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Aonach Eagach Ridge

Aonach Eagach Ridge


Postby jwramsay » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:56 pm

Route description: Aonach Eagach

Munros included on this walk: Meall Dearg (Aonach Eagach), Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (Aonach Eagach)

Date walked: 12/11/2011

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1100m

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Due to the short winter days, an early start was essential - not early enough though but more of that later!

I picked Peter up in Glasgow at 7am for the drive to Glencoe. We stopped at the Falls of Falloch on the A82 to take some pictures of the waterfall with Autumn colours around it:

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We'd planned on a traditional East to West traverse. so parked at the Aonach Eagach carpark (right next to Sir Jimmy Saville's (RIP) white house) and set off around 9.30am - tons of time! :?

The climb up to the steep well defined path to access the sub-top that is Am Bodach. On the way up, the lost valley of Bidean Nam Bian across the road comes into view:
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The Wee Bookle is across the road and to the left:
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The rather impressive outcrop of The Chancellor is seen from Am Bodach:
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It is not far until you encounter what is described in the "Glencoe Scrambles DVD" (Headcammer productions 2003 - good plug for your DVD Gordon Old!) as the "entrance exam". Basically, if you can do this without too much discomfort/anxiety/toilet trouble then you should be able to complete the ridge.

Heading to the entrance exam:
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The dog watches someone doing the 20m drop:
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I'd done the Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor in July (see my runner up for July trip report here : http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13758 ), so my scrambling is good enough. What is different here is that there are downward sections, some leading to exposed drops. Being shorter I much preferred to come down backwards facing the rock, but Peter liked the bum slide approach. Peter found the entrance exam quite daunting.

Peter descends cautiously:
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The way forward:
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The views over the A82 looking west:
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Steel poles mark the ridge:
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After the entrance exam, you get a break as you climb up to the first munro Meall Dearg. Then you catch your first real view of the crazy pinnacles. OMG this looked like it will be interesting! There must be around 5 or 6 of these pinnacles, which are easily climbed by scrambling up the rocks, and if you take your time (there is that TIME word again!!) you can get down them without too many difficulties. The second to last one looked very steep rock and there was an obvious path to the right side (North side).

Looking back to the first munro:
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Nice view to our left:
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The sun starts breaking through and shows us the Mamores and The Ben:
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Another of those steel posts:
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DO NOT GO THIS PATH, the drops look really bad. We went up and over, following the rock - much better!

The final pinnacle does have a reasonable path to the right that Peter took whilst I went over the top again.

After the pinnacles were completed my adrenaline level dropped and I felt terrible!! I needed sustenance as my blood sugar level must have dropped down. This was literally eating into our precious time.

The low sun makes for great photos:
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The sun goes down:
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The slog up to the second top and then onto the final munro was tough and that sun was getting lower and lower. Aware of the limited light we headed down but looked like we were heading for the dreaded Clachaig gulley, so headed to the right and found an obvious path which took us out nearer to Glencoe village - which I now realise is NOT the right descent! The common descent is to the south, back to the A82! Our poundland headtorches were worth their weight in gold as it was 7pm when we hit the road!

We thumbed a lift and it was a fair distance to the Clachaig pub where the kind driver was heading. We supped a pint (shandy for me as I was driving) and then caught a taxi back to the car which trust me was £10 well spent!

We spoke about the walk all the way back to Glasgow, it'd been one amazing day:


Directors Cut (commentary):
Last edited by jwramsay on Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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jwramsay
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby Gavin99 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:04 pm

Great stuff JW , bet that beer tasted good ! I reckon I have a lot more studying to do before that exam :)
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby Peter913 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:10 pm

Nice report there Jim was certainly a day i will never forget in my walking hobby

Peter
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby lomondwalkers » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:59 pm

Great day for the ridge, some cracking pics there JWR :D Hoping I'll feel ready for this next summer.
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby jwramsay » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:47 pm

Peter, my companion on the ridge, posted some photos in this thread:

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=16606&p=102329#p102329
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby blueyed » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:50 pm

well done! great pics
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby JohnJoe » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:58 pm

I tried this a couple of weeks back and failed miserably, mainly due to not getting up early enough / spending too much time in a cafe in Fort William.

I might try again in a couple of weeks, and I will definitely be taking my head torch!
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby Fudgie » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:15 pm

Some great pictures there.
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby michaelmcp » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:28 am

Liked the report. Was planning to do this walk sometime this year but have never got round to organising with the people who had wanted to do it with me. Looks like you had a pretty good day for it and some of the photos are superb.

:thumbup:
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:35 am

I would love to do this but will definitely be taking a guide with me :D :D

Fantastic report and a well deserved pint :D :D
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby jwramsay » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:16 pm

Yeah it's not a walk to be done alone. Encouragement and assistance from your companion is a great help.
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby mountain thyme » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:25 pm

good report.. still to do these 2.. dont know if that helped me or put me off! :)
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Re: Aonach Eagach Ridge

Postby jwramsay » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:30 am

mountain thyme wrote:good report.. still to do these 2.. dont know if that helped me or put me off! :)


Not far to go either! Well one!!

Just chose a dry day and you'll be fine.
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