We parked at the south end of the clearing near the “Don’t feed the deer” sign, where, of course there were three cars worth of people feeding the deer. The first challenge of the ascent was to get the dogs past the deer and despite my worst fears this was accomplished quickly and quietly. Extra treats for the pups for that one - although it could be because the deer are 3 times the size of the ones in our local woods.
We took the faint path leading left to right up round some crags and the zig-zagged up through alternating boggy and bone-dry ground. From here, there is a great view of the valley between the Buachailles.
The undulating, hummocky ridge then heads to a rise from which a prominent rock band is visible. This was passed on the left and a pull up brings you to the top at 848m, from which the ridge to the summit is laid out ahead on what seems, after the ascent so far, an almost level ridge. The views from here onwards are fantastic all around but it’s the south wall of Bidean that provides an amazing, rarely seen backdrop.
A few ups and downs soon brings you to the double cairned summit. We then sauntered back along the ridge enjoying views right along the length of Glen Etive.
On descent, just before the first minor crag, we came too far to the south and ended up coming down a very steep slope, one hand holding onto the dogs, the other hanging on to the burnt remnants of a deer fence. Not recommended. If Stob Dubh looks like this then you need to be further to the left/north.
Jawnee’s view: Excellent hill which would receive a lot more attention if it were 10 metres higher. Scenery is fantastic both near and far. Almost all of the ascent is done on reaching point 848, leaving you to take in the magnificent surroundings as you stroll along the summit ridge. Oh, and if you leave your telephoto lens sitting at home expect eagles to swoop and soar, back and forth, right in front of your eyes.
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