Having camped in Glen Etive throughout summer but never in autumn/winter I did decide a while ago that this year was the year when I had to give it a go. Belgiumhiker from this site had suggested a few different sleeping bags to me a few months ago and a couple of weeks ago I purchased a 4 season sleeping bag (-10C) from a company called Alpkit for 140 Pounds. The reviews I have read on their website were brilliant and I was keen to try it out.
Having spend a rather unproductive day ay work on Friday (who can concentrate when a weekend of camping and hiking is on the agenda? ) I left straight after work and drove up north. When I arrived at my usual camping spot (I guess from next year a postbox and name plaque is in order ) It was dark and I blessed the maker of pop up tents (I have 3 tents but my wee pop up tent is still my favourite) as pitching the tent was pretty straight forward.
When I had unpacked I grabbed my laptop and my tea and settled in my tent…a movie with dinner in style. It was getting pretty cold and I was soon inside my sleeping bag but I enjoyed the movie and getting rather tired after I finished it I checked my watch – 7:30pm!!!
Ok that was far too early to go to bed, but there was nothing else to do. I decided to get organized and ended up reading until 8:30pm…afterwards I ended up falling asleep.
Because of the early night I was up at 6am the next morning. The sleeping bag was better than I could have ever imagined, as I have felt warmer that night than I ever did in summer (with my summer sleeping bag) I got ready and washed and a couple of hours after one of my friends arrived, who said he wanted to come hillwalking with me, after I said I wanted to to do Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor.
The weather was absolutely stunning with blue skies and some puffy low clouds, which seemed to hug the mountains. Driving down Glen Etive we managed to find a parking space (quite a few other cars were parked there already) and set off.
The start of the path was pretty good but soon became rather boggy. Walking along a fence many walkers opted to cling themselves to the fence to avoid the boggiest parts of the path…a good idea as very soon I copied the rather strange way of walking up a hill.
We got to a burn and because of the heavy rain in the previous weeks it was rather large. Crossing burns is not one of my favourite activities and I admit that I will take ages until I have found a place to cross…yes I had incidents when I took unplanned baths while crossing them
When I finally reached the other side the clag came in and soon there was no visibility at all. I cursed the weather forecast (which again was completely wrong) but made my way up Ben Starav.
The path is pretty clear to follow but it is a drag! When suddenly the clouds parted we were presented with a dramatic view and it was time to take some quick pictures.
The top of Ben Starav was covered again in clouds so I didn’t manage to take any photos.
After we left the top to walk towards Glas Bheinn Mhor it started to snow which luckily passed quickly and soon after the clouds parted for good and left some spectacular views.
Walking along the arête was great fun although if you like you can avoid it by talking the path to the right hand site. The walk up to Glas Bheinn Mhor is again pretty straight forward and is something I really enjoyed.
Reaching the top of Glas Bheinn Mhor I found a little Tupperware box with a photo inside which was left up there in memory of a person who must have died. Checking the box I was wondering if ashes were in it….you never know.
Meeting up some fellow walkers we discussed the box and one told us a rather funny story….
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One year the mountain rescue team got a call from a woman whose husband had died and who wished that his ashes were scattered on An Teallach. He wasn’t a hiker but he had seen the mountain and liked it and wanted his ashes up there. As there were no other hikers in the family the mountain rescue was the only people the women could think of. They agreed to take the ashes during their next mission up there and when the time arrived one of them, while standing somewhere up An Teallach opened the box to scatter the ashes….
It should have been easy, but during the moment he threw the ashes the wind turn and he ended up covered in ashes.
Lol I guess that’s something to remember if you are ever being asked to do that
Leaving Glas Bheinn Mhor in beautiful sunshine we made out way down the hill. Unfortunately there was no way to pass the boggy path at the bottom of the hill, but it is always surprising how much I don’t care anymore when I am on the way back. I really did enjoyed the two Munros and I am guessing I will do them again at some point.