Munros: Stob Dearg, Stob na Broige.
Distance: 16 km.
Time: 7 hours, 30 minutes.
Weather: Mild, drifting cloud, some sunshine.
Plus 42 miles on the bike on 29/09.
David's last Munro was scheduled for Saturday the 28th, and all week we had been watching the weather forecast get worse and worse....until it changed completely. Being disorganised, we cobbled together some overnight stuff at the last minute and decided to head out for the weekend.
Sadly, the 9:30 start from Altnafeadh meant leaving Glasgow before 7:30, which we failed to do. Still, we were pulling up under the Buachaille only 10 minutes or so late, and reckoned we could see the group of final Munroists just past the cottage. Surely we'd catch them up in no time!
Buachaille Etive Beag
We actually did catch everyone up not too long after the first bit of ascent into Coire na Tulaich, but we were quite out of breath by that time! It was a nice size of group - about 9 or 10 of us (a couple of people had turned back), and although progress with that many people is never particularly fast, we didn't take too long to climb out of the back of the corrie. The route had definitely improved since my previous times up here, with the path heading quite nicely to the west of the worst scree. Actually, thinking back, I have never been up this corrie, and probably only descended it once in 4 or 5 visits.
Coire na Tulaich
Coire na Tulaich
Cloud shifting on the ridge
Considering the apocalypse forecast earlier in the week, it was shaping up to be a rather pleasant autumn day. The summits were never going to all clear at the same time, but there were plenty of atmospheric holes in the cloud and spots of sunshine.
Heading for the summit
We picked the summit closest to Curved Ridge as the one to stop on, although it possibly isn't the highest of the various bumps. But it is probably the most impressive, and a good one to enjoy a long break and some celebrational bubbly. Congratulations David .
Approaching his final Munro
Here we go...
David pops his cork
On the summit
Down to Altnafeadh
We all headed back down to the top of the corrie, at which point Jackie and I decided to make the most of the weather and continue the traverse of the ridge.
Buachaille Etive Beag and Glencoe
Stob na Doire from Stob Dearg
Stob na Doire and Stob Coire Altruim
North from Stob na Doire
Most people find this easy...
Summit of Stob Coire Altruim
We sat around at the summit of Stob na Broige waiting for the cloud to clear over Glen Etive, which it did briefly, then it was back along the ridge to descend Coire Altruim.
Sgurr na h-Udlaidh and the back of Bidean
Buachaille Etive Beag
Back to Stob Dearg
Schiehallion – it’s everywhere!
Towards the eastern Mamores
Stob Ghabhar - clear this weekend
Stob Coire Raineach
The descent down the corrie was interesting - we have both done this before but neither of us could remember the slithery scrabble over slabs halfway down - odd! Easier going took us back to the road, where a quick scoot along the verge got us back to the car.
Corrie was steeper than either of us remembered
Come on - fall in!
Laziness descended - we decided to camp at Invercoe with the luxury of showers and toilets rather than slum it out on the moor. Seemed like a sensible opportunity for the first pitch of our new tent, rather than in the dark and rain at some point in the future! The campsite was handy for us to head over to Ballachulish to join David for fish and chips, before an early night.
We didn't get up too early the next day, but we were packed up and ready to jump on the 10:45 ferry to Ardgour. Jackie would have liked to give the full Strontian - Acharacle - Lochailort loop that I did last December a go, but didn't feel her fitness was up to it yet. Not to worry - there is a convenient shorter loop via Glengalmadale which is just as good! My bike was up and running again after a rather expensive repair (I had managed to fling it off the back of the car at high speed the previous weekend ).
Waiting for the ferry
There were a couple of light showers on the way round, but on the whole it was good cycling weather - even the odd bit of sunshine. After the main climb out of Kingairloch to the top of the Strontian - Lochaline road, I asked Jackie if she still fancied a quick ascent of Beinn nam Beathrach, which was a short distance away....the answer can't be included here . Realistically given the timing, it was always going to be a choice between a quick hill on the way round or coffee and cake in Strontian - you can guess which was more appealing at this point!
Across to Beinn a’ Bheither and Fraochaidh
The narrow bit round to Glen Galmadale
Descending to Loch Sunart
Garbh Bheinn from Loch Sunart
A quick diversion into Café Sunart in Strontian provided the necessary energy for the cycle back to the ferry, which unusually was into the wind. We were packed up and back down the road to Glasgow in plenty of time to slip by the scheduled overnight road closure at Inverarnan before it shut at 7.
Down Loch Linnhe
A fantastic weekend away .
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