Analysing terrain data
4 - 5
The westernmost of the Mamores make a striking pair, the dramatic sharp peak of Stob Ban contrasting nicely with sprawling, corrie-bitten Mullach nan Coirean.
From Glen Nevis, the horseshoe of the two summits covers some enjoyable ridge walking ground.
With a smattering of scrambling in summer and more than a hint of mountaineering in winter, this is a shorter, easier alternative to the neighbouring Ring of Steall - but no less worthwhile. From the road in Glen Nevis a 4WD track (not marked on maps) climbs south towards Sron Dearg, the terminal nose of Stob Ban's north ridge.
The track soon dwindles to a footpath, which bears a little right for the steep climb onto Sron Dearg.
Once you've gained easier ground above the nose head south along the grassy ridge crest, with great views of the deep corries on either side, and back over Glen Nevis to The Ben. Beyond a broad and more or less level area rises the craggy buttress of the upper ridge.
Follow the crest throughout, with some easy - if airy - scrambling at first.
The initial steep buttress soon eases onto gentler ground (albeit still interesting, in winter), leading to a junction with the main Mamores ridge.
A steady plod up the quartzite boulders that cap Stob Ban now brings you to the summit cairn on the edge of the mountain's precipitous east face (take care if the edge is corniced). Return to the top of the north ridge, then continue west along the main spine of the Mamores where some enjoyable ridge walking awaits.
Follow the rocky rim of Coire Dearg up onto a long nameless top with a short scrambly descent at its far end.
Soon reach the cairn at point 917m. The ridge now broadens considerably.
Easier ground leads on along the edge of Coire Dearg, over another minor top, down into a little saddle and then up to the big cairn at the summit of Mullach nan Coirean. Head north, then stay with the cliff edge as it curves right to join the mountain's east-northeast ridge.
This gives an excellent descent.
Once on the lower ridge below Coire Riabhach bear northwest to descend a horribly eroded path beside a fence running down to the edge of the Glen Nevis forestry.
Cross a stile into the woods and follow the obvious trail down to a junction with a forestry track.
Turn right onto this, then stay left at the next track junction.
At a hairpin bend turn onto a well-trodden path down beside a burn to the road in Glen Nevis. © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com, Apr 2014