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Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Glen Etive with a Broken Toe


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:14 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Maol Chaluim, Beinn Mhic Chasgaig, Beinn Mhic-Mhonaidh, Beinn Trilleachan

Date walked: 22/09/2019

Distance: 42.4 km

Ascent: 3416m

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A few weekends ago I sounded the death knell for summer. I wasn't expecting a resurrection this weekend, or I probably wouldn't have chosen to go down Glen Etive, that place of tourist-madness when the sun shines. But anyway, that's where we ended up, three steep little Corbetts needing taken care of. We camped quite near the north end of the glen, with vague ideas to start on Beinn Mhic Chasaig in the morning, just across the river. Sleep was disturbed by a nocturnal visit from a mouse on the scrounge, who managed to get himself stuck in a paper bag :roll:


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Friday morning was very chilly, to the point where I had to look out a woolly hat to wear - but only because we were in the deep shadow caused by the sun coming over Creise. It soon warmed up when we entered the world of golden rays. But before that, we had the little matter of getting over the river. Now, the standard route up Mhic Chasaig is not pleasant - at least that's my memory of it - lots of steep sided gully walking. It would be much more pleasant and quick to just get across the River Etive and head up the easy gradient of the western shoulder. If we could get over the River Etive... I'd cast an eye when we tpitched the tent the night before, and it looked alright, shallow with a good number of stones to get across on. However, peering at it this morning I wasn't sure I could plot a path right the way across on stepping stones and I decided that a wade might be more sensible, rather than starting off the weekend with sodden boots. So I get boots and socks off and start over. It's cold, the water, some of the stones are slippy with weed and I managed to bruise my right instep, but I'm over. Allison, on the othert hand, had thought she'd use gaiters with her boots, but on my advice she removes her boots too and with her very first step into the water managed to stub her foot and fall over onto her hip. I'm sitting on the other bank and can see she's in trouble...she looks shaken. After a time she slowly puts her boots and gaiters back on and starts to cross on the rocks, managing it without getting her feet wet. She's in a fair bit of pain.

Just up here - easy!
ImageP9200284 by Al, on Flickr

After crossing here...
ImageP9200285 by Al, on Flickr

The rest of the glen in sunshine
ImageP9200286 by Al, on Flickr


We press on towards the beginning of the shoulder. Once there it is a very easy ascent over shortish grass, much more pleasant than the alternative route. We get to the summit, where Allison takes off her boot and has a look at her toe. Yep, the second smallest toe on her right foot is a different shape from what it used to be...oops! Not much for it but to tape it up to the next toe along, take a painkiller and get boot back on. We've a mountain to descend. She manages well, except for the occasional howl of pain when she turns her toes the wrong way. We even manage the river crossing at the bottom without difficulty.

Another view of Buachaille Etive Mor
ImageP9200288 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9200289 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9200290 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Mhic Chasaig
ImageP9200291 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9200293 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9200295 by Al, on Flickr

The day is absolutely roasting, with little breeze. The time is just past midday. I wonder what we should do - I suspect her foot will be sorer tomorrow, so we might as well just get another hill in today whilst we have the chance - she says she thinks that will be ok, she'll just be a bit slow. The other hills we have are Beinn Trilleachan and Beinn Maol Chaluim - both are a similar length. I decide on Chaluim for no very clear reason and we motor a few miles down the glen.

I have few memories of this hill other than a boggy flat middle section. We use the standard route - indeed it's hard to see what alternative ways up there could be unless you took a steepish wander in from Fionn Gleann. The sun is beating down - already my face feels like a skelpit arse. There's something of a path up the initial section until we reach the middle part I remember, then a steeper pull with Allison taking us up a scrambly section despite her toe until we reach the lengthy back of the hill and arrive at the summit after several days have elapsed :roll: It felt a bit like that. And 907 metres as well - I'd forgotten about that! We turned tail, followed our trail back down, this time avoiding the rocky scramble. We driver back to where we've left the tent, concerned that a mini-campsite will have sprung up around us, but no, just our tent there although there are numerous tents elsewhere along the glen.

ImageP9200296 by Al, on Flickr

Limping slightly...
ImageP9200297 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9200298 by Al, on Flickr

Sgorr na h-Ulaidh
ImageP9200300 by Al, on Flickr

The long ridge to Maol Chaluim
ImageP9200301 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9200302 by Al, on Flickr

Rear of Bidean nam Bian
ImageP9200303 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9200305 by Al, on Flickr

The steepness that is Stob Dubh
ImageP9200306 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9200310 by Al, on Flickr

It would have been nice to sit out and have our tea, but the lack of wind causes the midges to make their presence felt, so we eat inside and have an early night. I'm unsure if Allison will be able to walk up a hill tomorrow - at least she can wait in the tent if she can't. We get another night time visit from Mr Mouse although it's almost too hot to get any sleep anyway.

