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Beag-ing For More of This!

Beag-ing For More of This!


Postby roscoT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:06 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Beag

Munros included on this walk: Stob Coire Raineach (Buachaille Etive Beag), Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)

Date walked: 21/01/2017

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 8.39 km

Ascent: 989m

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buachaille etive beag.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Out and about again for the third Saturday in a row - unheard of for me in Winter! The forecast steadily improved throughout the week until by the end of the working week the sun and cloudless skies were to dominate in the western ranges - 'to Glencoe!', I decided.

I was to be joined by an old school friend, Tom, who i'd not seen for a while and who was to provide great company at the same time as popping his Munro cherry. A good crust of ice was scraped from the car as I left at 7.15am, picking Tom up in Glasgow at 8 then taking 2 hours to drive to Glencoe, where conditions alternated between pea soup and crisp sunshine. By the time we got past Bridge of Orchy and looked up towards Rannoch Moor, we knew this was going to be a cracker :D

Had chosen Buachaille Etive Beag partly because it was Tom's first (which actually was totally naive as it turns out he is fitter than me!) and partly because the 23K slog in the snow at Beinn a' Ghlo last week had taken it out of me - the potential rewards far outweighed the effort of a mere 8K walk here. We arrived at the already busy car park at 10am, still a good chill in the air, and set off into the Lairig Eilde via the excellent path.

ImageP1030918 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

We gained height very quickly - paths with steps are a wonderful thing - and soon had views of Stob Coire Sgreamhach peaking out from behind Beinn Fhada. Working up a good sweat, we were at the Bealach Mam Buidhe in a mere 45 minutes, confronted at once by the blinding sun from the south.

ImageP1030921 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030923 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Bathed in sunshine, the high ridge of the bealach between the munros offered views over the cloud patched Lairig Gartain to Buachaille Etive Mor and, further west, Glen Etive. Although far better was to come as regards the latter. We climbed quickly up to the 902m cairn, which we (or I) mistook to be the summit in my haste on the approach - some guide! There are fantastic views of Aonach Eagach, Bidian nam Biam and Ben Nevis - 3 of the top 10 mountains in Scotland on anyone's list, surely?

ImageStob Coire Raineach and BEM by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030926 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageAonach Eagach by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagetowards Stob Dubh by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageBidean nam Bian by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageBen Nevis by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

After some food, we moved onwards towards the imposing Stob Dubh, its steep flank covered in shade. Beyond lay the equally imposing shadows of Glen Etive and the Ben Starav group. Behind, views were enhanced by the patches of low-lying cloud against the brilliant blue sky. The approach is fairly gentle until the final steep and rocky pull. Just before the summit, a hollywood view of Loch Etive squeezes out to the left that is simply breathtaking.

ImageP1030931 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030933 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageHollywood by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageThe Lost Valley by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030936 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030937 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

At risk of repeating myself over and over, the views from the summit were sublime, the air crisp and fresh, and the wind surprisingly light. We had lunch and some tea from a thermos (cheers Tom!) and took some photos (both for ourselves and some others who arrived) for a while. Could've stayed here all day :D

ImageP1030941 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030942 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageBen Dorain and co by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030949 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageStob Dearg and Stob na Doire zoomed by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030953 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Eventually, grudgingly, we started to descend back along the ridge, alongside another lad from Glasgow who was good crack. A great way to spend a Saturday morning, we agreed - free leisure, not to be sniffed at!

ImageP1030955 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030957 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030961 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The climb from the bealach to Stob Coire Raineach is steep but short. The speed of our climbing hitherto meant there was some lactic acid coursing through the quads on the ascent, Tom putting me to shame. At the summit here, we ventured down and west to get a better view of Glen Coe and Loch Leven. The air was still incredibly still, giving an eerie feel. We took a pretty dodgy descent route back to the bealach, slightly to the northwest of the path, which involved some hair-raising (but fun) scree surfing and downward bumshuffles. We followed the excellent stepped path again into the Lairig Eilde and were back in the car in no time.

Buachaille Etive Beag may not be the most imposing of hills or difficult of climbs when compared to some of its neighbours - but the problem with being on the grandstanding hills, is that you can't actually see how they look. With this wee beauty of a walk, you get the best of both worlds.

ImageStob Coire Raineach summit by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030965 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030967 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030969 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageLoch Leven by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030972 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030974 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030975 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030976 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030980 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
User avatar
roscoT
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 242
Munros:136   Corbetts:26
Grahams:13   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:5   Islands:15
Joined: Jul 26, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Beag-ing For More of This!

Postby katyhills » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:55 pm

Glorious set of photos Ross. You're absolutely right - the bigger hills are great to do, but the best views of them are from other hills! It's a lovely walk - quite underrated - and you couldn't have had better conditions for it. The views you get of Bidean from there are superb. Hope your friend has got the biug now too :)

I was in Kinlochleven on one of the Corbetts the same day - what a day to be out, wasn't it? Better than half the summer days! :D
katyhills
Walker
 
Posts: 352
Munros:119   Corbetts:28
Grahams:7   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 7, 2015

Re: Beag-ing For More of This!

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:50 pm

Beautiful photos and absolutely agree about the view of it bigger neighbours. :clap:
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Scrambler
 
Posts: 690
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Grantown-on-spey

Re: Beag-ing For More of This!

Postby apollo0815 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:12 am

I love your report, and your pics.
Sorry to see, that I am not the only one who has the problem with dirt on his image sensor.
User avatar
apollo0815
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 250
Munros:4   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:4
Joined: Oct 19, 2016
Location: Germany

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