above Coire Dearg – the start of the descent route.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I followed the NE ridge along a deer fence, on a good path at first which later turns into a boggy mess.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Coire an Lochain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shortly after crossing a stile follows the worst part of the walk. A large area has been deforested since my last visit, and a new path has been built.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carn Dearg.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Glen Nevis, with Meall an t-Suidhe on the left.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Back at the hostel, I tried to decide what to do over the next few days. I had already booked a bed at Loch Ossian YH for Saturday night, and had been looking forward to a meal at the Corrour Station Restaurant. By pure chance, I had a look at the restaurant’s website and read, to my horror, that they would be closed for a private function from 17:00 on the Saturday 😯

No dinner then… but maybe I could make it there for lunch? Looking at maps and websites, I thought through my options. I didn’t fancy another walk along Glen Nevis, it’s a nice walk but I’ve done it several times already. I even considered getting the train to Corrour and back, but eventually I came up with a better idea:

A round-trip from Fersit through Coire Làire and the Lairig Leacach with a camp somewhere along the way (and in case I felt very energetic, I could even climb the two Corbetts Cruach Innse and Sgùrr Innse). On Saturday I should make it to Corrour for lunchtime and then stay at Loch Ossian YH for the night. The next day I would return to Fersit via Strath Ossian.

This seemed to be a good plan, because it was a new and interesting route, apart from the section between Creaguaineach Lodge and Corrour Shooting Lodge which I had walked a few times in the past. Before I went to bed, I packed my rucksack for a three-day trip and hoped that the weather would turn out better than forecast, like it had today!

Back to top

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s