This walk offers superb variety and a lovely refreshment stop in the form of Glencoe Mountain Cafè at the end.
With the weather forecast looking more promising for the early to mid afternoon period, we decided to set off a little later than usual. We left the car in the Glencoe Mountain car park at around 12:15. The initial ascent was steady and blue skies greeted us within 10-15 minutes of setting off.
Overhead, the chairlifts were running continuously but created little distraction from the ever improving views. In fact we quite enjoyed having brief conversations with holiday-goers as they slowly passed over us. The path became more boggy as we continued up and we veered right of Coire Pollach and followed the final ski tow to the mast near the summit. From here it was a short hike up to the summit of Meall a' Bhùiridh- the hill of the roaring (in reference to the sound that is heard in these parts in rutting season).
The views across Coire an Easain were spectacular and convinced us to stop at the summit to enjoy a good old egg and mayo sandwich! Descending down to a wee Bealach the view of the ridge connecting Clach Leathad and Creise (likely from the Gaelic creas meaning narrow) is awesome and a touch intimidating! Nonetheless a fairly clear route continues up with a couple of spots of scrambling. Our border terrier had to be helped up one or two of the more technical sections!
A small cairn marks the arrival on the ridge, from where we took a right turn to head for the summit- passing with enough clearance from the perilous cornices feeding back down to Màm Coire Easain. The views from the summit were breathtaking and the snow covered Ben Nevis and the Ring of Steall seemed deceptively close.
We retraced our steps, literally, with the aid of our footprints in the snow, having to take care on the descent back to the Bealach. We joked about hitching a ride back down on the chairlifts for the final section and this reminded me of an account in Cairngorm John where a poor walker did just that- only for the chairlift to stop with him suspended in mid air! Luckily the temptation wasn't there as the lift wasn't running and so we completed the final descent back to the Cafe. We were absolutely delighted when we realised the Cafe was still open, so we treated ourselves to a cup of tea and some soup. The planning of future trips was inevitable with a beautiful view of Buachaille Etive Mòr from the comfort of the Cafe!
My only regret for this walk is that we didn't allow sufficient time to visit Clach Leathad, which would have made this the perfect day out!
NB for meanings of Hill names I have referred to "Scottish Hill Names, Their origin and meaning" by Peter Drummond.
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.