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Jings; the Scotsman's corrie in New Boots (but old panties)!

Jings; the Scotsman's corrie in New Boots (but old panties)!


Postby bobble_hat_kenny » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:12 pm

Route description: Stob Coir'an Albannaich and Meall nan Eun

Munros included on this walk: Meall nan Eun, Stob Coir an Albannaich

Date walked: 21/04/2018

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1330m

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With apologies to the late great Ian Dury for the WR title.
I've had the 21st of April earmarked for a walk for some time, and with the weather forecast looking unexpectedly promising, I thought I might try to get a Munros outing in; the first of the year for me. I still had two in Glen Etive to do, Stob Coir' an Albannaich and Meall nan Eun, and although Albannaich maybe looked a tad steep for this early in the season, I thought I might just manage it given the excellent forecast :? . However, there was still a fair bit of snow on the hills, so after some pondering I decided to go round clockwise (i.e. the opposite way round to the website's route description). That way, I'd be tackling the two steepest bits on ascent, rather than on descent, if there proved to be any significant Snow Issues.

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My old walking boots had taken a real hammering from the Beast from the East, however, when I had to walk in to work and back through the snow for a couple of days, and they were now coming apart at the seams... so I decided to treat myself to a new pair of proper leather ones out of Tiso. Very glad that I did, on the whole, since I did indeed encounter some Snow Issues on this outing, resulting in having to tackle some unexpectedly rough terrain :roll: .
WR1 - New Boots.jpg

As I set off from the car park at the start of the Coiletir track, Ben Stavros and pals were looking quite spectacular in the early morning sunshine:
WR2 - Stavros and pals from start point.jpg

I crossed the bridge over the River Etive, forked left and headed north towards Glen Ceitlin. One of the local Corbetts, Stob Dubh, was looking impressively steep from this angle: a tough wee hill by the looks of it!
WR3 - Stob Dubh looking steep on approach to Glen Ceitlin.jpg

I crossed the bridge over the Allt Ceitlin and forked right on a track that soon degenerated into a vague path heading up Glen Ceitlin. The glen proved to be unexpectedly scenic, and although following the ongoing path required a bit of imagination (it degenerated into more of a Serving Suggestion than a proper path as it got further up the glen), it was a very pleasant stoat along the side of the tumbling Allt Ceitlin :D . The gentle gradient also made for very easy initial height gain, at least as far as the 600 metre mark or thereabouts, although the last wee bit got steeper.
There were three summits clearly visible at the head of the glen: a glance at the map showed that Meall nan Eun wasn't the left-hand one, as I'd initially thought, but in fact the middle one of the three. The one on the left is Meall Odhar, a minor summit at the end of Stob Gabhar's long west ridge; the one on the right is Meall Tarsuinn, which is a sub-peak of Meall nan Eun (and which has to be traversed on the way across to Stob Coir' an Albannaich). Again rather counter-intuitively, the ongoing route goes not to the obvious lower bealach between Meall Odhar and Meall nan Eun, but instead to the higher bealach on the right, between Meall nan Eun and Meall Tarsuinn.
WR4 - upper Glen Ceitlin.jpg

As I got higher up, I lost the path altogether, but I just kept heading uphill by the side of the Allt Ceitlin, thinking I couldn't go too far wrong that way. There was a nice view back down the glen, with Bidein nan Bian and Sgor na h-Ulaidh visible on the other side of Glen Etive. (I still have Sgor na h-Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnlaidh to do, and the Glen Etive approach to the two looks interesting ...)
WR5 - view back down Glen Ceitlin to Bidein & Sgor na h-Ulaidh.jpg

As I ascended into Coirean Rhiabhach (between Meall nan Eun and Meall Tarsuinn), there was a fair bit of snow lying, some of which was almost blocking the standard ascent route to the obvious notch in the skyline. However, it looked as though it should still be possible to pick out a reasonable (although slightly off-piste) route up the right-hand edge of the snowfield, and thankfully so it proved.
WR6 - some Snow Issues on final ascent to bealach.jpg

