Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter weekend above the Black Mount and on the Grey Corries, Apr'12

The Easter weekend saw Steven lead 2 days in the Lochaber and Etive areas. Here's his report on the days.

Good Friday was to be a fairly challenging walk above the Black Mount on fine Munros including Creise, Stob Gabhar and Meall a'Bhuiridh. However, a couple booked onto the trip had to pull out due to a cycle related injury and Sam, the remaining client, had me to herself ! We therefore decided to change the emphasis of the day to include some confidence building and navigation skills. Arriving at the car-park by Victoria Bridge, weather was pretty dull with cloud down to around 600m. We did a bit of route-planning and navigation, then headed in. Easy walking to begin with, Stob Choire Odhair was bagged, this was the third time Sam had been up this Munro. Stob Gabhar had however eluded her on two other occasions and she was determined to get up there. Again after a bit of route planning and navigation, we headed eastwards and scrambled up and along the Aonach Eagach, much easier than its namesake in Glencoe. On snow and in thick mist, Stob Gabhar's top was reached. Refueled, we returned to above crags, then followed fence-posts down to clamber by some waterfalls. Onto the path, a relaxed walk was enjoyed as we retraced our steps back to our cars.

On Saturday I led 6 people (Catherine, Gillian, Isobel, Sam, Sarah and Stuart) up the Grey Corries. The weather sulked much the same as the previous day and I knew that the length of this hillwalk could therefore be challenging for the group. Past the 'Wee Minister', an easy walk at a brisk pace took us 6km down to the bothy below Stob Ban. Now on rising grassy ground, the group headed up, led by Sarah, with Isobel snapping at her heals. Some of our group were pretty fit and nifty with their feet ! Into cloud and after a 'high-five' on the summit, scree tested ankles on the descent to the col below Stob Coire Claurigh, the highest mountain in the range. Up again and into cloud, we were now on the ridge, with gentle rises and drops between the peaks. On the last 'top', Stob Coire Easain, the cloud magically lifted and our effort was rewarded with some fine views over to our last Munro Sgurr Choinnich Mor. The sun even put in a show, although I suspect the pink faces we received were more to do with the wind ! Batteries recharged, we returned over Stob Coire Easain and down it's northern spur. Some clambering on loose ground took the group down to a dammed lochan, from when an easy walk along fine forestry tracks returned us to our cars.

More photos are on our Flickr site.

Our next trip on the Grey Corries is in early September, details here