Strong easterly winds were bringing cloud across Scotland from the North Sea... time to head west. Would Glencoe be far west enough? Buachaille Etive Beag was on the cards - something short because I needed to be back in Glasgow later in the day - with the Pap of Glencoe a backup if the weather didn't seem good enough.
Of course there was time for the customary photo of Buachaille Etive Mor, even if it was its little brother we were aiming for today.
Plenty of space in the layby at the start of the walk thanks to it being a weekday. It was cloudy to start but there were a few blue holes around so we were hopeful the weather might brighten up as the day went on. This was our first trip into the "proper" Highlands this autumn, and it was amazing being surrounded by the roaring of distant stags up in the corries all around. A fairly decent path wound all the way up to the middle of the Buachaille Etive Beag ridge - the weather was better on the way back so I've deleted most of the photos from the ascent. Lots of deer visible around Coire Raineach over to the left:
Once on the ridge, we decided to head left to Stob Coire Raineach first. The path has several variants but all are quite steep and loose. Looking back along the ridge towards Stob Dubh:
Not very far to the summit at all. Great views, and somewhere over towards Blackwater Reservoir it was even sunny...
View along Lairig Gartain towards Loch Etive:
A rare ray of sunshine on Ben Nevis:
And on the Aonach Eagach:
After returning to the low point on the ridge, we continued south-east to Stob Dubh, the second Munro that makes up Buachaille Etive Beag. The path to Stob Dubh is longer but generally gives better going. View back to Stob Coire Raineach from the first rise, with Buachaille Etive Mor in the background:
Stob Dubh looks intimidating ahead. In the end... it isn't
Bidean nam Bian. I've always thought this massif has a special atmosphere around it. Lots of roaring coming from here today.
Approach to Stob Dubh:
Stob Dubh. And the sun came out!
Returning to the car park via paths means retracing steps. The big difference is that it was now sunny, which transformed the enjoyable ridge into a wonderful one.
One of those days where late starters would've got the best of the weather. The early bird doesn't always catch the worm!
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