Ben Alder

This was truly a tour which we had been looking forward to doing for a very long time. The remoteness of the hills. The great setting of the Geal Charn Group, huge and central Ben Alder and Beinn Bhoill as the whaleback ridge towering above Loch Ericht. All easily accessible from Culra bothy.

But wait: Easily accessible? Did we mention that remoteness has drawbacks and, hey!, that there was the long three-hour hike in from Dalwhinnie? Or for us, the more technology minded, the long bicycle ride from Dalwhinnie to Culra? We didn’t mention it? Ouch.

So the morning of 31 May 2014 saw Frank and me unloading the car: rucksacks, boots and bicycles. After all equipment was stuffed into the rucksacks and the bicycles prepared for action we crossed the railway tracks at Dalwhinnie station and set out on the 15 km ride towards the remote bothy. The dirt road was level most of the way and the surface was hard and flat. On the ride towards Ben Alder Lodge a small number of rises, one of them significant, need to be climbed only to experience exhilarating speed afterwards when cruising down back towards the shore of loch Ericht. At Ben Alder Lodge the track starts to climb for a kilometre or so and I for one had to be content with pushing my bike for a few dozen minutes. Frank cycled on being in good shape and enthusiastic. I met him again on the right bank of the Allt a’ Chaoil reidhe sitting in the grass quite some time later. On the opposite side of the river there was Culra Bothy.

We left the bicycles there and continued up the perfectly well-maintained path leading to Loch Bealach Beithe. After maybe 25 minutes the path reached a white boulder (mentioned by Storer) from which an indistinct rough path headed across the moor and heather towards the foot of the north-east ridge leading up to Beinn Alder’s plateau: The Long Leachas. We crossed the burn … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:02+02:00May 31st, 2014|2014, 2018 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Stob Ban

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 … [Read More]

2018-11-20T05:36:59+02:00May 3rd, 2012|2012, 2018 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Binnein Beag

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 … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:15+02:00April 29th, 2012|2012, 2018 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Sgurr Eilde Mor

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 … [Read More]

2018-01-13T12:09:49+02:00April 29th, 2012|2012, 2018 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Chno Dearg

These two hills had been on Frank’s wish list for years but somehow we had never managed to climb this duo during one of our many stays in the wider region. But now in 2010 we definitely had them on our agenda since we stayed in Invergarry and the drive to Spean Bridge and further up Glen Spean was just a short trip.

Quite aware of the fact that this would be a less strenuous hike if the weather remained calm we reached Fersit late in the morning, set out from the parking, crossed the river and continued on the landrover-track through the village. After a few minutes we reached the open ground east of the village and left the track. Gradually at first over grass then more steeply on heathery ground we climbed due south, crossed the Allt Fhearghais and reached more level ground below the crags of Sron na Garbh-bheinne. From there we climbed the obvious grassy gully which after maybe 200m gives access to the more rocky rakes of this ridge. The going was steep but route finding was no problem on the grassy terrain with the sun blazing from above. Soon the fun on the steep terrain was over and we reached the flat crest of the ridge which leads to the summit after a final steepening. At the summit we enjoyed the impressive views up Loch Treig and across the loch towards the Eassins. A very nice viewpoint perched rather vertically above the loch. This is a good place to rest on a nice day like this.

Then we continued our hike towards Chno Dearg over some subsidiary bumps (958 m and 924m) on the very broad ridge. The wide bealach between the two hills at about 900m led to the final 150m climb up Chno Dearg. The wide summit dome and cairn of Munro number two greeted us. Again we rested for a while but the views were not nearly as interesting as on Stob Coire Sgriodain. From the … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+02:00May 12th, 2010|2010, 2018 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Stob Coire Sgriodain

These two hills had been on Frank’s wish list for years but somehow we had never managed to climb this duo during one of our many stays in the wider region. But now in 2010 we definitely had them on our agenda since we stayed in Invergarry and the drive to Spean Bridge and further up Glen Spean was just a short trip.

