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Scorchio in Etive

Scorchio in Etive


Postby Jaxter » Thu May 19, 2016 10:22 am

Route description: Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor

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

Date walked: 14/05/2016

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 2000m

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There's something wonderful about waking up in the middle of nowhere with the sound of a river nearby, then crawling out of the tent and seeing the red sky and the sun starting to rise above the hills :D

What was less fabulous was that I didn't sleep well, I had a rock sticking into my back, I was cold and when I finally did get to sleep I got woken up by Hugh arriving at 2am thanks to a delayed flight... :shock: :crazy: But actually, the former still outweigh the latter :lol:

It was extremely cold so we dressed very quickly and got a stove on boiling some water. Thinking that keeping moving was the key to keeping warm (I already had ALL of my clothes on!), I left Hugh to man the stove and went to get the tent down; it was covered in frost, and when I went to tidy up my pot, the water I had left in it was frozen solid.... :shock: so I had to free my spork. Chilly!

Next challenge, logistics for the day....leaving one car at the top of the Etive road, we drove down together. This road was a first for both of us, and it was totally stunning; it was a beautiful morning and the mountains were looking wonderful.

View from the top of the Etive road
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Looking down Glencoe
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Arriving at the parking area, we booted up and set off down the track. Two minutes later we were back at the car for the sun cream - I had noticed the big yellow thing in the sky 8) Setting off for real this time, we followed the track to the bridge, then skirted around the house and followed the path to the next bridges (well I did, Hugh decided he knew better and ended up in a bog :lol: )

Route up Starav
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We could see our route up Starav and it looked unrelenting :shock: As we started up the path, we realised that it was a lot hotter than when we dressed at 6, so had to stop to lose a lot of clothes. Annoyed with myself for leaving my shorts in the car, I decided to try a new look and rolled up my trousers :lol:

Carrying on, we noticed some lovely looking rock pools and were tempted to dive in, but elected to save it until later.
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Off we go...
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Glas Bheinn Mhor - target number 3
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The backside of the Glencoe hills
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The path started winding round, and eventually Hugh realised we had missed the path - sadly I had trusted him with the initial navigation as my map helpfully didn't quite have this bit... Overjoyed with this development ( :roll: ) we had to cut back up onto the ridge and finally found the path.

Still a long way to go...
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Hugo looking a like a frog
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Glas Bheinn Mhor
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From here it really was straightforward in terms of nav. The path was clear but very steep. With the sun beating down on our backs, we pushed on in the heat, legs complaining :crazy:

Views from further up: Starav
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The ridge for later with Glas Bheinn Mhor
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A quick break
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We took regular breaks to enjoy the views (honest!) as it really was a stunning day. Eventually we reached the final scramble - it was very rocky but there was nothing too exposed or difficult and there was a clear route the whole way.

The final scramble
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Crags on the scramble
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Looking backwards
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Finally scrambling over the top we found ourselves at the summit rather more suddenly than we had expected after the long toil up the ridge. Knackered but relieved, we set about taking in the views from our highest point of the day. It was wonderful to be able to stand on top of a mountain in tshirt and shorts and enjoy views for miles in every direction :D

Glencoe hills
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Loch Etive and Beinn Trilleachan
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Beinn Fhionnlaidh and Sgurr na h-Ulaid
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Ben Cruachan
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Triumphant
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Towards Glencoe
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Hugh in front of Glas Bheinn Mhor
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We had a quick sandwich here and then followed the path along to a cairn in the middle, and then along to the ridge out to the Eastern top.

The ridge ahead
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Hugh arriving at the narrow bit
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In his instructions, Steve Fallon suggests keeping to the crest of the ridge (rather than taking the bypass path) as it's much more fun; always up for a challenge I decided to see if he was right - he was :D I was having a great time scrambling along the top; the rock was really grippy and the drop wasn't bothering me at all. I got about half way along and could see Hugh waiting near the other end; deciding that I didn't want to have to deal with cranky pants for the rest of the day, I got a move on :lol:

Hugh had found a path going down before the eastern top - I thought it was too early, but as he was convinced it would bend round and cut off the extra ascent I didn't have much choice. It was very steep and was like walking/sliding down scree; it did then bend round a little but the terrain was very rocky and difficult. Soon we found ourselves scrambling down some big rocks and across boggy pathless ground.

Looking across to Beinn nan Aighenan
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I could hear a stream somewhere nearby and suggested we divert a little to top up water supplies as it was such a hot day. This was very welcome and we felt refreshed! We headed for the coll before the climb up to Beinn nan Aighenan and at last we were on a path. Yet another of Hugh's 'shortcuts'... :roll: although we at least got some water out of it.

The path was clear across the bealach and then up the steep climb. It wasn't as bad as it looked; there was a good deal of scrambling but nothing difficult and the climb was actually enjoyable. We started to meet lots of people as we neared the top - one guy running :shock: and plenty of other walkers. It was nice to meet people after the relative solitude so far. Finally reaching the top, we topped up on jelly babies and soaked up the views whilst chatting to a guy who was already there.

