Quality | 12m
Central Mamores: Stob Coire a' Chairn & Am Bodach
Start/Finish Grey Mares Waterfall car park, Kinlochleven. From bridge over River Leven, go N then take first right (signed Grey Mares Waterfall). At end of street there is a white church, go right and car park is almost immediately on the left.
Distance/Time 12 km Approx 7 hours
Peaks Stob Coire a; Chairn, 981 m, NN 185 660.
Am Bodach, 1032 m, NN 176 650. OS sheet 41.
Introduction Outstanding views in all direction from this walk especially down the full length of Loch Leven but also to the Glencoe peaks, Ben Nevis, Aonach Beag, Grey Corries, Bidean nam Bian, Buachaille Etive Mor and even Schiehallion. The descent from Am Bodach needs great care lower down where there are many crags to be circumvented so this descent is not advised in poor weather or wintry conditions.
Route (1) Walk up the obvious signed footpath at the side of the car park. At the end of the path, go left (white arrow). Follow way marked path, steep, stony and loose in places, up to join the tarmac road about 50 m below Mamore Lodge. At the entrance to the hotel (closed on 6/5/11, possibly permanently) go right (E then NE) to the Stalker's Cottage. Bypass this, by the footpath on the S side, and continue on the track. Cross the bridge over the Allt Coire na Ba then go left on the obvious track going N up the E side of the burn. Follow the track which becomes a path further on. It may be worthwhile looking for an alternative descent route down the ridge on the left – through the scattered birches looks most promising. Higher up the path makes a big sweep to the E (clearly shown on the OS map) which adds distance but eases the gradient. The path emerges on the main Mamores ridge at the bealach between Stob Coire a' Chairn and the NW top of Na Gruagaichean. Turn left, NW then W, and ascend by a good path, with a short section through a boulder field, to reach the large cairn marking the summit of Stob Coire a' Chairn, 981 m.
(2) Continue W across the small level summit plateau to a smaller cairn where a path starts to descend SW. Follow this path, stony in places, down to a dip, then over a small top and down to the bealach. Climb SW, still on the obvious path, steep, rocky and loose in places to reach the medium cairn which is the summit of Am Bodach, 1034 m.
(3) Descend SE, initially passing a cairn larger than the summit cairn, then S down the well defined ridge. After a short distance, the path becomes very distinct especially on the edge of the corrie before Sgorr an Fhuarain. From here the path becomes less distinct and in places is very difficult to locate. If indeed a path exists. Continue down the ridge with the easiest ground often being on the left, E, side. A few shallow dips are crossed. After one of these there is a quartzite cairn from where ther is almost an aerial view of Kinlochleven. Below here there are numerous crags, of varying sizes, to be circumvented. Generally, the best line is still on the left of the ridge but it is possible to leave the ridge and descend steepish grassy slopes through the scattered birch trees referred to earlier. Just before Mamore Lodge is reached, the route ahead is blocked by a dense wood of silver birch and rhododendrons. Above this wood is a rough grassy clearing which can be followed to the right, W, and which ends about 30 m from an obvious track (which goes W to join the West Highland Way) with only some thin woodland between the clearing and the track. Turn left on the track and, within about 100 m, reach Mamore Lodge from where the outward route can be rejoined.
Notes (a) This walk took place on 6th May, 2011.
(b) At the wooden bridge, almost at the end of the walk, it is possible to take a short signed detour to the Grey Mares Waterfall by following the blue arrows/markers.
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