My final 2 Mamores Munros: Sgurr Eilde Mor & Binnein Beag
I am slowly but surely ticking off my final 65 Munros in my first round. To be honest, I never imagined I would walk so many of the 282 Munros and I have no set end date. I am simply happy bagging Munros as and when I happen to have time to do them.
This weekend the weather looked good (I prefer fair-weather walking if I can get it) and so I headed off to Glencoe with the G-Force. We took Fern the Campervan for a weekend away and our friend Nick came along in his (much larger but less luxurious!) van.
Friday evening found us in the Clachaig Inn for a meal before we drove to Kinlochleven on Saturday to walk my final two Mamores Munros, Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag.
This autumn has been gloriously long and the beautiful colours of the trees and landscape in the Glencoe/Lochaber area did not disappoint despite it being early November. The photos reveal the stunning landscape.
The Mamores Munros
Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag are accessed from Kinlochleven. I remember this path, which climbs steeply through pretty woodland at first, from walking Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean last November.
By coincidence, although we didn’t know it on the day, Cameron McNeish was hiking these Munros on Saturday. It’s a shame we didn’t bump into each other.
The climb felt no easier than last time but fortunately the ascent allows walkers to quickly gain height and the subsequent views, especially over Loch Leven, are truly breath-taking.
The path continue to climb and then starts to zig-zag up the lower flanks of the Munros. At a small cairn, you can choose to walk towards Binnein Mor or head on, as we did to Sgurr Eilde Mor amd Binnein Beag.
Last November, we walked from this point into thick snow. This November, the Munros had a light dusting of snow at the very tops (the main dump of snow has arrived to the east of Scotland, in the Cairngorms.)
Last November, we walked higher up the mountain slopes in thick snow. This November, the Munros had a light dusting of snow at the very tops (the main dump of snow has arrived to the east of Scotland, in the Cairngorms.)
However, there was a cold north wind and it was the first time this autumn/winter that I have felt chilly while hiking Munros. Higher up on steep, conical-shaped mound of the outlying Munro of Sgurr Eilde Mor the wind was fairly strong and enough to force me on to my knees a couple of times.
We summitted Sgurr Eilde Mor first. It was a hard, muscle throbbing climb to the top at 1010m but the views were stunning.
(Annoyingly, an accidental bump by the G-Force at the top of the mountain saw my iPhone fly from my hand and across the summit stones. It survived but it has a crack down the length of the glass front now. Even more annoyingly, my new durable and robust phone case arrived in the post today, rather than when it was expected on Friday. Grrrr.)
Long walk to Binnein Beag
It’s easily possible to see the next summit of Binnein Beag in the distance but the hike to gain the summit seems to take forever. There is also quite a drop before you start to steadily climb again.
Thankfully the stalkers’ path is easy to follow and the scenery all around was spectacular. We chatted intermittently, got lost in our own thoughts in between, ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the views and generally congratulated ourselves on choosing a brilliant weather window.
The final climb to 943m is not as steep as to Sgurr Eilde Mor but with tiring legs it felt fairly strenuous. The views from the top were the best of the day, with a panorama that takes in many famous peaks including Ben Nevis, CMD, Aonach Beag, Aonach Mor etc.
The path back to the van
I have said this before and I am sure I will say it again and again but it always seems like the route back to the start is far, far longer than the outward path. Regaining the foot of Sgurr Eilde Mor didn’t seem to take too long but the walk back down the glen was tough on the thighs and the mind.
The G-Force had originally planned to take in Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean, as well as the two we had already bagged, but the days have suddenly shortened and I think, like Nick and I, he fancied the idea of an early-ish pub meal and a couple of pints.
We were again treated to lovely views over Loch Leven, this time with the sun lowering in the sky, before the descent of the steep path through woodlands. Boy, does that path seem to zip-zag downwards forever!
It was a superb day out, although quite tiring, and numbers 218 and 219 on my list of 282 Munros.