Having managed to walk most of Buachaille Etive Mor except for Stob na Broige I had this walk to finish it off.
Parked my car in the layby for Lairig Gartain. I had hoped for better weather, but it started to rain the minute I started walking. I followed the path to the ford over the River Coupall. At this point it stopped raining so I kept going. I knew the climb up Coire Altruim wouldn't be easy having done the descent a few days before. Sure enough at the first big waterfall above a gully, it became a proper climb as I carefully picked my way over bare rock. It is always easier going up that down and I'd have to come back this way. I tried to remember my route. The next waterfall was on granite and there were more ledges to use so the rock climb was easier. The path returned to normal above there, with worn path and stone steps all the way to the bealach.
Walking up Coire Altruim by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Loch Etive from bealach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Stob na Doige by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The cloud seemed to be making up its mind on what to do. It was clear just now but Stob na Broige was covered.
The ridge of Buachaille Etive Mor by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I pressed on climbing to the top of Stob Coire Altruim where I stopped for lunch. I could see the rest of the Buachaille for a bit then that too disappeared. People were still marching on, so when I finished my lunch I marched into the cloud too. A bit rocky along the ridge but the path is easy to follow. I reached the top for a fine view of scotch mist in technicolour.
Stob na Broige top by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I hung around as everyone else left. After 20 minutes even I set off. Then as I was reaching the ridge, Buachaille Etive Beag appeared beside me and cleared away. I ran back up to the top somehow. I could now see Glen Etive.
Glen Etive from Stob na Broige by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
It still didn't totally clear away but better than nothing. The views were atmospheric in every way.
Ridge to Stob Coire Altruim by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Stob na Broige and Bidean nam Bian by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
My route was clear, with one side open and the other still thick cloud, an odd feeling walking along the exposed ridge. By the time I got back to Coire Altruim the cloud was coming back down, so lucky I guess.
Lairig Gartain by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The path down was as tricky as I'd imagined at the rocks above the gully, but I managed to trace my route that I'd used on the way up to get back down. Helped another couple get down too. it really isn't good for people who don't like a scramble.
It was a brisk walk back to the car and a feeling of closure, I'd walked the whole ridge now.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.