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Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Postby cheekykarma » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:16 pm

Route description: Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor

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

Date walked: 20/08/2011

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1350m

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Saturday the 20th of August. I am starting to really distrust our weather services. The night before I was advised of the possibility of rain, showers, and 20% chance of cloud free munros with the cloud base maybe around 700m.

The route was as described here on Walkhighlands, the circular type route. From the car park up to Ben Starav and then across the ridge to Glas Bhienn Mor and back to car park again.

So off we set finally reaching the Glen Etive road. A great road also just to drive down and take in the views. There is a handy little parking area just at the gate with a walkers notice board. But handy to know just another 50 or 100 metres there is space for a couple more cars as it can really only take maybe 4 or 5 cars.

And there Ben Starav was waiting for us. Sure enough the cloud base was low. Gaiters on. It was going to get boggy!

Ben Starav from the parking area 10AM

Pass the gate and walk down a road and cross the bridge. The route takes you past a little house. What a fine place to reside it is. It is a short luxury to have a road underfoot as very soon you enter the boggy ground and set off toward the mountain.

The path on Ben Starav can be spotted easily cutting its way up the hill. The path just to the river crossing is not really a path. Its open land. Lots of water running here and there from streams and trickles falling off the hill sides.

Once on the approach to Ben Starav some views arrived of the days second target of Glas Bheinn Mor.

Glas Bheinn Mor

It is a long ascent up to Ben Starav but very quickly the views were getting better with every step of the way.

The car park now so far away already. Gaining height starts to give a great look at Glen Etive.

Looking back North roughly across the Allt Meurhan. River Etive.

Looking to Loch Etive house

Gradually climbing in height something started to happen. The low gloomy greys of the sky were broken a little by glimpses of blue. I cannot say enough here about the Glencoe area and how stunning it is.

As we ascended more and more it seemed the blue sky and the sun wanted to shift that cloud to see us.

Glas Bheinn Mor - ..... into the light.

It was tea break time. We had gained good height. The skies were opening it was around noon. A nice bit of wind to keep cool. It came and went as if the wind did not have enough puff to weave its way through the mountains around us. Sometimes a little gust. Then nothing. Just still air. For most of the day it was very calm indeed.

Tea break pics and the first few pics taken that show a hint of the magic of Scotland.

Simply gorgeous

Enough of the amazing views. The skies clearing. The Sun breaking out. It is always fantastic when that starts to happen.

We had the top of Ben Starav yet to reach. Which still wanted not to quite show itself yet.

Ben Starav still hiding itself from us.

The climb is arduous and the final ascent to the summit has the hands down on the rock as you scramble up. The rock rises up and then the final push is across boulder scree. Some of these rocks are simply huge.

I am sure for many though this is not too bad. For a novice just arrived at number ten and eleven on my tick box. I will rank it tough, as do my legs and back agree.

Ben Starav - showing its rockier edges

Ben Starav - now thats a path

With each step and sometimes a stumble. Scary. Slipping just a few inches is enough for me anyway to have my heart beating inside my ears.

The summit that did not want to show itself seemed to open as we gained the better of the scree of boulders before it. The skies had lifted just in time.

Ben Starav - The Cairn - looking to Glas Bheinn Mor

Ben Starav summit - View of Loch Etive

Ben Starav - Gratuitous Summit Pic

Next was Glas Bheinn Mor.

A path can be seen all the way from Starav leading up. Crossing the ridge is fun and it is quite exposed. I would not like it at all in the wind and rain. The ridge drops down a good distance where you can then set off toward a 3rd munro, Beinn nan Aighenan.


We were in a group of eight. Six headed to do Aighenan second then Glas Bheinn Mor then meet us back at the car park. I thought it looked a monster and after the climb to Ben Starav thought two is enough for me.

View to Glas Bheinn Mor - path in sight

View back along ridge toward Ben Starav

Looking down to Alt Mheuran and Glas Bheinn Chaol

The trek up to Glas Bheinn Mor is a total contrast to Ben Starav. A much more pleasant, but steep walk up.

