I had seen this walk when doing the Pap of Glencoe and had been keeping it in mind for a simple walk when time allowed and so I drove to Glen Coe from Edinburgh to get another walk done and another munro added to the list. I have not walked any hills on this side of the glen and so looked forward to getting my first close up view of Aonach Eagach from here.
The weather forecast couldn't have been better and so it proved. No wind, constant sunshine, perfect. I doused myself in suntan lotion before I started and packed layers just in case, but I wouldn't need them. It was hot work once I passed through the gate for the Pap of Glencoe walk. Instead of going straight up I walked across the small wooden bridge and started my climb up towards the ridge. The sweat was soon running down my back from my backpack. Soon I had a perfect view back to the village and Loch Leven. The water was like glass.
Calm Loch Leven and Glencoe village by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Some wet parts to the path till it got onto ridge climbing up the slope. I had a good view of the path ahead too. Further up the path the glen opened up as the height went on.
Gleann Leac na Muidhe from the ascent by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
After zig zagging up the slope I reached a cairn marking the route up to the Sgurr. Just about an hour walking. From here it was a mix of scree, boulders and grass till I hit the snow lying in the gullies. I managed to avoid most of it to reach the ridge in two and a half hours.
Loch Leven from ridge by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The views all around were great and I had a clear view of the top too. Didn't take long to get up there. Started to meet people who had crossed over Aonach Eagach and had a blether to each of them in turn.
Aonach Eagach from Sgorr nam Fiannaidh by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Bidean nam Bian by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Nevis range from Sgorr nam Fiannaidh by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Sgorr nam Fiannaidh ridge by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I had my lunch at the top. Only now did I put on a jacket to keep warm while I sat eating and drinking. The outlook was amazing, could see all the way out to sea, Eigg, Skye, and an amazing amount of hills too. Finished eating I packed my jacket and set off.
I walked back down along the ridge to its very end. It is well worth the effort. It is an amazing view along the whole of Glen Coe from up there.
The length of Glen Coe from the end of the ridge by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Gleann Leac na Muidhe from the ridge end by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I then walked back over to where I came up and followed the snow banks down into the gully that leads straight back to the path up. Walking down the snow certainly speeded up the descent and the gully has snow almost all the way down. When it petered out the ground was wet and slippy and I was glad to get back on the path. It is sore on the legs coming back down.
Route up Sgorr nam Fiannaidh by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Back along the road to the car. My back and pants were soaking from the sweat and my feet were damp too from the snow. It was well worth the journey to do the walk though.
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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.