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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.

Stob Coire Raineach

Stob Coire Raineach

Postby seamus0 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:16 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Beag

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

Date walked: 09/03/2018

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 7 km

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Its a skill to translate what a route looks like on a map in Summer into what it might be like in the Winter, one that I've still got a lot to learn. You have to consider not only the day's weather, but also what the weather was like in the preceding days, snow condition, avalanche risk, and the route itself....what it will be like in snow. Glencoe in the winter is one of the places you must treat with respect in the Winter. Taking all that into account, I tried to find a route which wasnt too long, and was on the 'safest' side from the current SAIS avalanche forecasts. Buchaille Etive Beag ticked all the right boxes. My only concern was my fitness, nursing ever-more reoccuring knee injuries...I guess I would find out!

We started at the carpark just off the A82 (188564) and followed the good path that climbed gently into Lairig Eilde. After 15 mins or so, the path split. We followed the left path which was still visible at first but quickly disappeared when we reached the snow line at around 400m.
Start of walk up path

We bumped into a group of Outward Bound folks who were on the same route and continued to play 'tag' up the mountain. My mate had told me that Winter Skills classes are often run on this route as it is 'normally' quite safe from avalanches.It was encouraging to see this was the case. After a quick chat and a breather we carried on the slow climb up.
Outward Bound group walking up

A 'Huddle' of OB students

Route up

Mat took the line up through towards the bealach. As it got steeper I noticed how really unprepared I was for Winter conditions. Heart pounding, calfs screaming, and my knees shouting at me "why are you doing this to me"! :-) I took my time, knowing that the afternoon weather forecast was meant to improve, so time was on our side for better conditions. Although there were snow flurries on the way up the weather was staring to improve, so managed to get some good shots in-between my mini-heart attacks:-)
Heading towards the bealach in snow

Mat kicking in steps ahead

A bit of sun

When I finally reached the bealach, I was completely shagged. It was obvious my day would not involve the 2 munros. We had a pitstop and a breather so I could at least get the one munro in. the views of Beag's larger brother, Buaichaille Etive Mor in front of us were spectacular.
At the bealach

The climb from the bealach to the top of Stob Coire Raineach was ok. Quite rocky and less deep snow. I took my time over the last 100 m or so.
The climb to the top from the bealach

Once at the top I saw mat was already 'playing' at the other top supping up the views.
Supping up the views at top

The top with Stob Dubh and Biddian in the distance

At the top I told my mate that was enough for one day. Although the weather as playing ball, my body wasnt, and felt terrible. We discussed our options, and I told my mate to head to Stob Dubh and I'll plod down myself in my own time. I was glad, as I didnt want to deprive Mat of the ridge walk in between. On my way back down, I took my time loving the views, and the splendour winter has to offer in Glencoe.
Mat heading up the knoll to get to the ridge to Stob Dubh

Stob Dubh and Glen Etive in distance

Biddian Nam Bian

Biddian in distance

Sometimes you have to make the right call especially in winter. As it happens, when I waited for Mat back down in the glen he told me the ridge was 'dodgy' in places and heavily corniced. I was glad that with a knackered body I wasnt in the postion of aimlessly heading off one! Still, it was a great day out, the weather was superb, I got one munro in, and the views were stunning....back to the treadmill :-)!
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Re: Stob Coire Raineach

Postby Pointless Parasite » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:59 pm

Superb :clap: I think that's Stob Coire nan Lochan in the last shot, with Bidean nam Bian itself behind the cloud.
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Re: Stob Coire Raineach

Postby Mal Grey » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:15 pm

Great stuff!

Its especially true in winter, that we need to make sensible calls if not 100% sure we should continue. Nicely done.
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

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