Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

5 in Glen Etive

5 in Glen Etive

Postby Gavin99 » Sun May 13, 2012 12:56 pm

Route description: Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhòr

Munros included on this walk: Beinn nan Aighenan, Ben Starav, Glas Bheinn Mhòr, Meall nan Eun, Stob Coir an Albannaich

Date walked: 13/05/2012

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 2516m

7 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I had been looking forward to visiting some of the Glen Etive hills for a while , the plan for the day was to climb Ben Starav, Beinn nan Aighenan, and Glas Bheinn Mhor and then possibly continue to the eastern two if time and energy allowed . I was parked up at Coileitir for 0730 and set off with enough food ,water and gear for a long day out . The first part of the route was a pleasant wander over the bridge , south along the river and then detouring around the cottage , at this point I took a ‘short cut ‘ :roll: following the line of the deer fence to meet the burn above the footbridge , this resulted in me having to wade through a swamp for a couple of hundred metres , it is probably more sensible to rejoin the riverside path after the cottage and use the footbridge .
Allt Meirleach
Glas Bheinn Mhor from the N ridge of Starav

The path winds up beside the burn past some lovely waterfalls before turning up the long ridge to Ben Starav . This part of the day was a real slog , not steep but just relentless , 1000m in 3km first thing in the morning is a great way to get warmed up , height is gained quickly though and I reckon that once you top Ben Starav the hardest part of the day is over .
Ben Starav

The summit was hidden in cloud and had a fair bit of snow , only the briefest of glimpses across Loch Etive to Beinn Trilleachan and its fantastic looking slabs , this must be a glorious viewpoint on a clear day .
Loch Etive
Trilleachan slabs

The route onwards to Stob Coire Dearg needed a bit of care , a short drop with steep snow on either side , I picked my way down axe in hand to reach the narrow rocky ridge before scrambling along its crest to reach the peak ,from there I had good views of the route ahead .
Ridge to Stob Coire Dearg
Onwards to Bealachan Lochain Ghaineamhaich
Beinn nan Aighenen

From the 767m bealach an obvious path contours down towards the lower 600m bealach, from there it was a pleasant climb up to Beinn nan Aighenan over slabs and low crags of granite ,thankfully the summit was clear and some nice views were to be had .
Summit with Ben Cruachan
Return to main ridge

Descending to the 600m point again I chose a line to pick up the ridge leading onwards to Glas Bheinn Mhor , this easy ridge has a good path and before long I was on the summit of the third Munro of the day , its cairn complete with mini snowman .
Ridge to Glas Bheinn Mhor
Summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor
Down to bealach and on to Stob Coir an Albannaich

A straightforward descent brought me to the bealach above the Allt Mheuran , decision time !
I had plenty food ,water and daylight left , more importantly no body parts appeared to be in imminent danger of falling off/bursting , I decided to carry on to the two eastern Munros .
I started the steep climb up towards Stob Coir an Albannaich, finding this tough going over rocks and loose scree but eventually reached the wide plateau , skirting around the head of the corrie to reach the summit , and a very busy summit it was too . I hadn’t met a soul all day , suddenly coming across a dozen people must have startled me , so much so that I totally forgot to take any photos !
Descending east I was keeping a good lookout for the second grassy rake to descend , the WH description is good here , just after a raised area of slabby granite the obvious path cuts off north marked by a small cairn .
Meall nan Eun from below SCA
Once across a boggy bealach the route leads over some lovely pavement to the minor summit of Meall Tarsuinn , from here I could see the final ascent of the day to Meall nan Eun .
Nice ground on ascent of Meall Tarsuinn
Last one of the day
A look back to Stob Coir an Albannaich

One final pull brought me to the wide plateau of the summit , a fine mossy expanse , Stob Gabhair seeming surprisingly close .
Summit No. 5

From the summit a nice wander NW over gently falling ground brought me to the head of Coirean Riabhach , from here the route descends on steep sodden grass over rocks and broken crags , not in any way pleasant , especially at the end of a long day .
Long walk out
Eventually the valley floor is reached and a decent path is picked up alongside Allt Ceitlin ,as I walked out the sun was lighting up the vast areas of slab below Stob Coir an Albannaich , spectacular .
Granite in sunshine
Last look at Ben Starav

Lower down the glen a good track develops which turns to head south along the River Etive to the bridge at Coileitir , passing through some nice woodland , a cuckoo singing rounding off the day nicely .
I was back at the car park just under 9 hours after setting off , a long day during which I pushed on a good bit harder than I normally would , nice to be able to do it but I think I’ll revert to my usual, more civilised pace for a while . :D
Last edited by Gavin99 on Mon May 14, 2012 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Posts: 1216
Munros:279   Corbetts:133
Grahams:77   Donalds:68
Sub 2000:29   Hewitts:13
Joined: Jul 26, 2011

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby dooterbang » Sun May 13, 2012 1:03 pm

well done on bagging the 2 eastern tops.

