A July trip to Scotland - and a pretty substantial "Munro" - July 2001
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
The Mamores lie south-east of Fort William -
between the familiar mountains of Glencoe and
Ben Nevis. Staying at Onich, on the road from
Ballachulish to "the garrison", we studied the maps
and guide books and decided that Sgurr a'Mhaim
ought to make an interesting expedition, and
should "bag" a couple of Munros too.
The path starts at Polldubh in Glen Nevis. Pausing only for a quick
look at the fine waterfalls, we took the path into the Coire
a'Mhusgain. Climbing steadily, but never really steeply, this path
reaches the ridge between the fine shapely peak of Stob Ban and
Sgor an Iubhair. Turning left, we headed for the latter peak, which
has fine views towards Kinlochleven and the south. According to
Poucher, Sgor an Iubhair was a Munro - but later I discovered that
we had climbed four years too late. Apparently, back in 1997 the
Scottish Mountaineering Club decided, in their wisdom, that there
was insufficient re-ascent for it to retain its inclusion in the list.
And I thought trainspotters were a funny lot! (only joking.....).
From the sadly demoted summit, the very fine "Devil's Ridge" links
to Sgurr a'Mhaim. For most of the route, a single-file path runs
along the ridge, requiring care but not nerves of steel. A slightly
awkward rocky step in the middle caused one of our party to have
second thoughts, but we were able to skirt around it by
descending a few feet.
So we arrived at the fine white quartzite-covered summit of Sgurr
a'Mhaim, at 3606' the highest point of our trip, and took stock of
the superb view in all directions. The day had started cool and
grey, but gradually the sun had come out, and with it the colour -
and, eventually, the summit of Ben Nevis appeared, having
previously been in cloud.
The day was getting late - we had not hurried on this fine
expedition - and we began the descent to Polldubh - the path is
pretty direct, and unrelentingly steep for well over 3000'. The
length of this descent (and a distinct lack of decent walks, the
result of the foot and mouth epidemic), meant that, between the
three of us, four of our legs had virtually turned to jelly by the
time we got back to the car! But what a great day it had been.
Evening at Onich