A foursome in Glen Etive 21km 2500m 9.40hr 11 / 07 / 1992
Glen Etive, the day is sunny with a slight breeze, Darren drives down the glen almost to the head of the loch for Ben Starav.
We gear up and head down the path to the river cross a bridge and gawp at the clear depth of the water below. Follow a path pass Coileitir cottage to reach an open viewpoint and the large mass that is Starav rises above us. W over bridge and burn, then upstream for 400m and R for the slopes of the munro. The ridge rises easily from the shoreline until we reach the first of two breaks at 500m and rest. Grand views up the glen, the unseen backside of Glencoe. Then a steeper push to the next break at 800m where another ridge joins ours at the start of a boulder field. A steady climb on hard granite gives the flattish U shaped area of Starav @ 1078m complete with cairn, trig point and a magical panorama of Cruachan and Etive hills. On to Stob Coire Dhearg@ 1068m then NE down a steep wee ridge for a col.@ 760m. E up over grass to Meall nan Tri Tighearnan. Here we decide to add Beinn nan Aighenan @ 960m to our haul - an easy gain for 90min,of effort, 300m of up and 4k of out and back. Down thro crags and slabs to a col then up thro the same for its summit cairn. The return would have been quicker ifn we hadnt dumped the sacs on a prominent skyline boulder which we somehow couldn`t find for 20minutes. Sacs now on, up a broader ridge to Glas Bheinn Mhor @997 steep crags here. E then down to 738m col and up for the sweeping curve of Stob Coir`an Albannaich @1044m. with its large summit cairn. The craggy NE face showed Meall nan Eun @928m. maybe just an hour more, doable but we`ve had enough and leave the “hill of the Scotsman” down a broad NW ridge cross the top of Chaorach for a finer ridge, steeper nearer the bottom, to path, river then return to the car.
Nobody on our hills – kids in canoes on the loch. A good day
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