977 m. |
Translation: White peak
Pronuncation: stop baan
On 3 May 2012 Frank and I wanted to walk on tracks we had done nine years before together with Alex. To complete the Grey Corries we still needed to visit Stob Ban and Sgurr Choinnich Mhor, the two outliers of the Grey Corries ridge.
As before we approached the mountains by way of the single-track road on the south bank of the River Spean. At Corriechoille we passed the farm and continued on the dirt road for another mile or so. Then we parked our car at a signpost and continued on foot beside the Allt Leachglach first trough some fir plantations and then through the open glen. On the right side of the glen the steep flanks of Stob Choire Gaibhre and Stob Coir nan Ceannain looked inviting indeed. Cruach Innse and Ston Innse on the left side were also very interesting Corbetts. But we had set our compass on climbing Stob Ban. After maybe 90 minutes we reached the bothy which lies at the foot of the north-east ridge of Stob Ban. There we rested for a short while and then contiuned up Stob Ban’s north-east ridge. First there is a steep section of the path that surmounts a rocky hump and then continues through a grassy depression. At the top of this section of the climb a nice and airy path runs a couple of dozens of metres below the skyline above and provides for an airy continuation with great views of Stob Choire Claurigh, the Grey Corries and the Giant’s Staircase below. Then the path reaches the ridge at a grassy saddle before, after another rise in the ridge, the final steep section of the climb starts. This is the summit pyramid of Stob Ban which consists of quartzite. White stones everywhere, loads of loose quartzite scree but the path is always clear albeit sometimes very steep and scree-strewn.
At the summit we paused and drank some water. The weather was very good and sun was shining brightly. I decided that after two days of major expeditions (Etive Five and Ulaidh/Fionnlaidh) this was enough for 3 May 2012. Frank, however, being in much better shape and mental condition decided to go on and do the whole Grey Corries ridge plus Sgurr Choinnich Mhor. He would then return by the Back Basin and the long walk back through the north-east parts of the Leanachan Forest. I returned to the car by way of the north-east ridge, the bothy and the track down the Lairig Leacach. Back at the car I switched into dry clothes and drove to Fort William to do some shopping. I got back to Corriechoille thirty minutes before Frank reappeared from the forest. He had had a grat day and I half a day off. (Un)fortunately I now have Sgurr Choinnich Mhor left to bag. But the mountain will still be there tomorrow and I’ll be back. That day will be another walk up the Nevis Gorge into the upper reaches of Glen Nevis. Another great day out.
As for this 3 May 2012 we had a marvellous day out in the Grey Corries. There’s nothing more you can ask for.
Max elevation: 1171 m
Min elevation: 129 m
Total climbing: 2103 m
Total descent: -2112 m
Total Time: 10:16:31
Description Stob Ban is a remote peak, far distant from any main road and hidden behind its higher neighbours. It lies at the east end of the Grey Corries ridge, separated from it by a bealach of 800m, and it is from viewpoints near the head of Glen Nevis or in the Lairig Leacach that one gets the best views of this solitary conical peak.The shortest approach is from Corriechoillle farm in Glen Spean, as described above for Stob Coire Claurigh, by the track to the Lairig Leacach. Cross this pass and descend on its south side for 1 ½ km to a small bothy from where there is a good view of Stob Ban. Beyond, the track fords a burn and forks, take the right fork and after 100metres bear SW up the grassy hillside. At 650m the slope narrows to a ridge which at 750m levels to a flat shoulder before the final steep rocky rise to the summit. (9km, 790m, 3h 20min).The return can be pleasantly varied by descending NW down a short slope of quartzite screes, then N to the 800m bealach where there is a small lochan. From there turn ENE and go down a giants staircase of quartzite slabs which spills downwards for over 150m and gives an easy scramble when dry. Below, the burn leads back to the bothy and the short climb over the Lairig Leacach on the return to Glen Spean.Stob Ban can be combined with some of the other peaks of The Grey Corries. From the 800m bealach, a broad ridge leads N and levels out to turn NW to the summit of Stob Choire Claurigh. If descending N from there back to Glen Spean, it is worth making the short diversion to Stob Coire na Ceannain. This is a very fine looking peak, rather detached from the main ridge of the Grey Corries. The short connecting ridge is narrow and rocky and gives a pleasant easy scramble.