943 m. |
Translation: Small peak
Pronuncation: beenyan beck
These two Munros were the missing gems of our Mamore collection. I think the first Mamore Frank and I climbed was Sgurr an Iubhair in 1993 or 1994. Then there came Mullach nan Coirean and Sgurr Ban. Then Am Bodach. Then An Gearanach. Then a failed winter attempt at Sgurr a’Mhaim. Then the complete Ring of Steal. Then Binnein Mor and na Gruagachain. 2012 was the time to finally settle the score; but of course we do not bear a grudge against this fabulous mountain range which is certainly among the best in all of Scotland. It’s only that after almost 20 years it felt good to complete the round.
We started from the parking of the former Mamore Lodge Hotel which unfortunately is out of business today. This saved us the three-quid parking fee which we gladly would have given for the chance of sitting in the sun after the walk. From the lodge it was up the landrover track which snakes up the glen in the direction of Loch Eilde Mor. Then we left the road and took the stalkers path which crosses the open land below Na Gruagachain’s south ridge, crossed the burn coming down from the corrie above and skirted the south side of Sgurr Eilde Mor. The path deposited us on the beallach between the two Sgurr Eildes in Coire an Lochain which holds a not so small lochan. The sky was clear, the views were really stupendous. What a half circle of mountains. Photos taken we headed for Sgurr Eilde Beag and climbed the grassy, stony and gravel-strewn south ridge of this conical peak. At the summit we again marvelled at the views that now also included Ben Nevis, the Grey Corries and some of the other Mamore summits.
We descended the north-west ridge of Sgurr Eilde Beag. The steep snow fields we encountered below the summit seemed to be inviting us to glide down into the corrie below. However, the snow was frozen and we had no winter equipment. Thus prudence prevailed and we followed the ridge for a few dozen metres more and then walked down the steepish slope covered in rubble and snow. Once down in the glen we picked up a path and rejoined the appoach path below the east face of Sgurr Eilde Mor. There followed the very interesing stretch of the walk which first zig-zags down to where the burn coming from the corrie between Binnein Mor and point 1062 is crossed and then continues along Binnein Mor’s steep eastern flanks to the beallach between the two Binneins. From the beallach it was another 200m climb to the summit of Munro No.2 of the day: Binnein Beag. The climb was over stones and gravel but it almost felt like climbing a hill in the Austrian Karwendel Mountains with all the broken rock and stones about. At the summit a longer pause had to be made if only in order to check out the scenery. What a view point on the Nevis Range, Aonach Beag and the Grey Corries!
From Binnein Beag we did not opt for the return route via Binnein More (a lot of snow left on that big hill) but retraced our steps all the way to Coire an Lochain, the stalkers path, the landrover track and More Lodge. It took us the better part of two hours to get back to the car. What a great day!!
Max elevation: 1007 m
Min elevation: 174 m
Total climbing: 1739 m
Total descent: -1727 m
Total time: 08:10:30
Description These two very contrasting mountains are at the east end of the Mamores, overlooking the upper reaches of Glen Nevis. Binnein Mor is the highest and finest peak of the Mamores, with a classical mountain shape formed by narrow ridges sweeping up to the level summit. To the north-east, steep spurs enclose two little corries. Binnein Beag is a complete contrast, being a small and almost perfectly conical hill standing out from Binnein Mor towards the Water of Nevis.The approach from Mamore Lodge is quite long, but has the advantage of following a track and good stalker's paths for much of the way. Go east from the lodge across the Allt Coire na Ba and before reaching Loch Eilde Mor take the stalker's path which climbs north-east to Coire an Lochain. Continue north below the east face of Binnein Mor to reach the col, where there is a small lochan, between it and Binnein Beag. Climb up and down the slope of boulders and scree on the south side of Binnein Beag. From the lochan climb the narrow ridge between the two small corries on the north and north-east faces of Binnein Mor. An excellent scramble leads to a point 200 metres north of the summit. Traverse south along a level ridge to the South Top, then descend south-east to Sgor Eilde Beag and just further south reach the top of a stalker's path which zigzags down the steep hillside to rejoin the outward route.