Success!
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Looking back to Starav
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The ridge we had to get back to
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Loch Etive and Cruachan
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The Black Mount
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Two panorama shots
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We could see that we had a long way to go so after a short break we got going. The route itself was simple - retrace our steps to the bealach and then follow the path back to the ridge. The execution was much trickier; we felt tired by now and the pace had slowed somewhat.

Looking down the Allt Hallater
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Back up to Aighenan
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Finally reaching the ridge we came upon a man sitting on a rock, he was waiting for his brother in law (who we had met near the top of BNA) and a lot of me felt envious of him being able to sit and enjoy the views. If all went to plan, we still had 3 summits to go.... :shock:

Back on the ridge, Glas Bheinn Mhor in the distance
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Glencoe hills again
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Heading along the ridge we had to go steeply upwards initially before reaching a flatter bit. The ridge itself was very enjoyable despite the heat and we were able to see for miles. We walked over some bumps in the ridge before coming to the final ascent up to Glas Bheinn-Mhor; it looked a long way up.... And it was. The sun was unrelenting and the path long and steep so I set a steady pace and got on with it.

Starav from the summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor
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Nevis
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Hugo looking happy
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Starav
ImageP1040917 by Jackie Baxter, on Flickr

Finally reaching the top I waited for Hugh to catch up and we sat down and enjoyed the rest of our sandwiches. Looking towards our potential next 2 targets, they looked a long way off... I voiced the question "do we really want to do this?" I was sure we could do it...but the last ascent had been tough and I wanted to enjoy the next 2. I suggested that they would make a nice winter duo and the decision was made; there was no point pushing on for the sake of 2 blue blobs.

With no more pressure, we were able to enjoy the descent. It was steep down to the bealach and we could see the path up the other side...it looked relentless! We followed the path down the Glen next to a stream with some lovely waterfalls.

Looking back up to Glas Bheinn Mhor
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Starav
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Waterfalls
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Seeing some lovely rock pools, we decided to stop for a wee paddle. Taking the boots off felt so good and although the water was freezing, it was really refreshing. It was lovely to stop and sit and enjoy being in such a beautiful location on a day when we could enjoy it; I thought back to the man on the rock at the bealach and realised he had got it sorted!

Our rock pool paradise
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Hugh showing a bit of leg :shock: (I wasn't going to post this one but he wanted to world to see it :shock: :roll: )
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Feeling suitably refreshed, we dried our feet in the sun and put our boots back on which was less pleasant. The rest of the way down the glen was a case of one foot in front of the other and enjoying the views. We were tired and very glad that we had called it a day when we had.

Back up to the ridge and Glas Bheinn Mhor
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Starav and the ridge
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Nearly back in glen Etive
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Looking up again
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Reaching the car, we were very relieved to get our boots off for good, and headed for Glencoe where we were hoping to find somewhere to stay - we ended up camping again but were very glad of a hot shower. Heading for the Clachaig Inn, we enjoyed a pub dinner, rehydrated ourselves and met the Munro Bagpiper! A perfect day :D 8)
Last edited by Jaxter on Mon May 23, 2016 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Broggy1 » Thu May 19, 2016 11:32 am

Awesome pictures. :clap:

I like the look of this one a lot.

We are hopefully heading this way in a few weeks but potentially with a couple of guys who don't head out on the hills as much as us.

So the idea of doing a walk where we can do three and then make a decision on the final two appeals. It's certainly an option...thanks for sharing!
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby jamesb63 » Thu May 19, 2016 11:39 am

Excellent report and pics ,its one of the best walks ive had
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=54128
Last July I done them and it was HOT
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Tinman » Thu May 19, 2016 1:05 pm

Another fine report Jackie.

Clearly you both had a superb day, makes all the effort worthwhile.

I shall make a point of giving Hugh a lesson in navigation skills and techniques next time I see him; I have been there as well.

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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby dogplodder » Thu May 19, 2016 2:39 pm

That was just fabulous - and great to see you in tee-shirts at the top! :D
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Guinessman » Thu May 19, 2016 3:29 pm

Another great report. Not a bad decision leaving out the end two . I did a similar walk last year missing Starav and doing the end two in an 11 hour day
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Andymac75 » Thu May 19, 2016 9:19 pm

Thanks for the bit of leg Hugh :shock: :clap:

Regarding boots;

Do you guys ever think about trying approach shoes ( or similar) for some of the hotter,drier hill days?

Help keep your feet cool and ventilated.and so much lighter than boots.

I wear inov8 fell running shoes all year round ,and find that apart from being very lightweight ,they (strangely) give me more ankle stability than my heavy old Meindls.
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu May 19, 2016 10:09 pm

Stunning photos - you're right about Glen Etive, a wonderful place to be. :D :D
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Jaxter » Fri May 20, 2016 11:00 am

Broggy1 wrote:Awesome pictures. :clap:

I like the look of this one a lot.

We are hopefully heading this way in a few weeks but potentially with a couple of guys who don't head out on the hills as much as us.

