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Buachaille Etive Beag

Buachaille Etive Beag


Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:45 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Beag

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

Date walked: 02/08/2009

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Sunday 2nd August

Weather: constant drizzle on ascent, pretty dry at top, low cloud in surrounding glens, not warm for August 2nd!

With the Bankfoot Junction still a no-no for me, I headed west to Glen Coe. I hadn't done any Munros here, the nearest being the Blackmount a few weeks ago, so I thought I would take it reasonably easy for a first time. The weather was forecast to be cloudy in the morning and clearing in the afternoon but I wanted a reasonably early start hoping the cloud might have lifted by midday :? . I arrived at the excellent (new, I think) carpark at the start of the Lairig Eilde about 10am in fairly constant drizzle - not enough to put one off, but enough to dampen spirits.

Lairig Eilde 1 (1).jpg

The initial path as part of the Lairig Eilde is excellent but soon it must be left to head fairly directly up to the bealach between the 2 Munros. The lower section was very damp but, just as I was about to abandon the "path" and head straight up to the summit of Stob Coire Raineach, a fabulous new looking path materialized heading up to the col. This was a big morale boost in otherwise uninspiring conditions. I gained height quickly on this well made path and was soon at the col (about 1h 15m, not rushing). Just before this, I had passed many bags of stone and soil and a notice about path construction from the NTS. I realize the NTS can sometimes have a bad rep amongst walkers but this is clearly excellent work being done and, when the whole route is finished, this will be an excellent improvement on what must have been a very boggy hill.

Glen Coe.jpg

Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor).jpg

At the col (now not raining) I had some lunch and decided to head first to Stob Dubh as that meant heading into the weather in the dry, if it rained later on the return it would be at my back. I passed 2 other walkers on the ridge between Point 902 and the summit of SD - the only others I saw on the hill. This would probably be an enjoyable ridge in clear conditions, but although I could see where I was headed, there was no real sense of awe due to the low cloud in the Lairigs Eilde and Gartain.

Stob Dubh (2).jpg

The summit of SD was reached about 45mins after leaving the col. The low whispy cloud did at least allow for some arty photos.

Stob Coire Raineach 1 (1).jpg

I left the summit after another piece and headed back along to the col. From there it was a short and simple climb to the summit of the 2nd (and one of the newest) Munro. The cloud had lifted a little and I could see Blackwater Reservoir and Loch Leven.

Blackwater Reservoir.jpg

I managed to lose the path on the way back down to the col and found myself on some awkward scree (and I thought I was having an easy day :? ) but negociated my way safely enough. From there it was a simple march back to the car via the route of ascent.

All in all, I found this a fairly easy and short day (4 hours) and a good intro to Glen Coe for an east coast lad!
Last edited by LeithySuburbs on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby cjwaugh » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:32 pm

Nice report you always get great detail in your pictures :)
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby Alan S » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:15 am

yeh good report
you were right not to head for the east i got stuck on the A9 at the weekend because of they roadworks so turned back and went down through the sma glen but all the sunday drivers went that way,and it was saturday.
some good pics of an area high on my list for next year :thumbup:

cheers alan
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby Freewheelin » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:30 am

Got caught in the roadworks on Thursday - 3/4 of an hour sittin' in a queue for THAT!!

Seems a hell of a lot of hassle, work and delays for a junction that won't be of that great a benefit - or am I wrong?
:?
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:28 pm

No, I don't think you are wrong. I could understand the Ballinluig upgrade - that was a death trap - but this one seems a bit OTT.
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby munrowalker » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:59 pm

Freewheelin wrote:Got caught in the roadworks on Thursday - 3/4 of an hour sittin' in a queue for THAT!!

Seems a hell of a lot of hassle, work and delays for a junction that won't be of that great a benefit - or am I wrong?
:?


You're not wrong, I was kinda hoping this was finished now, as it looked 'finished' nearly a month ago. The benefit isn't for anyone on the A9, its all for people turning off at Bankfoot. A9 worst road in scotland, well apart from views when you get further up the road!

Just read on trafficscotland (dated 8th August) that they expect to be finished these roadworks in up to 10 days time!
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:19 am

Enjoyed reading Leithy... looks like we should go back and check out that new path at some point. Did it go right down to the Lairig, or did it only start where you met it a bit higher up?
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby mountain tortoise » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:45 pm

I have been up there twice recently and the path starts higher up. You still have to do the very boggy climb from the Lairig main lower pass just before it crosses the river. Personally I am not mad about the new path it is stone steps, these things always seem to be build by guys with very long legs and the steps are always a bit big for me. This makes it very hard work, I like bog it saves your knees.
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby LeithySuburbs » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:44 pm

I realize that views differ on these sort of paths. It reminded me a bit of the one on Ben Vrackie - personally, I quite like them. They certainly make for fast progress as you are able to keep the sole of your foot level, which makes for less muscle work (if my pseudo-physiology is correct!). At the moment it doesn't continue right down to the Lairig but I guess this will change???
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby Freewheelin » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:24 pm

I'm afraid I have the opposite opinion Leithy.
I appreciate that some paths require maintenance, but do you really fancy the idea of the Scottish hills looking like something you see on most of the Lake District hills with paved tracks everywhere?
I was on Ben Nevis on Saturday with my daughter - a walk I have done several times over the years - what a difference from the first time when the path was little more than twice the width of a sheep track.

The thought of other hills receiving the same treatment turns my stomach. :sick: :cry:
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby sloosh » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:01 pm

LeithySuburbs wrote:It reminded me a bit of the one on Ben Vrackie - personally, I quite like them.

I've heard a few not-so-positive comments about that particular path but tbh, I'd say it rescued Ben Vrackie from the huge erosion scars that were relentlessly eating their way across the entire hillside and has virtually restored the beauty of the place back to how it was before it became a wildly popular hill to climb.

As for B Etive B, or any other mountain for that matter, if it helps prevent the inevitable creeping erosion scars then I'm all for it.
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby mountain coward » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:24 pm

Freewheelin wrote:I'm afraid I have the opposite opinion Leithy.
I appreciate that some paths require maintenance, but do you really fancy the idea of the Scottish hills looking like something you see on most of the Lake District hills with paved tracks everywhere?
I was on Ben Nevis on Saturday with my daughter - a walk I have done several times over the years - what a difference from the first time when the path was little more than twice the width of a sheep track.

The thought of other hills receiving the same treatment turns my stomach. :sick: :cry:


The paved tracks end up being necessary when erosion gets too great on the normal paths - I'm sure it will happen to all the Munros one day as they get more popular, at least for some parts of the path. They are usually only put on ground which tends to scree to stop people avoiding the scree by using the grass either side and making the path 10 miles wide! They haven't been put in the Lakes for any other reason than to contain that kind of erosion.
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby Freewheelin » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:05 am

mountain coward wrote:The paved tracks end up being necessary when erosion gets too great on the normal paths - I'm sure it will happen to all the Munros one day as they get more popular, at least for some parts of the path.


This is (unfortunately) true MC. The paths require maintenance to prevent the erosion that is present on many of the hills, and I commend the people working in sometimes adverse and difficult conditions to restore paths and prevent further damage. It is only my opinion that the prepared paths scar the hills just as much as erosion, as if the hills are being 'tamed' in some way... ever watched a big cat pacing up and down at the fencing of its cage at a zoo? I get that same feeling of discomfort looking at the paved tracks on hills. :thumbdown:
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beag

Postby mountain coward » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:40 am

I agree they probably don't look pretty. But I think you can see some of the Lake District paths from space/satellite as they were a while before they got repaired and some are literally yards wide now. There are still quite a few awaiting repair.
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