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Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!


Postby davetherave » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:41 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn nan Aighenan, Glas Bheinn Mhor, Meall nan Eun, Stob a'Choire Odhair, Stob Coir an Albannaich, Stob Ghabhar

Date walked: 18/07/2010

Time taken: 21 hours

Distance: 42 km

Ascent: 2950m

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Date. Sunday 18th and Monday 19th July2010
Completed by. Dave, Julie and Wilson
Weather. Rain then clearing, 2nd day poor Vis with rain all day
Time. 9.5 hrs + 11.5 hrs
Distance. 42.5 km
Ascent. 2950 m
Hills.
Munro’s x 6
Corbett’s x 0
Grahams x 0


Stob a’Choire Odhair, Stob Ghabar, Meall Nan Eun, Stob Coir an Albannaich, Glas Bheinn Mhor and Beinn Nan Aighenan.

Starting from. Victoria Bridge near Bridge of Orchy


our route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts




With all the talk of dreadful weekend weather wise, we very nearly cancelled our weekend trip over to The Black Month near Bridge of Orchy. Further checks on the weather showed Sunday to be a possible good day, with a change coming by Monday bringing high winds and the constant threat of rain.

With this being the start of a week’s holiday, we decided to carry on with our plans of trying to do the hills from Victoria bridge to as far as Ben Starav… and if the weather was as bad as predicted we would make our retreat at any of the many escape routs along the way.

We arrived at Victoria Bridge in rain and reached the top of Stob a Choire Odhair in heavy rain and high winds.. We took the usual route up to the 1st summit, cutting off just before Coire Toaig. Then we zig zagged all the way up to the summit. We were blessed with high winds, persistent rain and no views what so ever.

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Heading west down the west ridge we are now heading for Stob Gabhar We cant see it, but we know it is there somewhere.
Soon we were at the foot of Stob Ghabar and started to make our way up the steep craggy ridge, once we were above Coirein Lochain the clouds started to lift and we were left with some very nice views indeed.
I was quite surprised on how craggy and in bits steep the ridge was prior to the summit. I did get the feeling it was slightly airy up there, but technically it was not difficult at all. Now it was the final push to the 1090m summit

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From Stob Ghabar we headed along the ridge Westish for approximately 5km to Meall Odhar drop down into the Bealach then up Meall nan Eun’s north side following the South East’s ridge to it’s summit.

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We now had to decide on a camping spot as it was now past 6pm, tiredness and hunger was now starting to creep in.

Earlier in the day we met a pair of Aberdonian women. They had climbed Meall Nan Eun and Stob Coir an Albannaich from the other side. They suggested camping at Meall Tarsuinn, at the 754 height. We took their word and descided on there advice.

We were now very happy with our day’s plans. The great surroundings, the weather had held out and our campsite was a cracker… We both slept very soundly on Sunday night.

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Sunday morning as expected we awoke to thick cloud, high wind and heavy rain. Visibility was down to about 20m when we left in the morning, and trying to get onto the ridge of Stob Coir an Albannaich was a wee bit hazardous at times. Once there, there was only about 170m or so to reach the top of the Stob.

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Onwards and downwards to the Bealach at 738m to the East of Glas Bheinn Mhor. The views had improved slightly, but for the most parts the tops were still covered with thick mist. From the Bealach we climbed through the rough terrain on to the ridge then turning west we headed to the summit.

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West again we head along the ridge making for Ben Starav the rain and wind have now picked up considerably, we decide to head for the ridge that would take you in a South direction towards Beinn Nan Aighenan and make a decision at that point whether to do Ben Starav or not.

Finding the above ridge in poor visibility was not easy, we over shot by about 200m and had to back track, even then I was not sure until the clouds lifted and the ridge could be seen. As soon as the clouds had lifted they returned, but by then I new I was on the ridge heading for Beinn Nan Aighenan.

Slight views could be had at the Bealach, but as we started to climb the clouds the higher we went soon engulfed us. We made our way through the broken rock and climbing the well-trodden path we eventually reached the summit.

