Sunday, 30th. May, 2021:
After a long drive up from Kent and two Munros on the previous day, Tommy and I had met up with Alex and Steve in Crianlarich's Youth Hostel and we were now ready to take off into the hills for a couple of nights from Glen Etive. There had been some debate about our plans because of bank holiday crowds coupled with the need to carry heavy bags and, probably quite rightly, my idea of starting a big traverse with the twin peaks of Buachaille Etive Beag had been censored - so we started in Dalness with Sgreamach as our first objective. Etive itself was rammed with campers and picnickers enjoying the bank holiday sunshine but it didn't take more than half a mile's walking to leave everyone behind and, stopping only to see some fox cubs scramble into the shelter of a large boulder as we passed, we headed up the Allt Lairig Eilde and soon made the bealach at the head of the glen. It was time to turn our attention to the reasonably distinct ridge of Sron na Lairig on the north side of Stob Coire Sgreamhach. I had climbed Bidean several times when instructing on winter mountaineering courses back in the 1980s but, perhaps because it didn't then have Munro status, I had never been to the top of Sgreamhach and I'd missed out. It's a tremendous hill, especially from the north, and the ridge over Beinn Fhada must surely be worth a day of anyone's time?
At any rate, we enjoyed the tremendous views as we wandered to its top and then on to the summit of Bidean, meeting with relatively large numbers of walkers; the scenery continued to be magnificent. Once on top, however, it was time to head south and leave the crowds behind; indeed, except for a distant figure on the summit of Beinn Sgulaird at around lunchtime on Tuesday, we didn't see another soul until we descended back to Glen Etive two days later. Next, however, we were faced with a tricky descent off Bidean over steep ground (which demanded some care) followed by a break on the lonely Bealach Fhaolain, some contouring into the Bealach Fionnghaill and a short descent to a camp site by running water. Our only complaint was that we lost the sunshine earlier than was ideal - but we could look forward to traversing some high and lonely country on the following day. Next Report: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=105592&p=448202#p448202.
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