Up at the bealach at last, the views really started to open up. There was a fine vista to the north-west, with Stob Dubh in the foreground and Bidein nam Bian looming behind it in the distance:
WR7 - at bealach with Stob Dubh in foreground and Bidein behind.jpg

The ongoing route to Meall nan Eun looked straightforward enough from here, and as I headed across I was relieved to pick up a fairly good path, which led through the interesting bits of granite pavement on Eun's lower slopes with a mimum of fuss.
WR8 - last bit of ascent to Meall nan Eun.jpg

As I headed further up Meall nan Eun's rounded summit dome, however, I got my first proper look at Stob Coir' an Albannaich - decidedly impressive, and with a rather intimidating shedload of snow on it :shock: ! In fact, it was quickly apparent to me that I was going to have quite a significant Snow Issue: the usual access path from the Albannaich / Meall Tarsuinn bealach to Albannaich's east ridge was completely filled with snow :roll: ... I wasn't sure whether this was going to be feasible for the likes of me, but I thought that I'd just get Meall nan Eun done anyway, then head across and have a closer look at it.
WR9 - first proper look at Albannaich - and a bigger Snow Issue.jpg

It wasn't much further to Meall nan Eun's sizeable summit cairn. This Munro doesn't get a fantastic press - it is admittedly somewhat lacking in pointiness - but I rather enjoyed its Cairngorms-like pancake-flat summit plateau, defended by vertiginous cliffs on almost all sides.
An interesting view from Eun's cairn that features all five Munros of the Starav group: Albannaich looming large in the foreground to the right of the shot, with Starav in the distance over its left shoulder; then Glas Bheinn Mhor, also still well covered in the White Stuff; and Beinn nan Aighenan looking impressive at the left-hand edge of the picture.
WR10 - all five Starav group Munros from Meall nan Eun summit cairn.jpg

The view northwards, with Bidein nam Bian on the left, and Ben Nevis visible in the distance:
WR11 - view N from Eun summit with Bidein on left and Ben Nevis in distance.jpg

Another fine view of the sphinx-like profile of Beinn nan Aighenan, with its attractive little-trodden east ridge looking impressive from here, and the Cruachan range visible behind it:
WR12 - nice view of Beinn nan Aighenan with Cruachan range behind.jpg

I didn't spend too long on the photo-shoot, however, since I was increasingly worried about how I'd get up Stob Coir' an Albannaich, and I was keen to have a closer look at the problem. I also had Tarzan to contend with - a.k.a. Meall Tarsuinn, a hairy brute of a thing that blocks what would otherwise be a straightforward route between the two Munros, and which therefore qualifies as yet another member of that hill class known as Confounded &^%*ing Nuisances...
However, there was at least a reasonably good path up Meall Tarzan, and it even sported a cute wee summit cairn of its own... from which Albannaich looked even more intimidating :? !
WR13 - Albannaich from Meall Tarsuinn summit cairn.jpg

All the same, after having a good look at the Snow Issue up close, I thought that I could probably pick a scrambly route up the right-hand edge of the usual access path up to the east ridge (which is the lower of the two snow-filled rakes visible in this shot), and then I might hopefully be able to make a careful crossing of the bit of snowfield at the top, to gain the snow-free ongoing route up the east ridge ... well, that was the plan anyway!
WR14 - zoomed shot of the Snow Issue.jpg

I headed down Tarzan's far side, crossed some snowfields at the bealach, and started heading up the rough ground on the right-hand edge of the snow-filled access path to the ridge. There was at least a fine view back northwards for distraction, with the Buachaille Etive Mor ridge visible to the right, and Bidein nan Bian on the far left of this picture:
WR15 - bealach snowfields with Etive Mor ridge visible and Bidein on far left.jpg

