Distance : 23.42 km
Time : 10.5 hrs
After yesterdays long walk we decided on another, although this one would be at a much higher level, with a much longer day than yesterday as the terrain was much more difficult which also included lots of descents and ascents in order to summit each of these Munros.
The Grey Corries are a long chain of mountains set to the east of the Nevis Range.
These mountains are ones which I have had my eye on for quite some time now after viewing their quartzite scree summits shimmering from various vantage points whilst hiking in the Nevis Range over the past few months.
We headed off early along a long forest path.
Eventually we left this fine path and headed onto wet, boggy land before hitting our straight up, steep boggy climb which felt like it went on forever…and it did.
We were on our way up to the first summit of Stob Choire Claurigh which is the highest Munro peak in the Grey Corries and sits at the eastern end of the range. Stob Choire Claurigh is a complex mountain with several minor tops also.
As we headed upwards we walked through low hanging thick cloud which meant visibility was poor. This was not meant to happen. I pictured in my head for so long now summittig these mountains with full on views – please weather change!
We continued upwards and because you couldnt see in front of you several times I thought surely this must be the summit but no, it was still a little bit further, a little bit upwards.
We were now onto the grey quartzite rock which was everywhere, scrambling over boulder after boulder. We started to feel the heat from the sun and hoped this would burn of the clouds.
Suddenly things just opened up before our eyes and my goodness we got the best surprise ever, views were just stunning, and we had certainly earned this reward.
As we stood looking around clouds slowly began to build up again to form an inversion and as we continued we then saw a brocken spectre…I love when this happens, nature at her finest.
We didn’t want to move on but knew we had to as we had such a long way to go yet with more munros to summit and the cloud quickly once more began to build up.
We continued on a very long walk involving a lot of ascent in order to summit our next Munro of Stob Coire an Laoigh before finally heading forwards to summit our 3rd Munro of the day Sgùrr Choinnich Mòr.
In order to summit Sgùrr Choinnich Mòr it involved us walking straight past our exit path which would take us off these Munro’s. It also involved a very long steep rocky scramble downwards before you hit the very long steep rocky scramble upwards. And as if that wasn’t enough in order to get back to our exit point we knew we had to come all the way back what we had just hiked in reverse order so we knew this was one long hike to simply summit this one Munro.
This set of Munros are definitely ones whereby you have to earn them and once you do it feels so good.
There are no ‘fine’ paths, gentle gradients or closeness of mountains.
With these you have a long walk in to even get to the base of them and then a long walk back out. You also have to walk long and hard for hours and hours over very steep ascents, very steep descents numerous times over before and after each summit…but ow my goodness they are beautiful.
Throughout the day we had such superb vantage points with vast views for miles and miles all around, these are my favourite kind of Munro days by far.
This was one long day on rough and rugged terrain but a totally superb mountain day all the same and worth every single bit of effort.
We had witnessed full cloud wipe outs in the morning whereby we could not see a thing, cloud inversions, brocken spectres, cold winds which finally turned into a blue sky, a hot sun kind of day with the most amazing views for miles around. You could see mountain after mountain.
No wonder the Grey Corries are classed as a challenging classic ridge walk.
With rocky terrain, some exposure on the ridges, excellent views of the Aonachs, with Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis behind, plus the Easains and the Mamores, and that amazing feeling of remoteness what more can you ask for.