The Traverse of the Mamores Walking

Among the greatest of Scottish ridge walks, the traverse of the Mamores has it all - narrow ridges, airy summits, hands-on scrambles and amazing views. The full house of all ten Munros is a major single day outing for the fit and determined, but just as good done over two days with an overnight pack. For such a long and complex route the description here is a simplified summary; more detail can be found in the three Route Cards covering shorter Mamores rounds:

Loch Leven from Am Bodach, about halfway along the Mamores traverse  © Dan Bailey -
Loch Leven from Am Bodach, about halfway along the Mamores traverse
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Detailed description

NN1877562262 Head out of town on a woodland path. Above the woods the trail climbs over open ground to meet a 4WD track: the route resumes beyond this track, a little way to the left. The old stalker's path now climbs over a boggy slope into Coire nan Laogh, then makes a rising traverse around the southern foot of Sgorr Eilde Beag to reach Coire an Lochain. Leave the main path and head east to the outflow of the main lochan. A rough scree path now climbs the southern flank of Sgurr Eilde Mor.

NN2304865780 Follow a short ridge, then take a steep scree path down the northwest flank. Near the foot of the hill cut right across a grassy slope to regain the stalker's path of stage one. This zigzags downhill, then traverses the middle slopes of Binnein Mor to reach a lochan on the col below Binnein Beag. Follow the obvious path northeast up steep scree and boulders to the summit.

NN2217067715 Return to the col and then climb steeply to gain the northeast ridge of Binnein Mor. Beyond a level section the upper ridge offers a steep and exciting scramble (grade 1). the short sharp summit ridge now leads to the high point.

NN2121066353 Follow the rocky ridge south onto summit 1062m. Here turn southwest, where the ridge descends into a col, before becoming quite rocky as it leads on up to Na Gruagaichean. From the main peak descend into a little col before climbing over the steep, grassy second summit. A long descent on a well-scuffed path leads to a low bealach. Continue up the right onto Stob Coire a' Chairn.

NN1853166068 Descend the steep, eroded path to the col below, then climb the similarly steep and eroded trail onto An Garbhanach. This sharp rock peak/ridge demands some scrambling (grade 1), though the most exposed sections can be bypassed. After the scramble continue north along the ridge to the Munto itself, An Gearanach.

NN1876566980 Retrace your steps over An Garbhanach and back up to Stob Coire a' Chairn. Heading southwest, a path soon leads to an enjoyable narrow ridge, leading over an unnamed top to the col below Am Bodach. A steep, rubbly path climbs the northeast flank (there's no sugaring this pill, it sucks). From Am Bodach summit a rocky ridge runs west down to a col, from where Sgorr an Iubhair is easily climbed.

NN1651065486 Go northwest down rough ground, to a small grassy col at the start of the Devil's Ridge. Heading north the ridge soon narrows into a dramatic crest, climbing to the peak of Stob Choire a' Mhail. Descending from here is exposed but easy, until a small rocky pinnacle is reached. This can be bypassed to either side, at modest difficulty (grade 1). Shortly after is a little rocky downclimb leading into a gap. Easier now, the ridge continues north to merge with the slopes of Sgurr a' Mhaim; the path zigzags up to the summit.

NN1645866732 Return along the Devil's Ridge to the little grassy col below Sgor an Iubhair; here go right to descend a zigzagging stalker's path to Lochan Coire nam Miseach. Now follow the path west to regain the ridge at a col. The route onto Stob Ban is painfully obvious; onto a grassy shoulder, then up the steep rock and scree of the upper slopes, skirting around the head of a dramatic gully to reach the airy summit.

NN1475665437 Head north, descending bouldery ground to reach grassier slopes below. A path bears left of the north top of stob Ban to gain the crest of the west ridge. The grassy spine of the range now leads over three minor summits, with a short easy scramble where the rim of Coire Dearg briefly narrows, to reach the broad summit of Mullach nan Coirean.

NN1221866222 Head southwest, where a last ridge leads out to the very final summit of all, Meall a' Chaorainn. There's no path for a while now. Descend south to a broad shoulder with several tiny lochans among rock outcrops. A direct descent south from here hits steep craggy ground, so instead start bearing more southeast, where rough slopes lead down to the Allt a' Choire Charaich. A path, of sorts, now follows this cascading burn down to the glen of the Lairig Mor.

NN1235064121 Join the West Highland way, which here follows the course of an old military road through the Lairig Mor. The stony track is initially welcome after all that mountain terrain, but by the time you reach Kinlochleven you'll be sick of it. Once the West Highland Way finally branches right away from the track, keep following the WHW waymarks to return to Kinlochleven.

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