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Plan B, all will become clear

Plan B, all will become clear

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:57 am

Munros included on this walk: Glas Bheinn Mhor, Stob Coir an Albannaich

Date walked: 27/08/2014

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1300m

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This day was a kind of last minute shout, Jimmy (JimboJim) had advertised his plan to walk 'anywhere' in the West Highlands, which as we all know covers quite a few hills :lol:
After studying the forecast I decided to rearrange my plans for the day, as I didn't fancy spending a hot sunny day couped up indoors waiting for British Gas to attend & repair my oven, so I am now spending a dull & damp day indoors waiting :lol:
Not long after I had volunteered to accompany Jimmy, Russell (RTC) popped up out of the woodwork and asked if he could tag along. After a few PM's I arranged to pick up Russell in Stirling & head west. The plan was to meet Jimmy at the turn off into Glen Etive just off the A82 at 8.15am :wink:
Both Jimmy & Russell were new walking companions so after introductions we all jumped in my car & headed down the single track road that runs alongside the River Etive for 10 miles. All was going well until we were stopped about half way along the road. Council workers decided to get some good fresh air into their lungs & we were advised that they were going to resurface a section of the road, not a problem until we were advised that this would probably take all day & if we were returning soonish, we would have to expect a long delay. We advised them that we weren't expecting to return until late afternoon & after a bit of a wait we continued down the road to the small parking area.
The plan for the day was to tackle Stob Coir an Albannaich & then Meall nan Eun and with hardly a cloud in the sky off we set :wink:

The only cloud in the sky

Stunning or what?



We set off after the slight delay courtesy of the Council at 9am, the visibility was superb and as the photo's demonstrate the surrounding hills looked awesome :clap: As usual I won't describe the route as that is already documented :wink:

The River Etive looking tempting

River Etive looking south west, stunning

Once across the bridge over the River Etive the path is very good, however once you are forced to skirt round the fenced off property Coiletir the underfoot conditions become a little bit soggy :( The soggy conditions continue for a good part of the ascent up the glen and as seems to be the norm this year the bracken is thriving and machette's would have been more useful than walking poles. All the morning dew that had been on the bracken found a new home on our trouser legs :lol: Once the bracken had been conquered we could concentrate more on the views ahead and trying to stay on the path :wink:
As usual for some reason we managed to lose the path, we scoured the surrounding countryside without success so we just headed uphill over the tussocky long grass :lol: As you would expect this was quite hard going and we were, well I was needing a wee break, purely to take some photo's and a quick bite to eat, having breakfast at 6am makes ones tummy start to rumble at 10am :lol:
So we found a clump of rocks that were ideal to plonk our rear ends onto and then take a few photo's. Jimmy had been carrying his camera round his neck and this would be the catalist to adopting Plan B later, all will be explained shortly :wink:

Looking back to Glen Etive

A stream with no water, strange - especially as lower down it was very squelchy

Russell & Jimmy, note the very old map Russell is studying, the older readers will remember them!!

Ben Starav looking immense

After the brief stop we continued uphill & eventually stumbled across the path as we neared the bealach. On reaching the bealach Jimmy then confessed that he had left his camera at the earlier pit stop, so we then tried to come up with a plan that would try and please everyone :wink:
Russell suggested that we continue up Stob Coir an Albannaich and then rather than head off to Meall nan Eun, we should return back down to the bealach & then up to Glas Beinn Mhor. We would then return back down to the bealach and try and retrace our steps downhill and find the group of rocks where Jimmy's camera would be. This sounded like a fantastic compromise, although Jimmy was trying to argue that we should stick to the original plan, we stuck to our guns 8)
The next step was head up the steep side of Stob Coir an Albannaich, once again we failed to notice or spot the obvious path, wel it was very obvious when we were coming down :lol: :lol: So we struggled uphill over a broken boulder field and steep grassy slopes, the terrain then levelled off about 300ft below the summit and it was then a slog crossing long soft grassy uphill slopes, but when we reached the summit it had all been worth it 8)
The views from the summit were absolutely superb, unfortunately no photograph can ever do the actual views justice :( The wind had picked up quite a bit and this became one of the constant topics of conversation, especially as the forecast was for 10mph possibly reaching 15mph :o The actual wind speed was at least twice that :roll:

Unusual summit of Stob Coir an Albannaich

The other end of the summit plateau with the hills to north in the background

Summit views, can't remember the hill names!

Zoomed photo of slabbed hillside

How many summits can we count?

