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Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaille

Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaille


Postby smike » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:02 pm

Route description: Beinn a'Chrulaiste from Altnafeidh

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn a'Chrulaiste

Date walked: 11/02/2013

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 10.5 km

Ascent: 650m

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Me and my best mate had our annual winter trip to Glencoe the other week - we only had enough annual leave left for a long weekend unfortunately, but we still managed to fit a lot in. We had a fantastic day on the Cobbler on the way up on Friday (trip report to follow, when I get round to it). Then, with the wind being forecast as next to nothing, we opted for the ring of Steall on the Saturday. This was a seriously epic day out, possibly the hardest day out I've ever had in the hills (comparing that against Ben Nevis via the CMD arete and the Snowdon horseshoe as equivalent tough, long days out - however nothing compared to some of the epics some people post on here!). We ran out of daylight and came down in the dark, which added an extra dimension of epic-ness, but we were in the cloud for the entire ridge, so all the pictures are all pretty unimpressive and don't give any kind of justice of how scary it felt at the time, so sadly a trip report is not worth posting. I can't wait to do it again on a rare clear day - it was really something else! We had a well deserved day off on Sunday, and we had a fair few hours to kill on the Monday before another sad journey back to our homes in the relative flatlands further South.

Monday promised the best forecast, but the avalanche hazard was fairly high on the majority of Northerly slopes, so we opted for a safer option with some Southerly ridges - so we went for Beinn a'Chrulaiste, just North of the Kingshouse Hotel at the head of Glencoe. I had a sneaky suspicion from the location on the map and the reports that other people had posted that the views to the Big Buachaille might be quite something, so I was secretly very excited!

When the view from the Clachaig Inn is like this, then you know it's gonna be a good day:

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This stag at the Kingshouse Hotel was obviously a bit of a show-off and was only too happy to pose with Stob a' Ghlais Choire behind:

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The fresh snow had pros and cons - It made the initial boggy section much less boggy, but getting up the first steep slopes of the East ridge was an absolute slog! Thankfully the weather was behaving itself, and we were getting rewarding views to Rannoch Moor and over to Creise, so the effort was well worth it.

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The final pull to the summit was very pleasant on nice hard snow with ever-expanding views. The trig point had some fantastic rime formations and it was blowing a gale! The views to Buachaille Etive Mor started opening up and really showed it in it's wonderful winter glory - absolutely stunning!

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Me on the summit:
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As we descended the very broad West ridge, the views down into Glencoe and across to the big Buachaille were absolutely sublime. It was one of those days that makes you really feel alive - senses heightened and on a natural high - the reason that I will continue to keep coming back for more!

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Views to the Mamores:
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And more gratuitous shots of the big Buachaille:
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All too soon, the descent was over and all was left was the easy stroll along the West Highland Way back to the Kingshouse. Although some of this is uncomfortably close to the A82, the views are still fantastic - and of course it gave one last opportunity to pose for the 'classic' shot of Buachaille Etive Mor that is plastered over calendars and postcards galore:
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A quick pint and a bite to eat in the Kingshouse and it was sadly time to head back home. This was an absolutely fantastic hill to do in these conditions. I suspect that in normal summer claggy conditions then it would be a fairly boring heathery, boggy lump. However, on a day like this it really was a hill to savour.
smike
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:17 pm

Great pics and report - you get some fantastic views from this one :clap:
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby alvason » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:41 pm

Fantastic! Great words and wonderful images. It's easy to flip through, but I got far morer out of the pictures by savouring ... of course!
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby The Rodmiester » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:48 pm

WOW! what a day. A day you will remember for a mighty long time, and no doubt wetted the appetite for more days on the Scottish hills. Makes up for all the rubbish weather days :lol:
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:00 am

gooorgeous :) ..looking forward to doing this one :) thanks for sharing those fabby pics :D
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby smike » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:34 am

The Rodmiester wrote:Makes up for all the rubbish weather days :lol:


Tell me about it - the amount of rubbish weather days far outweigh days like this - I've had 2 weeks in the highlands when I haven't seen the sun at all - see pic below from the Ring of Steall last saturday - once above 700m we were in the clag for about 6hrs straight with not so much as a glimpse of a view! However, when luck is on your side and everything falls into place, then it makes all those days worth it.
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Typical day


wilkiemurray wrote:you get some fantastic views from this one


Yeah, some hills are about the climb, where it simply doesn't matter what the weather is doing, the climb is what matters. Some hills are all about the views - this one definitely falls into that category!

SAVAGEALICE wrote:gooorgeous :) ..looking forward to doing this one :) thanks for sharing those fabby pics :D

alvason wrote:Fantastic! Great words and wonderful images. It's easy to flip through, but I got far morer out of the pictures by savouring ... of course!

Thanks - much appreciated
smike
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby coachmacca » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:05 pm

Superb shots! Right where's my axe i'm off!
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby Klaasloopt » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:56 pm

Love it. Great shots, of course. The Buchaille really looks like an ice cold fortress. For me this is mainly an example of a walk well chosen. To know what to do on what kind of day. And to have luck on your side...
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby tomyboy73 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:02 pm

stunning, will need to do this one day, cheers
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby Sarah86 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:27 pm

Those stag shots are fantastic, I would love to get a shot like that :)
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby Tomsie » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:45 pm

Great photos and one of stag is fantastic. :clap: :clap:

Hope to do this tomorrow.
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby SusieThePensioner » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:05 pm

Glad you finished off with such a fantastic day! Loved the report and those wonderful photos are great :thumbup:
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby Fudgie » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:33 am

I don't know how I missed this first time around. A great report and it looks like a fantastic day out.
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Re: Warning - contains gratuitous shots of the big Buachaill

Postby smike » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:35 pm

Thanks all, it was indeed a fantastic day out! It was just pure luck about those stag shots and the weather and majestic surroundings made it very easy to get good photos. Reminiscing over it now brings back happy memories - it was only just over a month ago, but seems like an age. It'll be a long hiatus until I'm back in the Highlands sadly, but planning on going to the far North West for a few weeks in June, so I'm eagerly anticipating a few weeks perfect walking weather - dry, sunny and midge-free (yeah right) :lol:
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