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Edging round Etive

Edging round Etive


Postby weaselmaster » Sun May 26, 2013 11:29 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Sgulaird, Ben Cruachan, Stob Daimh

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn a'Bhuiridh

Date walked: 26/05/2013

Time taken: 14.15 hours

Distance: 33 km

Ascent: 3322m

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This weekend was meant to be a return to the northeast and settling scores with the remaining 2 hills in the west Glenshee set that eluded us lst weekend. But a big dump of snow midweek and a good weekend forecast made for a rethink and we decided to make further inroads into the western wilds around Glen Etive. Ben Cruachan's been sitting as a red balloon for far too long so was about time for enjoying the horseshoe.


Day 1 - Distance 19.1km, Time 8.30 Ascent 1965m

Off at 5.15 on a beautiful sunny morning. Arrived at Cruachan power station not much after 7 and decided to park in the layby after the visitor centre car park - which is a km further away from the start but less of a lunar surface than the "parking area" beside the start of the walk.

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view along loch awe from the layby by 23weasels, on Flickr

Already warm walking up thru the trees at alongside the Falls of Cruachan we reached the dam and enjoyed the experience of shouting into the alcoves of the dam and getting an echo back - be a great place to hold a black metal open air concert we thought. A rather startled lamb probably didn't share the idea.

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cruachan dam by 23weasels, on Flickr

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ladder by 23weasels, on Flickr

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cruachan reservoir by 23weasels, on Flickr

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view to the W after the dam by 23weasels, on Flickr


Up the ladder and along the top of the dam, spotted some fishermen who were up early. Followed the track along the side of the dam until the wee cairn takes you off up to the left, along the gurgling stream and the waterfall. Turning back we could see Beinn Ime & Ben Arthur in the distance. Towards the bealach an lochan the path becomes steeper and stonier, then the views start to open up. Although the day was a little hazy, the vista over to Mull was superb. There were still odd strips of snow lining gullies but the white cloak that has held the hills for so long is now almost completely gone. Going up to the summit of Cruachan we could see the slabby part at the beginning of the horseshoe ridge. The rocks were grippy and dry underfoot, which boded well for getting over them today.

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approaching Ben Cruachan by 23weasels, on Flickr

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Beinn Ime & Arthur by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020182 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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ridge from slopes of BC by 23weasels, on Flickr

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to the E by 23weasels, on Flickr

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ridge from top BC by 23weasels, on Flickr

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poser by 23weasels, on Flickr

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allison summit BC, Stob Dearg behind by 23weasels, on Flickr

Some photos at the top of BC then we decided to ditch the packs and head over to the impressive top of Stob Dearg. Very glad we did - the route was exciting with a couple of wee scrambles and the views up Loch Etive and over to Mull were very worthwhile. There and back to BC took about 30 minutes.
we met up with another 3 walkers at the top of BC - sure they're on here - and then set off to walk along the ridge. The slabby boulders were a bit of fun - eventually decided to pack away the poles so that we could use hands more easily.
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SD by 23weasels, on Flickr

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SD by 23weasels, on Flickr

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on way to SD by 23weasels, on Flickr

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suspended rock, SD by 23weasels, on Flickr

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summit SD by 23weasels, on Flickr

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loch etive from SD by 23weasels, on Flickr

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BC from SD by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020206 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020208 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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start of ridge from BC by 23weasels, on Flickr

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BC looking back from the slabs by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020213 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Got to Drochaid Ghlas and enjoyed the views back to BC and SD. There's a ridge that heads north from DG that I walked over onto for a bit - again worth doing so for the views back to BC. Then walked along to Stob Diamh which was populated with about a million people who had walked up anti-clockwise from the dam. Not a lover of crowded hills I didn't hang about long on the summit and headed off along the remainder of the ridge towards lairig torran, enjoying the views of the hills curling around behind us.
Image
BC & SD from drochaid ghlas by 23weasels, on Flickr

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ridge north from droachid ghlas by 23weasels, on Flickr

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BC & SD from DG ridge by 23weasels, on Flickr

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ridge north from DG by 23weasels, on Flickr

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towards stob diamh by 23weasels, on Flickr

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summit stob diamh with BC behind by 23weasels, on Flickr

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view back to stob diamh from further east by 23weasels, on Flickr

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beinn a'chochuill (i think) by 23weasels, on Flickr

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BC from stob garbh by 23weasels, on Flickr

Being such a beautiful day we decided to keep on ahead and take in the corbett Beinn a'Bhuridh which faces you from the lairig. It looked quite steep and stony, but heading up was easy enough and we had good views along Loch Awe. The summit was fairly flat with lots of soft spongy moss which made a good resting place to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. After a bit we decided to head down the shoulder of the hill aiming to meet with the section where the 2 descent routes on the standard route meet. This was a steep grassy decline that was a bit tough on the knees :o

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north slopes of beinn a'bhuiridh by 23weasels, on Flickr

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BC from Ba'B by 23weasels, on Flickr

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loch awe from BaB by 23weasels, on Flickr

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Cruachan reservoir from BaB by 23weasels, on Flickr

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cruachan dam, obviously by 23weasels, on Flickr

Finally we met up with the path and headed back down by the allt Cruachan, really roasting now in the blazing sun. Allison's arms were going to be a bit lobsterised, as was my head - no suntan lotion had been packed - a note for future walks, if we ever get sunshine again :roll: Back down and under the railway track then back along the road to our layby, passing the (empty) car park at the visitors centre. The car was boiling inside which was as good a reason as any for dropping the top and continuing to enjoy the sun as we drove along towards Drumaviuc - the starting point for tomorrow's climb. Stopped off for a pint at the Glue Pot in Connel - not the widest range of ales, but very friendly and obliging - filled up our water bladders at the bar (with water, regrettably :wink: ) and had a nice place to sit outside at the front.

