Scottish Winter Climbing And Mountaineering Routes in Scotland UKScottish Winter Climbing And Mountaineering Routes in Scotland UK
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North face of Stob Ban.
North Ridge of Stob Ban & Devil's Ridge Map Photos
An exhilarating route combining scrambling on the north ridge of Stob Ban with a knife-edge snow arête - the Devil's Ridge between Stob Coire a Mhail and Sgurr a Mhaim.
Area: Central Highlands, Mamores
Grade: Winter I   what does that mean?
Total Distance: 9 km
Total Ascent: 1340 m
Time: 6 hours
Maps:
  • Ordnance Survey Landranger Sheet 41
  • Ordnance Survey Explorer 392
  • Harvey Superwalker Ben Nevis
  • Avalanche hazard: This is a relatively safe route, although the direct ascent to Stob Coire a Mhail should be bypassed in dangerous conditions.
    Avalanche Forecast area: Lochaber   more
    Alternatives: This route would also be good in reverse. The 'Ring of Steall' is a classic ridge walk traversing the peaks above Steall from An Gearanach to the Devil's Ridge and Sgurr a Mhaim. It is quite a bit longer than the route described here.
    Start 

    From Fort William follow the well-signed Glen Nevis road for about 7 km. Park in a large car park 200 metres beyond Achriabhach farm.

    Grid Reference NN145683.

    Stob Ban 

    The north ridge of Stob Ban is the middle of three broad ridges on the south side of the glen. Walk back along the road towards Achriabhach farm and pass through the gate just before the stream to reach open ground beneath the north ridge of Stob Ban. Follow the path on the right bank (E) of the stream for a few hundred metres then and work your way up the steep grassy shoulder that outflanks the craggy ground at the start of the ridge. Follow the shoulder SE to gain the ridge proper (fence posts)

    Continue along the broad north ridge which entually narrows to a nice rocky crest. Good scrambling over a couple of minor tops brings you onto the main ridge between Mullach Nan Coirean and Stob Ban. Turn left (SSE) and follow the ridge steeply up to the summit of Stob Ban, which is reached after about 100 metres of ascent.

    From the summit of Stob Ban, locate the east ridge. This can be hard to find and involves scrambling down a short step before turning sharply east. Follow the ridge to a large col, avoiding the final steep descent by taking gentler slopes on the right (SE).

    Escape Route!
    From the col - Grid Reference NN156653, cairn - descend into the corrie on your left (N) and pick up the path on the right bank of the stream. This takes you back to the car park.

    Stob Coire a Mhail 

    From the large col, circumvent the lochan on the left (N) side and head up steep slopes - a zigzag path is usually visible even under snow - to a small col between Sgorr an Iubhain and Stob Coire a Mhail. In avalanche-prone conditions, it may be safer to avoid these slopes by ascending the ridge on the other side of the lochan. From the small col, ascend the narrowing ridge to the summit of Stob Coire a Mhail

    Devil’s Ridge and Sgorr a Mhaim 

    The ridge between Stob Coire a Mhail and Sgorr a Mhaim - the Devil's Ridge - is the highlight of the day. Step carefully along the knife-edge ridge until you come to a small pinnacle which can usually be avoided on the left (W) side, if you don't fancy climbing it direct. Shortly afer this, an awkward step leads to the final ascent up to the summit of Sgorr A Mhaim

    Return 

    Descend via the northwest shoulder of Sgorr a Mhaim, which becomes steep but this is relieved by switchbacks. Follow the bank of the stream back to the car park.

    © ScottishWinterRoutes.com 2007