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Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag


Postby jupe1407 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:06 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Beag

Munros included on this walk: Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)

Date walked: 09/11/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 7.19 km

Ascent: 843m

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After weeks and weeks of literally counting the days until the Autumn meet after Skye, finally the weekend at Kinlochleven was here. This was to be my third meet, and AnneJ's first.

The early morning weather on Saturday didn't promise much. With most of the crowd set for a long day on Mamores, myself and Anne headed for Buchaille Etive Beag, a combination of the weather, and Anne not having been well through the week, a 20K+ walk didn't seem a great idea. There was also the added bonus of a short walk in :lol: and the possibility of terrific views from Stob Dubh.

We headed round to the start point (car park across from the cairn) and decided to give the weather half an hour to improve. It was pouring at this point. Luckily, about 5 minutes before abandoning the thing, the weather cleared a bit, and brightened up. We quickly headed off. The path all the way up to Mam Buidhe is terrific. Early views were good, and promised decent weather.

Stob Dubh-0026.jpg
Aonach Eagach


Stob Dubh-0031.jpg
902m top and Stob Dubh


It wasn't long before we hit the snow line, but it was nice crunchy fresh stuff, very pleasant to walk in. We took our time though, as this was Anne's first winter walk. She seemed less than impressed when there was a brief flurry of heavy snow :lol:

However, we still weren't long in getting to the top of Mam Buidhe, just in time for the sun to start breaking through, and we were treated to some lovely views.

Stob Dubh-0035.jpg
The last stretch to Mam Buidhe


Stob Dubh-0053.jpg
Beinn Fhada


Stob Dubh-0058.jpg
The long walk up to the 902m top


Stob Dubh-0061.jpg
Always handy when the trail's already broken :)


After a wee break at the bealach, composed of mexicana cheese pieces (brilliant) terry's chocolate orange segments (even better) and my "guesswork flask of coffee" (lethal), we took a few snaps and headed up the deep snow to the 902, top (does this even have a name?). We followed zig-zagged steps most of the way, until about 100 yards short of the summit, before wading through thigh deep snow to the cairn, another fine viewpoint on this lovely ridge.

Stob Dubh-0065.jpg
Stob na Broige


It was here we got our first proper view of Stob Dubh. It looked magnificent, and also a wee bit intimidating as the wind had got up and we could see spindrift being whipped up along the narrow section of the ridge. We decided to head along to the foot of the munro and assess it from there. Anne hadn't done any winter walking before now, so we wouldn't go on if she didn't fancy it.

Stob Dubh-0091.jpg
Stob Dubh and spindrift


Stob Dubh-0080.jpg


Stob Dubh-0086.jpg
"No, i'm definitely not cold"


Stob Dubh-0092.jpg
View back along the ridge


After a few hundred yards of being pelted on the face by spindrift, we got to the ridge, which was beautifully corniced. Luckily, a trail had been kicked in along it's left side, so we carefully followed it along, with me banging in heavier and deeper steps for Anne to use. There's about 100 yards or so of this, before a very steep wee climb up of about 15 feet to regain the ridge proper. This was probably the hairiest moment of the day, as we were totally reliant on an ice-axe and step kicking combination to avoid a presumably unpleasant slide down into the Lairig Gartain. I went first and kicked deep steps in for Anne, and after her stubborn side made an appearance she got up onto the ridge, and we headed off for the airy summit. We didn't take any photos during this spell as we were a bit pre-occupied :lol:

The views from the summit were simply brilliant.

Stob Dubh-0111.jpg
AnneJ at her 7th Munro Summit


Stob Dubh-0113.jpg
Buchaille Etive Mor ridge


Stob Dubh-0119.jpg
Towards Glen Etive from the summit


We'd had a suggestion to walk another 100 or so yards to a rocky outcrop for a better shot of Glen Etive, but the weather seemed to be coming in again and we decided to concentrate on getting back from the summit safely. The short stretch down to the corniced ridge was safely negotiated, although annoyingly the drifting snow had covered the tracks along the ridge :lol:

However this didn't prove an issue and we made our way back to Mam Buidhe, not bothering with the zig-zagged trail this time (much more fun down hill) and stopped for a another chocolate/cheese/coffee break.