On the way to the summit the day was just perfect. The views were fantastic. I also took a little video between Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mor. Ben Nevis was way in the distance, and just looking at where we had come from up onto Starav and then to where we were heading was fantastic. Although I did hear my legs groan.

Beinn nan Aighenan - looked monstrous to me

Toward River Kinglass


Glas Bheinn Mor was reached as the rest of our initial group were heading for the Aighenan. Looking back with clear views to Ben Starav but much farther than to Ben Nevis and beyond.

Glen Etive is such a fantastic place that so many may miss just passing along the road of Glencoe itself. Seeing these places from the summit perspectives is truly amazing.

On a good day of course.

Glas Bheinn Mor-Looking back to Ben Starav

Glas Beinn Mor - view to Loch Dochard

Glas Bheinn Mor - todays second gratuitous summit pic

Leaving Glas Bheinn Mor the intent is to travel back down the eastern side of Allt Mheuran. I said it was a fairly easy walk up. It is not so easy back down. There is a very steep rocky descent where you can pick and choose the way you want to go. You can step down and zig zag a little too. But there is a few spots involving quite large step downs. Easier for the longer legs perhaps but would be quite an uncomfortable descent with slippy wet rock.

The path down - the ridge section on the left is the start of the trickier climb down

Looking back up at the descent from Glas Bheinn Mor - there is a sort of path down

The path back to the car park area, actually no, what path? It is a long trek back as you follow the water down. Very boggy and as the evening loomed, and the air settled, the midgie smelt the sweat of the walker.

I was sure that patch of ground looked solid

Reaching back to the car park finally. We did not have too long to wait for the rest of the group to return. We did have to take refuge in the car with the blowers on blast to rid the midgie that managed to follow us in the car.

As the sun dipped it offered 2 more lovely pics of Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mor.

A great day for me reaching my double figures of ten and eleven. Not long to one hundred now!

Thank you Ben Starav

Thank you Glas Bheinn Mor
Last edited by cheekykarma on Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:33 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:19 pm

Crackin B/W pics
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Re: Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Postby monarchming » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:21 am

Great report and some excellent pictures too.I have tried on three occasions now to climb Beinn nan Aighenan and Glas Bheinn Mhor but have only managed Ben Starav.This is due too very poor weather and common sense to leave the other two Munros for another day.At least I know what it looks like now at the summit! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Postby jonny616 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:10 pm

Nice report there.

That walk is a bit of a bog fest, but i love Etive although the walking day seams pretty hard there always.

As for your comment re the weather report i find that if it says 80% cloud free i'm in the other 20% :lol: :lol: :lol:


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Re: Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Postby soulminer » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:14 pm

Always have had a liking for Glen Etive- stunning scenery 8) I have a particular fondness for Starav- compleation mountain :D Nice to see images from there again.
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Re: Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Postby cheekykarma » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:51 pm

Thanks folks

It is such a gorgeous area indeed and should be there again next week for Sgor na h-Ulaidh is next on the cards

Beginners luck really but so far 10 out of 11 munros with fine weather, that cannot last surely.

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Re: Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Postby Tinto63 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:45 pm

Cheekykarma is a fast learner and a good walking companion - the boy will go far. Also writes a good report of an enjoyable day.
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Re: Ben Starav with Glas Bheinn Mor

Postby d6unx » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:36 am

Hi all, great report Tinto.. We did the same walk just the other day and also included Beinn nan Aighenan. Long days walking. Just like to add to ur post at the start when you followed the fence along past the house through the boggy field, We made that same mistake, but on the way back we followed the burn further down and crossed a bridge which took us along a decent path back towards the house and round the boundary of the house. If anyne else is planing doin this walk soon, dont be dragged into the boggy field like we all have and stick to the fenceline at the house and you will come onto a nice path which follows the river then a bridge which will take you onto the path at Ben Starav..Enjoy D6unx
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