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Pap of Glencoe and The Partial Buachaille
by Craiging619 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:17 pm
Route description: The Pap of Glencoe
Grahams included on this walk: Pap of Glencoe
Date walked: 01/09/2008
Time taken: 10.5 hours
Distance: 12.85 km
Ascent: 1270mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
On 1st September three of us drove up to Glencoe for a brief camping trip, just before I entered the big bad world of my first job (Somerfield!?) It was an enjoyable trip, in spite of our failure to reach the summit of Buachaille Etive Mor, and a great introduction to the magical world of Glencoe itself.
There were occasional showers as we pitched the tent, but conditions would be fine for the climb of The Pap.
An unfortunate misreading of the map on my part led us up a steep rocky gully by accident. We should have stayed straight on instead and picked up the path on the other side of the gully, but instead we had a temporary rock climb of around 40m before arriving at the top to find the path just to the side.
One of my friends was, understandably, frustrated by this turn of events.
Around halfway up the path turned into a total quagmire, before improving around the junction for the Aonach Eagach turn-off.
The rain was still swirling around at this point, but The Pap stayed largely untroubled by it.
The clear path led up onto The Pap itself, circling around at the end for phenomenal views of Loch Leven.
The views in all directions from the summit were unbelievable, but particularly down Loch Leven towards Loch Linnie.
With sunset nearing, we varied up the descent by taking another path that headed more diagonally down the hill in the direction of the original gate (it was shown intermittently in the Harveys map). This turned out to be even more of a quagmire than the first one!
It ended with an awkward step over some bushes and a stream behind some kind of water treatment facility. It was with some relief that we found a track behind leading back down to the gate.
We awoke the next day to find better conditions. Our objective was the mighty Stob Dearg, but as we had only climbed one Munro before (Ben Lomond), we knew it was a different sort of task, involving hauling ourselves up the Coire na Tulaich before heading up the ridge to the highest peak of Buachaille Etive Mor.
The ever-present rainbow.
We entered Coire na Tulaich with conditions brightening.
Down in the bowl of Coire na Tulaich, we could see two people on the scree slope. It looked rather hairy though, so we stayed on the main path throughout.
Unfortunately, just 20-30m before topping out on the main ridge at the top of the corrie, one of my friend's leg started playing up. We had a brief discussion (argument), but by a vote of 2 to 1 it was decided that we should all turn back. I was bitter about it at the time, but looking back it was the only sensible decision. In time I've come to feel fairly comfortable climbing *some* Munros alone, but at no point would I ever consider starting out a climb of The Big Buachaille on my own. Reluctantly, I slowly headed back down with the other two.
For dinner, we considered the Isles of Glencoe (a great hotel I remember having a fantastic childhood holiday in way back), but we gave it a miss in the end (I can't remember the exact ins and outs of it, either price or company policy).
In the end we went for the Clachaig Inn, where I had a phenomenal Cajun Chicken followed by a cracking dessert. We hadn't scaled The Big Buachaille, but we had still climbed The Pap and had a fantastic couple of days. And besides, tomorrow is always a new day...
*To Be Continued Two Weeks Later*
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