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Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?


Postby Mountainlove » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:29 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Beag

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

Date walked: 06/11/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 11.2 km

Ascent: 1150m

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Having camped the previous night in Glen Etive, I woke up in a literally frozen tent :shock: . Luckily I was all snug inside my sleeping bag, but it took me a while to convince myself to have a wash in the burn ….blo..y freezing :shock: !!! Things you do to at least feel kinda washed!!!
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The start of the path-looking back towards the road

But it was a beautiful day and I was keen to get up Buachaille Etive Beg. It was a mountain I had wanted to do since ages and after the precious day of 8h walking it seemed a nice, easy and short one.
After having packed away my tent and loaded my car with all the gear I set off to the starting point marked in my book ….easy right? :eh:
Well with my talent in reading maps the wrong way, I jet again managed to slightly miss the starting point. :lol: Ok ok I did managed to find the car park but when I looked for the sign which should say ‘Glen Etive by Lairig Eilde ‘ I only saw one which said ‘Path to Glen Etive’ Mmm? My logic reasoning was ‘ Ah they have changed the sign since the book was written :shock: 8) :?: :problem:

Ignoring the alarm bells and liking the path in front of me I set off and walked along the pretty path for the next 20 min. Crossing lots of frozen puddles with lovely ice formations in it I was wondering where the path up the mountain could be. Finally taking my map out of my bag and looking at the description I realized that I came up the wrong glen (duh) Some might have turned around but with the mountain clearly on my right hand side- what was the point? All I had to do was to find a new way up it 8) easy!


I continued walking and after half an hour of leaving my car I made out 3 different paths I could take. The first one steep and what looked like a lot of scrambling. The second one probably another 45min away right up between the 2 munros and the last one right at the end of the path .

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DSCF6642.jpg
The possible options up the hill
DSCF6643.jpg
My new route up...just follow the left hand site of the gully/burn and scramle the top bit


Looking at my map while considering which way I should take, my head said the middle path (safe an easy considering I was by myself), but that seemed rather boring and dull. The steep path up the gully looked far more challenging, but also far much more fun. So I decided to go up that one…after all it didn’t look that bad from the bottom! :D
Leaving the path I started walking up the grassy slope
For the first 45 min it wast really challenging- only pretty steep. With hardly any breeze in the sky and the sun shining, I started humming a song and felt utterly in my element and happy not to see another single soul. :D :D :D
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When I got to the rocks I realized they were a lot bigger than I expected , but even with wet rocks the first scrambling was really enjoyable and I was pretty sure not many other –if any ever came up that way. The next grassy path lead along the wee burn and I saw lots of wee deer paths which led up the hill. As I always trust the animals I followed the tracks up the hill. When I got down to the wee burn (must be their drinking spot) I suddenly smelled the scent of deer. I am not sure if anyone has ever smelled them, but it is a very distinctive smell, so I knew a deer or stag must have been at the same spot not long ago.

While I was thinking where they could be, I suddenly heard the moving of stones and saw a beautiful stag just metres away from me. He looked at me and ran off the hill. Being rather startled I chased after the stag, but with the rocks I was rather slow and lost him. Looking around I saw the burn I just came from and decided to climb up the burn for some climbing fun. I packed my poles away and looked up the steep gully. The stones were wet and with past experience I knew it was a dangerous, so extra care had to be taken. I started to scramble up the burn and got to a point were a very faint waterfall came down the rock. Moss and wet stones were dominant and while looking to the left and right I realized that I would not get up the sides so I decided to climb up the waterfall (luckily on a dribble came down the hill)
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I found the rock holds and pulled myself up the rocky face and the wet rock didn’t make the task any easier. Taking my time and testing each rock, I came across a lot of loose rocks which simple broke off as soon as I pulled on them...argh! :shock: Moving really slowly getting covered in dirt I inched my way up. Stretching my way up and reaching up to hold on to a big piece of rock I suddenly felt it moving. :shock: :shock: :shock: Inching my hand away I looked around when I suddenly felt the rock against my hand. I swung to the side, just in time to see a couple of big boulders breaking off the rock and falling down my left side. :shifty: Looking behind me I saw an avalange of rocks tumbing down the gully and was glad no one was behind me.Finding hold from here onwards was even more challenging and not caring how wet and dirty I got I used hands, feet,knees and arms to hold on anything I could find (chunky walking boots are definitely not good for that type of climbing)
I made my way up the last bit of the waterfall and decided that I had played my luck enough. Looking to my left was a steep slope of mud and grass which seemed stable enough to climb up it. This part was rather wet but I managed to reach the top of the gully and was back on a grassy bit. Lol I was rather glad and decided that that was enough excitement for the day. I climbed up the steep grassy slope including some more easy scrambling bits and managed to find another faint path. After stopping for a rest I looked down the mountain and suddenly saw a group of stags below me…one eying me up suspiciously.
DSCF6670.jpg

This time I managed to take a photo and continued up to the top which suddenly after having left the rocks behind was rather easy. Soon the wind picked up and I realized that I climbed all the way to the top of Stob Coire Raineach YEAH :D
(From my car a total of 1.45h)
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Looking towards the Aonach Eagach
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Stob Dubh

I startled a couple of walkers who were asking me which way I came up and I asked them how long it would take me to reach the top of Stob Dubh.
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From there is was a pretty easy walk and I reached Stob Dubh after an hour. Looking around me I was tempted to find a new way down, but I was also keen to see the ‘normal’ path towards the correct parking area.
I made my way back and it felt rather boring after the excitement of the way up. But looking around me and seeing Glen Coe at its best was rewarding enough and taking my time I made my way back down.
I finally reached the proper starting point after 4.30h. But I knew my walk wasnt done as I still had to walk back to my car. Walking along the road was the worst part of the day - so boring!!!But within half an hour I reached my car and drove home just in time to experience a spectacular sunset.

