Mullach nan Coirean and most of Stob Bàn

For our final day in Glencoe we decided to explore the Mamores. We would ascend Mullach nan Coirean from the parking lot in Glen Nevis, and follow the ridge south-east towards Stob Bàn. We’d then Descend the north ridge of Stob Bàn to get back to the car.

Slow going #

For once we had relatively little wind and comfortable temperatures. But we’d chosen a route with lots of fresh untrodden snow. The ascent was slow and arduous - foot after foot of soft powder.

Chris stands at the foot of a snowy coire with early morning sun ahead of him.
Ed in the distance looking down over a snow covered ridge.
Photo by Chris Natt.

Near the summit of Mullach nan Coirean we separated briefly to get some long shots of each other - good fun with the ridges between us.

Chris descending a snowy plateau.
A long photo looking down a snowy mountain to the valley. The small figure of Chris is visible in the distance with both hands in the air waving to the camera.

I think this is the first hike we’ve done where the winds dropped enough to hear each other easily. On the plateau summit of Mullach nan Coirean the ground was rimmed up and crunchy.

Chris kneeling on a snowy plateau taking a photo.
Ed in far distance is a dark spec on an otherwise white mountain.
Photo by Chris Natt.
A wide photo of a snow covered mountain peak with other mountains in the far distance beyond a valley. At the top of the peak is a small figure.
Photo by Chris Natt.
A long telephoto photo of a snowy ridge in the distance. A few small brightly coloured figures can be seen on the ridge.
Glad to see we weren't the only ones on the mountain.

Not quite the summit, but close enough #

The summit of Stob Bàn is about 90m up from this point - but by now Chris and I were exhausted, and the weather was turning. We couldn’t see the summit, and didn’t fancy ascending to a peak in fog. We decided to head home.

A portrait of Chris and Ed near the summit of Stob Bàn.
A panorama of a white mountainside, with occasional dark patch of rock.
Two boots with crampons on are in the foreground descending a steep snowy mountain. Ed can be seen a few meters ahead.
Photo by Chris Natt.
Ed looks back to the camera as he descends a steep snowy ridge.
Photo by Chris Natt.

The descent turned out to be more adventurous than we’d expected. In retrospect I expect most people ascend the north ridge, not descend it. Really tricky going in powdery snow and such steep steps. Chris was braver than I in continuing to take photos whilst we went down.

A wide photo looking down on Chris on a mostly brown hillside, with patches of snow here and there.

This last photo is from the next day and our return drive back to Inverness. So much of the countryside is simply stunning and demands you stop for a bit.