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Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor
by Stretch » Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:37 pm
Route description: Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor
Munros included on this walk: Ben Starav, Glas Bheinn Mhor
Date walked: 12/09/2009
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 1395m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The SMC Munro book describes the climb as unrelenting, yet I found it fairly easy mainly because it levels out in a few places along the way and the path is actually quite good. I guess I got an added boost of energy when my head all of a sudden poked through the clouds. I've been looking at a lot of other people's photos of cloud inversions and was a bit jealous. But on this day I got to see a pretty magnificent sight for the first time.
What an amazing sight! So with renewed vigor I trudged ahead up the slopes of Ben Starav, looking back every so often to look at the inversion.
The climb to Ben Starav gives you a great view of two of its coires and a nice view down to where the River Etive empties into the loch. The going becomes a bit tougher on the last push to the top as you have to climb boulders until the summit is reached. I would be a bit worried here in poor visibility as the path often creeps too close to the deep crags for my taste. At the summit I stopped for lunch and took in the excellent 360 degree views. Most impressive was Ben Cruachan to the south.
After about 30 mins at the top I headed over to the north summit and made my way down to Stob Coire Dheirg. At this point I decided to conserve my energy and possibly add Beinn nan Aighenan in my walk so I traversed around Stob Coire Dheirg leaving the windy easy scramble for another occasion. Walking around the top was fairly easy and I reached Bealachan Lochain Ghaineamhaich (say that 5 times in a row) and gave the addition of a third munro about 5 minutes thought. Beinn nan Aighenan is not the most impressive munro in the area and in the end I decided that two munros on this day would be enough. So off to Glas Bheinn Mhor.
The walk up to Glas Bheinn Mhor was fairly easy going and it wasn't long before I was rewarded with more amazing views, especially to the east toward Ben More and down to Loch Tulla. Ben Nevis was poking its head over Bidean from this top as well.
Now for the descent, though I was reluctant to give up the splendid views. Myself and two walkers who had driven up from Cumbria descended together and I found the path easy going, though steep in a few spots before you make the left turn down the Allt Mheuran. There are plenty of water slides down the burn before you reach the Robber's Waterfall which in itself is very attractive. From here down, however, the descent turned into Bogfest 2009. Hardly a dry stretch the rest of the way. At one point before reaching the bridge you cross on the way to Ben Starav it goes through ferns and felt more like a walk through the Amazon. You reach the path back to the car with some relief and very muddy boots.
With the exception of the descent, this has to be one of my favorite walks to date. Ben Starav is a class mountain. I'll probably never forget seeing the fog covering Glen Etive and the view toward Ben Cruachan has certainly put the munro on my to-do list. The addition of Beinn nan Aighenan would be easy for those of you in great shape, but I'm glad I skipped out on it based on how I felt the next morning. I had every intention of returning to camp, cleaning up a bit and going to the Clachaig for dinner and a pint and then returning to my tent to do Buachaille Etive Mor the next morning. Sadly, upon returning to the tent I found a gaggle of 15 or so merry makers had set up a tent city within yards of my once peaceful and quiet spot. I lost all interest in camping at that point and I packed up and returend to St. Andrews. Next time I'll find a spot that isn't big enough for anyone but myself.
by Paul Webster » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:02 pm
I remember that bog too; the lowest ground is hideous and is crossed on the usual route to Stob Coir'an Albannaich as well - one for the snorkel.
by GarryH » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:41 pm
- Posts: 285
- Joined: Oct 6, 2008
by HighlandSC » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:01 pm
Can't wait to find one of these inversions myself!
by Stretch » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:03 pm
by HighlandSC » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:04 pm
There's a lot to be said for getting a quiet day. I had a wander round the low level Glen Nevis circuit, and on the path itself I passed NOBODY in either direction. But look up any time towards the Ben Nevis path and it resembled your local high street, just a constant stream of walkers. I'll definitely be saving Nevis for an early Tuesday morning or something!
by Stretch » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:17 pm
by HighlandSC » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:24 pm
You should see what the sun/exposure did to some of the pics I got on Sat from my good-but-not-DLSR-by-miles camera! I had brilliant views all day from in Glen Nevis...but that yellow blob was right behind some of the best (that's not a complaint!) I'll do a report for my walks sometime soon....
by Graeme D » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:11 am
What a well written report with great pictures. Just love the inversion, I hope to be in one one day. I was up Ben Vane on Saturday and could see all the clouds in the valleys from afar but no such luck where I was. I had great weather though.
by Stretch » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:12 pm
Graeme, did you enjoy the descent from Glas Bheinn Mhor as much as I did After Robber's Waterfall it was hell.
Monty, looks like your day out was equally as nice, how long do you reckon it would take someone to walk both of those without the use of a bike for some of the way?
The bike saved me probably 50 minutes in total. Therefore if I had walked it all it would have taken me 6 hours 45 mins approx.
Bear in mind that I walked hard up Ben Vane and ran down a fair bit of Ben Vorlich. Also these two together make a touch uphill ascent.
I would say that 8 hours would be a reasonable target time to walk it all.
by Graeme D » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:34 pm
by yokehead » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:52 pm
by doogz » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:53 pm
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- Joined: Sep 17, 2008
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