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Spectre(acular) Starav

Spectre(acular) Starav


Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:14 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn nan Aighenan, Ben Starav

Date walked: 11/10/2014

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1900m

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This was to be yet another gathering of WH members far & wide, Karen had pressured into creating the thread (organising) the walk :lol: However as with all walks the forecasts were being checked daily and at the start of the week Saturday looked like "the day" :wink: However I checked the forecast on Friday and things had changed completely, fog, mist and drizzle was forecast and as we all know that does not make for a good walking day :lol:
It looked like there were going to be 7 of us partaking, however when I posted the latest forecast Evie suggested we maybe contemplate Sunday, but after much huffing & puffing we stuck to the original plan and are we glad we did :lol:
The confusion over the day of the walk whittled down the numbers and we ended up as a trio, me, Karen & Evie.
We met up at the wee parking area on the single track road, only to find an ancient campervan parked/abandoned with a tent on the grassy area. The owners of the van were in the process of moving on.
8am and we were on our way, the weather was ideal, bits of fluffy cloud clinging to the hillsides, no wind at all 8)


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Looking back towards Glencoe


The plan for the day was to tackle 3 Munro's, starting off with Ben Starav (which I climbed years ago), then we were going to nip up Beinn nan Aighenan which was slightly off the beaten track & then finish up with Glas Bheinn Mhor (which I also climbed years ago). This was my second visit to Glen Etive in as many months and I wrongly thought we would start off in similar fashion to my last visit, it was only when reached the bracken that we checked the route and realised our mistake :oops: So we had to follow a path that had been created by fellow walkers who had made the same mistake :lol: which took us to the bridge, that has a warning about crossing at your own risk :lol: :lol:

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River Etive not a ripple on the water

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Karen & Evie enjoying crossing a wee muddy patch before we realised our mistake


After crossing the bridge there is a path that even I couldn't lose, albeit a bit on the damp side :lol:
Once a bit of height is gained after swinging right uphill the path improves and is one of the better ones, until the usual boulder field is reached.

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The path up Starav

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One of the "Bookils" zoomed

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What a view?

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Glencoe trying to peek out

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A couple of well fed ptarmigans?


We stopped for a breather and to admire the views about 500' from the summit of Starav. Evie went to the edge to look over Loch Etive and shouted us to come over, this was the first of 4, yes FOUR separate 'Brocken Spectres'. This was the first time I had ever seen this phenomenon and it was truly magical, we even worked out how to create them :wink: For those of you who have never seen one or know how they appear - here is my theory :lol: :lol: Firstly you need to be above cloud, you then position yourself or someone else facing the cloud ensuring the sun (that yellow thing that appears sometimes) behind you, it is as simple as that 8) 8) It is truly spectacular, spooky and jaw dropping. I took umpteen photo's in the hope that at least one would be any good, taking photo's of cloud is very difficult as the auto focus on the camera has nothing substantial to capture :lol:
For the lovers of Brocken Spectres, here are a few different images :wink:

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Hopefully you make out the first Spectre

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2nd Spectre

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3rd Spectre

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4th Spectre, not the best

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Not quite an inversion

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The summit of Starav, looks pretty impressive


We spent ages lingering and talking about what we had just experienced, especially as these sort of days are so rare. The cloud was wafting around, creeping up the hill sides, even more amazing was the fact there was no wind. I was secretly hoping we would experience an inversion, I daresay they were around but not in our location.
We eventually set off again and the route to the summit looked very impressive, which involved a wee bit of easy scrambling and was most enjoyable. Even though I had climbed Starav at least 10 years ago I couldn't remember a thing about the day & didn't recognise any of the route at all :lol:
We reached the summit and were then treated to 360deg of fantastic views, the summit cairn wasn't that impressive for just a fantastic hill, so I got put on my 'Bob the builder hat' and added a few stones :lol:

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Boat parked on Loch Etive, stunning reflections

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Zoom to the boat and it's reflection

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The flood plain of Loch Etive

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Evie & Karen by the small summit cairn on Starav, before I made it a bit bigger

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The impressive/scary looking ridge from Stob Coire Dheirg that takes you down to the bealach

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Looking back from the ridge towards Starav which is to the right (out of shot)


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Looking across to Beinn nan Aighenan, looks pretty easy!

