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Brain fart on the Bookle

Brain fart on the Bookle

Postby teaandpies » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:20 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Mòr

Munros included on this walk: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mòr), Stob na Bròige (Buachaille Etive Mòr)

Date walked: 21/06/2017

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 21.4 km

Ascent: 1806m

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So the alarm goes off at 8am and the gentle sound awakens me from my slumber. I lay in bed and looked at my phone praying the weather would be terrible so I wouldn't have to go outside but no, it was to be a stonking day, one of the warmest of the year so far... :(

I've been struggling lately with some unfortunate motivation issues, the kind that make day to day living difficult for myself and others around me so when my alarm went off I wanted an excuse to waste my day off but in the end I didn't even need one, I ignored the phone and went back to sleep.
I woke up around 11:30am when the heat became unbearable.
I rolled out of bed, ate some food and sat on my arse for a while as I veged out in front of the t.v. My backpack that I had prepared the night before was staring at me, feeling guilty I decided that going out would be worth the effort...that and my girlfriend giving me he'll via text message :(

The plan was Beinn Sgulaird, I fancied getting that single done so I set off for Loch Creran. I set off around 12 maybe (I don't remember) but what I do remember is the roads were busy and the going was slow, so so slow. At the rate the traffic was moving it could be as late as 15:30 before stepping foot on a hill. With the WH given the Beinn Sgulaird a potential 8 hour walk time that would mean a late return home.

The crawling traffic eventually reached Tyndrum where I made the decision to change my plans, now I was heading for Glen Orchy to do a pair of easy looking Corbetts.

As the sign for Glen Orchy turn off approached I changed my mind again, I'm now heading for Beinn a'Chrulaiste :crazy:

Arriving at the Altnafeadh car park it was busy, very busy but there was a space a little bit down the nasty track. My car did bottom out at one point, then I had to try and reverse into a space that had some big rocks I'd have to avoid, mercifully I managed to get the car into the space with no damage.

While getting ready I changed my mind again, it was a glorious day and I'm parked next to The Bookle for God sake, it was a no brainer really!

I got going about 14:30ish.

All parked up

I followed the path over the bridge and past the hut.


The heat was incredible, I'd only been walking for a short while but the sweat was pouring from me so I had a wee sit down. I hadn't done any exercise for a few weeks, it was obvious :shock:

A very early break

The humming from the car traffic was broken by the rumble of lorries and the screeching of motorcycles, Glencoe might have nice hills but I prefer the hills that are miles from the road.

The path is very obvious when you're on it but it's not easy to spot form below. I'm not sure if that was done by design or by fluke but it's definitely there so just keep going.

The way

I passed a few folk on their way down, a mixture of people some kitted out in 'proper' hill walking attire while others were just in shorts & t-shirt with trainers. Not judging but I guess this really is a hill for everybody.

Views to the Ben and pals

The climb is steep and gets steeper but the steps help. There's a few paths higher up but they all seem to end at the same place.

There's a path honest

Reaching the ridge was a welcome relief from that claustrophobic climb up.




There was still a bit of climbing to do so off I went zig-zagging my way to the summit. My excitement would peak at the site of cairns on the horizon only to be disappointed when reaching them :(


From the road Stob Dearg looks like a solid lump of grey rock but I found myself surrounded by this wonderful red stuff.

Mars calling Earth

High above car park

I had the entire summit to myself, I was going to sit and take in the views.


As it happens I wasn't alone, every midge in Glencoe was at the summit waiting for me to sit down, as I got my peice out they swarmed me, nice timing ya buggers. I just wanted some time to relax but no, I was having rush my sandwich and if that wasn't bad enough I had a raven eyeballing it! I did feed it the dry crusts. If I hadn't been under attack and waving my arms like a loony I reckon I could have fed the bird from my hand.

Making friends

I was only on the top for a matter of minutes before being forced off but I couldn't leave without a picture or 2.

England! Oops I mean Rannoch Moor

Em two

At lot

The people free top

Up Glencoe

Next target is a Munro top you can't avoid. You need to get up and over it, it's bit of a bugger :?

Stob na Doire

Full steam ahead

Looking back to Stob Dearg

A couple of RAF Typhoon fighter jets screeched their way down Glen Etive about this point, I didn't get a decent photograph but what a fabulous sight. The views were pretty great as well :)

Looking lovely ladies :wink:

I could see that the next Munro it wasn't far now.

Looking to Stob na Broige

I wasn't totally alone on the hill I did spot this little fella. I wouldn't have expected to see a Ptarmigan on this hill because of the volume of traffic but there ya go! :shock:

Out of focus ptarmigan

The views were evolving as I progressed along the ridge, the light had also changed. It was now less intense.

Having a decent look at the Etive hills

Stob Coire Altruim & Stob na Broige


Looking back to Stob na Doire

Moving along the ridge at a leisurely pace I passed the marker cairn for the exit path and made my way up the slope to the next top. I did take a wee second to recover my breath.

SD keeking out there

Once I reached the cairn atop Stob Coire Altruim I took a few pictures looking all around as I always do...

to BnB

to SnB

back over the walk so far

to the Ben

across the Wee Bookle

back to the car

For some inexplicable reason (I genuinely don't know why) I left the top and headed off down the mountain. No excuses, no reasons for my actions...the weather was clear, the temperature was nice, I was feeling ok and I had the hill to myself. What the he'll happened? It was late but I was fine for light on the eve of the longest day. I wouldn't realise what I had done until much later on.