Ben Nevis & numerous other summits

The descent back down to the bealach was so much easier, especially as we found the path which zig zagged down :lol: The next step was the uphill climb of the buttress of Glas Beinn Mhor, there is an excellent path that makes the ascent very easy & straightforward, which you look at the hill from the bealach you do wonder how you are going to get up there :lol:
Once the buttress has been climbed the next stage is a pleasant wide ridge walk with a very gentle ascent until the summit is reached.

Jimmy & Russell on the summit of Glas Beinn Mhor

Our earlier conquest in the background, clever or what?

The way across to Starav

Me with Starav in the background

Jimmy leading the way down onto the broad ridge of Glas Beinn Mhor

Some of the local residents thinking Jimmy was going to take their picture, they didn't need to run away

Once at the bealach the plan was to follow the path down that we somehow missed before venturing into the long tussocky grass to try & locate Jimmy's camera. Just as we started our descent we were caught up by a chap (sorry we didn't get your name) who was from Crossford, near Dunfermline and definitely on a mission. He had been up Starav and was querying the combination of hills we had been up, so we had to explain the saga and when he left us advised him that we would be watching him to see if he uplifted anything :lol: :lol:
So let the search commence, our only clue was that it was a group of about 6 boulders & we knew that is was off the beaten track :lol:
We spread out a bit to give us a better sweep of the hillside and after inspecting a few groups of boulders Jimmy gave us a whistle & looked rather pleased with himself and made up for lost time by taking quite a few pictures :lol: The last thing he wants to do is return home & be quizzed by "her indoors" as to why he hadn't taken many photo's :lol: :lol:
The rest of the descent was uneventful, we did feel very pleased with ourselves that what could have been a disappointing day, turned out to be a fantastic day. The wind seemed to have dropped on the lower slopes & the sun was on our backs making it feel very warm :wink:
A BIG thank you to both Jimmy and Russell for being great company, I won't mention Russell's boasting statement suffice to say that both Jimmy & I were envious :lol: :lol:
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:37 pm

well done to all :clap: looks a top day :D
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Re: A right Fuji-up in Glen Etive!

Postby JimboJim » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:50 pm

Hi chaps. Thank you for some great company and a great day in the hills. Super report, Martin and great photo's. Couldn't have put it better myself, though might have come up with a different title - A Right Fuji-up! Anyway, can only apologise for leading us off track and thank you both for staying with me, to find camera. I have had a few laughs thinking back to my clear knowledge of it being near a pile of rocks, then as we came down, all we could see was piles of rocks! Hah ha.

Hopefully, we can hook up again some time, especially on your return to cover the 'missing' hills!

(Very impressed by your stats Russell. No wonder you're so fit!)

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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:57 pm

So rare to get a day where the tops are so clear - that looked to be a brilliant day.
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:09 pm

Good to see you getting out and about Martin, fine day on a lovely hill, one of my favourites in fact. :D
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby simon-b » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:29 pm

It appears that Plan B worked out pretty well, Martin. Another really nice walk, by the look of it.
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:59 pm

Smashing report - don't know this part of the world at all so your description and photos are a great help - especially since I have a knack of losing paths too :lol:. Know what you mean about the wind forecasts - was out in Kintail on Monday and am sure the wind was at least twice the MWIS predication.
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby AnnieMacD » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:13 pm

Great read and photos. An amazing day you got too. What a relief to find the camera. I'm constantly losing things on the hills so I tie as much as I can to my pack now. I even have a wrist strap on my camera as it has been known that my camera took a tumble down Belig and all I could do was watch it bounce higher and faster, higher and faster down the hill. :shock:
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby rockhopper » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:18 pm

Cracking day and an enjoyable read too. :thumbup:
Interesting route :roll: - glad your camera was still there on return - cheers :)
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby tina bonar » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:47 pm

What a fabulous looking day FF. Shame the wind wasn't strong enough to blow away that Man City hat :wink:
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby jepsonscotland » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:52 am

Great report and another cracking day out. Nice one. :wink:
Fantastic pics as ever, I really must get a ''proper'' camera.
Starav looked immense. :shock:
Well done.
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Re: Plan B, all will become clear

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:58 am

Nice report and really brilliant pix. "Atmospheric" (= clag-bound") pictures are OK, but there's really nothing like a clear summer's day to display the wonder of the Highlands at their best.:clap: :clap: :clap:

The ones of Starav are especially brilliant.

I was ogling it from the Buachailles earlier this year and thinking that it looked pretty interesting. It's now shot up my (ever growing) list of "must do's". And it offers the big advantage for me that it's only 7 hours drive to get there, as opposed to 10 to get to the North West.

Thanks - I really enjoyed this report :clap: :clap: :clap:
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