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A Glen Etive Threesome

A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby CurlyWurly » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:35 pm

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

Date walked: 23/04/2010

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 1663m

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With a certain amount pessimism, I arrived in Crianlarich at about 4:30pm on Friday afternoon. Our planned expedition to Glen Affric had been scuppered by the weather and the alternative was a trip into Glen Etive. Kev said that the weather was going to clear, I was not convinced.

Regardless, I had not done anything in this area and with a plan to do a full traverse in the back of my head, it would be a good opportunity to check things out. There were four peaks on Kev’s ‘hit list’; Meall nan Eun, Stob Coir an Albannaich, Glas Bheinn Mhor and Beinn nan Aighenan. We decided to dump one car at Victoria Bridge car-park and drive the other car down through the Glen. This would give us the option of dropping off the top on either side.

By 7pm we where parked up, packs on our back and crossing the bridge over the River Etive. Kev had this huge pack, I think it was something like 190litre + 15. It looked like he was carrying a huge coffin on his back. I had squeezed everything into a 40 litre pack.

We made decent progress and followed the faint path that runs alongside the Allt Ceitlein. Our target was the bealach at 633 metres. This would provide a good launch pad for our assault on the peaks the next day.

Pushing up the hill, the rain did not seem to be subsiding and as we got higher the wind was picking up. By this stage we had navigated onto a spur and some small cliff faces offered some respite from the wind.

Deciding to call it a day, we hurriedly unpacked our rucksacks and set about erecting our tents. I always travel as light as possible, hence the reason for the 40 litre pack. But one new luxury I had afforded was a new Therm-a-rest Prolite 4. Now this bad boy is twice as thick as my other one and performed well in the snow-hole on my winter mountain leader. I was expecting big things.

It would have been good to chill out and admire the views, maybe share a wee dram of whisky and watch the sun set over the mountain tops. Unfortunately it was wet and cold so I quickly retreated to my tent. Settling into my sleeping bag I made up a boil in the bag lamb curry and settled down to watch an episode of Band of Brothers on mu iPhone. Fair play to Kev, he even delivered a whisky to my tent door. Better service than the pub.

1. Wild Camping in Glen Ceitlein.jpg

Dozing off to sleep, the new Therm-a-rest did not disappoint and I slept well until nature called at 4am. The rain was still hammering down and I was beginning to wonder if we would be packing up and hiking straight back out to the car. I must have dropped off back to sleep again but at about 5.30am I could hear Kev fumbling about. Peering out of the tent, it was becoming quite light and the good news was that it was no longer raining. All systems go!

We scoffed breakfast and by 7am we where once again ascending towards the bealach. Ok, the weather was not amazing but the summits fleeted in and out of the cloud. We hit the bealach and headed south then south east towards the summit of Meall nan Eun. I enjoyed the last push to the summit, 70 metres of ascent over 600 metres, nice and gradual.

2. On top of Meall nan Eun.jpg

We did not hang about and set about towards our second peak, Stob Coir an Albannaich. You drop to 792 metres then up over Meall Tarsuinn at 877 metres then back down to 754 metres then a push up to the summit at 1044 metres. Hmmmm

3. Back to winter - On the approach to Stob Coir an Albannaich.jpg

There was no doubt the weather was improving, the summits where clearing and patches of blue sky where dotted about in the skyline. We walked on over Meall Tarsuinn and onto the ridge that leads up to the summit. It was an impressive sight and I knocked off some shots with the DSLR.

4. Pushing hard up to the summit of Stob Coir an Albannaich.jpg

5. Time for reflection.jpg

6. Amazing views.jpg

We spent a good ten minutes on the summit, the views where impressive. It was decision time. We could ascend Glas Bheinn Mhor and then Beinn nan Aighenan then drop down onto the path past Loch Dochard to the car parked at Victoria Bridge cap park or just climb Glas Bheinn Mhor and drop back to the car in the Glen. We decided to take option B. We had had a good day and nailed three peaks so there was no need to ‘over-do’ things. My bag was heavy so God only knows how Kev must have been feeling. I do not know how much water he carried, but at every brief stop, a full 3 litre bottle of volvic appeared!!

7. Panorama from Stob an Albannaich.jpg

The bealach between Stob Coir an Albannaich and Glas Bheinn Mhor was 738 metres so there was a fair decent then climb to the summit at 997 metres. Fortunately the path zig-zagged so the climb was not too bad. Towards the end of other trips, the conversation normally drifts onto food and this was no different. After limited discussion it unanimously agreed that a Frey Bentos pie would be the ultimate reward after a hard days walk. Let’s face it, under normal circumstances you would have to work out for a week at the gym to burn off the calories that they contain.

With thoughts of food in my mind we ‘topped out’ and planned our route back to the car. We could retreat back down to the bealach and pick the path up past ‘The Robbers’ Waterfall’ or push on over Meall nan Tri Tighearnan and down a path marked on the map that runs alongside the Allt nam Meirleach. Personally, I hate retracing steps so I pushed Kev towards the later option. Fortunately the descent was pretty spectacular; unfortunately we where too tired to really appreciate the views. Conversation subsided and we plodded on down the path towards the glen.

8. Taking a breather during the descent down.jpg

There would be one last sting in the tail though. The owners of the cottage had erected a fence and requested that walkers take the huge detour of about 15 metres  around the perimiter. How dare they?? I did contemplate scaling the fence but in the end, sense prevailed and we walked the long way round.

What a great trip, I really enjoyed the fact that it was done ‘off the cuff’ and we pretty much walked without any set plans, route etc.

Happy Days

Route - 19.7km - 1663 metres of Ascent.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Re: A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby HighlandSC » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:01 pm

Great report. Well done both :D

That does look like a fair size of bag Kevs got!

I wont speak to soon. I've got a 65l ready to start wild camps this year. Good to hear the thermarest get a good report - I've got a new one ready for use first time next month 8) Same as it'll be first use of tent, sleeping...the works!
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Re: A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby monty » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:08 pm

Nice report curlywurly. :D

I read Kev's report and its good to get two opinions of the same walk at the same time. Is kev's pack full of whisky :lol: Geeze it looks heavy :shock: Looks like he is feeling it on the walk out aswell :lol:

Picture 6 looks phenomenal :D

Good effort

Re: A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby kevsbald » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:11 pm

Ok Ok - it was a 75 litre rucksack. But, I knew darren would watch his Iphone at night so I made plans with a nymphomaniac midget as long as I'd carry her up and down. I thought by Darren's title, Id' been found out! 8)
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Re: A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby monty » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:22 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby Milesy » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:20 pm

Looks brilliant. I really need to start doing some camps this year. A group of us were discussing that nasty fence after Starav two weeks ago as well.
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Re: A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby Paul Webster » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:30 pm

Photo 6 - with the clouds - is absolutely magical :thumbup:
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Re: A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby mountain coward » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:45 am

"Time for Reflection" and no. 6 after it are both great!
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Re: A Glen Etive Threesome

Postby Graeme D » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:28 pm

Great report Darren! Number 6 is a classic! Glad to see a Mr F. Bentos getting a mention again. Kev and he seem to be very closely acquainted. I wonder if a Mr Ossian came to dinner that night as well? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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