Corrour station is the highest point on the line - at 400m. The night train from London arrives at 9am. The sun was shining on the snowy tops.
|There are several routes from Corrour|
|Head of Loch Trieg|
I crossed the river to the north, then headed along the valley looking for somewhere to leave my pack. In the end I decided to carry it up with me, but by then I'd travelled a few hundred metres further on than planned. This gave me access to the Easain ridge and not the lower route towards the next top Mheadhoin. When I realised my mistake I was already at around 750m and I was reluctant to backtrack down to take the two tops by a anti-clockwise route. At this level there was snow and ice on the ground, and a little higher I was climbing through cloud to reach the top.
|Stob Coire Easain|
|Loch Trieg from Stob Coire Easain south ridge|
Through the swirling cloud the route to the next top Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin seemed steep and corniced. I turned about and retraced my steps, and soon below the cloud base the vista to the south opened up again.
|East Mamores and Loch Eilde Mor|
A tramp of a few km up the valley bottom to the watershed brings access to the bothy at Lairig Leacach. This small stone room feels cold and dark, but a sleep here saves the trouble of pitching a tent.
|bothy at Lairig Leacach|
|bothy at Lairig Leacach|
|morning sun on Stob Ban|
|The arête from Stob Coire na Ceannain to Stobh Choire Claurigh|
|Looking down from Stob Coire na Ceannain|
The route across to Stob Ban looked more enticing - with avenues of white snow between black rock. As I traversed the slope I disturbed three small deer taking the same line as me and struggling a bit in the softening snow on this SE face.
|3 deer struggle across the snow below Stob Ban|
Stob Ban is a munro and an outlier of the Grey Corries. The views from the top are spectacular in every direction - the main ridge to the north and west; the Mamores to the south west and Stob Coire Easain and other mountains to the east.
|The Marmores and Grey Corries ridge from Stob Ban looking south and west|
|Stob Coire na Ceannain and Stob Coire Easain looking north and east from Stob Ban|
|Blackwater reservoir in the distance with the trees of Luibeilt in the centre|
The forecast for the next day was not good and I determined to head towards Glen Nevis, with the possibility of overnighting at the bothy. Heading down from the ridge eventually I reached a path going south to the river Abhainn Rath. Although still only 4:30 I had been walking for more than 8 hours and the bothy pulled like a magnet.
An hour later a school party arrived to camp on the flat ground in front of the building. And later two groups of bothy goers arrived with food, alcohol, and fuel. That miserable cold and dark space became enlivened with flickering candles and a warming fire and the party went on to the middle of the night.
|Harrogate School group plan their camp|
|By morning the tents are sagging|
|Luibeilt abandoned and picturesque|
|Steall falls and the wire bridge|
|Glen Nevis Youth Hostel from the forest track with slopes of Ben Nevis above|
I continued down to the forestry tracks which took me along Glen Nevis parallel to the road until I reached the Youth Hostel. This a pleasant place to stay right opposite the most frequented route to Ben Nevis. At times it seems too far from Fort William - about an hour's walk - and it is even further from the valley head where most of the interesting mountain walks start, but the facilities are fine with a number of rooms and dorms, prepared food with beers and wine, a good kitchen for self catering, and a warm drying room.
I woke on my last day to more rain. I had a 7:50 appointment with the night train, the sleeper, at Fort William - leaving a full day available for walking. I decided to follow the West Highland Way towards Kinlochleven and the head up the first big hill - Mullach nan Coirean.
|Ancient fort of Dun Deardail|
|Upper Glen Nevis|
|Mullach nan Coirean summit|
|Fort William from Cow Hill|
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The track taken turned out to be very similar to my previous trip described here.