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The summit to the far East point of the ridge took us 2hrs… Because of the visibility, we decided to stay of the higher ridge. We dropped in to the Coire and rounded the 744 spot height before finally getting back onto the ridge further East. It was at this point the clouds broke and we got our 1st views of Glen Kinglass. From here we headed directly East off the hill making for the bridge.

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Now we had the final 10k walk back to the car to contend with.
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby mountain coward » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:25 am

Certainly a challenging route in those conditions! I liked Beinn nan Aighenan, don't know why particularly - it was my favourite out of the Staravs - maybe 'cos that's the bit I go to do on my own without Richard who refused to do the extension! (only joking) :lol: You managed to get plenty of pics to say the weather was so awful!
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:30 am

Are you setting a record for doing the Munros in the fewest walks? :D

Looks like the burns were raging on the walk out... considered doing Beinn Aighenan from that way, were there bridges for every burn?
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby AlisonFox66 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:56 am

I did the southern half of that route in 2003
coming off Meall nan Eun and returning to Victoria Bridge , having done four Munros

It was midsummer , I remember setting off up Meall Nan Eun at 3am and seeing a pair of antlers silhouetted against the summit - they looked as if they were discarded
I think
'wonder if they will fit in my rucksack'

at which point I realised that they were still attached to their owner :D
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby malky_c » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:06 am

Nice route. This is one of those that I've drawn up on the map a couple of times, but never done. I can see why now - 3000m of ascent!

Paul - I think most of the burns will have bridges, as the path marked on the map is actually a vehicle track. The major crossing in Glen Kinglass has a ricketty bridge (photo DSC00676 in the report). I'm pretty sure there is a sign on it forbidding you to cross, but it didn't seem too bad (this was about 6 years ago, mind)
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby monty » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:21 am

Tremendous effort Davethe rave. That was pretty brave to go out in these conditions for an overnighter with a long walk :D Excellent.
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby gaffr » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:52 am

Young Wilson is almost invisible in that terrain....spot Wilson :) Going this way it certainly avoids the 'out and back in again' with Aighenan. For me it was two bites to get these tops with some from the North and the others from your side.
Not having been down your descent side from Aighenan I recall a Dutch person...Ton Peters?...a european Munro man....who lay somewhere on that side having tumbled down into a stream bed and lay for several days with a broken leg eventually being spotted by the estate folks, from Kinglass, I guess. We are still waiting for the weather change to come.... I've got the strong feeling that Rum is out again this week-end :(
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby Graeme D » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:16 am

Ah, the Intrepid Trio have done it again! Excellent effort Dave - you're becoming something of an expert at this sort of routine. Shame you didn't get the weather such an excellent route deserved, but hey-ho, that's how it goes. I initially thought that Wilson had sat this one out, but I see he was there after all. As gaffr suggests, I suppose he's just merged into the grey surroundings! :lol: Of these Munros, I have only done GBM, and had been wondering about the best way to go about the others. This certainly gives me some food for thought - that'll be another summer though. Too many other plans for what's left of this one.
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby magicdin » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:34 am

Good effort - especially on the second day
Did a kind of similar backpacking trip over these hills once - Blackrock Cottage to Glen Etive
Bivvied out on a ledge to north side of Meall Tarsuinn (to get out of wind) - woke up in morning lying in a puddle :(
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby kinley » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:26 pm

Excellent 8)

You certainly take the biscuit for all-weather high-camping :D

Had wondered about a transit from Bridge of Orchy to Taynuilt over this lot with the tent - sometime :)
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Re: Victoria bridge to Ben Starav. Nearly!

Postby davetherave » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:00 pm

Sorry not to reply to all you Guys posts on our last trip. Have been gone the last 3 full days.. Yep, thats right, have been away on another momouth jolly around Curlaa Bothy and more... :? :shock:

Thanks again for all the up-lifting coments. :D

Dave
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