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Both of the Buachailles

Both of the Buachailles


Postby JFMurray » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:15 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Mor

Munros included on this walk: Stob Coire Raineach (Buachaille Etive Beag), Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor), Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag), Stob na Broige (Buachaille Etive Mor)

Date walked: 17/09/2020

Time taken: 6.3 hours

Distance: 23.3 km

Ascent: 1878m

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Having done both Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag separately in the past, I thought I would try a route to combine them. My plan was to park at the usual car park for Buachaille Etive Beag, walk to Altnafeadh along the A82 and take the walkhighlands route for Buachaille Etive Mor. Then head up the 'wrong' side of Buachaille Etive Beag before joining the walkhighlands route for that at the bealach. This would allow me to avoid walking along the A82 later in the day when it would be busy.

If you are reading this later and thinking about taking this route, please bear in mind I started at 6.30am on a weekday in September. I don't think I'd like to walk along the A82 in the middle of a summer Saturday. As it was, there were probably fewer than 20 or 30 vehicles passed in the half hour or so it took me to reach Altnafeadh. Along the entire route it is possible to get off the road if need be, although I think I only did it a couple of times when traffic happened to arrive from both directions.

After the road walk it was simply a case of following the usual walkhighlands route. There was a fair bit of mist hovering higher up the corrie, but it was scheduled to clear. As such, I can't really add much to the photos from previous walk reports for this route. The gps track above is from my watch, which says it took me 1hr45 to reach the summit of Stob Dearg, and just over half an hour of that was on the A82.

DSCN0469.JPG
From Stob Dearg summit.


From the summit it was a double back to where I had reached the top of the corrie and onward to Stob Na Doire. Taking care to follow the correct ridge, it was then down, up and along to the second Munro, Stob Na Broige. Now three hours from when I started, it was getting warmer, although my photos from here show the haze and remnants of mist.

DSCN0471.JPG
Looking back from Stob Na Broige


From here it is a kilometre back along the ridge to the descent path towards Buachaille Etive Beag. This is steep, but makes for a quick descent - about 40 minutes from the summit to the river crossing. Coming out of the shade and into the now blazing sunshine, the climb up to the bealach on Buachaille Etive Beag was going to be a tough one. I wasn't sure if I'd find any sort of path up this less used side but there were bits and pieces alongside the river lower down which helped a bit. I struggled up this climb in the sunshine but at least the mist and haze was now disappearing. By the time I got to the bealach 50 minutes after leaving the valley floor I was now just over 4 and a half hours in.

I opted to head for Stob Coire Raineach first - I always do. In the 5 times I've been up this peak I don't think I've ever used the same route from or back to the bealach. There seem to be paths and bits of paths all over this part of the mountain. Still, they all lead to the summit and back and it was a fairly easy 20 minutes to the summit.

Just one more climb and one more Munro to get to now - Stob Dubh at the other end of Buachaille Etive Beag. It took just over half an hour to get there - its a great peak to look at from the ridge too. It looks very 'pointy' from further back but there are no difficulties to speak of on the path up. By now there were plenty of folk on the hill. I grabbed a quick bite and photo at the summit and started heading back down - I didn't want my legs thinking they were done for the day!

DSCN0476.JPG
Buachaille Etive Mor, from the summit of Stob Dubh.


It took me another 40 minutes from the summit of Stob Dubh back to the car park, aided by the constructed path down the 'right' side of the hill this time. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable route with the caveat about the A82 being quiet.
JFMurray
 
Posts: 13
Munros:101   Corbetts:1
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Oct 15, 2011

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