After the conditions forced me to retreat from the Mamores yesterday, and cut my day short, I decided to return in a bid to complete what I had hoped to achieve. I have never been to the two eastern most Munros in the Mamore range, and it was these that I had been hoping to reach from Na Gruagaichean. However, today I opted for a more direct route, slowly gaining height on the walk in to frozen Coire an Lochain from the Mamore Lodge Hotel.
Having skipped across the stream at the outlet from the lochan, I made my way up the south-east shoulder of Sgurr Eilde Mor. This was fairly straight forward to start with, but included a couple of slightly awkward rock steps further up. From here, I was treated to a great view towards Binnean Beag – my second target for the day. I dropped down the north-western side of Sgurr Eilde Mor, which had been scoured by the wind, leaving neve and ice making crampons a must.
The trek towards Binnean Beag proved to be hard work. The lower eastern slopes of Binnean Mor had had a great deal of snow deposited by the wind, leaving deep powder. It wasn’t an avalanche problem, but it was physically demanding when sinking almost a full leg length into the snow. However, the final push up Binnean Beag itself was no problem and, once again, I was given a great view across Glen Nevis to the southern side of Ben Nevis.
With all the real climbing done, all that was left was the 8km walk back to the car. In some conditions, I’d hope to get that done in 2 hours but, with the deep snow to get through again, it took over 3 hours.