Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin - 1105m
Stob Coire Easain - 1115m

Sunday 20th May 2012

Weather/Conditions: A stunning spring day, snowfields thawing and golden slopes revealing. Big blue skies and snow spattered mountain everywhere. Whoa!
Distance/Ascent/Time: 15.5km / 1200m / 4h 40m
Accompanying: Alone

A great day on these two hills above Loch Treig.

The Easains are great 'hillwalkers hills', forming long sweeping ridges running parallel to Loch Treig. I was staying with James in Fort William the previous night, and headed out mid-morning for these two Munros, both new.

It was the weirdest thing - I'd been in pretty full-on winter conditions the previous day in Affric. I'd done two Munros there (out of a hoped-for 12), but conditions were too bad to keep going. Having come south to Lochaber, I suddenly found the weather beautiful and spring-like and the mountains rather more bare of snow. Throw in a little good weather on the Sunday and it was as though I had walked straight into spring. All within a day.

I pulled into the parking at Fersit, a busy place on a day like this, and got myself ready. From here the Easains offer a glimpse, nothing more than a knobbly rocky nose - there is no sign of the sweeping twin peaks to come.

The first bit was, admittedly, long winded - but momentum kicked up as I made progress onto the north ridge of Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin. Snow patches made an appearance on the ridge, but nothing like I'd seen at Affric. In fact, I caught sight of Affric to the north, still covered in snow - the hills looked completely white. So it had been a bad call to have gone there in the first place, but I wasn't to know in the first place.

Snow banks were hanging off the coires of Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin and the final push to the summit was a "stairway to heaven" following footprints up the last snowfield to the top. Great visibility here - all the Highlands were visible, the air was just crystal clear.

I left my rucksack on Mheadhoin for the out-and-back to Stob Coire Easain, where the winds kicked up a notch. All the mountains had a layer of snow clean cut around about 1000m, giving the impression of a little arctic surviving at these altitudes. In the distance, the Cairngorms were still white.

My route down took me back over Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin and down the rocky nose of Meall Cian Dearg. Somewhere near the bottom I went off route, scrambling around little crags and through clutches of birch wood. The lochside was sunny, I was quite happy with my day on the walk back to the car park.

Weekends like these serve to make life in the Highlands seem like a good idea. To have this amount of nature on your back door is stunning. In the evening I went down to Polldubh to have a look at the cliffs and maybe have a try at a route or two. I didn't get too far in a climbing sense, but the exploration was certainly enjoyed.

The following day: my last Mamore, Binnein Beag.

Photos: Stob Choire Mheadhoin

Stob Coire Easain & Descent

360° Panoramas

Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin

Stob Coire Easain
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 12.30am Fersit parking
(2.15) 2.45pm Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin
(2.25) 2.55pm Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin (left)
(2.40) 3.10pm Stob Coire Easain
(3.05) 3.35pm Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin (return)
(4.40) 5.10pm Fersit parking

Written: 2014-11-05