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A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach


Postby smirnie71 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:35 pm

Munros included on this walk: Stob Coire Raineach (Buachaille Etive Beag)

Date walked: 09/04/2011

Distance: 5.7 km

Ascent: 654m

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Looming in the none too distant future are some fairly serious walks in Scotland in terms of both distance, terrain and ascent so it was time to test Dads foot surety and fitness with a Munro attempt. Dads fitness level has never really been too much of an issue. Whilst he is now officially a septuagenarian and suffered a badly broken femur he is very fit. Where we need all the practise we can get because Dad is both blind and deaf, is learning how to guide him over complicated terrain and this walk had it in abundance!


9.15am after a stop at the Green Wellie in Tyndrum for a bacon buttie we set off up the path along Allt Lairig Eilde before branching off left to start the steep ascent to Mam Buidhe. The forecast had been for sunshine and 20 degrees, we were not disappointed! As we climbed the clouds rolled back and we were presented with breathtaking views of Beinn Fhada, and Stob Coire Sgreamhach, the sunlight glinting off the last pockets of snow.


Within half an hour jackets were shed and the sun warmed our faces. Along the way we met some lovely folk and stopped for occasional chats. Quite a few were astounded that we were leading a deafblind man up the hill and called him an inspiration – they got that right!


Finally after plodding up the stone path we reached Mam Buidhe and we caught our first glimpse of The Big Buachaille rising majestically in front of us. The view was breathtaking, I couldn’t believe how lucky we were. It was really hard to accept that Dad had to miss out on this experience as words just couldn’t describe the majestic beauty of this incredible place. So we dried our tears (of happiness) and headed up Stob Coire Raineach.


I would love to say at this stage that we all got to the summit, Dad got to touch the cairn at the summit and we all bimbled happily back down the hill. By the time we stopped for lunch about ¾ the way up to the summit we had already been going for four hours. I decided to head further up to recce the terrain while Dad and Fiona ate. We were within touching distance of the summit but the terrain got more complicated and I knew that topping out wasn’t going to happen today. I lingered for a few minutes to take in the amazing scenery, feel the wind and the sun, hear the song in my heart and to just be at one with these great mountains before heading back down to have lunch.


Having shared my thoughts we started the walk back the way we’d come. Because of the terrain, Dad had to be guided down every single step and so after a 4 ½ hour descent we finally arrived back at the car. Tired, sun burnt and very happy.


To celebrate Dad’s achievement we headed off to the Kings House Hotel for dinner. The place was full of happy, sun-kissed walkers and I was very happy to be joining them.


We didn’t all reach the very summit of Stob Coire Raineach but we climbed an Everest in our minds. Guiding between just two people when you have to talk through every step is mentally draining, keeping your balance so that you can support every step is physically draining.


Seeing the smile on Dads face every step of the way even when we felt tired or disheartened made each second so incredibly valuable and worthwhile. Knowing that it is possible to share nature’s bounty and beauty as well as undertaking a physically demanding task whatever your disability, be it physical or mental is the greatest empowerment and liberation I know of.


I don’t care if I’m a fat laughing stock on the hills, it’s the reward of reaching that ridge, that summit, the views opening up at every corner and the way that makes me feel that really matters. If I achieve nothing else I would like people to know that everyone can share in this irrespective of their circumstances and that being out in the mountains is not the preserve of an elite fit few.


This weekend we bagged Stob Coire Raineach and a huge wealth of knowledge and experience.

Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_001.JPG
Stob Coire Raineach
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_005.JPG
Dad and Fiona enjoying an easier going section
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_015.JPG
Stob Coire Sgreamhach and Beinn Fhada in foreground
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_017.JPG
Climbing the steps towards Mam Buidhe
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_022.JPG
Look, I was going so fast I was a blur...
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_024.JPG
Am Bodach and Aonach Eagach
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_032.JPG
No, we can't walk up this way, the path isn't wide enough!
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_038.JPG
The Three Musketeers taking in the views at Mam Buidhe
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_042.JPG
No time to waste, there's our destinantion - Stob Coire Raineach close up
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_046.JPG
Bidean Nam Bian - one day......
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_049.JPG
Buachaille Etive Mor - another day....
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_051.JPG
Stob Dubh
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_052.JPG
Buachaille Etive Mor, Ben Starav, Glen Etive and Stob Dubh
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_055.JPG
Me heading for the summit of Stob Coire Raineach
Buachaille_Etive_Beag,_9_Apr_071.JPG
9 hours later we are all happy, sore and laughing... what a great day



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smirnie71
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby smirnie71 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:15 pm

I missed out this picture but it really sums up what a wonderful day it was ... :D :D :D 8)
Buachaille Etive Beag, 9 Apr 030.JPG
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby Border Reiver » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:35 pm

I bet your Dad got more out of that walk than most of the baggers whose only aim is to rush up, touch the cairn and rush back down again. Hillwalking is more than a tick on a list, it's about enjoyment of the outdoors. Enjoyed you report and pics - and I can see your Dads enjoyment.
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby smirnie71 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:42 pm

Border Reiver wrote: Enjoyed you report and pics - and I can see your Dads enjoyment.

Thank you :D
I couldn't agree with you more, it's about the whole experience not just the icing on top so to speak.
Your words are very kind and I'm so glad you understand what I'm trying to convey.
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby jonny616 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:43 pm

What a fantastic achievement for all three of you. Glad you had a great day. I'm sure you will have many more.

Regards

Jonny
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby Gable Gable End » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:22 pm

fantastic achievement; both for your dad and for you guys for making it happen safely. looks like a great day out!
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby smirnie71 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:56 pm

Thank you so much Jonny and Gable, it was a fantastic achievement and a great day - can't believe how kind the weather fairies were to us! :D :D :D
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby fingeez » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:41 pm

Hey Smirnie i think the smiles all round show you all had a fantastic walk :)
keep up the good work :)

Ross
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby smirnie71 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:50 pm

fingeez wrote:Hey Smirnie i think the smiles all round show you all had a fantastic walk :)
keep up the good work :)

Ross


Hehe, thanks Ross - we intend to keep up the good work, both in the run up to the Big Bad Ben Nevis and afterwards, I think Dad gets so much from it. And who wouldn't?... :D :thumbup:
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby PeteR » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:16 pm

Great report and great achievement :D I'm with Border Reiver on the hill bagging. Enjoyment is much more important, as are the memories of a great day out - which you all certainly seemed to have had :D
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby morag1 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:58 pm

Thats a lovely report - one look at that photo shows how happy your dad was to be on the hills.

Being both deaf and blind is a terrible disability but it is made easier when you have people to care for you.
Well done to both you and Fiona :thumbup:

Please give your dad my best wishes and congratulate him on achieving the summit :clap:
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby smirnie71 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:37 am

PeteR wrote:Great report and great achievement :D I'm with Border Reiver on the hill bagging. Enjoyment is much more important, as are the memories of a great day out - which you all certainly seemed to have had :D

Thanks Pete, memories we have in abundance & I wholeheartedly agree that it's about enjoyment - can't wait for our next adventure :D
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby smirnie71 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:38 am

morag1 wrote:Please give your dad my best wishes and congratulate him on achieving the summit :clap:

I will do Morag and yes, I think the photos say it all! :thumbup: :wink: The man is quite something!
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby yokehead » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:55 pm

Very moving and conveys just what the day was like for you, huge congrats to you all. :D
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Re: A stumble up Stob Coire Raineach

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:05 pm

Truly inspiring stuff I think :D
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