Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Friday, 5 June 2015

Wednesday 3 June - a wintry June day

After a couple of days of more wild weather we have, temporarily, moved to Lochaber and made our annual pilgrimage to the top of a very wintry Stob Ban in the Mamores (the photo doesn't show this but I might be able to post a couple of better ones later). It is a very special hill for us, climbed in all sorts of conditions from white-outs to blazing sunshine and everything in between.

Today was one of those days when waterproofs were frustratingly on and off, on and off. I said to Lynne that I couldn't remember all this faffing about in earlier days. We didn't have all this stuff to faff about with as she pointed out, but I wonder if comfort was as much of an issue back then. I can't say I felt any less comfortable in my woollen shirt, M&S jumper, and in later years my Javelin Jacket (fibre pile) than I do today. Might be my memory though or just plain youth!

I've probably said it before but the walk by the Allt Coire a' Mhusgain is truly lovely, the scattered birches like old friends. The old stalkers path took us quickly up into Coire Mhusagain and to the cairn at the bealach. From here, set against a dark sky, the northeast face looked Eiger-ish.

The slaistery snow and slippery quartzite on the ridge required care. I took some video of Lynne on the steep scree and snow of the 'direct finish' carefully making her way towards me. It's anything but difficult but a fall from here would be unthinkable.

The big gully below her still held lots of snow and avalanche debris was in evidence. All was calm at the cairn and a couple enjoyed lunch perched near the edge of the cliffs. Another walker whom we'd met lower down eventually arrived having stopped to chat to a few others. He enthused about the ascent, the Mamores in general, about the long day he had planned and his/our luck with the weather, the Glen Coe hills to the south being cloud-covered. Light snow began to fall and the sun shone, transforming the atmosphere instantly. It felt alpine, but not for long.

We departed taking the easier exit and lower down encountered two other walkers, one wearing shorts, who asked if the winds were strong on the summit. They made some unflattering remarks about BBC weather forecasters with which we heartily agreed.

It was dry as we sauntered through the Mamore Grazings, a place of many memories. Another rewarding day in hills was over.

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  1. Well done getting up there. I think we have so much choice with gear now we expect to be comfortable. Younger days we didnt worry about gear so much, we just wanted to be in the hills and to hell with everything else.
    Still bitterly cold here tonight.

    1. Hi Alan. As I said, the route we took wasn't difficult but it felt much more insecure than it ever did in full winter conditions. I signalled to Lynne to go the normal way but as in most things she ignored me!

      I've tried to comment on your last post but it's not appearing. Will keep trying. Windy here.

  2. Well that didn't take very long! I think I'm more or less up to date with your exploits, Gibson, having gone back as far as this 'winter' posting. I like Stob Ban - a great hill on a fine ridge.