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Fourth Time Lucky on Stob Dearg

Fourth Time Lucky on Stob Dearg


Postby OpenC » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:12 am

Munros included on this walk: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor)

Date walked: 18/06/2016

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 6.5 km

Ascent: 800m

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A friend of mine, very early in my hillwalking career, took me up to Stob na Broige around ten years ago. He was just going to check out the path up from Lairig Gartain and told me that he wouldn't take me to Stob Dearg that way, saying that it was too good to sneak up the back of. It's been hovering around my to-do list for months and years now; had my boots on it three times in the last two years but was turned around each time. Finally got it out of the way yesterday, though.

You know these shots. They don't need any narrative.
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The path through Coire na Tulaich is a work of art; steep and rocky but easy to follow and remarkably stable given the terrain it traverses.
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The pull out of the corrie is what stopped me last time, when my climbing companion glimpsed his own mortality at the bottom of the final rocky rib and elected to preserve it for the sake of his children (fair enough). I'd had a look round the corner at the ascent and concluded that while it was steep and rough, it definitely didn't look as horrifying as the tales told. It turned out not to be nearly as exposed as I had expected - it's a good place to learn the difference between actual exposure and perceived exposure which isn't actually there; it's not technically any more difficult than the bands of rock you cross lower in Coire na Tulaich. Pictures don't do it justice so I haven't included any. You can see the rib of rock as a rocky slab titled at about 40 degrees just to the right of the shadow at the top of the corrie, in the upper image above.

The broad ridge at the top of the rib was much as expected, but the narrowing near the top was unexpected and a nice reminder that this is actually a big and beautiful and shapely mountain. The views across Rannoch Moor were also much more spectacular than I'd expected for a big open moorland. Again, pictures don't really do it justice, but:
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And the view down to Glen Etive. Apparently this is the "easy way" up..
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Met a couple of fellow solo walkers on the summit and after five or ten minutes discussing the Summit Raven (who I've seen on so many shots now that I conclude it blatantly just sits on that rock and waits for sandwiches and chocolate) I headed back down.
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I wasn't looking forward to the descent of Coire na Tulaich but my memory of the Lairig Gartain path wasn't a great deal cheerier. In the end, the descent was easier than the ascent and again, the expected exposure didn't actually materialise.

Wasn't really sure what to expect from Coire na Tulaich since it does have a reputation and I always prefer an easier route if there is one. Feel better about approaching my last two in Glencoe (Sgreamhach and Bidean nam Bian) now, which were well seen on the descent.
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I think I still prefer its little brother and the ascent to Stob Dubh, but this is a wonderful, iconic mountain and it's great to get it out of the way. The corrie exit will unnerve some, but with the requisite experience and attitude comes a really great walk.
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Last edited by OpenC on Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OpenC
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 441
Munros:79   
Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:53
Wainwrights:63   
Joined: Aug 4, 2013
Location: Northumberland

Re: Fourth Time Lucky on Stob Dearg

Postby Guinessman » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:31 pm

Well done that man! you have beaten my 3 attempts to get up Bynack more.

Well done though, now for the rest of Glencoe.
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Guinessman
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Posts: 1047
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Location: NW Durham

Re: Fourth Time Lucky on Stob Dearg

Postby OpenC » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:10 pm

Thanks man :) Just the two left (depending on whether you count Ulaidh as Glencoe or not, which to be honest I should because I intend to do it from that side). Had been worried about the route up from Coire na Tulaich for this one, and the route up from Lost Valley for Sgreamhach and Bidean, but having done Coire na Tulaich I feel a good deal more confident that the Lost Valley exit gully isn't going to be the vertical headwall that it is in my mind :)
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OpenC
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 441
Munros:79   
Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:53
Wainwrights:63   
Joined: Aug 4, 2013
Location: Northumberland

Re: Fourth Time Lucky on Stob Dearg

Postby Guinessman » Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:21 pm

Regarding Sgreamhach and Bidean I was up there 2 weeks ago after turning back in early May, just haven't got around to doing trip reports yet. The exit into the Lost valley from Sgreamhach is steep and loose, about on par as the exit from Beinn Eighe into the coire, but is short lived.

Which route are you thinking about taking up, I took the route up the coire below Stob coire nan lochan and then up the east shoulder of SCNL, which is a great peak and in my opinion should be a munro itself, then onto Bidean and Sgreamhach before exiting down to the lost valley.
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Guinessman
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1047
Munros:282   Corbetts:39
Grahams:26   Donalds:89
Hewitts:143
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Location: NW Durham

Re: Fourth Time Lucky on Stob Dearg

Postby OpenC » Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:46 pm

It'll depend on whether I'm there-and-backing from Northumberland (in which case straight up and down Lost Valley) or doing it when back to Onich in October (in which case I'm open to options but hadn't considered that - would be good to climb Stob Coire nan Lochan though, since it looks so great from the road). Also considered the route from the bottom of the glen by Stob Coire nam Beith although that'd leave a long walk down the A82 to finish.

Cheers :)
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OpenC
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 441
Munros:79   
Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:53
Wainwrights:63   
Joined: Aug 4, 2013
Location: Northumberland

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