Saturday morning is another glorious blue sky day - but with some wind this time. We rise moderately late, Allisonsays her toe is no sorer than it was yesterday and she'll give Trilleachan a go. So we drive the length of the glen, arriving at the wee car park by the Loch which is rammed full of cars and camper vans, plus the odd tent in the car park itself. We just manage to get parked amid kids screaming, people cooking breakfast, dogs yapping, folk chopping firewood - all crammed together. Get away from it all - with everybody else! We don't linger, set off to find the path up Trilleachan, a boggy path through the ferns and up the side of the deer fence until the skirts of the mountain are reached.

Trilleachan
ImageP9210311 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210312 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210313 by Al, on Flickr


It is another very hot day and I realise with my first drink from my bladder that I have run out of water - usually I fill up with enough to do 2 typical days, but I drank more than usual yesterday in the heat and now will have a parched climb. We gain height steadily, coming onto the slabs and arriving at the first summit at the head of the slabs. It is very, very windy - we wonder how the big group of folk we saw heading up Ben Starav when we drove by are faring :shock: Down from the slab peak and across to the main summit where we're graced by lovely 360 degree views. We eat our lunch basking in the scenery and buffeted by the wind. Back the way we've come (plus some interesting deviations near the end thanks to yours truly following deer paths).

ImageP9210314 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210315 by Al, on Flickr

Looking back at the slabs summit
ImageP9210318 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210320 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210321 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210324 by Al, on Flickr

Lunchtime shadows
ImageP9210325 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210329 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210330 by Al, on Flickr

The drive back up Glen Etive is absolutely mental. There are cars parked in lots of the passing places and a seemingly endless line of traffic still coming down the glen. We arrive back at the tent to find that we are still on our lonesome :D A nice relaxing afternoon sitting in the sunshine (the strength of the wind means not a single midge :wink: ) and just as I'm cooking tea the wind suddenly drops away to nothing - damn! In the evening the wind picks up again. We take a wander along to the sheep transporter (for so it is marked on the map) just along from us. Looks to be broken, with the box in a shoogly state over on the other side of the river. I decide not to try crossing again :lol: We have another night of little sleep, this time due to the wind blasting the tent for the duration - the mousey visitor gives up after only a few minutes in the tent tonight - feel a bit sorry for him.

ImageP9210331 by Al, on Flickr

Sheep transporter
ImageP9210332 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9210333 by Al, on Flickr


Sunday is supposed to be a day of rain but it is still dry when we pack the tent up, with some difficulty in the wind and head off to Glen Orchy, for a wander up Beinn Mhic Monaidh. Last time we did this, we went up from Glen Strae - a steep pull up the west flanks of the hill. I had drawn a route from Glen Orchy this time, totally unaware that the route in Walk Highlands goes from there anyway :crazy: After the mental-ness of Glen Etive, Glen Orchy seemed quite deserted in comparison. We parked at the Eas Urchaidh car park and set off across a sturdy bridge onto a top notch track - yay!


monaidsim.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I was surprised to see hill access signposted, and we wandered happily through the forest until the rain started and I realised I'd left my waterproof trousers in the car. We wandered on, across a few streams with big stepping stones then up to the edge of the forest, where there's a gate leading out onto the hillside. And a path to follow up it! Amazing. Well the path does seem to disappear by the time you arrive at 500m elevation, but the going is easy over short grass and there are deer trails to follow anyway. We paused for lunch, watching two other walkers coming up, then set off for the summit, which was shrouded in mist.

ImageP9220335 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220336 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220339 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220340 by Al, on Flickr

Out onto the hillside
ImageP9220341 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220342 by Al, on Flickr

With typical bad timing on our part the mist cleared about 10 minutes after we were at the top. Meanwhile, we had started to walk across to the northern top, a Simm, need I add. A herd of deer filed their way along before us, we had a couple of steep descents then a small rise up to the summit. Good views back to Mhic Monaidh from here, also across to the Starav group. Return was achieved following an old fence line that brought up in time back to the gate into the forest. It was far nicer amble through the trees in dry conditions - autumnal fungi forcing their way through the ground, pillows of soft moss under the trees, a solitary rowan berry amid stones in a stream like a red beady eye.

Northern top
ImageP9220344 by Al, on Flickr

Mhic Monaidh
ImageP9220348 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220349 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220350 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220352 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220353 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220354 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP9220355 by Al, on Flickr
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weaselmaster
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby prog99 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:45 pm

Assume its been x-rayed? Not that theres much they can do probably anyway based on a broken thumb I had.

Got caught out by the sun on friday too, figured shorts in september for someone of welsh/scottish descent would be ok...

