This was my 1st walk after an 11 week " lay off " due to my daughters wedding , followed by our summer hols touring Europe , & then a forced return to work as well as other ( non-essential ?) commitments !!
With hindsight I should have came back to an easier day out , this was a killer , i`m a bit rusty & this was a BIG test .
Ben Starav from the minor access road.
I drove up on Saturday night and camped at the wee clearing at Loch Etive , other regular campers were there . No facilities here at the wee camp area -just a basic small grassy area .Tent up & a couple of beers chatting to a fellow scooterist - a regular camper at Loch Etive - about Lambretta/Vespa things , Oskar got on fine with the other dogs present.
Ben Starav loomed ominously accross the loch reaching along way into the sky
Before calling it a night i was lucky enough to see 4 meteors / shooting stars as it was quite a clear night - these being predicted by the news , good stuff.
Up early on Sunday i kept hitting the snooze mode on my mobile for some more sleep , i eventually got ready then fired up the gas stove & made the obligatory sausages for me & Oskar . Once finished i packed up quietly , got my rucksack ready and drove the short distance back up the glen to park at Coiletir about 730 ish.
It was a bit cloudy over Starav with no view of the top , but it was warm and dry. The track takes you to a bridge over the River Etive & towards the cottage at Coiletir , a sign on the gate points to a route behind the cottage going through tall ferns leading through a boggy field towards the Allt Mheuran .
As you pass through this field a tall step goes over the deer fence on the L / H side , ALL the tracks led over this style / step......... do not take this route ( i did & had to retrace 100 M or so ) instead continue through the field towards the burn. Crossing the water i said Hi to an older couple who had camped here for 2 or 3 days and were packing up..
I see a view forming here.
Ben Starav was now in front of me , it was a case of head down & get on with it. The views opened up as i gained height , i was enjoying myself despite the hard work.
Looking back up Glen Etive
Clag covering the top
Are we going up there ???
It was now very windy & i`d put on my hat & Berghaus.
Views over to Glas Bheinn Mhor , cloud skirting the top.
Continuing on it was now blowing a hooly , someone had written the above note on the pathway. I couldn`t see the top yet but knew it was 200 M in elevation & not distance
Closer now . i think (hope)
Luckily on the summitt the cloud did lift albeit briefly to give some views - if only for a wee while. I`d saw another climber coming up the ridge behind me , in a much quicker fashion than me. I decided to have a rest & some food , after 15 / 20 mins the guy caught me up. We chatted & moved off together to Stob Coire Dheirg , as we approached Bealachan Lochain Ghaineamhaich i let him move on ahead as i was under pressure & feeling the pace. I can`t recall the guys name , he is a member here on WH but hasn`t posted yet , i rested again at the bealach for 20 mins before the climb up to Beinn nan Aighenan , watching the other guy in front of me ( he comes from Dundee) make his way up.
Munro no 2 Beinn nan Aighenan.
Whilst having this break , 3 folk with a dog came down off B n A and passed by en route for Ben Starav -doing the route in reverse , we all exchanged hi`s - happy to be out on what was now a HOT sunny day.
Towards Ben Cruachan before the pull up B n A.
Looking back to Ben Starav in the sun
Down over Coire na Caime to Loch Tulla way
After my break , despite being tired i enjoyed to climb up Beinn nan Aighenan , meeting a walker coming down who had walked in from Victoria Bridge via Glenn Kinglass , good effort there eh!
Loch Etive stretching out from B n A.
I also chatted to a lady / girl walker on Beinn nan Aighenan , i topped out just before her & after a wee break continued back down -she passed me just before the Bealachan Lochain Ghaineamhaich but didn`t go via
Glas Bheinn Mhor . I think she went down via Coire Lochan Ghaineamhaich as i didn`t see her again.
Back to Ben Starav from the approach to Meall na Tri Tighearean
From here on i was very tired , i had water left & some energy drink too but i was bushed , i`d eaten all my food & had taken a good few stops to have a breather.
Oskar on Glas Bheinn Mhor...... i think ???? too many fotos on camera
Again the wind picked up coming down off Glas Bheinn Mhor , i`d read on WH about this route and had underestimated it slightly , but no harm done & a valuable lesson learned .It was a long walk down to Coire Odhar & then the rocky and sometimes very boggy path out , back to the Allt Mheuran & through the fields – now seeming wetter despite no rain ? to Coiletir & the short distance to my car.
Oskar had been brilliant as always , it had been a great day – but very tiring
Well done to the folk here on WH who have done all 5 of these mountains - including Meall nan Eun & Stob Coir`an Albannich , thats a big day out. My legs are still a bit tight today -Tuesday - after Sundays exertions. My 11 week "holiday" is now over , hopefully i`ll perform much ,much better next time out in 2 weeks !
Last foto looking back
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