Quite aware of the fact that this would be a less strenuous hike if the weather remained calm we reached Fersit late in the morning, set out from the parking, crossed the river and continued on the landrover-track through the village. After a few minutes we reached the open ground east of the village and left the track. Gradually at first over grass then more steeply on heathery ground we climbed due south, crossed the Allt Fhearghais and reached more level ground below the crags of Sron na Garbh-bheinne. From there we climbed the obvious grassy gully which after maybe 200m gives access to the more rocky rakes of this ridge. The going was steep but route finding was no problem on the grassy terrain with the sun blazing from above. Soon the fun on the steep terrain was over and we reached the flat crest of the ridge which leads to the summit after a final steepening. At the summit we enjoyed the impressive views up Loch Treig and across the loch towards the Eassins. A very nice viewpoint perched rather vertically above the loch. This is a good place to rest on a nice day like this.

Then we continued our hike towards Chno Dearg over some subsidiary bumps (958 m and 924m) on the very broad ridge. The wide bealach between the two hills at about 900m led to the final 150m climb up Chno Dearg. The wide summit dome and cairn of Munro number two greeted us. Again we rested for a while but the views were not nearly as interesting as on Stob Coire Sgriodain. From the … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+02:00May 12th, 2010|2010, 2018 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Binnein Mor

Tag 2 unseres 2008er Schottlands-Wanderwochenende. Thomas hatte uns am Abend reichlich und gut bekocht und wir liessen den Abend gemütlich bei Bier und Feuer ausklingen! Das hatten wir uns verdient. Nachdem wir am Vortag den großen Hirten erwandert haben, wandten wir uns am 05.10 sozusagen unseren Hausbergen zu. Die Mamores lagen direkt vor der Haustür und wir hatten einen unmittelbaren Blick auf Na Gearanach, was soviel wie “Die Mädels” heißt. Auch dieser Tag sollte in mehrfacher Hinsicht erinnerungswürdig bleiben.

Wir sparten uns einige Höhenmeter und fuhren mit den Wagen zur Mamore Lodge, wo wir gegen ein akzeptables Endgelt parken konnten. Vor allem Thomas litt an Knien und Muskeln und da kam jeder gesparte Meter gerade recht. Gut gelaunt und viel wichtiger – bei bestem Wetter – marschierten wir los. Nur Thomas nicht, der schoss los und hatte bald einige hundert Meter zwischen sich und uns gebracht. Irgendwas hatte er wohl gefrühstückt, was wir nicht hatten. Wir nutzen dennoch die Gelegenheit, um die Gegend rund um Kinlochlewen aus anderer Perspektive zu erforschen und betrachten. Der Blick auf Loch Leven war ebenso eindrucksvoll wie die Erscheinung des Blackwater Reservoirs. Nun hieß es aber wieder die Gäule einzufangen und Thomas rechtzeitig darauf hinzuweisen, dass der Weg nicht weiterhin so idyllisch Richtung Loch Eilde Mór mäandern würde, sondern dass auch heute 2 Munros auf den ambitionierten Steiger warteten. Und das hieß – richtig – Anstieg.

Wir querten dann auch das Gelände Richtung Sgor Eilde Beag auf einem ausgezeichneten Stalkers Path, der die steilsten Partien in Serpentinen erschloss. Hier zeigte sich dann, dass Thomas wirklich litt und die Zähne zusammenbeissen musste, um hier zu bestehen. Ein Zustand, der sich den ganzen Tag über leider nicht ändern sollte. Dennoch erreichten wir nach knapp 1,5 h den ersten Gipfel des Tages, den des 956 m hohen Sgor Eilde Beag. Der erste Munro sollte weitere 1,5 h später erstiegen werden. Von hier aus wanderten wir auf der schönen Ridge zum 1062m hohen Triangle-Top, der direktissma zum Binnein Beag führte. Thomas sicherte wie immer … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:07+02:00October 5th, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Na Gruagaichean

Day 2 of our 2008 Scotland Hiking Weekend. Thomas had cooked us well in the evening and we let the evening end comfortably with beer and fire! We deserved that.

After we have hiked the day before the big shepherd we turned on 05.10 so to speak to our house mountains. The Mamores were right in front of our front door and we had a direct view of Na Gearanach, which means “the girls”. Also this day should remain memorable in several respects.

We saved some altitude meters and drove with the cars to the Mamore Lodge, where we could park against an acceptable final charge. Especially Thomas suffered from knees and muscles and every metre saved was just fine.

