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A Walk Amongst the Gods

A Walk Amongst the Gods

Postby DanielM95 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:14 am

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

Date walked: 03/11/2015

Time taken: 7 hours

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I was driving up to Fort William in mid October to walk the Ring of Steall. It was a day of many highlights, the walk through Nevis gorge, Steall Falls, the wonderful ridges which make up the Mamores and reaching my 20th Munro on Sgurr a'Mhaim with views of an amazing sunset behind Stob Ban and Mullach Nan Coirean over Loch Linnhe and the landscape behind it.

Sunset from Sgurr a'Mhaim - the best I managed to get with the phone camera.

Before all of this though, I decided to drive up the A82 route to Fort William. I hadn't been in Glencoe for about 8 years and I was soon reminded of how amazing the scenery is on the drive through. It was a nice clear morning full of promise of a good days walking and the first thing to really catch my eye was the large triangular shape of Buachaille Etive Mor rising up from the flatness of Rannoch Moor and I knew then that I badly wanted to climb this hill.

The opportunity came in early November. I woke up at half past 5 and ready to leave Edinburgh at 6 only to walk outside to a very foggy morning. MWIS had promised a chance of 60% chance of cloud free Munros for the day so thought I'd go anyway and hope the fog would clear.

The trudge up the M9 was even more uneventful than usual, fog the whole way, up through Callander, Glen Ogle, Crianlarich, Tyndrum, no sight of anything but mist. When passing over the back of Tyndrum Beinn Dorain gave a small glimpse of what was coming through a thinner patch of fog but I was soon back in the thick fog all the way up to the starting point in Glencoe.

I was the only person there at that time and set off along the route recommended route given by WH. It was fairly uneventful on the approach, not very much to look at. I soon reached the bridge over the river and had a quick bite to eat before continuing along the track with large boulders and at one point Lagangarbh looming out of the mist.

Boulder emerged out of the fog.

The path began to rise and the cliffs high in the coire soon loomed out of the mist on both sides. This now began to present some promise to the walk, the moon was only just visible above.

Cliffs at the top of the Coire.

A few minutes later the air was clear. I had reached the top of the cloud and was just simply amazed.

Above the fog/cloud, familiar sights appearing. The rounded hills at the back on the right looked quite interesting though couldn't place them are they the Corrour hills?

The path soon ended and it looked like a case of taking the best line up across the rocks. I ended up having to scramble through a gully to emerge onto the ridge.

On the Buachaille Etive Mor Ridge looking to Stob na Doire and the other Glencoe hills.

It was then a simply a case of turning left for the final climb onto the summit of Stob Dearg. I'll let the pictures do the talking for the views.

Looking over Rannoch Moor.

Looking to Ben Nevis and the Mamores with the shadow of Stob Dearg.

Looking down Glencoe.

Buachaille Etive Beag and the Bidean Massif on the left, Stob na Doire and over to Ben Starav on the right from Stob Dearg summit.

Glen Etive/Black Mount.

Looking north again.

The other Glencoe hills, the moon faintly visible above them.

I was on the summit for about 45 minutes just amazed by the views. I was talking to my Grandpa the night before about the hill and he had said it was quite a special place. I now completely agreed. It was getting quite warm now I was out of the mist, weird to think this was November. I eventually manage to pull myself away from the top of Stob Dearg to begin the walk along the ridge, first passing a small lochan on the way over to Stob na Doire.

The small lochan.

About half an hour later I was on top of Stob na Doire. Stob Dearg looked quite impressive from this angle as well I thought even though it's main attraction is on the opposite side.

Looking back to Stob Dearg from Stob na Doire.

Stob na Doire summit cairn.

Looking onwards to Stob Coire Altruim and Stob na Broige.

The descent from Stob na Doire was quite steep but nothing that couldn't be managed. I ended up slipping near the bottom and landed in perfect sitting position on a rock. No damage done but I took this as a hint to stop for a few minutes before finishing the descent. I pushed on to the 860m marker cairn just below Stob Coire Altruim then stopped again for before finishing the climb. Glen Etive was now clear although still hazy and the cliffs to the left were impressive.

860m cairn below Stob Coire Altruim.

It was then a simple pull up Stob Coire Altruim then a very pleasant walk over to Stob na Broige.

Stob Dearg and Stob na Doire from Stob Coire Altruim.

Stob na Broige from Stob Coire Altruim.

The view down glen Etive from Stob na Broige, one of my favourite views.

Looking back along the Buachaille Etive Mor ridge from Stob na Broige.

I didn't spend quite so long on that summit, I was starting to feel tired and still had to get down and find my way back to the car through the fog. The walk back to the 860m cairn below Stob Coire Altruim was easy enough a few people passing in the opposite direction heading for Stob na Broige. The descent to Lairig Gartain was quite wet in places, the path was obvious the whole way down but was quite slippy over some of the rockier sections. There was a couple of places I threw my bag down then on all fours, made my way down to it. It was not long before I was back in the fog and on level ground. The sun was penetrating it's way through the mist while it slowly moved across the sky retreating behind Buachaille Etive Beag. I was about an hour from here back to the car, stopping for a number of pictures along the way.

The mist in Lairig Gartain

The sun retreating behind Buachaille Etive Beag.

I've been watching a lot of Vikings lately which has sort of inspired the title of this report though I couldn't help but feel I was being rewarded for something that day. Another great day in the hills and once again the conditions were perfect, could not have wished for any better while doing such a great mountain. I left looking forward to trying Buachaille Etive Beag hopefully in the near future, it looked like a pleasant little ridge when viewing it from the tops I had just done. Not long after passing the ski centre there was a clearing in the mist which required another photo stop.

Clearing in the mist on the road.

It was then back into the fog for the drive home.
Last edited by DanielM95 on Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:15 am, edited 3 times in total.
Posts: 13
Munros:84   Corbetts:2
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Joined: Jul 18, 2015
Location: Edinburgh

Re: A Walk Amongst the Gods

Postby Chris Mac » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:50 pm

Absolutely stunning photos, cheers for sharing! Schiehallion really does stand out across Rannoch Moor from Glen Coe, nice to see it from this side after I enjoyed the view of it from Ben Vrackie looking towards Glen Cloe in May.
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Chris Mac
Posts: 821
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Joined: Sep 11, 2014
Location: Glasgow

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