19 June, 2008

The Grey Corries

The Grey Corries is a particularly splendid mountain ridge in the Central Highlands of Scotland. The ridge rises above the village of Spean Bridge, a few miles east of Fort William. Location map here. The ridge runs from Stob Choire Claurigh to Stob Coire Easain, which is one peak west of Stob Coire an Laoigh. Zoom in on the map and move east and west with the arrow buttons to see the detail of the individual peaks. They don’t all fit on one screen. The name comes from the pale grey quartzite screes that drape the mountains’ north-facing corries, as shown in the photo: The picture just about covers the full ridge. The route climbs the broad green ridge above the forest on the left of the picture, then traverses along the row of grey rocky peaks forming the skyline, then descends the green-grey ridge dappled with sunshine on the extreme right of the picture.













Moving from left to right, the peaks are as follows:


  • Stob Coire Gaibhre – peak of the corrie of the goat

  • Stob Choire Claurigh – (obscure, possibly peak of the coire of clamouring)

  • Stob a’ Choire Leith – peak of the grey corrie

  • Stob Coire Cath na Sine – peak of the corrie of the battle of the elements

  • Caisteil – the castle

  • Stob Coire an Laoigh – peak of the corrie of the calf

  • Stob Coire Easain – peak of the corrie of the waterfall
Distance - 23 km (about 14 miles) Ascent – 1400 m (about 4,300 feet). I’ve had my eye on this ridge for the better part of a decade, waiting for fine clear weather to climb it. The route takes about 10 hours walking and the views are fantastic, so it’s worth waiting for a clear day. Here’s the result. Click on the controls to play, and come for a walk along one of the finest ridges on the Scottish mainland.
video

14 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

You should have told me to come along. :)

Bernita said...

Is that snow in the first photo?
The names alone are enough reason to do the clime.

Constance said...

Nifty images. It could almost be Wyoming. :) I'd love to go walking there. Someday!

Carla said...

Gabriele - You were in Wales :-)

Bernita - Yes. Snow in the Scottish Highlands usually hangs around on the mountains until May or June, especially on east- or north-facing slopes and headwalls.

Constance - it's not on the same giant scale as Wyoming :-)

Meghan said...

Lovely! I went to Scotland over twelve years ago and loved it. I should visit again!

Carla said...

Meghan - it's a lovely part of the world. Where did you visit?

stevent said...

Beautiful. We don't see mountains or snow like this in Alabama :) Lots of green mountain foothills, humidity, and forests here.

Carla said...

Thank you, Steven. No, Alabama isn't big on snow :-)

stevent said...

We did have two days this past year with a sprinkling of snow, and the whole city goes crazy when that happens. When there is talk of snow, you better run to the grocery store and get bread and milk, at least that's what everyone does. Everything shuts down when it snows here :)

Carla said...

Southern England tends to be a bit like that, too. The Scots are hardier :-)

Barbara Martin said...

Very nice photos of your walk. Scotland has beautiful scenery in the highlands.

Carla said...

Barbara - thanks. I'm a great fan of the Scottish highlands (though I could do without the midges).

Miranda said...

I live in Fort William and since starting work in a certain outdoor mountain shop, I feel the need to do The Grey Corries . . .in the winter. This is my second year of doing winter skills and I am still filled with trepidation, and yet I know this area so well. So the big question is why? Many will say " why not?" Well, for one thing, here on the west coast of Scotland, the weather is so temperamental. It changes from hour to hour. And this is part of the challenge. Knowing your enemy!

Carla said...

Miranda - Hello and welcome! The Grey Corries in winter would be quite a challenge, I should think, not least because of the short daylight hours. It took us something like 10 hours in the summer. I bet the ridge looks absolutely magnificent in full winter conditions!