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4 + 2 = A Six Munros weekend

Written by Fiona August 29 2014

The plan had been the Skye Munros (or at least an attempt of them) but the weather forecast wasn’t favourable so we headed to where the sun promised to shine a little more. We arrived north of Fort William, up a long singletrack road/track at the edge of a forest at Corriechoille late on Friday night.

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Our alarm clock: Hungry calves!

Again our plans changed. We had intended to have an early night and an early Munro bagging start but we got chatting to Drew (@Coulterfell) – and his lovely dog Harley – in the neighbouring vehicle and ended up enjoying great hills chat and whisky until late. You know how it is?!

When we awoke, Coulterfell was long gone. He is obviously made of sterner stuff than us! In fact, it was only thanks to half a dozen calves nudging against Fern the Campervan that made us get up at all. The calves were jostling for dog food dropped by our van and kept pushing against the van side.

The striking Grey Corries, near Fort William.

The striking Grey Corries, near Fort William.

Still, the weather was bright and we knew the four Munros of the Grey Corries were achievable. While we did enjoy a fair amount of sunshine, this was a day that involved on-off waterproof clothing as heavy rain showers repeatedly struck and seemingly out of nowhere.

We tried walking with our waterproofs on full-time but when the sun came out it was unbearably sweaty.

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Our route took in Stob Ban first, followed by the trio of ridge Munros, Stob Coire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh and Sgurr Choinnich Mor. It doesn’t matter how you think about it, four Munros is a big day out and while we didn’t push ourselves hard, we also didn’t hang around either. This was a steady paced Munro bagging day.

The walk in was very long indeed. I think it took around three hours or more before we reached the first summit. After that, the next two Munros came fairly quickly before another longer walk to the final Munro, Sgurr Choinnich Mor , which is more outlying.

A Munro selfie (or Melfie!).

A Munro selfie (or Melfie!).

The route back to Fern the Campervan required another climb to the high shoulder of Stob Coire an Laoigh before descending over the back of the ridge. Again, this is a surprisingly long walk out but one that we greatly enjoyed thanks to a huge multitude of wild mushrooms.

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Although we were unable to identify the safe-to-eat mushrooms we were stunned – and frequently distracted – by the variety growing in Killiechonate Forest. (I am doing a wild mushroom foraging session this week so I can identify edible mushrooms in the future! It was so amazingly tempting.)

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During our walk, which boasts the most fabulous views, we met a long stream of people. This is the busiest Munros walk we’ve had for a while. One group of four women were carrying overnight kit in heavy-looking rucksacks and had a plan to hike to Glen Nevis to camp before walking some of the neighbouring Mammores Munros the following day. We were impressed by their fitness. Carrying overnight rucksacks over multiple Munros is tough and we felt weedy in comparison as we sauntered along with our lightweight packed-for-the-day backpacks.

As we headed towards Munro three we passed Coulterfell and Harley walking the circuit the opposite way. Drew said he was feeling good and planned to complete the four Munros in one day (he’d left Munro four, Stob Ban, as an option).

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On the descent we passed two women. They had bagged two Munros while we had been walking the four but seemed delighted with their outing. One explained that she was recovering from a knee injury so the two Munros were enough for the day.

It was lovely to see so many people enjoying these stunning Munros – and in a way that suited their own ambitions.

The search for an evening meal

It was an English bank holiday weekend and restaurants and pubs were busy. Our favourite pub in the area, The Ben Nevis Inn, was full. We headed to another, at Roy Bridge. It was a disaster. Read about our Stonlossit Inn nightmare.

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Day two and two more Munros

With tired legs from the previous day we decided that two Munros would be just about manageable. The G-Force suggested Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain from Fersit, near Roy Bridge.

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Under a hot sun we plodded an oft-sparse and long path to Stob Coire Sgriodain before walking the bealach to Chno Dearg. The rushing and frothing burns, wiht numerous waterfalls, that run close to the path are very beautiful.

While these Munros look like they will be a quick march of a day they should not be underestimated.

A well-earned rest on a Munro summit.

A well-earned rest on a Munro summit.

The steep climb to Stob Coire Sgriodain was also a little testing with aching thigh muscles but the views from the summit of both Munros are fabulous. In contrast to the previous day, we met only one other walker.

So, six more Munros brings my total to 154. Where will we head next?

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