Hills: Binnein Mor (South Top), Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean
Date: Friday 7th June 2019
Company: Myself and Ann-Marie
Distance: 15.7km, Ascent: 1400m
Time: 7Hrs 35Mins

On Friday morning, we set off walking at 5.30am with a view to ascending one or more Mamore Munros.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From our overnight parking spot at the Ice Factor, we crossed the bridge over the River Leven and continued-on a short distance along the main road before turning right at the sign advertising the Grey Mare Tail waterfall. Beyond the small church we followed the track leading uphill towards the waterfall and onto Loch Eilde Mor.

I last walked this track in September 2018 for an ascent of Sgurr Eilde Mor. On that day, the views looking back towards Kinlochleven were fairly good despite the poor weather. On this occasion, with blue skies overhead, the views looking back were excellent.

Having ascended Stob Daimh the day previous, my legs were feeling the strain of those efforts.

Early morning view looking back towards Loch Leven and Kinlochleven:

After circa 2.5km, we crossed the wide track which leads back towards Mamore Lodge and the West Highland Way, continuing onwards and upwards along the track towards Sgurr Eilde Beag and Sgurr Eilde Mor. We were soon gaining lots of height thanks to the excellent stalker's path.

Loch Eilde Mor from slopes of Sgurr Eilde Beag:

On skirting round Sgurr Eilde Beag, it was decision time. Would we head out for an ascent of Binnein Beag, the remotest of the Mamores, or would we ascend Binnein Mor, the highest of the Mamores, and then continue back along the ridge. We opted for the latter.

We therefore continued skirting round Sgurr Eilde Beag before taking the narrow path leading up to the col between Sgurr Eilde Beag and Binnein Mor's South Top. By the time we reached the wide ridge, the cloud capping the Munro tops had dissipated .

Onto the ridge between Sgurr Eilde Beag and Binnein Mor (South Top):

Once onto the wide ridge, we were treated to fantastic views looking across to the hills of the Black Mount and Glen Coe. Buachaille Etive Mor and the Aonach Eagach ridge looked especially nice.

Glen Coe hills:

From the col it didn't take long to reach Binnein Mor's South Top. On reaching the South Top, as well as getting great views of the Glen Coe hills to the south, we were also treated to great views of Ben Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg to the north. Nearby Sgurr Eilde Mor also looked particularly inviting.

Sgurr Eilde Mor from the summit of Binnein Mor (South Top):

Looking towards Binnein Mor from Binnein Mor (South Top):

Wisps of mist hitting the ridge:

After having a drink and applying more sunscreen, we made our way along the ridge from Binnein Mor's South Top towards the summit.

Heading out to Binnein Mor:

Ben Nevis from Binnein Mor's ridge:

I last ascended Binnein Mor in 2003. It was great to be back on this fine hill.

Myself on Binnein Mor's ridge back in August 2003:

On reaching the fairly small summit, we stopped briefly to take a few photographs before continuing back to the South Top.

Ann-Marie at the summit of Binnein Mor:

From the summit of Binnein Mor, Binnein Beag looks real small. In 2003, I ascended Na Gruagaichean, Binnein Mor, Binnein Beag then went on to also ascend Sgurr Eilde Mor. On this occasion, with a number of additional years of age under my belt, I was content to ascend Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean.

View from the summit of Binnein Mor:

From the South Top of Binnein Mor, the ridge leading out to Na Gruagaichean looked narrow and rocky. However, once onto the ridge it posed no difficulties.

Na Gruagaichean:

A path winds its way up through most of the stones on Na Gruagaichean.

Ascending Na Gruagaichean:

On reaching the summit of Na Gruagaichean we stopped for a while to take in the views.

Sadly, the day subsequent to our ascent of Na Gruagaichean, a party of seven walkers from the Linlithgow Ramblers were struck by lightning on this hill, killing one and injuring another. RIP.

View from the summit of Na Gruagaichean:

Looking back to Binnein Mor from Na Gruagaichean:

From the summit of Na Gruagaichean we made our way along its SSE ridge to a cairn and subsequent viewpoint cairn providing stupendous views down to Kinlochleven and along Loch Leven. What a viewpoint!

Cracking view from viewpoint cairn on Na Gruagaichean:

The descent was fairly steep in places and it was with some relief that we eventually reached the excellent track leading towards Mamore Lodge. However, on reaching the excellent track we decided instead to take a poorer quality path leading back more directly to our starting point. In hindsight, I think it would have been a more pleasant end to the walk to continue along to Mamore Lodge.

During the walk back we took a small diversion to see the Grey Mare Tail waterfall.

Shortly after getting back it began to rain. Always good to check the weather forecast and set off early if necessary to get the best of the weather. A good day out on the hill.