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Looking down the glen - Allt Hallater, looks like it could be a bit damp under foot

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The other end of Loch Etive


Whilst we were struggling along the ridge from Stob Coire Dheirg we were all feeling a bit weary and after a discussion we decided against tackling the 3rd hill on our radar Ghlas Beinn Mhor and Karen was feeling even less energetic and didn't feel she was up to tackling another hill. So Evie and I decided we would head across to Beinn nan Aighenan from the bealach as it looked fairly easy and straightforward :lol: Karen was going linger in the area of the bealach and wait for us :( In theory it was a good plan however Evie and I had underestimated how far and tough the trek across to Beinn nan Aighenan was :lol: :lol:
Whilst at the bealach we met umpteen other folk, I think in total there were a dozen other walkers in the area.
So we left Karen in our wake whilst descending down to the bealach and headed off at a great rate of knots. Just as we started the ascent of Beinn nan Aighenan we caught up with a couple who must have been taking it easy and we were pleasantly shocked to find out it was Dougie (sorry don't know if you have a username) & Shona (basscadet) 8) After a bit of a blether we all continued up towards the summit, Evie & I were certainly feeling a bit leg weary and let Shona & Dougie romp on ahead. We arrived at the summit and were conscious that we couldn't hang around as Karen would be getting a bit fed up, so after another quick chat we turned around & started the descent. I almost forgot to take a summit photo :lol:

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Summit photo, not the most glamorous, sorry Dougie & Shona


The descent and trip back to the bealach where Karen was waiting was much easier, but the detour certainly took it's toll on our legs. When we finally met up with Karen she was very chipper and was telling us about how she had had a memorable "deer" experience, I will let her describe the gory details :wink:
Now to the final descent back to the cars, the path was certainly one of the better paths and was almost pleasureable :lol: Having said that we seemed to be making good progress but the road/parking area didn't seem to be getting any nearer :lol: The path follows one of the many burns down the glen and we eventually reached the wooden bridge and we had been watching a couple of chaps descending of Ghlas Beinn Mhor on the other side of the burn. I ended up chatting to one of them (sorry didn't catch your name) and he was staying in the Bridge of Orchy and is a regular visitor to our hills from Cheshire :clap: :clap: Good luck with the rest of your Munro's :wink:

After 9 hours we eventually reached the cars and the parking area was full, it was great to get the boots off :lol:

A HUGE thanks to Karen & Evie for making this walk a very memorable one. Ben Starav is a really fantastic hill, having said that the weather was exceptional, days like this are why we walk these fantastic hills that are on our doorstep.

Next :wink:
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby rockhopper » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:22 pm

Turned out a good day despite the forecast - great shots looking up Glen Etive with the wisps of cloud/mist - cheers :)
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:12 pm

Hi FF - that looked like a great day.

I was trying to figure out what the boat was doing in Loch Etive then I saw all the logs so assume it takes some lorries off the roads.
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby mrssanta » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:15 pm

amazing pictures!
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby chickadee » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:27 pm

Oh lovely walk and photos! I've yet to see a broken spectre, hopefully one day I will!
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby J888ohn » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:34 pm

Great pics. Starav is very high on my to do list and I think you can add in another Munro to these two to bag three in a day.
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby hutchy1 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:47 pm

Another great report FF I will get up to join you on one of your walks. I also made the same mistake thru the long gassy bog and under estimated the climb to Beinn nan Aighenan.
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:18 pm

Tremendous stuff Martin. Starav looks awesome.

