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Glen Etive

Glen Etive

Postby Magoo82 » Mon May 02, 2011 6:43 pm

Route description: Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor

Munros included on this walk: Ben Starav, Glas Bheinn Mhor

Date walked: 01/05/2011

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1395m

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I'd been checking the weather forecast all week for this trip and was getting more excited each day. The weather didn't disappoint, it was a scorcher (although a bit blustery). I now look like Roger Raddish after forgetting to pack sun-cream.

We left Dundee at 7am and set off from the foot of Ben Starav at 10am. It's a really intimmidating hill when you look up at it from the bottom but six of us in the "fit" group decided to charge on and left the other ten from our club to go at their own pace.

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The Ben Starav shoulder

The long heave up the shoulder of Ben Starav felt like a chore at times but it wasn't as difficult as some people had warned me it would be. Climbing the Loch Lochy munros two weeks earlier and regular runs up the Law Hill in Dundee had obviously aided my endurance and i was energised further after reaching the top of the shoulder revealing the ridge to the summit. I couldn't wait to get up there, it was "hold me back" stuff!

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The summit ridge

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This was only my 5th munro so i wasn't sure how i would cope with the bits where i'd need to use my hands but with a bit of concentration i managed to negotiate my way up the boudlery ridge to the summit where we were treated to some fabulous views.

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Me at the top of Ben Starav

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Glas Bheinn Mhor on the right

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The view back to Glencoe

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Loch Etive

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View down to Ben Cruachan

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Ben Starav's second top with Glas Bheinn Mhor to the left

We didn't go for the subsidiary top between Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor, deciding instead to come off the ridge and descend fairly steeply down to the bealach where we would make a decision about whether or not to take a detour and bag Beinn nan Aighenan to the south.

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Beinn nan Aighenan

Noting that the others were probably no more than 45mins behind us and that including Beinn nan Aighenan would probably add 2hrs onto our walk we though it would be unfair on the others to have them waiting at the bus for us at the end so we elected instead to miss it out and make our way up Glas Bheinn Mhor and be satisfied with two in one day.

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Glas Bheinn Mhor

At this point the wind really started to pick up and there were a few occasions where my "gable end of a crisp" physique was nearly blown over. The terrain on the way to the summit was much more grassy than Ben Starav though which helped my cause and we were, again, treated with good views. We could even see the top of Ben Nevis uncovered in the distance which i'm told is something of a rarity.

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Me at the top of Glas Beinn Mhor

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Ben Nevis in the background

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Ben Starav viewed from the top of Glas Bheinn Mhor

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View to Ben Cruachan

We then reluctantly began to make our way back down (there is a decent path following a burn). By this time my face was now scarlet but i didn't care. The views from those summits will live with me for a long time. I got changed into fresh clothes and comfy trainers when we got back to the bus then just sat in the sun until the others arrived. But before getting back on board for the journey home i took one last snap of what we'd accomplished.

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Ben Starav to the right and Glas Bheinn Mhor to the extreme left

We stopped for a quick liquid refreshment at the Bridge Of Orchy Hotel on our way home which i found to be a charming little place. It was busy with walkers doing the West Highland Way. £3.50 for a pint of Best is a shade spicy but the service was good.

Then back to Dundee where, after butchering a large donner kebab and 4 cans of beer, i was out for the count.

It really was a wonderful day out and certainly won't be my last visit to Glen Etive.
Last edited by Magoo82 on Mon May 02, 2011 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Glen Etive

Postby PeteR » Mon May 02, 2011 7:24 pm

Great report of two magnificent hills. You certainly had a great day for it too. Some great pictures as well. This is one of my favourite areas.

That climb up Starav isn't as bad as I had expected, although it's steep enough. I always think of Ben Vane in Arrochar, which might be tiny, but makes you work for every foot of ascent :lol:
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Re: Glen Etive

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon May 02, 2011 9:03 pm

Cracking pictures magoo82,hope to be heading down that way come the weekend if the weather holds,and will also try and add Beinn nan Aighenan onto my round,so may thanks for this one
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