The Baby Buachaille
by BlackPanther » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:09 pm
Route description: Buachaille Etive Beag
Munros included on this walk: Stob Coire Raineach (Buachaille Etive Beag), Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)
Date walked: 24/05/2014
Time taken: 4.5 hours
Distance: 8.5 km
Ascent: 952m5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Two years ago we climbed Buachaille Etive Mor to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed a fantastic day, though the cloud was lingering just above the summits and we didn't get the full extend of the views, especially south to Glen Etive. But I loved the traverse and found it easy (we didn't go up any rock climbing routes ) so hoped that the wee brother would be just as interesting. I didn't want another semi-good day in grey colours, so we kept this one for bright, sunny conditions - and we got what we wanted on bank holiday weekend!
I knew from our previous visits to Glencoe, that parking can be a nightmare, especially on the weekend day, so I dragged Kevin out of bed at 5:30 AM (he wasn't happy about it!) so we would arrive at the Beehive car park reasonably early. My gut feeling proved right - when we got to the car park it was almost empty, but when we returned after 4.5 hrs, it was full to bursting, cars parked on the grass, squeezed into every available space, more cars on the next layby It pays to be an early bird
The car park early in the morning:
Our route was the usual one to traverse the Wee Brother, up Stob Coire Raineach first, then the quick traverse to Stob Dubh and back down the same way:
From the Beehive car park, the obvious, well-made path looked so inviting that I didn't waste a single moment:
Beinn Fhada, one of the Glen Coe Sisiters, dominated the view at the moment:
From Glen Coe side, the Baby Buachaille doesn't really look that impressive. It saves its best for last - wait till you get to the ridge!
The path divides after half a kilometre or so, the right branch continues into the glen along Allt Lairig Eilde, we turned left towards the steep side of our target hill. Climbing is steep, yes, this mountain does not have a gentle approach, but one gains height quickly, so views are getting better and better...
Looking down the path:
Aonach Eagach Mummy... I wanna go home!
The path is very good al the way to the lowest point of the ridge (748m point) and though it was warm, a small burn provided cold water as refreshment No need to hurry in despair, we took a reasonable pace though and soon arrived on the col. Now we could admire the whole length of the ridge of the bigger brother:
Two minutes to regroup and we aimed for the northern Munro first. Here is the final ascent as seen from the col. One would say - piece of cake. There are a few different paths worn by hillwalkers, at different stages of tumbling The best is, I think, the one to the very right:
Half way up Stob Coire Raineach, we stopped for a short time to admire what lay behind us...
Zoom to Stob Dubh and Ben Starav:
Just below the summit, the slope becomes more rocky (lots of square-shaped rocks, looking like small bits of old ruined town), but no scrambling required - I was glad to do some rock-hopping just for fun!
We met another pair of walkers, they were just leaving the summit when we arrived. Apart from them, we only saw one person on the ridge so far, and I was glad I ordered Kevin out of bed so early! Surprisingly, we had the summit of Stob Coire Raineach just to ourselves... Welll, for about 15min, anyway
It was only half past ten in the morning and we were more than happy to sit down, relax, sink in the views... It was worth saving this hill for a good day! Here are a few summit panos from SCR - Baby Buachaille didn't disappoint!
Some cloud lingered above Bidean nam Bian and the glen, casting shadows on the hills, adding some spooooookiness
Aonach Eagach (is it really as bad as it looks?):
View north to Blackwater Reservoir:
The round-topped hill is Beiin a'Chrulaiste, a Corbett. A must-do with the best vantage point to the famous north buttress of Buachaille Etive Mor. A winter outing, possibly?
The Mamores with Ben Nevis (the very summit still in cloud) looked majestic from this angle:
Ben Starav again, this one dominates the view to the south - its shape reminds me a bit of Ladhar Bheinn when seen from the north:
The Big Brother is watching
Stob na Doire and Creise peeking from behind:
The classic view of Stob Dubh with Loch Etive to the left. I've seen a similar shape only once - An Gearanach on the Ring of Steall. Not many hills have such a perfect symmetry:
The Bidean Group. I'm glad to have done them, they look scary (though the view is misleading, in summer conditions they are a good ridgewalk):
Kevin happy after devastating four sandwiches
Having enjoyed some unexpected solitude on the first Munro, we gathered up and started the descent back to the col. half way down we bumped into a large group, maybe 20 people and a few dogs. Since then, we would meet another person/people basically every 5min or so - our solitary time on BEB was over!
The climb from the col to the middle top is straightforward. I noticed a small patch of snow we'd gave to cross, but there was a well-worn line of footprints showing the way...
