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Finally - We climbed the Pap!

Finally - We climbed the Pap!


Postby GillC » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:27 pm

Route description: The Pap of Glencoe

Grahams included on this walk: Pap of Glencoe

Date walked: 09/07/2012

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 7 km

Ascent: 716m

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Now,,,how many times have we passed Sgorr na Ciche, the Pap of Glencoe, saying,,," really must climb that!" Having pencilled it in several times while 'in the area' we finally managed to get there.
DSCN2409.JPG
Thar she blows!


We had spent the weekend camping in Glencoe, great wee Red Squirrel site beside the amazing Clachaig, we couldn't let another visit come and go without giving this a try. Sore legs still very much an issue after an epic day on Bidean on Saturday, what better way to stretch them out.

We were heading home on the Monday so breakfast done, lunches made, packed up the tent etc into the car and headed off to the foot of the hill. The weather had been great for Glencoe, only rained on Saturday evening and overnight into Sunday but had dried up for a nice Sunday night by the river and a very promising Monday morning.

There is a good parking area just behind what looks like a temporary portakabin for Scottish Water, space for a few cars, just off the road. There seems to be several paths heading across the surrounding bracken, forest in the general direction of the Pap but we chose to follow the WH guide, back along the road to a dble gated entrance. Some kindly soul has even scratched PAP on the wooden plate on the gate.
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Signwriting,,dont give up the day job!


This little hill at 742mtrs, holds no punches,,you go straight into a vertical climb up a rubbly path.
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Straight up from the word go.
For some reason, the WH guide says "before reaching the waterworks" not sure why,,,cos you dont reach the waterworks,,why mention it? lol Anyway,, a very obvious footbridge off to the right takes you over the burn, to the only flat part of the day, a rough, stream covered path across the side of the hill toward the side of Sgorr nam Fiannaidh, the last peak on the Aonach Eagach ridge. Easy to feel you are heading away from the Pap, which you are, but for good reason,,the alternative is VERY steep and means cross a gorge.

Sticking to this path, the surrounding views are fantastic,, across the valley floor to Aonach Dubh a Ghlinne, Glencoe village and Ballachulish and beyond, out to the Ardgour peninsula and Ardnamurchan over some lovely misty seascapes.

Weather was getting better by the minute,,sun out, short sleeves and plenty water. This is Scotland at its finest (knowing Glasgow was getting drenched gives one a smug glow at times like this :lol: )

The flat section of path fords a small stream with lovely rocks, flowers, colours and fresh clear water, much appreciated on our descent later.
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Looking west along the lower flat section of path,
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Views south on the lower path


The path turns around to the left just under Cnap Glas and meets the path coming down from the right and the end of the AE ridge. The climb up this section is hard to fathom in that, the whole path, cut out in deep narrow sections between bracken and heather,,is covered in a rock thats hard to place as natural, looks almost like its been dumped,,surely not,,anyone know anything about that?

The terrain isnt the most helpful for my ankle but didnt have any problems if I took my time and second guessed my footfalls,,getting used to that after 8 weeks of it.

As the path continues up to the left,,now heading for the foot of the rocky Pap, the incline lessens a bit and some dark peaty sections are crossed.
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Nearly at the rocky top
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Time for a drink and a view
Luckily enough,,the local weather had been fairly dry recently and no real issues with bogs. The path continues to climb and gently moves off to the right before heading straight across to the foot of the main peak. At this point, rock takes over and theres a lot of scrambling and crawling up and over rocks of varying sizes. Id lost one of my poles on Bidean so combined 1 with hand holds and scrambled up round the peak to the right then up to the cairn. This was one amazing climb, rewarded by FANTASTIC views. Again,,out over the end of Loch Leven, across the Ballachulish Bridge, out to Ardgour and beyond.
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Smashing view,,the scenery's nice too
To the south, the westerly hills of Glencoe and the to North, the Mamores, glimpses of Nevis and CMD, he was hiding his face in shame,,having hurt me bad :(
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Think thats Nevis,,hiding under the cloud, just right of centre...anyone?


So far we had had the hill to ourselves but were soon joined by a couple with a dog. We had settled down a way off the cairn for lunch,, looking West and enjoying soaking up some sun, enjoying the views and looking back over our fab weekend. The cloud was burning off big time but we didnt quite get a full view of Nevis before heading off down hill.

The scramble back down of the peak was tricky, lots of loose rocks under foot with, at times, little to hold on to. Made great time getting down, sun really warm by this time and I could feel it burning,,hey,,get it while its hot I say! lol

Wee stop by the aforementioned stream to sook up some water and cool down my wee red face. Had to borrow one of Margarets poles for the last stretch down the gravel track,,very slippy underfoot,,and she has less distance to fall lol (soz M)

Smashing,,been wanting to do this for ages,,and to get it on such a fab day was a bonus. Back to Glencoe for coffee and cheesecake in the Glencoe Cafe,,(thoroughly recommend this place) sitting under the great wee hill itself. What more can you ask for?
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From the comfort of the cafe
Then homeward bound with much stopping to take pics of Glencoe without its usual cloud cover. Home we went,,sore legs,,back aching from sleeping on the ground, midgie bites and sunburn, EPIC!
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GillC
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Re: Finally - We climbed the Pap!

Postby jonny616 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:54 pm

Nice one. Your weather looks fab 8)
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jonny616
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Re: Finally - We climbed the Pap!

Postby BobMcBob » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:38 am

Can't beat a bit of Pap :D I love the view from up there. On a clear day you can see Nevis in the direction of your photo :)
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BobMcBob
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Re: Finally - We climbed the Pap!

Postby GillC » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Hi,,yes,,we could see him (Nevis) hiding under the cloud,,think if we had stayed a bit longer it would have lifted with the sun coming out. Steep wee bugger of a hill, and Pap jokes coming thick and fast lol :lol:
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GillC
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Re: Finally - We climbed the Pap!

Postby bobble_hat_kenny » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:27 pm

I'm trying hard to resist the "Pap" jokes - it's a family show I suppose... :lol: However, I do love that "sign" that you took a photo of. Scratching "PAP" on a rough bit of wood with a sharp implement; now that's about as classy as it gets :wtf: .
Great report though :clap: ! I'm jealous of your weather however :mrgreen: - I was up Glencoe way on Sunday and it wasn't as nice as this :( .
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bobble_hat_kenny
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Re: Finally - We climbed the Pap!

Postby GillC » Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:28 am

Ah Kenny,,weather is just a change of clothes. We had a rest day on Sunday,,weather wasnt too bad was it,,bit drizzly,,but then we were ensconced on the sofas in the clachaig watching the tennis lol. Cheers.
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GillC
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Posts: 1497
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Joined: May 14, 2010
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