Mamores Munros in a day
Yesterday I started my 2021 summer season off with a bang and a long hill day with Ryan and James. They had the aim of completing all 10 munros on the Mamores ridge next to Fort William which includes the Ring of Steall. This is normally done over 3 or 4 days of walking.
With a very good forecast we set off at 6.30am to ascend the steep lower slopes of Mullach nan Coirean, the most westerly munro. I prefer doing this long day west to east as I find there are options for coming off the ridge easier and the walk out past Steall falls at the end of the day is easier on the legs. We made good time to the summit in a little over 1.5 hours.
From the summit we could see our day spread out before us: Stob Ban next then the Ring of Steall followed by Na Gruagaichean and Binnein Mor with the 2 outliers of Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag hidden behind.
The approach to a long day like this is not to rush but to plod continuously at the same pace for the whole day and only stop when you need to for food and water and other essential things like sun cream, selfies and more water.
We filled up with the only water source on the ridge at the lochan below Stob Ban before ascending to just below 1001m peak to start the Ring of Steall. Here we left our bags to lighten the load to go out along the Devils ridge and back to Sgurr a’ Mhaim, one of the larger munros in the range.
Back at the bags we made swift progress round to Am Bodach which has a tricky steep descent of loose rock and firm snow to then gain the summit of Stob Coire a'Chairn. It was then time for the second out and back of the day to An Garbhanach which has a steep descent and ascent and is a very iconic mountain looking like a whale fin.
The sun was getting hotter and we were all starting to feel our legs but we were doing well with time being about 1pm and we were managing to keep on top of hydration and food supplies. It stated to feel like we were making some distance along the ridge over Na Gruagaichean and then to the final summit of the main ridge, Binnein Mor at 3pm.
Binnein Mor has a lot of soft snow going up to the summit but was flat enough that it didn’t cause a problem. I knew that the corrie from Binnein Mor to gain the 2 outliers of Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag holds a lot of snow for a long time and this was the case with the long winter we have had and are still having.
With a bit of scoping out and probing we found a safe and secure slope to descent to gain a grassy rake that took us down to the path and the lochans. I went down the snow slope first making large pigeon steps into the slope for the guys to follow. We had each carried a walking axe all day just for this slope and glad we did.
With Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag looming large at the end of the day we applied our method of travel and kept moving and plodded up to the summit. Just one to go, Binnein Beag which we were all glad was the last and required a few pauses on the way to the summit. But after 11.5 hours on the move we had summited our 10th last munro of the day.
With just the scree and heather descent down into Glen Nevis and Steall waterfall, which is harder on the legs than we would have liked, we were walking back out of Steall gorge to the car. 13 hours in total, 3500m of ascent and 10 munros. I’m glad I didn’t let myself go over lockdown!
If you would like to book a (shorter) day in the hills with us around Fort William or Glencoe then have a look here.