I did the 5 (my 1st solo walk) in the sunshine and remember the pull up to Meall nan Eun epic.

So you think you'll revert back to your normal pace...i think you'll find you may not, now you've entered a new dimension :lol:
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 1828
Munros:262   Corbetts:58
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Isle of Skye from Feb 2019 (Originally Glasgow)

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby Gavin99 » Sun May 13, 2012 1:09 pm

dooterbang wrote:So you think you'll revert back to your normal pace...i think you'll find you may not, now you've entered a new dimension :lol:

I don't know about that , feeling it today , definitely in the 'walking wounded' category :D
User avatar
Posts: 1216
Munros:279   Corbetts:133
Grahams:77   Donalds:68
Sub 2000:29   Hewitts:13
Joined: Jul 26, 2011

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby Meatball » Sun May 13, 2012 2:01 pm

Cracking effort!
I tried this at the end of a massive week last summer...
My legs were gone after 3, so retreated, cursing in the blazing sun. Still a good day, even if I was disappointed with myself.
Posts: 940
Munros:50   Corbetts:41
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Sep 10, 2011

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby pigeon » Sun May 13, 2012 2:29 pm

Big effort there gavin,you made it sound easy :lol: 3 was more than enough for me ,well done :clap:
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 1434
Munros:282   Corbetts:116
Grahams:40   Donalds:38
Sub 2000:22   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   Islands:2
Joined: Apr 29, 2010
Location: Linlithgow

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby Bod » Sun May 13, 2012 2:57 pm

You must have had some mighty nibbles in those there pockets Gavin :D :D :D
Great effort taking in all five, and I love the view down towards Cruachan, rest well :shock: :lol:
User avatar
Posts: 1543
Munros:282   Corbetts:65
Grahams:33   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:43   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   Islands:25
Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Location: Cowdenbeath

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby Morecambe Monkey » Sun May 13, 2012 3:35 pm

Good effort there Gavin,that's a long round with a lot of ascent. Slightly envious of you after missing out on a planned trip to Glen Coe a couple of weeks back due to a knee problem. Enjoy your rest day today,i think you've more than earned it. :)
User avatar
Morecambe Monkey
Posts: 607
Munros:281   Corbetts:116
Grahams:40   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:142
Wainwrights:214   Islands:5
Joined: Apr 9, 2011
Location: Lancashire

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sun May 13, 2012 9:26 pm

Well done on a big round, all worth the effort of aching limbs i bet. I had every intention of doing the 5 in one outing but ended up doing them in 2 :D
User avatar
Johnny Corbett
Mountain Walker
Posts: 2980
Munros:25   Corbetts:214
Grahams:168   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:302   Hewitts:1
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Livingston

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby mrssanta » Sun May 13, 2012 9:35 pm

we did these five in one outing last year but over two days and camped at the Allt Mheuran bealach.
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 3109
Munros:274   Corbetts:11
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:43
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby LeithySuburbs » Sun May 13, 2012 10:32 pm

Great effort and report to match Gavin 8) .
User avatar
Posts: 1960
Munros:259   Corbetts:56
Grahams:29   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:23   Islands:13
Joined: Feb 19, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby Banditman » Mon May 14, 2012 10:38 am

Tough day that one....well done on the 5. :clap: don't think I will be attempting them in one go though....my legs are sore just thinknig about it.. :lol:
User avatar
Posts: 65
Munros:263   Corbetts:14
Grahams:7   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Feb 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow
Walk wish-list

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby quoman » Mon May 14, 2012 11:25 am

nice one Gavin thats a big walk its all the better when the weather held up for you.
User avatar
Posts: 960
Munros:282   Corbetts:10
Grahams:1   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Nov 14, 2011
Location: larbert

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby soulminer » Mon May 14, 2012 12:14 pm

I bet you still smiled to youself though, after putting in the extra effort :lol: It does indeed make it all worth while. Fine stuff :thumbup:
User avatar
Posts: 804
Joined: Mar 18, 2010
Location: Johnstone

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby rockhopper » Mon May 14, 2012 12:46 pm

Well done Gavin - great effort :thumbup: Did this same route as a day trip during a three day visit to Glen Etive last summer...but took somewhat longer than you and didn't have your snow ! One of my favourite areas - cheers :D
User avatar
Posts: 7094
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:88   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:15   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: 5 in Glen Etive

Postby jonny616 » Mon May 14, 2012 7:17 pm

Great stuff Gavin. Took me three trips to do these fella's :lol:
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 1604
Munros:282   Corbetts:14
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:17
Wainwrights:8   Islands:8
Joined: Aug 19, 2009

7 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: SuperMillie and 130 guests