On the Grey Corries

Grey Corries from Corriechoille

Hillwalking route over the Munros in the Grey Corries

The 'Grey Corries' is the name given to the superb range mountains to the east of Ben Nevis and the Lochaber 4000ers. The Grey Corries are probably seen at their finest from above Spean Bridge with the quartzite rock shimmering in sunshine and framed with the Commando Memorial in the foreground.



Route outline


Munros

Stob Choire Claurigh, 

Stob Coire an Laoigh, 

Sgurr Choinnich Mor, 

Stob Ban

Ascent 1800m (5900ft)
Distance 25km (16m)
Time 9:15hr
Start/finish Corriechoille
Grid Ref : NH253794
Terrain
easy hard
Nav
easy hard
Effort
easy hard
Scenery
ok fab


Fine foresty tracks reach the lower slopes of these mountains enabling bike access to allow one or two of the Munro summits to be picked off at a time.

However, to bag all 4 Munros in the Grey Corries in a day, you'll need to leave your bike behind, as the Grey Corries form a wonderful circular hillwalking route of peaks starting and finishing at Corriechoille, some 3km east of Spean Bridge. This is a demanding day on rugged and rough terrain, with some route choice conundrums and navigation challenges on the way !



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Route description


1. Getting to Corriechoille

The 'Wee minister' on the start of the walk into the Grey Corries

The 'Wee minister' on the start of the walk into the Grey Corries

The start of this route is from Corriechoille, which is at the the end of a narrow road which starts from the railway station in Spean Bridge and heads eastwards. By the bins at Corriechoille, there is a sign discouraging parking on the verge.

However, there appears to be no objection to turning right and driving the 2km right down the track to the edge of the forest on the rugged track, but be prepared for your car's suspension to take a pounding ! Best to park where there is a junction in the tracks.


2. Stob Ban

Approaching Leacach Bothy below Stob Ban

Approaching Leacach Bothy below Stob Ban

Leaving your car behind, walk south and up a good track to a gate into felled forestry. Through the gate (or more likely over a stile) you'll pass the Wee Minister - a wooden sculpture with a collection box for Lochaber Mountain Rescue. Through the felled forest, the track comes out by a gate, dips down to a bridge over the Allt Leachdach then continues for 4km to Leacach Bothy below Stob Ban, passing below the rough Corbett peaks of Crauch Innse and Sgurr Innse on the way.

Below the bothy, cross a burn (there is a newish bridge just upstream if in spate), take path on right, then right uphill again at a small cairn. The path climbs up peaty ground, then grass to a flat area at 750m. The path then zig-zags through some boulderfield onto Stob Ban's summit .


3. Stob Choire Claurigh

On the Grey Corries ridge between Stob Coire Claurigh and Stob Coire an Laoigh

On the Grey Corries ridge between Stob Coire Claurigh and Stob Coire an Laoigh

From Stob Ban, it's a steep and loose descent north-west. If you like running down screes, you'll love this short route twisting through boulderfield and screes to reach a lochan at Bealach Coire Rath . Above the lochan and initially on grassy slopes, head northwards uphill on a faint path.

The path begins to gradually disappear into boulderfield for the last climb of 150m north-west to the summit of Stob Choire Claurigh with its large pile of stones posing as a summit cairn.


4. Stob Coire an Laoigh

Early '98 heading to Stob Coire an Laoigh

Early '98 heading to Stob Coire an Laoigh

Leaving Stob Choire Claurigh's summit behind, head south-west, a combination of grass and rock define fine ridges linking the summit peaks. Stob a'Choire Leith is quickly reached.

On the way to Stob Coire an Laoigh

On the way to Stob Coire an Laoigh

South-west, the ridge drops and narrows before the short climb up to the flat area of Stob Coire Cath na Sine . More small boulders and an enjoyable ledge of steps lead beyond Caisteil to a bealach, then crossing grass and bouldery ground the summit of Stob Coire an Laoigh is gained.

On the way to Stob Coire an Laoigh

On the way to Stob Coire an Laoigh


5. Sgurr Choinnich Mor

Heading to Sgurr Choinnich Mor from Stob Coire Easain

Heading to Sgurr Choinnich Mor from Stob Coire Easain

From Stob Coire an Laoigh it is possible to aim directly for the bealach below Sgurr Choinnich Mor, but to enjoy the Grey Corries ridge more, I prefer to head up the Munro Top of Stob Coire Easain first, if just to enjoy the views !

Leaving Stob Coire an Laoigh behind aim north-west on an obvious route zig-zagging though shattered boulders down to the bealach above Coire a'Mhadaidh and Coire Easain. A short ascent up the other side quickly reaches Stob Coire Easain , the last top on the main Grey Corries ridge.

South-west next, some care is needed with a couple of rocky sections requiring a bit easy scrambling. In mist there is a tendancy for the ridge to pull walkers westwards, so best to keep an eye on the compass.

Bealach Coire Easain , the wide col below Sgurr Choinnich Mor is reached. This is the lowest part of the ridge since Stob Coire Claurigh and from here the ascent up Sgurr Choinnich Mor looks daunting - it's not as bad or as far as you'd expect !

The route up Sgurr Choinnich Mor is fairly obvious on clear days - headup the hillside directly from the bealach, a worn path will gradually appear, follow this along the north-east crest of Sgurr Choinnich Mor. On the way to the summit you'll pass some interesting splits in the ground. Note in winter a pleasant snow-shoulder develops on Sgurr Choinnich Mor's north-east shoulder which actually make the route easier, especially on the return descent !


6. Return to Corriechoille

Descending grassy slopes from Stob Coire Easain

Descending grassy slopes from Stob Coire Easain

Return along Sgurr Choinnich's north-east shoulder to Bealach Coire Easain and back up Stob Coire Easain .

Aim due north down a short section of scree. Continue north on grassy ground over Beinn na Socaich (this summit can easily be bypassed on it's western side) and aim for just south of the dam marked at NN240764.

Cross the burn at south end of the small dammed lochan - don't attempt to cross on the dam ! Head up the eastern side of the lochan to the dam , cross a stile over a large fence and pick up a path ontop of a pipe then a track to follow north. Some sections of the old aluminium-works railway remain semi-hidden in the forest - don't follow these !

Continue for just over 1km to an obvious junction in the track, take the right fork which travels north-east through thicker forest, then a clearing and finally thicker again back to where your car is parked near Corriechoille.





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Alternative and nearby routes »


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