Stob Dubh-0124.jpg
Coming down this was MUCH more fun than going up it


We had long decided to just take our time and enjoy the walk, rather than hurry things up and do Stob Coire Raineach as well, so we ambled back down the path in time for the sun set. It was truly a glorious sight.

Stob Dubh-0128.jpg
Colours in the sky starting to change late in the day


Further down the path, we were treated to the setting sun reflecting on the snow-covered Aonach Eagach, a simply wonderful sight.

Stob Dubh-0148.jpg
Setting Sun on the Aonach Eagach


Stob Dubh-0154.jpg
Meall Dearg (zoomed)


A quick wander back to the car, and a magnificent day on the hills was over, during which we were treated to magnificent views, and Anne did her first winter walk and handled it superbly.

Remarkable to think that such a day could be had after a distinctly un-promising start. This was followed by a great evening with superb company, during which we both won the quiz ( :D ) and were kindly volunteered to arrange the Spring Meet in 2014 ( :? ).
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jupe1407
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby AnneJ » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:24 pm

I'll not write my own report for this as I'm more a photographer than a writer and I'd spend too much time asking Jupe1407 what all the technical jargon means so I'll just say "ditto"!

It was an absolutely fantastic day and this was only my 7th Munro and first in snow but wow, I've got the bug for hillwalking now. Yes, my stubborn side came out to play but thank goodness it did. I'm quite easy to scare so I'm trying to overcome that (a few of you will have been witness to my girlie scream and shaky leg moment on Stob Dearg!) I wasn't going to give up when we were so close to the summit though.

It was a great day out, followed by fab company down the local and apparently the prize for winning the quiz was organising the next meet or drunk the previous night haha! :lol: So now while JP gets to work on organising the next meet or working on his next report from yesterday, I'm going to treat us to some home made soup and start editing my photos from the weekend! Roll on the next meet... I can't wait to see you all again! :-D
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby PeteR » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:40 pm

Stunning :clap:

A great hill and simply superb images :D
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:45 pm

Some if the best pics I've ever seen on here, really stunning shots. :clap:
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby Sarah86 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:20 pm

Wow, beautiful photos
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby laconic surf » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:20 pm

Great to see you at the weekend mate and good luck with organising the next one :wink:
Think you may just have surpassed yourself with those photos, truly stunning :clap:
Well done to Anne for pushing through, those first winter trips can be a little hair-raising, particularly on narrow corniced ridges. Great stuff 8)
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laconic surf
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby Peter913 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:59 pm

Stunning shots

looked a great day

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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby jupe1407 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:26 pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone :D

It really was a fantastic weekend weather, photo and social-wise.
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jupe1407
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby AnneJ » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:48 pm

laconic surf wrote:Great to see you at the weekend mate and good luck with organising the next one :wink:
Think you may just have surpassed yourself with those photos, truly stunning :clap:
Well done to Anne for pushing through, those first winter trips can be a little hair-raising, particularly on narrow corniced ridges. Great stuff 8)


Thanks a lot. I was quite nervous in places but I'm so glad I did it and looking forward to the next one :D
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby Graeme D » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:29 pm

Tremendous stuff! :clap: It was great to meet up with you guys again (or with Anne for the first time!) and look forward eagerly to the next one, not that there's any pressure or anything......... :lol:
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby scottishkennyg » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:21 pm

Well done on the testing walk, pictures are A1 and the tiny walkers help to put things into perspective for the viewer.
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Re: Beautiful Buchaille Etive Beag

Postby GillC » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:51 pm

Fantastic,,,beautiful day indeed, :clap:
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