This was my 6th consecutive day of hillwalking. I bagged my first Munro last weekend and now I was heading for some of the iconic Glen Coe Munros. I had planned to try Buachaille Etive Mor today, however, the weather just didn't merit it. I wanted to save that bad boy for a glorious day in the sunshine. So I decided to try the wee brother.
I have moved to the Clachaig last night, from Killin, and had a great meal and a good sleep. So, being so close, I arrived at the lay-by quite early.
It would be a short walk today and no hurry to get started due to the weather, so I walked around and took a few snaps before I started on my way.
There is a well constructed path for most of the way up to the bealach dividing the two Munros.
I decided to take Stob Coire Raineach first, in the hope that the weather would clear and I would get that famous view down loch Etive, later. The walk was pleasant, if unremarkable. Due to the low cloud, there were few opportunities for any good photos on the way up. I plodded my way slowly to the bealach and then on to the fist summit. The gradient steepens as the walk gets closer to the summit area and the traditional boulder field was small in comparison to most I had encountered so far.
I made my way back to the cairn at the bealach and immediately started the ascent of Stob Dubh. The visibility above me was still poor but the views downward were impressive on the occasions when the wind swept the cloud away for a few seconds.
There was nothing more to be done than just enjoy the walk to the summit area and hope that the clouds would clear for a few seconds. I hadn't checked the map too closely as it was a well trodden path, as you can imagine. I was a little surprise therefore when I came across a false summit. The whole walk was a little over 8.5km and I hadn't expected any "tricks" on the short distance. I continued onward to the summit, in the hope of that view of loch Etive. But not to be
I had a quick snack and some fluids and started the return journey. I met a party of French tourists being led by an English guide. We exchanged some greetings and went on our ways. I couldn't help but think that they must be feeling a bit cheated. I was doing this for "free" but to have paid to come all the way from France, pay for a guided walk and expect to see all those views in the brochures and on the web, I felt heart-sorry for them. I guess that is what being raised in Scotland does for you, limit the expectations of what to expect in life. It is not always a sunny day!
Just after I passed the French party, I got below the cloud level again and the views started to open up. First there was a wonderful rainbow (not sure it shows up on the photograph)
Then came a nice view of the path along the Lairig Eilde, showing the cloud level that caused the high level panorama issues.
The final stretch back to the car was fast going. I met several groups heading on their way up and hoped they got better summit views than I had.
My route for Buachaille Etive Beag:
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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.