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I've started .... so I'll finish....

I've started .... so I'll finish....

Postby ngm1scot » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:08 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Beag

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

Date walked: 11/07/2015

Time taken: 5.25 hours

Distance: 7.76 km

Ascent: 975m

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The route is the recommended WH route and an excellent route it is too.

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Today's weather wasn't expected to be sunny but in my usual optimistic fashion, as I listened to the outdoors forecast on Radio Scotland on Friday night and checked the MWIS details, I didn't associate the low cloud with heavy rain.

Arriving in Glencoe it was already a cloud white out with the white fluffy stuff down at ground level and associated drizzly rain. I decided though that as I was here now, I might as well carry on and quickly got booted up and set off quickly uphill into the Lairig. I felt like I was making good time and the rainy stuff went off quite soon after starting and it became a pleasant-ish morning.
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The three sisters
I stopped hardly at all and I felt great as I steadily tramped uphill but almost as I arrived at the start of the steps, the wind started up strongly and brought with it some proper rain this time.
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The clag moves in

It took no time at all for my walking trousers and jacket to become saturated. Again I thought will I just turn back? Nope, I've started this so I'll finish it and carried on up. Very quickly and easily the bealach was reached and I decided pretty much immediately that I would head for Stob Dubh first as it would get the longest part of the walk done while it was dry (which it now was).
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Stob Coire Raineach from the bealach

Its a steep climb up to the unnamed Corbett top at 902m and immediately on arriving at the cairn, the wind almost took me off my feet. I didn't stop and carried on down the gentle descent and almost immediately the wind disappeared again. The rain continued....

Walking in cloud has a strange effect on distance and perception -
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What looked like Stob Dubh turned out not to be
everything looks bigger and further away until you're right on it and then it's quite the opposite so without realising it I got to the top of Stob Dubh by about 11.50.
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At the top of Stob Dubh - still happy
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Not much of a view though
The wind died down and the rain went off and I had a pleasant lunch for about 15 minutes. However my camera was now seriously wet and the lens a bit misty and with nothing dry to clean it it was down to my iphone to record the lack of views.

I was feeling cold though and added in my mid-level fleece and found I couldn't do up my jacket again as my fingers were so numb with the cold that I couldn't grip anything.
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Frozen cold numb hand
It took another 5 minutes of warming them inside my fleece before I could get zipped up and on the move again. The ridge walk back to the bealach was pleasant and without either rain or strong wind and in no time at all I'd made it up to the top of Stob Coire Raineach: it's a steep and consistent climb but not difficult - unless you count the multiple paths that come and go with regularity. As usual of course the top was covered in clag despite it being clear all the way up. Second lunch was had and as soon as it was finished the rain and wind started again but this time it was face-on and hard walking.

At the bealach of course the rain went off, the wind disappeared and for a fleeting few moments there was a glimpse of some blue sky; the cloud level lifted and the three sisters (well, the one opposite me) became fully visible for the first time. The steps helped make the descent fairly quick and I was back at the car without rushing it in 45 minutes. I was glad I had carried on but this needs another visit on a day when its clear and sunny.
Munro compleatist
Posts: 109
Munros:54   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Jul 4, 2011

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