Binnein Mor

Eastern Mamores hiking route

Hillwalking route up Binnein Mor and neighbours in the Mamores

A circular route on the eastern Munros of the Mamores range heading in from Kinlochleven. Fine stalkers paths lead up rough peaks, including Binnein Mor, the highest Munro peak in the Mamores mountain range.

Route outline

  Map base ©OpenStreetMap

Binnein Mor

Na Gruagaichean

Sgurr Eilde Mor

Binnein Beag

Ascent 2000m (6560ft)
Distance 18km (11m)
Time 8:00hr
Start/finish Grey Mares car-park
Grid Ref : NN188623
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

The Mamores ridge is one of the finest mountain ranges in Scotland, with 10 Munros compacted into 34km. It is perfectly possible for hill runners and most fit hillwalkers to bag all the Mamores peaks in one long day. However most people will prefer to split the range into 3 or 4 hillwalking days and this route describes the eastern section of the Mamores from Sgurr Eilde Mor to Na Gruagaichean, on the way taking in Binnein Beag and Binnein Mor, the highest peak in the Mamores range.

With fine stalkers paths from the south, Kinlochleven (or possibly Mamore Lodge) makes for a fine starting point. There is some rough bouldery terrain and a few scree-runs to be encountered, but in the main this hillwalking route involves following fairly obvious paths through heather and on grass covered crests.

Route map

Route description

1. Getting to Grey Mare's car-park

Early morning start from Kinlochleven

Although the other routes heading up onto the Mamores start from Glen Nevis, if intending to hike the eastern section of the Mamores, then the best approaches are from Kinlochleven as paths are better and navigation therefore easier.

In Kinlochleven, start from the 'Grey Mare's' car-park, by St Paul's Church just north of the bridge over the River Leven.

2. Sgurr Eilde Mor

Heading up Sgurr Eilde Mor with Binnein Mor behind

From the car-park, follow a path around the back of the church and uphill into woodland. The path veers left and climbs a bit - there's a sign pointing a short detour to the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall on the way (spring is a good time to view, before leaves on the trees obscure).

Don't follow the sign for the Grey Mares' Tail, instead keep right (east) and begin to climb up a rougher path. Through a gate, continue following the obvious path up uphill and out of the woodland .

After around 2km, the track coming from Mamore Lodge is met , cross the track and continue following the rough path uphill for around 2km to a small cairn and a switchback in the path. At this point keep left, as the path aims north for another 1km above Coire an Lochain.

Once the highest point in the path is reached, leave it and head around northern end of the largest lochan on a faint path. Begin to make a direct ascent of Sgurr Eilde Mor. The path gets more obvious with height as it turns north-east then southwest, with the terrain becoming rough and bouldery higher up. The last short climb up onto the crest of Sgurr Eilde Mor's western spur is on very loose and steep scree. Once onto the crest of Sgurr Eilde Mor's western shoulder, a short stroll gains the summit .

3. Binnein Beag

Binnein Beag from its lochan to the south

Retrace steps along Sgurr Eilde's western spur and back down the loose scree and bouldery path. As the path begins to turn south-west, leave it and aim directly west downhill on steep grassy ground to the burn in Coire a'Bhinnein below.

Cross the burn and pick up and follow a well-defined, if rather rough, stalkers path to the lochan at the southern foot of Binnein Beag.

Keep to the south side of the lochan and pick up a faint path to follow up through boulders and scree towards the summit of Binnein Beag . There is a short pitch of easy scrambling just before reaching the summit, where there is a untidy cairned circle to shelter out of winds.

4. Binnein Mor

Approaching Binnein Mor's summit from the north

Retrace your steps towards the lochan below Binnein Beag , then head west-south-west, climbing grassy slopes. Now in a coire, Binnein Mor looms above. Keeping to the west side of the coire, climb the steep grass covered slopes (no path) onto Binnein Mor's northern spur, Gualainn a'Bhinneir Mhoir .

Once on the crest of this spur, a faint path can be traced up to the boulders on Binnein Mor's narrow summit crest. A small cairn is perched precariously on the top and views are quite magnificent. Binnein Beag and Sgurr Eilde Mor look quite diminutive !

5. Na Gruagaichean

Na Gruagaichean from the bealach to the east

Aim south initially on bouldery ground along Binnein Mor's southern crest. Grass-covered terrain leads up a short rise to Binnein Mor's grass covered south top .

Na Gruagaichean lies to the south-west, just over 1km away with a bealach in between. A path strikes a route, over grass at first then some rocky ground, particulary west of the bealach. The last few metres of climb is on boulderfield and route-finding could be tricky in mist. Na Gruagaichean's summit cairn rests on a boulder-strewn top .

6. Return to Kinlochleven

Descending west down Na Gruagaichean

From Na Gruagaichean's cairn, a path zig-zags a way through boulders on the northern side of the summit. The route becomes steep and on very loose scree for the last few metres approaching a sharp col requiring a bit of care to cross.

After crossing the col, the path takes a route uphill onto the grass-covered crest of Na Gruagaichean's north-west top . After crossing the northern top, the obvious path leads down the other side to the bealach east of Stob Coire a'Charn from where a stalkers path is picked up heading down into Coire na Ba.

Alternatively, from the sharp col a steep direct descent westwards on loose and rough grassy ground can be made to the stalker's path in Coire na Ba below - this will cut out some ascent and distance, but will put a strain on any tired legs !

Once on the stalker's path, follow it as it meets up with some sheep-pens and ends an estate track . Turn left (east) on the track, then after walking around 100m on this, look for a path off right - there is usually a small cairn to mark the start of this, but it could be difficult to find in summer if overgrown. The path is rough and could be a bit boggy in bits, but it leads directly back to Kinlochleven.

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