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The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

The Aonach Eagach on a whim.


Postby nathan79 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:25 pm

Route description: Aonach Eagach

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

Date walked: 03/04/2012

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 9.21 km

Ascent: 1100m

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Glencoe is an area you can't fail to love. I had never visited the area prior to April 2010, but i've been back a few times since and ticked off a few of the hills in the area. You can't fail to be aware of the sight and reputation of the Aonach Eagach. Though i figured i'd have to tackle it sometime, i was in no rush and felt it would be some time before i gave it a shot.
This was until Alan(Mountainstar) casually suggested it the day before, as you may have read in my TR for BEB. Conditions were perfect-warm and sunny, not a hint of a breeze, and given Alan's wide experience up high, including prior AE visits, i knew i'd be in safe hands and thought it far too good a chance to pass up.
The evening before i supped a single pint in the Clachaig to make use of the free WiFi. Pondering whether i should say my goodbyes now and resisting the urge to read up about the AE's reputation, noticing on Facebook Alan had mentioned our plans. Damn! I can't back out now!
And so it came to the morning. No restless night of tossing and turning, plagued by dreams of deadly plummets, a good night's sleep and a fresh head trying to decide between apprehension and excitement.
The right honourable Mrs Mountainstar, Eli, picked me up from my digs in the Glencoe youth hostel and dropping us down at the start.
Disembarked, tightened the bootlaces, hoisted teh bag, cinched the straps, clasped all clasps and set out on the ascent up to the ridge. I sincerely hoped this would be the worst part of the day for me.
We weren't alone setting out. There were 5 others setting off at roughly the same time.
IMG_0127.JPG
On the ascent up to Am Bodach

As Mountainstar strolled and i plodded up the ridge, we recognised two of our fellow walkers as those we'd talked to the day before on the wee Bookil. Turns out they were AE first timers like myself, intent on heading for Meall Dearg where they'd decide whether to continue or not.
Glad to reach the summit of Am Bodach. The big ascent out of the way and a view of what lay ahed.
Can't say i was feeling too apprehensive. As i say i'd avoided doing too much last minute horror story reading and told myself "it's just another couple of Munros" and i was in a good place. Big camera and anything hanging off me tucked into my bag, wee camera in my pocket secured to my belt with a carabiner(just in case).
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the challenge to come

We joined forces with the two guys -Craig and Jerry- and headed for the first bit of hands-on stuff off Am Bodach. Shaded from the sun on this section, cold to the touch but as dry and grippy as i'd hoped. The down-scrambling was my biggest worry so getting past this bit with no worries pretty much vanquished any fear.
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Craig coming down the first section


Another day of great views, it was a bit less hazy than the previous day. Good view towards Ben Nevis, first time i've seen it two days in a row!
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over towards the Nevis range

A long way down to the road, but i was unconcerned and the exposure was no issue.
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Munro number 1 reached. Struggling to keep a smile of my face, grabbed a picture of the 4 of us while we(or at least 3 of us) steeled our nerves for the next section.
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4 happy chaps in the sunshine

Caught sight of the big chimney section and thought "now that looks like fun". It was. The others clambered up it while i stopped for a snap.
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chim-chimney-chim-chim-cheroo

Watching the pinnacles get closer and closer didn't bring any rising sense of fear, only eager anticipation for what looked like a nice challenge. A bit unsure of the rout, but Alan hopped up top the first one, assured us it was fine and the rest of us quickly followed suit.
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Strolled confidently over the pinnacles and then eased down the last tricky bit, a little disappointed the tricky stuff was done.
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Job's a good un

Munro number two reached, it was great to be able to look back and see what i'd just come across. Handshakes and happy faces all round.
Started the long plod down towards the Pap path eagerly awaiting the celebratory pint in the Clachaig. Good to see the peak of the Pap from up here, wasn't tempted to nip up to the summit though.
IMG_0166.JPG

At last the road was reached where Mrs Mountainstar met us, dropped me at the hostel for a shoe change en route to taking Craig and Jerry to their car before pub time.
It was just a pity you can't see the ridge from the Clachaig beer garden. Rarely has a beer been so tasty and never have i enjoyed such a fine day on the hills. Apologies for the massive report! :lol:

A big thanks to Alan, i'd never even have looked at the ridge without him.
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nathan79
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby soapy27 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:12 pm

Great photos Nathan im hoping to do it this year just building up the courage looks amazing though :D
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:16 pm

Brilliant report Nathan!

Cracking photos and sparkling narrative!

Thanks for all the advice and reassurance you gave me at Kintail- very much appreciated.

Well done !!!

P xx
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby monty » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:17 pm

Great photos again Nathan. Well done on tackling the AE. Great to have the services one of the most prolific Mountain men at your side :D
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby dooterbang » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:22 pm

Fab stuff Nathan -perfect day for it.

Well done Alan for showing those wonderful legs and distracting the big man :lol:
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby mountainstar » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:29 pm

Brilliant report Nathan, brought back many good memories of that fabulous day :D .
So glad you finally said yes to doing it....after chewing over it for half a day, and I know that you were just as glad by the big smile on your face :D ...you went at it like a duck to water :thumbup: :clap: .
Another video to go with the walk....hope you like the music :wink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjklm8Ko5Oo

My pictures to follow as well
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby mountainstar » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:39 pm

Aonach Eagach Ridge (600 x 340).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (2) (600 x 308).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (3) (600 x 450).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (4) (600 x 277).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (5) (600 x 320).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (6) (600 x 450).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (7) (600 x 450).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (8) (600 x 387).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (9) (600 x 450).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (10) (600 x 450).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (11) (600 x 335).jpg


Aonach Eagach Ridge (12) (600 x 406).jpg


Aonach Eagach Celebrations (600 x 450).jpg

Big smiles all round :D :D ...
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby SusieThePensioner » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:54 pm

So glad you had that wonderful weather and took the plunge in doing the walk :lol:

Great report and fantastic photos, Nathan :thumbup: I've seen the video on facebook and some more fantastic photos from Alan here :D
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby yokehead » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:20 pm

Yes it is just wonderful. Well done, nice one! :D
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby Scotjamie » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:39 pm

A huge well done Nathan - stunning
Almost as good a report on AE as mine....ok then ...much better than mine

A pleasure to have been with you guys over the weekend
AlanR
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby davetherave » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:40 pm

Well done Nathan, great pics,report and weather. You really had it all on the day.

AE on a whim, seems like the way to do it especially if you were feeling slightly spoiled.

Cheers Dave.
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby L-Hiking » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:46 pm

Nice one Nathan.....Something to be proud of
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:47 pm

A topper of a report Nathan, great photos great day what more could you want :D
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby rockhopper » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:08 pm

Brilliant nathan - well done...you make it sound so easy :shock: and congratulations on your 50 - cheers :D
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Re: The Aonach Eagach on a whim.

Postby Stretch » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:39 am

You failed to mention how you swigged your beloved whisky at the start of every tricky section of the AE. This goes to show that your 'Poker Face' does not fool me sir. :lol:
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