Looking back up to SnC

The path down is pretty good and easy going until the slabby bits are reached. I found this part tricky in places to get down. Steep and covered in marble sized wee stones some niffty footwork was needed to to negotiate it safely.

Heading down

Once safely off the slabby bit it was plain sailing from here with the only potential annoyance being a river crossing but even that proved to be straight forward.

Coire Altruim

Crossing River Coupall

The walk back seemed like a long lonely slog but I could see my car away off in the distance, a shiny electric blue beacon but a weird optical illusion was going on, the closer I got to the car the smaller it seemed :crazy:

I eventually reached a smaller but better car park where I rediscovered humanity. 2 walkers were just setting off with heavy looking backpacks for what I presumed was for a coupleof nights wild camping.

The walk between the 2 car parks was a nightmare, I chose to follow a path off the road but runs parallel as the traffic was still heavy, it was boggy and energy zapping. It also seemed to take forever to cover the distance.

On reaching the nearly empty car park the first thing I noticed was a pair off old boots with a sock in each one. I took a closer look and seen they were a Keen and laughed.

Keen boots in their natural state...falling to bits :lol:

It turns out the the reason my car seemed to be getting smaller was because it was a small car I had been looking at :lol:

The 2 blue cars

Now ready to leave and having carefully reversed my way up the shitty track I was on the road home. I hadn't even been driving for 2 minutes when I spotted an owl perched on a snow pole, magnificent looking thing.

It would be about 36 hours later when cycling through my pictures of the walk looking for a nice one to put on Instagram that I realised I hadn't walked to the summit of the second Munro. Needless to say I pretty bloody annoyed with myself, even writing about it fills me with embarrassment. I even took a picture looking from Stob na Doire to Stob na Broige!!
It just seems crackers that I didn't walk that extra kilometre or whatever it is to the other top. How can it be possible to completely stop thinking?

For 5 days the knowledge of what I'd done would eat at me, I don't take failure particularly well and knowing it was my own fault made it even worse.

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I've had to wait 5 full days since realising my error to fix it. 8 days after my first trip to Bookle I'd be going back to write my wrong and put my mind at ease. YOU BETTER BELIEVE I WAS MOTIVATED! Nothing gets me more hyped than a red hot poker of failure jabbed up my arse.

I was super pumped for the walk today but nearly all my enthusiasm was killed before I got anywhere near the hill. The A82, it's the bloody worst! Stuck in traffic for hours for journeys that should take half the time they end up taking.

Stuck in traffic

I parked up at the wee car park today, plenty of space and a lot safer for my car.

The jaunt along the path to the fork that takes you across the burn and up into the coire seemed a lot a lot shorter that the previous experience of it.

I headed up the path and found myself at the slabby bits that gave me a bit of trouble on my last outing, going up them proved to be significantly easier than going down them and once they were out of the way it's a fairly short climb bealach. It was windy on arriving so I flung the jacket on before taking the short rough path up to Stob Coire Altruim, I didn't even go to the cairn, I took the blatantly obvious path that heads directly to Stob na Broige :crazy:

Coming for you!

I was definitely not in a mad rush to get up and down the hill so took in the views, still great even if they were a little more cloudy this week :lol:

Different weather conditions today

I realised while walking along the ridge that the wind had gone so off came the jacket, weird how I hadn't noticed it had vanished.

Walking slowly, thinking back to my walk during winter on Buachaille Etive Beag and looking across to this mountain. What a great day out that was.

The distance between tops ScA and SnB was greater than I'd thought it wasn't as if it was hard walking, a wee rocky bit here a boggy bit there was about the extent of the on ridge interest until a Ring Ouzel crossed my path, it's only the second time I've seen one so I was chuffed to bits. My other encounter with a Ring Ouzel was on Mount Keen.

Further than I thought!

There's a final pull to the summit of Stob na Broige but it's not difficult and hey presto I'd made it.
I didn't linger the weather was looking like it may turn crappy. I snapped a few must have summit pictures and headed back the way I'd come. It did cross my mind to walk down into Glen Etive before taking the path back through Lairig Gartain to the car but honestly I couldn't be bothered with that so headed home the conventional way and that was that. Buachaille Etive Mor...DONE! :D

Hurrah!! The Summit :lol:

All the Stobs

The AE


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Re: Brain fart on the Bookle

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:28 pm

Oops. One way to get your motivation back, I guess :? I'm sure many of us have done similar. Not quite the same but I certainly have a few Munros that I could have easily bagged during other walks but couldn't be bothered to do so, and therefore have some long walks for individual peaks to do if I ever start ticking them properly...

Good report though, and some great images. Despite the popularity, I always enjoy a day on the Big Shepherd, its a magnificent mountain, and was my own first Munro when I was about 13.
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Re: Brain fart on the Bookle

Postby Coop » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:51 pm

Hehe brilliant, nearly overshadowed the day I had on this pair
Went up left too early and ended up having a bit of a climb - unexpected
Left the summit and headed along and down towards glen etive. Realised after about 400m of scree that I was going the wrong way and had to go back up through the scree to get to the ridge line again.
Then when I headed back from Stob na broige I came down too early and that was a bit of a challenge getting back up again - and going further along to the descent path.
My excuse that day - it was misty.
Can't say I've forgotten a summit though - yet :D
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Re: Brain fart on the Bookle

Postby ancancha » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:07 pm

Cracking report teasandpies :clap:
Envious of your close encounter with the Raven, they must have become tamer since I left Scotland :crazy:
Maybe you just had to go back for the Ring Ouzel :lol:
Fabulous photaes :clap:
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