Love the shot of Loch Etive especially :clap:
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby SecretSquirrel » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:51 am

Great photographs. After all the planning its nice to see you all got a good day and the weather treated you well :clap:
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby xpfloyd » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:01 pm

Good report and stunning photos!
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby kmai1961 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:09 pm

Martin, here’s one for/of you:
martin_ben_starav.jpg

Thanks for not making me sound like too much of a wimp. :)
Fife Flyer wrote:When we finally met up with Karen she was very chipper and was telling us about how she had had a memorable "deer" experience, I will let her describe the gory details :wink:

As I settled my tired carcass at the bealach to wait for Martin and Evie, the roars, bellows, and grunts of the stags sounded near – very near. I stood up at one point, and there was one just down the hill from me. I moved to what felt like a safe distance (although Mr Stag could have covered it in about 5 seconds if he had a mind to), and listened to the responses coming from not far up the hill. I thought I might be lucky enough to see some testosterone-fuelled sparring. I caught some action, all right, though it wasn’t of the antler-clashing variety. :shock: :oops: Mountain p*o*r*n; NOT of the variety you see in a Black Panther report.

With all of the epic adventures and long days we’ve had recently, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had a chance to just sit motionless on a hill to enjoy the views and decent weather, and contemplate life. I was a bit disappointed to not bag a second or third hill, but I do have to say that my time on the bealach was pretty magnificent. And no, I’m not talking about the deer s*x, which lasted only a few seconds. For the record, I did avert my eyes, which seemed like the ladylike :lol: thing to do.

Thanks, Evie and Martin, for another memorable adventure.
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:10 pm

Dougie does have an alias... it's me :lol: . Cracking day it was and nice to bump into you and Evie :) .
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:48 pm

Great day out on a great hill, wonderful stuff! Stunning pickies! :D you got the best of the summit views, fabulous.
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:27 pm

rockhopper wrote:Turned out a good day despite the forecast - great shots looking up Glen Etive with the wisps of cloud/mist - cheers :)


Thanks RH, no wind made the hills look amazing with bits of fluff stuck to them :wink:

Gordie12 wrote:Hi FF - that looked like a great day. I was trying to figure out what the boat was doing in Loch Etive then I saw all the logs so assume it takes some lorries off the roads.


Yes another of those great days :wink:

mrssanta wrote:amazing pictures!


Thanks, much appreciated.

chickadee wrote:Oh lovely walk and photos! I've yet to see a broken spectre, hopefully one day I will!


Thanks, a BS is something magical, only taken 20 years and umpteen hills :lol: :lol:

J888ohn wrote:Great pics. Starav is very high on my to do list and I think you can add in another Munro to these two to bag three in a day.


Thanks, the plan was to do 3, we were conscious of the daylight hours, plus fatigue was a factor :lol: :lol:

hutchy1 wrote:Another great report FF I will get up to join you on one of your walks. I also made the same mistake thru the long gassy bog and under estimated the climb to Beinn nan Aighenan.


Thanks, you are more than welcome to join me, I tend to advertise what & when via the 'meets' :wink:

jupe1407 wrote:Tremendous stuff Martin. Starav looks awesome. Love the shot of Loch Etive especially :clap:


Thanks JP, photo's of lochs when there is no wind can be stunning, especially the reflections :wink:

SecretSquirrel wrote:Great photographs. After all the planning its nice to see you all got a good day and the weather treated you well :clap:


Thanks, I always try & behave myself so we get decent weather, hasn't worked recently though :lol: :lol:

xpfloyd wrote:Good report and stunning photos!


Thanks :wink:

kmai1961 wrote:Thanks, Evie and Martin, for another memorable adventure.


See you soon & thanks for the photo :wink:

LeithySuburbs wrote:Dougie does have an alias... it's me :lol: . Cracking day it was and nice to bump into you and Evie :) .


Apologies Dougie :lol: See you next month :wink:

The Rodmiester wrote:Great day out on a great hill, wonderful stuff! Stunning pickies! :D you got the best of the summit views, fabulous.


Thanks Rod :wink:
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Re: Spectre(acular) Starav

Postby Backpacker » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:52 pm

Looks like you all had a good day, I am ever so slightly disappointed I missed out :lol:
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