In a good mood and much more important – in the best weather – we marched off. Only Thomas didn’t, he shot off and soon had brought some hundred meters between himself and us. Something he had probably had a special breakfast, which we did not have. Nevertheless, we took the opportunity to explore the area around Kinlochlewen from a different perspective. The view of Loch Leven was as impressive as the appearance of the Blackwater Reservoir. But now we had to catch the horse again and point out to Thomas in time that the way would not continue to meander so idyllically towards Loch Eilde Mór, but that also today 2 Munros waited for the ambitious climber. And that meant, right, ascent.

We then crossed the terrain towards Sgor Eilde Beag on an excellent Stalkers Path, which opened up the steepest sections in serpentines. Here it showed that Thomas really suffered and had to bite his teeth together to survive here. A condition that unfortunately should not change during the whole day. Nevertheless we reached the first summit of the day, the 956 m high Sgor Eilde Beag, after about 1.5 hours. The first Munro was to be climbed about 1.5 h later. From here we hiked on the beautiful Ridge to the 1062m high Triangle-Top … [Read More]

2019-03-04T10:41:08+02:00October 5th, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Aonach Beag

For the third year in row we embarked on a walk starting in Glen Nevis. From the car park we walked to the Steall ruin and to the bridge over the Allt Coire Giubhsachan. From there we followed the path up the south-west ridge of Sgurr a’Bhuic. Climbing steadily we gained height quickly. Then we lost the path.

We were on the south-westerly side of the ridge and had to climb very steep grass slopes to reach the final steepening of the south-west ridge of Sgurr a’Bhuic 150 m below the summit. The cairn of this fine hill is perched at the edge of a long vertical drop. There were new and interesting angles on Ben Nevis to be seen from there. Before continuing onward to Stob Coire Bhealaich we took a break to eat a snack and to take in the views of the Grey Corries and Sgurr Choinnich Mor. On the ridge leading to the summit of Stob Coire Bhealaich the east face of Aonach Beag dominated the view ahead. There still were some cornices left and there was still plenty of snow in the gullies and even on the plateau.

From Stob Coire Bhealaich we continued on the path and climbed the broad south-east shoulder of Aonach Beag. It was quite windy on the plateau so we did not stay at the cairn for long. The descent to the bealach between the small ridge and the big ridge did not take long. From the col we followed the path to the massive cairn of Aonach Beag where we paused for a while. As forecast, the wind picked up and the air got considerably colder. Soon conditions became quite uncomfortable on the plateau and we headed for the west ridge of Aonach Mor. The path on this ridge is sandy, gravelly and very steep. Real fun and exciting. Once at the bealach under Carn Mor Dearg we took the path on the right-hand side of the Allt Coire Giubhsachan which – … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:53+02:00May 4th, 2005|2005, 2009 - 2000, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Aonach Mor

2005 For the third year in row we embarked on a walk starting in Glen Nevis. From the car park we walked to the Steall ruin and to the bridge over the Allt Coire Giubhsachan. From there we followed the path up the south-west ridge of Sgurr a’Bhuic. Climbing steadily we gained height quickly. Then we lost the path.

We were on the south-westerly side of the ridge and had to climb very steep grass slopes to reach the final steepening of the south-west ridge of Sgurr a’Bhuic 150 m below the summit. The cairn of this fine hill is perched at the edge of a long vertical drop. There were new and interesting angles on Ben Nevis to be seen from there. Before continuing onward to Stob Coire Bhealaich we took a break to eat a snack and to take in the views of the Grey Corries and Sgurr Choinnich Mor. On the ridge leading to the summit of Stob Coire Bhealaich the east face of Aonach Beag dominated the view ahead. There still were some cornices left and there was still plenty of snow in the gullies and even on the plateau.

From Stob Coire Bhealaich we continued on the path and climbed the broad south-east shoulder of Aonach Beag. It was quite windy on the plateau so we did not stay at the cairn for long. The descent to the bealach between the small ridge and the big ridge did not take long. From the col we followed the path to the massive cairn of Aonach Beag where we paused for a while. As forecast, the wind picked up and the air got considerably colder. Soon conditions became quite uncomfortable on the plateau and we headed for the west ridge of Aonach Mor. The path on this ridge is sandy, gravelly and very steep. Real fun and exciting. Once at the bealach under Carn Mor Dearg we took the path on the right-hand side of the Allt Coire Giubhsachan which … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:53+02:00May 4th, 2005|2005, 2009 - 2000, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|