Two for the Road - Aonach Beag and Aonach Mor
by Stretch » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:12 pm
Route description: Aonach Beag and Aonach Mòr from Glen Nevis
Munros included on this walk: Aonach Beag (Nevis Range), Aonach Mòr
Date walked: 05/11/2011
Time taken: 7.3 hours
Distance: 16.5 km
Ascent: 1376m9 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I was up and away from St Andrews by 5:30. By the time I hit Rannoch Mor and Glencoe the sun had started tickling the hills. It is an image I'll keep with me for a long time. What a perfect morning. I love Glencoe, it was a love at first sight thing, and I will take a lot of fond memories of the place back with me. Sadly I didn't take any pics through that stretch of road because I knew I had to get to Glen Nevis and start my walk so I could finish by dark. This was also my first trip down Glen Nevis, shame I didn't make it there before - very nice. I started my walk around 9 and soon I caught my first glimpse of Steall Falls. From there it was an easy stroll to the path that breaks left and heads up toward Sgurr a' Bhuic and Aonach Beag.
Just after the bridge at the Steall ruins I followed a good path heading up toward the coire. Halfway up my two month layoff started catching up to me and I started huffing and puffing. Finally I made it to a point just below the ridge of Sgurr a' Bhuic and I cut right and climbed up onto it. From the top the views toward Sgurr Choinnich Mor were very nice so I snapped a few shots and took a bit of a break to ease the pain I was now dealing with. On my way up the ridge to Aonach Beag I started cramping in both legs - drats. At least I got to see my first brocken spectre on the final ascent. By the time I reached the summit I had already convinced myself that the Braeriach traverse and wildcamp I had planned was not going to happen. At the top I had a chat with two friendly walkers and sent a text to Gammy Leg Walker. I told him I wouldn't be sticking with my plans and asked if he could get out to do something easier Sunday. Then I made my way over to Aonach Mor which was actually the easiest bit of walking I did all day. Cheers to the walker who snapped a photo of me at the summit, there is no telling how long it will be until I stand on another munro summit - flights aren't cheap these days!
On Aonach Mor I figured I was about 30 mins behind schedule so I didn't linger very long. The path down to the bealach between Aonach Mor and Carn Mor Dearg is very steep and I wouldn't want any part of it when it's frozen. I took my time and got down ok but it seemed to take me ages. Then I began the 'eternity' of walking out across the very wet and muddy glen back to the Steall ruins. There was hardly a dry place to step in this section of the route, but I really enjoyed the views of the Mamores and that took my mind off the slog a bit.
By the time I reached the path at the Steall ruins I was completely knackered. But I had to keep moving as I knew it was getting late. I had planned on meeting Paul and Helen at a pub in Ft William after the walk as they were in the area. So I shuffled back to the car and finished my walk in 7 1/2 hours - 30 mins more than I expected. I was filthy and wore out, more so than I had been after a walk in a long time. I got in the car, turned off Viewranger on my phone, and tried to get a signal so I could text Paul. At that point my phone died. Hmmm, where is my spare battery . . . oh yeah, I took that out after the Kintail meet in Sept. Ruh roh. Not only could I not contact Paul, I also couldn't let Gammy know that I was safely off the hill. So I did what any American would do - I headed to McD's to hatch a plan to contact them both. After two tasty cheeseburgers I decided I would drive to the Clachaig in Glencoe and see if they would let me use their computer so I could send the guys a PM on the site as I didn't know their mobile numbers from memory. It was about 5:30 at that time. Thankfully they had no problem with my request and I was able to send them a message saying I was ok. Gammy responded quickly and noted that he was beginning to 'twitch'. Very glad no one had to alert the police, but I felt pretty dumb for leaving my spare battery behind.
I'm heading stateside with 146 munros under my belt and a nice handful of Corbetts to boot. Over basically a 2 1/2 year period I've managed to have some incredible experiences on my hillwalking journeys. Without them, I'm not sure I would have lasted in St Andrews as long as I have. These two hills made for tough going, but I won't forget the challenge or the views I had on this day. It was certainly bittersweet driving back home and reflecting on all the great times I've had in the highlands and in Scotland as a whole. This is truly a fantastic country, with equally fantastic people!
by LeithySuburbs » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:32 pm
by pollyh33 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:52 pm
by Bod » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:56 pm
by Alan S » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:17 am
Its a pity you couldnt get to 150 but hopefully you can do that on your return next year
Its been a pleasure to be in your company this year and a pity I never made it on more trips with you and gammy.
Hopefully you can get back over in years to come so I can experience more wild camping with you
I wish I had been out with you guys this weekend, And im sorry I cannot make the trip to the cobbler next weekend
All the best mate
by rockhopper » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:28 am
by Alan S » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:47 am
by mountainstar » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:21 am
Glad you finally got to see a brocken spectre!
And also that you had some decent weather before you left...fingers crossed for next weekend also.
by Stretch » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:47 am
Looking forward to seeing some of you Saturday for the Cobbler, fingers crossed for a repeat of this weekend's weather.
by iainwatson » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:08 pm
bring on threading the needle next week!
by BlackPanther » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:38 pm
We tried to climb Aonach Beag and Aonach Mor last year but we had to turn back half way, weather was really nasty. Hopefully next year...
by kevsbald » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:49 pm
by Stretch » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:07 pm
kevsbald wrote:And now....the final curtain....good luck future Dr Stretch.
by brpro26 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:52 pm
I haven't met you but feel I have through all your postings and banter on this site.
You will be missed but I'm sure you'll keep posting. Good luck.
by SouthernUplandKing » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:24 pm
- Munro compleatist
- Posts: 580
- Joined: Mar 1, 2011
- Location: Broadford Skye
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