It was quite scrambly terrain with a lot of boulders to negotiate, and I made rather slow work of it, but it "went" okay ... and as I neared the top, I was greatly relieved to see another party making their way gingerly down the snowfield at the top, to head down the scrambly route that I'd taken up. As well as reassuring me that the Snow Issue was feasible (at least in theory) this also meant that there would, as the saying goes, at least be someone to carry my body back :lol: ...We passed the time of day, and I then made my way carefully across the unavoidable Snow Obstacle, now made decidedly easier by having someone else's footsteps to follow! Thankfully it wasn't nearly as steep as it had looked from below, and the other thing that I'd been worried about - the potential presence of a steep or even overhanging cornice - also turned out not to be the case. To my huge relief, I soon found myself safely at the marker cairn on Albannaich's east ridge, with its impressive summit cutting the sky like a shark's fin above me, but with a straighforward enough snow-free path heading all the way up :D .
WR16 - on Albannaich ridge at last with good view of sharks-fin summit.jpg

I huffed and puffed my way up, feeling pretty knackered by now after the arduous ascent up onto the ridge. I stopped for a breather about halfway up, enjoying another grand view across to Beinn nan Aighenan and the Cruachan range:
WR17 - nice view of Beinn nan Aighenan and Cruachan again on ascent.jpg

Thankfully it wasn't that much further up to the summit cairn, which predictably (given Albannaich's height and pointiness) gave fairly spectacular views. This was the vista eastwards over Rannoch Moor to the Bridge of Orchy Munros:
WR18 - at summit looking E to Rannoch Moor and Bridge of Orchy Munros.jpg

Yet another Summit Selfie:
WR19 - BHK at Albannaich summit.jpg

An impressive view of the precipitous ongoing rim of the Scotsman's Corrie, with a lingering bit of cornice:
WR20 - nice view of precipitous corrie rim with bit of a cornice.jpg

The view northwards towards the distant Ben Nevis:
WR21 - view north to Nevis from Albannaich summit environs.jpg

I took the ongoing path that heads part of the way round the corrie rim, getting an impressive closer look at that cornice:
WR22 - close-up of cornice.jpg

The descent route from Albannaich could be tricky in poor visibility, since it takes a pathless curving route down, initially west and gradually bending to the south-east, to avoid some steep ground immediately south of the summit. In clear conditions, however, it was quite straightforward, and soon enough I was almost directly above the bealach with Glas Bheinn Mhor, which was looming very large across the other side of the glen.
WR23 - descending to bealach with Glas Bheinn Mhor looming large.jpg

I started on the steep descent to the bealach, missing the start of a descent path but eventually picking it up about halfway down. Once down at the Albannaich / Glas Bheinn Mhor bealach, there was a serviceable ongoing path along the right-hand side of the Allt nam Meirleach, and then lower down the Allt Mheuran. The path got rather muddy in its lower reaches, and it felt like a fair old trudge back down the glen, but it was certainly scenic enough, with several wee waterfalls and one big one (the Eas nam Meirleach) as distraction from my general knackeredness. All the same, it was quite a relief to eventually get back to Glen Etive, where I made the muddy detour around Coiletir Cottage to re-cross the bridge over the River Etive back to the car park.
WR24 - lower glen of the Allt nam Meirleach.jpg

A grand outing in spectacular weather, despite the Snow Issues :D !
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bobble_hat_kenny
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 351
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Re: Jings; the Scotsman's corrie in New Boots (but old panti

Postby Jaxter » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:55 am

Enjoyed this - I set off with this as a plan but it didn't quite go to plan as yours did as I picked a stupid route up the first hill and then carried all the way along the ridge to Starav, because why not :lol: :lol:

You cannae beat this area on a good day though, absolutely love it :D 8)
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Jaxter
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Location: Glasgow/Inverness

Re: Jings; the Scotsman's corrie in New Boots (but old panti

Postby bobble_hat_kenny » Thu May 17, 2018 10:28 pm

Jaxter wrote:Enjoyed this - I set off with this as a plan but it didn't quite go to plan as yours did as I picked a stupid route up the first hill and then carried all the way along the ridge to Starav, because why not :lol: :lol:

You cannae beat this area on a good day though, absolutely love it :D 8)

Thanks, Jaxter, and sorry for the rather late reply :oops: .
Aye, they're a really nice group of hills, these :D !
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bobble_hat_kenny
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Munros:216   Corbetts:38
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Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:2
Joined: Sep 3, 2011

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