The middle top (902m) seen from the col:
As you can see in this picture, the snowpatch could also be avoided to the left:
We climbed up the snowpatch using this well worn "path" - no problems whatsoever:
... then continued to the second Munro of the day - the ridge in front of us looked cracking:
Again, no scrambling needed, but a good (though short) ridge walk:
Back to the Nevis Range:
Not exactly Aonach Eagach but a pleasant stroll nevertheless:
Looking back along the ridge to Stob Coire Raineach and the hills beyond:
Twelve o'clock sharp, and I'm on my second Munro of the day!
The summit of Stob Dubh has 2 cairns, the first (northern) one being the true summit. We arrived here first, having overtaken everybody else on the way up , but I was afraid that the crowd behind us will soon arrive and spoil the silence, so we traversed to the second cairn, where we stopped for a long break The views from here are much better anyway.
On the edge of the ridge, looking down to Glen Etive, with Ben Starav to the left and Beinn Trilleachan across the loch. Kevin has done this Corbett and he said it's a great mountain. Sure I'll get there one day
A few classic panos from Stob Dubh - enjoy:
Bidean summit - zoomed:
Cornices on Stob Coire Sgreamhach:
Stob na Broige looks steep...steep:
One little cat on a baby mountain facing the MONSTERS:
Looking towards AE ridge and the Mamores beyond:
Zoom to Ben Nevis, now free of cloud:
The classic "end of the ridge" view to Glen Etive:
The summit, as we had expected, started getting very busy at some point:
The Big Brother's ridge is much longer:
Hillwalkers on the summit of Stob na Doire:
Can you spot a person on the ridge?...
We sat on the summit for over half an hour, chatted to a few "new arrivals" and felt so happy to be there on a good day! Eventually it was time to go, still a long drive back home...
Kevin ready for the return trip:
We retraced our steps along the ridge back to the col and then descended the path back to the car park. On the way down we met more people going up - must have been over 100 walkers on baby Buachaille that day!
Thanks to our early start we managed to avoid the crowds (at least for the first half of the walk) and enjoyed as good a day as this wee brat could give us Kevin is now all into returning to do this hill in winter conditions. Why not? I'd like to try it again with snow on the ridge!
Obviously, this is the easiest Munro in Glen Coe, but easy doesn't mean boring and the Baby Buachaille provided us with a smashing albeit short trip (4.5 hours and this with a lot of lazying about). Highly recommended as a good one for beginners, with good views and easy paths all the way. Now, the next time we return to Glen Coe will be for the infamous AE ridge... My knees are weak already...
Two days later we set off against the weather to visit the Munros north of Spittal of Glenshee. Got drenched, walked in cloud, swam in the mud, had problems crossing rivers again, almost turned back but emerged triumphant Story to come soon. Meow!
by AnnieMacD » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:09 pm
by dogplodder » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:25 pm
by Gordie12 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:08 pm
Still to do these two and with those weekend crowds definitely a Friday walk for me.
by BlackPanther » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:06 pm
Funny, that we left the easiest mountain in Glen Coe till after Bidean and Big Buachaille...
by Shug » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:15 pm
All you need is to do it at the end of march, when its filthy and gray and visibility is crap. Hey presto, mountain to yourself
by jmarkb » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:15 pm
Gordie12 wrote:Still to do these two and with those weekend crowds definitely a Friday walk for me.
There's a good unfrequented alternative way up Stob Coire Raineach: walk about 200m E along the main road from the car park, then follow the E side of the obvious dog-leg burn (Allt Coire Raineach) to join the main ridge at about the 800m mark, and follow this to the top. No path, but quite reasonable going.
by L-Hiking » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:05 pm
A great report with wonderful pictures. I was up here on the 22nd and loved every minute
by Ibex » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:29 pm
This walk has just entered my 'to do' list and I can't wait to tick it off. Amazing views all around. Awesome!
by Fife Flyer » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:45 pm
They are definitely on my immediate to do list, especially as they are now probably the nearest hills I haven't climbed Once there is a 'weather window' I will be heading west (again)
Thanks for the post
by Alteknacker » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:07 pm
I was enjoying similar weather on the South Glen Shiel Ridge on the same day, but my pics are nowhere near as good as yours
by goth_angel » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:56 am
Beinn a'Chrulaiste is a cracking viewpoint and well worth the effort though it is a bit of a bogtrot at times.
by jepsonscotland » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:46 pm
I did these two at Easter and although rated 'easy' by many, they are no less spectacular for the views.
Especially with good quality photos like yours. So much better than a phone camera!
by jimmy dev » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:23 pm
by rockhopper » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:29 pm