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Buachaille Etive Mor in Glorious Sunshine

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 6:42 pm
by Euan McIntosh
Note - resizing and compressing the pictures for WH has caused a loss of some colour and contrast. They look far better on flicker - Here

Having first experienced walking in Glencoe the previous week with the two Munros on Buachaille Etive Beag we decided to head back as soon as possible. The weather forecast being at least passable according to MWIS we opted for Buachaille Etive Mor. The weather on arrival was far better than predicted, the cloud base was well clear of the tops, due to there being no cloud at all!

Buachaille Etive Mor from the very busy car park

The route for the walk follows the standard walkers route to the summit, though I fully intend to come back and explore the cliffs and ridges Stob Dearg.

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The route starts out by crossing the river on a footbridge and passing what must be the most photographed cottage in Scotland. From here is follows the burn up and into the coire. There are many paths that can be chosen that stick to either the left side of the burn or in the gorge itself. The pools and little waterfalls looked very attractive indeed in the strong sunshine and soon any clothing that could be lost was packed away, not to come back out again.

Coire na Tulaich

Once in the coire height is gained rapidly and the views behind you begin to open out. Soon the last patches of snow clinging to the Mamores and Ben Nevis could be seen.

Mamores and Ben Nevis

The gully at the headwall of the coire was filled with very soft and wet snow, not wanting to soak ourselves trudging through it we tracked slightly left over bare ground and onto the bealach.

Coire Headwall

From the Bealach the Climb up Stob Dearg is fairly quick and easy and there are fantastic views over the rest of the ridge and over to glencoe.

Stob Dearg from the bealach



At the top of the climb up Stob Dearg the ridge narrows slightly and carries on for a few hundred yards to the summit. From here you can see the whole ridge with both tops and the (very distant looking) munro at the far end. This was also the point where we met a pair of mountain bikers. The thought of bouncing your tyre off a rock and falling down onto Rannoch moor in more than enough to keep my cycling to ground level.

Both tops and the Munro visible as the ridge snakes away down Glen Etive

The Bikers

Once you reach the summit the views open out in all directions. Across the vast flatness of Rannoch moor Schiehallion and the Lawers group can be seen. The Aonach Eagach and Bidean loom over glencoe. Creish and Meall a' Bhuiridh are seen un-scared by the ski tows and runs that dot it's slopes.

Aonach Eagach

Me and Rannoch Moor

Stob Dearg Summit and Rannoch moor. Schiehallion can be seen directly in the centre.

Glecoe, Bidean and the Aonach Eagach

Ben Nevis and the Mamores

After returning to the bealach the ridge widens and is dotted with small pools and a few small lochans.

Buachaile Etive Beag

The ridge starts to narrow very slightly as it climbs up Stob na Doire and the climb is fairly steep if very short lived. This top gives fantastic views both back to Stob Dearg and on to the rest of the ridge.

Stob Dearg

The remainder of the ridge

The drop down from Stob na Doire is rocky and the path is loose in places. The second top is very quickly ascended.

Stob Dearg and Stob na Doire

It is only a short and fairly level walk to the Second munro that stands proud over Glen Etive.

Glen Etive and Surrounding hills

Glen Etive and Ben Starav

Across Glen Etive

Buachaille Etive Beag with Ben Nevis and the Mamores behind

The descent through coire Altruim is steep and in places slabby. It may or may not require the use of hands in places depending on the weather and how confident you are in the grip of your boots. After what feels like an age of going down steep path the river in the Lairig Gartain is reached and crossed. This was very easy and I suspect would be easy in all but the wettest of conditions. The path on the other side is very well built and certainly eases the 2km walk out.

Stob Coire Altruim

After the walk out along the Lairig Gartain comes the most dangerous and death defying part of the entire walk, dodging tourists driving at 120mph along the A82. If you survive this then you'll probably find a last picture of Stob Dearg as hard to resist as I did.

Stob Dearg at the end of the day

Re: Buachaille Etive Mor in Glorious Sunshine

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 6:50 pm
by PeteR
A fine selection of photos from a great hill :D Days like that are worth their weight in gold :D

Re: Buachaille Etive Mor in Glorious Sunshine

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 7:05 pm
by joekell
great report and great pics The great herdsman is truly an epic, you picked a perfect day for it great views.

Re: Buachaille Etive Mor in Glorious Sunshine

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 7:06 pm
by GillC
Fantastic! :clap:

Re: Buachaille Etive Mor in Glorious Sunshine

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 8:23 pm
by Euan McIntosh
PeteR wrote:A fine selection of photos from a great hill :D Days like that are worth their weight in gold :D

Thanks, I spent far too much time standing around taking photos and looking at the views. I've been very lucky and had my two best days weather wise on the two best walks I've done.

Re: Buachaille Etive Mor in Glorious Sunshine

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:14 pm
by Sanny
Nice report and I'm particularly liking the picture of the mountain bikers given that the one at the front is me! It wasa truly stunning day to be out in the hills eh? :D