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The correct path
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No they havent changed the name in the past years :-) But do follow this sign when you want to do my walk :-)
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby jmarkb » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:46 pm

Nice report and a good adventure! If you start from the "right" car park, there is a similar route which follows the left hand side (looking up) of the Allt Coire Raineach (the dogleg burn clearly seen from the car park) via some very mild scrambling and some steep grass to gain the NE ridge at a tiny col.
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby kevsbald » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:47 pm

As Sir Jimmy would have said "How's about that then?" A nice rendition of these two.
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:56 pm

@jmarkb...thank you...that sounds like an interesting route in the snow...will keep that in mind :)

Post by kevsbald » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:47 am
As Sir Jimmy would have said "How's about that then?" A nice rendition of these two.

Thank you but I also like this quote from Sir Jimmy...
“Winter sports? Only idiots would do that; but I’ve been an idiot all my life. I can recommend it most of the time, but not all the time.”
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby dooterbang » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:20 pm

Another brilliantly bonkers TR :D

Always good fun to get off the main paths.

I think you need not worry about folk being behind you when the rocks fell - unless you have a male doppleganger!!

Stunning hat by the way 8)
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby brpro26 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:41 pm

Thought I recognized that hat. We passed you coming down Stob Dubh as you were starting up it. 2 guys and a choccy lab
sorry we only grunted a somewhat polite hiya on the way past. How did you keep that white hat clean.
Interesting approach route I'd thought about the middle option but sounds like you had fun. :thumbup: :wave:
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby amigademaria » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:12 pm

Great read! :D Glad I'm not the only one that never seems to find the correct path at the begining - mind you it is more interesting & we always get to the top eventually :D :D :D
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:06 pm

Another brilliantly bonkers TR :D
Always good fun to get off the main paths.
I think you need not worry about folk being behind you when the rocks fell - unless you have a male doppleganger!!
Stunning hat by the way 8)


Lol many thanks I start to think that I should make up my own paths in future-so much more fun! Lol it is a great hat isnt it? :lol:

Thought I recognized that hat. We passed you coming down Stob Dubh as you were starting up it. 2 guys and a choccy lab
sorry we only grunted a somewhat polite hiya on the way past. How did you keep that white hat clean.
Interesting approach route I'd thought about the middle option but sounds like you had fun. :thumbup: :wave:

Yes I remember your dog :D and you of course :-) Another hello to you :-) Lol I am quite surprised that it stayed clean...everything else had to go in the wash as soon as I got back :lol:

Great read! :D Glad I'm not the only one that never seems to find the correct path at the begining - mind you it is more interesting & we always get to the top eventually :D :D :D

Ahhh I am not alone...so nice to hear that :D But I totally agree with you...it is far more interesting that way :D
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby SouthernUplandKing » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:22 pm

Can't whack going up a route of your own, adds too the excitement of whats over the next lump of rock. Just need to be extra careful as you know if things go wrong you are on your own !

Great report, love the hat :lol: !!!!
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:44 pm

Can't whack going up a route of your own, adds too the excitement of whats over the next lump of rock. Just need to be extra careful as you know if things go wrong you are on your own !

Great report, love the hat :lol: !!!!


Yeah I was thinking the same...if something woudl have happened on that route I woudl have been pretty much by myself...but as you said ...it all adds to the excitement...and you cant beat that :D
Many thanks regarding the report and hat :lol:
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby SouthernUplandKing » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:09 pm

Mountainlove wrote:
Can't whack going up a route of your own, adds too the excitement of whats over the next lump of rock. Just need to be extra careful as you know if things go wrong you are on your own !

Great report, love the hat :lol: !!!!


Yeah I was thinking the same...if something woudl have happened on that route I woudl have been pretty much by myself...but as you said ...it all adds to the excitement...and you cant beat that :D
Many thanks regarding the report and hat :lol:


100% right there !

I have a hat the same, mines is an array of black, teal, lime green and khaki green. Nothing beats the old South American style hats for pure warmth :lol:
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:31 pm

100% right there !
I have a hat the same, mines is an array of black, teal, lime green and khaki green. Nothing beats the old South American style hats for pure warmth :lol:


Sounds fantastic...I vote for more mad hatters on the hills :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:56 pm

Ah a kindred spirit :D

Why not go for an alternative, free stylie route? You had great visibility and well aware of your capabilities. Do you not wonder what those deer were thinking???? :lol:

Thanks for giving loads of corrective details for those who wish to take a more conservative route.

To quote (alas not verbatim) my former walking partner 'the two trickiest parts of a walk are finding somewhere to park and sussing out the correct start path' :lol:
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:22 pm

Ah a kindred spirit :D
Why not go for an alternative, free stylie route? You had great visibility and well aware of your capabilities. Do you not wonder what those deer were thinking???? :lol:
Thanks for giving loads of corrective details for those who wish to take a more conservative route.
To quote (alas not verbatim) my former walking partner 'the two trickiest parts of a walk are finding somewhere to park and sussing out the correct start path' :lol:


Hi Polly...I guess they must have though something in the ranges of...bloody weekend walkers :lol:
I so much agree with your former walking partners...getting parked in Glencoe nowadays seems to be the hardest thing...and finding the path...well I once read that we walkers destroy the mountain by walking up the same path up and down...so finding alternative routes is my way to save the mountain (or my excuse for getting lost anyway) :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Buachaille Etive Beg- why use a path?

Postby Jabber » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:41 pm

Superb....Loved these two even in the Rain...Hail...Rain....Hail.... Frozen tents and all sounds like you had a great day :D
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