Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Grey Corries, Jun'14

Martin and Steven were leading the trip over the Grey Corries.

Having a Landrover for the start of this hike helps ! The track up from the end of the public road to our meeting point is rough and getting more pot-holed over time. Some folk opted to save their car's suspension and we met those at Spean Bridge and piled into the 'Disco'. Up to the start of the walk, we got our kit ready while fending off the midges on this rather muggy morning.

One of the group called off prior to the trip due to a tummy bug, but her hubby (Graham) and sister (Diane) came along. They we joined by Anna and Darren, Catherine and Paul S, along with Valerie and Paul T. Up the track, everyone got into a good stride and we quickly reached the bothy below Stob Ban. A Duke of Edinburgh group were departing as we arrived, coming out of the tiny bothy in a continuous stream - was this one of those challenges to set the record for the most folk squeezed into a remote bothy ? There must have been more than 20 ! With the bothy to ourselves, we had our elevensies.

Uphill next on a mucky path, Graham slowed to a snail's pace. So not like him - he'd sucumbed to his wife's bug. He and Diane, decided to bail out and have a crack at these peaks another day. We were now down to 6 ! Hiking at a fine pace, we were up into the cloud and onto the summit of our first Munro Stob Ban. No views :(

After some photos on the summit, it was down scree (everyone taking it in their stride), to a lochan - the last water stop, there's nowhere else once up on the ridges. It's a full 1,000 feet of ascent up grassy slopes then boulderfield to our second Munro, Stob Choire Claurigh and at 1177m above sea-level the highest peak of the day. Again, no views :(

Above north facing coires, there was still a fair bit of snow, and in the mist these made for spooky and atmospheric time - also testing Martin's and my navigation ! There were several minor cairns on route, "is this the summit ?" would be the cry, "not yet !" was the inevitable response. The summit of Stob Coire an Laoigh attained and the sun did its hardest to break through the stubborn cloud. The cloud was having none of it, so after some food and photos, off we set in the direction of our final Munro of the day. Well, not quite, we had to detour over Stob Coire Easain, then aim for the peak. Some easy scrambling was involved tackling the south-west ridge of this minor top, as we were progressing, the cloud lifted and rewarded our effort with some fine views. There was one amazing rock structure, several blocks were balanced on and laid against each other - we called this the 'Jenga Stone'. On some sections of snow, we hiked uphill onto Sgurr Choinnich Mor's crest. The snow and the freeze-thaw had caused an impressive rockfall just below the summit.

After some photos on the summit, again no views, we returned to Stob Coire Easain, enjoying the scrambling once more. North over grass-covered and gently descending slopes, we reached the little dam in the forest below. Time to relax and enjoy the easy walk along a fine forestry track back to our starting point.

A great day out ! More photos are on our Flickr page.