With water on the hills and having been burnt once(and once was enough) with a "rapid weight loss program" after drinking untreated stuff I use either one of these https://www.lifestraw.com/products/lifestraw-go or one of these https://www.watertogo.eu.

Oh and you've really put me off on a return to etive.
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:47 am

She's made of stern stuff, Allison. Inspiring choices for crowd-avoiding (mostly) in Glen Etive on a sunny day. And some beautiful late summer photos. :D
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby Jaxter » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:09 am

Having turned an ankle in a burn wade I can feel Alison’s pain. I’m sure it won’t slow her down for long! It was a stunning weekend - I love Glen Etive, but a shame about all the numpties :crazy:
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby jonny616 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:51 am

Looks grand. Hope Allisons toe heals soon. :D
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby nigheandonn » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:09 am

You seem to work Allison hard at the best of times, but three days with a broken toe? Poor lass!

Poor daft mouse, too.

Lovely pictures in the autumn light, even in the summer weather.
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:16 am

prog99 wrote:Assume its been x-rayed? Not that theres much they can do probably anyway based on a broken thumb I had.

Got caught out by the sun on friday too, figured shorts in september for someone of welsh/scottish descent would be ok...

With water on the hills and having been burnt once(and once was enough) with a "rapid weight loss program" after drinking untreated stuff I use either one of these https://www.lifestraw.com/products/lifestraw-go or one of these https://www.watertogo.eu.

Oh and you've really put me off on a return to etive.


No XRays - toe not misaligned, normal temperature, just splinting to its fellow is alright I think.

As for water - when I'm away for a couple days I'll use a sawyer water filter if i'm taking water from somewhere a bit questionable. Normally I'll drink straight from streams if they are not in the vicinity of livestock. Problem was that on Saturday there were no streams, just standing pools.... I did think about getting one of those Steripen things, maybe for next summer.

Sorry if I put you off Etive - just wait til the tourists go away - end of next month and all should be fine :D
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:20 am

Jaxter wrote:Having turned an ankle in a burn wade I can feel Alison’s pain. I’m sure it won’t slow her down for long! It was a stunning weekend - I love Glen Etive, but a shame about all the numpties :crazy:


There's just so many people now! I asked Allison what the difference was from a few years back, when yes, you'd get a lot of hillwalkers and kayakers etc using the glen. She reckoned it was all down to James Bond and Skyfall that you now get all those tourists coming for a drive down the glen. Lots of "19" plate cars yesterday. As with Skye, the infrastructure to support that level of visiting just isn't there.
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:24 am

nigheandonn wrote:You seem to work Allison hard at the best of times, but three days with a broken toe? Poor lass!
.


Would she have it any other way :wink: I was quite prepared to go off myself, but walking on her damaged toe seemed preferable to languishing in the tent as far as she was concerned (having done a bit of that in the past with her back). Anyway - she's got Torridon/Lochcarron next weekend :lol:
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:02 pm

Another fine TR,you & Sick Kid are a pair of machines churning out hills week after week.

I was with Paul Tattersall on Saturday,he asked me to say hello to both of you.Your name came up as we we passed through the window on Gillean just before traversing round that stone block with fresh air below your feet. :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:30 pm

That. Beard. :lol:
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby katyhills » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:09 am

Another great report - beautiful set of photos. Hill views are stunning, especially on Trilleachan, but I love the autumnal toadstools, and the light is perfect for that typ of pic :D

The disgraceful state of Etive does seem to be down to that film. It never used to be like that. I did Stob Dubh from the Coiletir end [last year, end of May] and it wasn't too bad, but I had to contend with a bloke and his barbecue in the middle of the road on a previous visit :roll:
I've broken my big toe, and all they do is strap it to the next one. Not sure I could have gone hillwalking with it though :lol:
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:33 pm

katyhills wrote:Another great report - beautiful set of photos. Hill views are stunning, especially on Trilleachan, but I love the autumnal toadstools, and the light is perfect for that typ of pic :D

The disgraceful state of Etive does seem to be down to that film. It never used to be like that. I did Stob Dubh from the Coiletir end [last year, end of May] and it wasn't too bad, but I had to contend with a bloke and his barbecue in the middle of the road on a previous visit :roll:
I've broken my big toe, and all they do is strap it to the next one. Not sure I could have gone hillwalking with it though :lol:


Thanks :D .
Yeah, big toes are a different kettle of fish - no hillwalking with one of those, but a wee fourth toe isn't nearly as important to your walking ability :wink:
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:34 pm

LeithySuburbs wrote:That. Beard. :lol:


i like the way it's all windswept in that photo :wink:
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Re: Glen Etive with a Broken Toe

Postby rockhopper » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:47 pm

Certainly a big change in the weather conditions but another productive trip nonetheless. I take you don't have time to shave as you spend so much time on the hills :wink: Thanks :)
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