On Friday 28th March, I decided to brave the A82 and made my way to Kinlochleven. A quick bit of faffing, and then I was off at 10:37am heading towards the Eastern end of the Mamores. I hadn’t quite decided whether to bother with Sgurr Eilde Mor, and given how cold and windy it was, I decided to skip the outlier and hit the ridge at Sgor Eilde Beag.
The out and back to Binnein Mor was quite exciting with a buffeting wind, and a fairly airy snow arete.
Na Gruagaichean and Stob Coire a’ Chairn were both pretty straightforward. On the approach to Am Bodach I put the crampons back on. The steep hard neve focussed the mind. No scope for error. At the summit Mullach nan Coirean still looked a long way off. But the going was getting easier.
Crampons off now, and not needed again. Sgurr an Iubhair was snow covered, but the surface was softening, and the angle was easy-going.
I pressed on over Stob Ban. Steep in places. On the descent I strayed too close to the cornice and punched through a crevasse with legs hanging in space. A jolt of adrenalin and cursing myself for switching off. Carefully extracting myself, I kept well clear of the edge.
At last Mullach nan Coirean, the western-most top, and all ridge was stretching away with my first tops out of sight.
The descent was unknown. I skirted on snow for a while, then launched into a super-steep soft scree gully that lost height rapidly to join the West Highland Way. I stopped to empty the debris from my shoes. Stripped down to pertex top. And stashed away hat and gloves to experience the full biting chill of the wind. Now forced to run to generate some heat. Body aching and hands numb, I managed a 7min/km shuffle along the WHW, uphill at first, then undulating downhill to Kinlochleven.
Back at the car, just over 8 hours.