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glue pot pub, connel by 23weasels, on Flickr

We arrived at the layby at Druimavuic and decided to camp in the wee tree lined spot across the road from the layby, which was a little soft underfoot, but perfectly serviceable for a night's sleep.

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tent spot by 23weasels, on Flickr

Day 2 - Beinn Sguilard - Distance 13.8km, Time 5.30h, Ascent 1357m

The forecast for the Sunday was full sun, according to MWF, so we were a little surprised to see thick mist when we woke up at 7.30. No point going up a hill with a reputation for fine views in clag, so we went back to sleep and waited to see if it would clear, which it did, pretty much by 9.30. However, by the time was got breakfast - which we had to eat in the tent due to the first midges of the year :roll: Thus a late start at 10.30 :( By the time we got packed and ready to leave the car another couple of groups of 2 walkers had arrived, and we met up on & off on the walk.

The first section takes you through the brief section of trees beside Druimavuic Gardens (closed) then follows the track uphill until a wee cairn marks the path off to the left. I enjoyed the way in which the view along Loch Creran and over to Mull developed as we got higher.
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loch creran by 23weasels, on Flickr

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loch creran by 23weasels, on Flickr

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loch creran by 23weasels, on Flickr

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loch creran by 23weasels, on Flickr

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loch creran by 23weasels, on Flickr

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loch creran by 23weasels, on Flickr

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loch creran to mull by 23weasels, on Flickr

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mull vista from meall garbh by 23weasels, on Flickr

Allison was feeling a bit ropey after yesterday's sunburn and we were pleased to get to the 488m top thinking we only had another 450m to go - wrong, wrong, wrong! The first indication of this was the drop down into the valley just after that top, with several more ups then downs to come :crazy: So this was why a 13km walk takes so ling in the book! It was a steady climb up to the next set of tops at 800m, then another steep drop to coire nan gobhlan before heading up the stony side of Meall Garbh then - oh god no! another even steeper drop to coire nan capull before Beinn Sguilard itself could be tackled. Sguikard itself sat looking brooding and impressive, flanks steep slabs of rock and scree. After a final short steep section the top was gained and the impressive large cairn was a suitable spot of a bit of lunch taking in the splendour of the surrounding hills - Beinn a'bheither standing out. We got a good view along the north side of the Cruachan horseshoe and a good idea of the length of the ridge.

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beinn a'bheither by 23weasels, on Flickr

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east glencoe hills by 23weasels, on Flickr

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cruachan again by 23weasels, on Flickr


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BS by 23weasels, on Flickr

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BS by 23weasels, on Flickr

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allison summit BS with Beinn a'bheither behind by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020269 by 23weasels, on Flickr

By this time the other walkers we'd met earlier had reached the top and we had some discussion about what the pointy hills were out to the north west (310 degrees from sguilard's summit) - on reflection i think these were the skye cuillin, but happy to be corrected.
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Skye cuillin? by 23weasels, on Flickr

There was also chat about the best descent route, with the undulations of returning the way we'd come putting most off, but the generally negative reports of the problems encountered in descending the WNW shoulder of Sguilard making us decide to go for the return along the ascent route - we noted that the others all followed suit subsequently. Back at the car the weather had changed a bit, more overcast with the wind having risen and a few spatterings of rain. Didn't stop us enjoying a drive back through Glencoe, where the AE ridge was looking fine, and a wee pint at the Clachaig :wink:
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1745
Munros:205   Corbetts:192
Grahams:65   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:175   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Edging round Etive

Postby davedanson28 » Tue May 28, 2013 9:10 pm

Another epic adventure and a cracking report! :clap: some of the pictures are crackers, what camera do you use? Cruachan is a great mountain! :D Anyway keep on climbing and stay safe! Cheers Dave.
User avatar
davedanson28
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 333
Munros:238   Corbetts:1
Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:4   
Joined: Apr 16, 2012
Location: Argyll

Re: Edging round Etive

Postby weaselmaster » Tue May 28, 2013 11:37 pm

davedanson28 wrote:Another epic adventure and a cracking report! :clap: some of the pictures are crackers, what camera do you use? .


Cheers Dave
I've been using a wee panasonic lumix dmc-ft3 which i got to snap with over the wintry wet months as it stands up to cold temperatures and being dropped into icy puddles pretty well.

About to try a bridge camera - fuji s4200 - when we go off on a week's adventuring to sutherland on friday - gives a bit more in the way of zoom possibility and higher resolution i think, but we'lll see what the results are like :roll:
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1745
Munros:205   Corbetts:192
Grahams:65   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:175   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Edging round Etive

Postby scooby0511 » Tue May 28, 2013 11:47 pm

Great report Weaselmaster with some really good photographs.
scooby0511
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 53
Munros:46   
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Sep 2, 2011
Location: Larbert

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