So the idea of doing a walk where we can do three and then make a decision on the final two appeals. It's certainly an option...thanks for sharing!

Thanks! :D just to warn you, it's a BIG hike out to Beinn na Aighenan :wink:



jamesb63 wrote:Excellent report and pics ,its one of the best walks ive had
<span class="skimlinks-unlinked">http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=54128</span>
Last July I done them and it was HOT

Oooft aye it's hard work in the heat!! :D



Tinman wrote:Another fine report Jackie.

Clearly you both had a superb day, makes all the effort worthwhile.

I shall make a point of giving Hugh a lesson in navigation skills and techniques next time I see him; I have been there as well.

Tinman

Thank you! Yes it was brilliant.
Please send help asap :lol: :wink:



dogplodder wrote:That was just fabulous - and great to see you in tee-shirts at the top! :D

Aye it's a bit of a change isn't it :lol: :lol:
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Jaxter » Fri May 20, 2016 11:05 am

Guinessman wrote:Another great report. Not a bad decision leaving out the end two . I did a similar walk last year missing Starav and doing the end two in an 11 hour day

Thanks! Aye better to save it :D




Andymac75 wrote:Thanks for the bit of leg Hugh :shock: :clap:

Regarding boots;

Do you guys ever think about trying approach shoes ( or similar) for some of the hotter,drier hill days?

Help keep your feet cool and <span class="skimlinks-unlinked">ventilated.and</span> so much lighter than boots.

I wear inov8 fell running shoes all year round ,and find that apart from being very lightweight ,they (strangely) give me more ankle stability than my heavy old Meindls.

:shock: :shock: :shock:
I feel like I'd miss the support of my heavier Scarpa boots (I'm very clumsy so like the ankle support) although I'll admit I've never tried approach shoes.... :wink:



Huff_n_Puff wrote:Stunning photos - you're right about Glen Etive, a wonderful place to be. :D :D

Thank you :wink:
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Alteknacker » Fri May 20, 2016 1:02 pm

Nothing to beat the Highlands on a day like that, and Starav is one of the finest hills around - has real attitude!

It's good also to see what Aighenan looks like, too. I just don't know how I managed to miss it last June when I came along this ridge - but I did :oops:

At least it gives me a good reason to get back up there again :-)..

BTW ref Andymac75's comment on boots: I've also worn nothing but approach or fell-running shoes for the last decade or so. And ever since I did, I haven't turned over my ankle once. Worth trying out...
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Collaciotach » Fri May 20, 2016 10:54 pm

Could nt have got better weather :clap: :clap:

I did Aighean as a single .... pig of a hill to get to haha :lol:
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Andymac75 » Sat May 21, 2016 3:05 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Nothing to beat the Highlands on a day like that, and Starav is one of the finest hills around - has real attitude!

It's good also to see what Aighenan looks like, too. I just don't know how I managed to miss it last June when I came along this ridge - but I did :oops:

At least it gives me a good reason to get back up there again :-)..

BTW ref Andymac75's comment on boots: I've also worn nothing but approach or fell-running shoes for the last decade or so. And ever since I did, I haven't turned over my ankle once. Worth trying out...



Hi Altenacker,
Yep agree totally with the fell/approach shoes.
Laterally ,I had more ankle incidents with boots ,than I ever did with the Fell shoes ( Mudclaw 300)
I actually swear they have helped my ankles.one of which I fractured 20 years ago.

I actually find the Inov8s give unbelievably good grip. And I can run /walk down a hill ,trusting them 99%.

Saloman Speedcross 3 were the only shoes that caused me problems.and some horrible ankle moments.but it was pointed out to me by a fell runner ,that the heels are much too high.

That said ,and not to be negative about them ,I 'live' in Speedcross 3 on a daily basis.Sooo comfortable.I just don't go on to a hill in them. :thumbup:
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Gordie12 » Sat May 21, 2016 5:42 pm

That's weird, where's the photo with the caption "Hugh, catching up" :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Scorchio in Etive

Postby Jaxter » Sun May 22, 2016 5:29 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Nothing to beat the Highlands on a day like that, and Starav is one of the finest hills around - has real attitude!

It's good also to see what Aighenan looks like, too. I just don't know how I managed to miss it last June when I came along this ridge - but I did :oops:

At least it gives me a good reason to get back up there again :-)..

BTW ref Andymac75's comment on boots: I've also worn nothing but approach or fell-running shoes for the last decade or so. And ever since I did, I haven't turned over my ankle once. Worth trying out...

:lol: :lol: I remember reading your report on that. You're right, a perfect excuse to go back :D



Collaciotach wrote:Could nt have got better weather :clap: :clap:

I did Aighean as a single .... pig of a hill to get to haha :lol:

Aye we met quite a few people just coming over the bealach for Aighenan, looked like a lot of effort!



Gordie12 wrote:That's weird, where's the photo with the caption "Hugh, catching up" :lol: :lol: :lol:

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Had too many photos...saving it for the next report :wink:
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