Buchaille, Stob Dearg- first report

Route: Buachaille Etive Mor

Munros: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor), Stob na Broige (Buachaille Etive Mor)

Date walked: 29/12/2014

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 6km

Ascent: 750m


I thought I would start my first post by saying that for me the Buchaille is my favorite mountain in Scotland. My grandfather and his brother Ian set some of the first ascents climbing with Hamish McInnes back in the 50s and 60s and went on to become part of Glencoe mountain rescue back in the day. We talked recently about the technical standards of the climbing then versus now and he was surprised to hear that we use intermediates for protection. Apparently in their day they just started climbing and didnt use a thing until it was time to belay the second! So with my first hill 25 years ago being the Buchaille in summer, i thought it best to get back into it after a few years and give it a go.

Leaving Glasgow early I arrived at the Kinghouse Hotel for 0730hrs and kicked the tyres until breakfast was served at 0800hrs- coffee and porridge. I was at the layby by 0830hrs and off I went. I was determined to start first and get to the summit first as a test of fitness and after about 20 minutes started feeling pleased, only to eventually realise that the other people who had set off had veered over to climb curved or crowberry ridge. :roll:

I stopped to look back and admire the view as well as put on the crampons before the icy path started proper.

Having not been up here for a while i decided to keep as high to the right as possible and keep myself out of harms way in terms of rock fall, avalanche etc and continued up the hill. I was really enjoying myself although having to stop a lot more than I used to (36 old man :shock: )

Although there wasnt a huge amount of snow at the top of the corie I found myself planning ahead as much as possible thinking of escape routes and what ifs. I veered right a touch so I wasnt in the gully immediately before the beleach. As I climbed up through the snow, I cramped in one thigh, and then the other as I perched about 20 feet from the top. The cramp continued from the top all the way up the ridgeline to the summit. Then the calves. Fitness/water/minerals/all of it i assumed as I plodded on. The people who had started in Corrie Na Tulaich as I was half way up were still half way behind me so I wasnt doing too badly.

The weather was gin clear with only a little wind as I hit the summit, although the wind was picking up and spin drift was starting ever so slightly. It was great to be back and stand looking over glen etive, glencoe, blackwater and up to Ben Nevis !! I was revelling in the moment !!

I stayed for about 15 minutes then turned and headed back down to the corrie, which was now full of people. Mostly in pairs. I moved to the side of the corrie and dug into the snow to let the two guys come up. As they moved past me i heard ''rock below'' just as I took one to the knee. luckily there was no damage and i started off.

There was a noise behind me and a guy appeared bounding over the top and into the corrie on his heels through the snow. He had come up curved ridge and was heading down at a fair pace. He became my new hero !! this mysterious character diving down the corrie and off into the distance, as I front pointed backwards very cautiously. You learn i guess.

I made it down in slow time and realised that it will take time to get confidence back as it once was. After watching the sea king run an ex above the devils staircase I got to the car, headed to the chalchaig and had a burger and a coke by the fire.

What a great start to my rekindled love of the mountains !!!

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Comments: 4


User avatar
Location: South Glasgow
Occupation: Sales
Activity: Stravaiging
Pub: Clachaig Inn
Mountain: Buchaille Etive Mor
Place: Glencoe
Gear: Berghaus Arete
Member: SMC, BMS, Climbing Centre
Camera: Iphone
Ideal day out: To get out with groups doing exciting things like ridge walks, climbing, scrambling
Ambition: In Pinn

Munros: 62
Corbetts: 17

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Trips: 1
Distance: 6 km
Ascent: 750m
Munros: 2

Joined: Nov 15, 2014
Last visited: Jan 13, 2015
Total posts: 13 | Search posts