Glencoe Dawn

Route: Buachaille Etive Beag

Munros: Stob Coire Raineach (Buachaille Etive Beag), Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)

Date walked: 11/04/2018

Glencoe Dawn

Winter weather windows can be short lived, but can also show off Scotland’s mountains at their best (no better place in the world !). High pressure was visiting, but only for the morning so I set the alarm for 3am. I needn’t have bothered as I was wide awake before 1 am and by the time 2 am came round I decided just to get up and go!

A moonlit night greeted me as I headed off and the frost glistened at the side of the road. Crieff, Comrie, Lochearnhead, Tyndrum all came and went with no sign of life at all. Driving through the night and I pulled up in Glencoe at around 4.15am. I was excited as the weather was cold but it was still and patches of mists had given some variation on the drive , this was going to be good, as long as those mist patches weren’t lingering on any summits!

My initial plan was to head up one of the easier gullies in SCNL, however the avalanche forecast had made me alter my plans, and I decided I wanted to enjoy a sunset from Stob Dubh. Setting off about 4.45 and the moon shone brightly in the sky to the west. I probably didn’t need my head torch but kept it on until the bealach, spotting the hundreds of eyes watching my progress up the hill! The bealach between the two Munros was reached and I stopped here to get the crampons and axe out for the last section. Over The Big Buachaille, a faint band of blue was starting to silhouette Stob Dearg, I had about an hour to get to the top.

ImageMoonset Glencoe by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageNight Hike by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

The sound of crampons biting frozen snow now accompanied me and on reaching the spot height 902m a grand view welcomed me. Dawn was now eating away at night and the moon was setting over the Bidean Massif and the sweeping ridge up to Stob Dubh was inviting me on. I followed its crest upwards and the views opened up. Mist lay low in the glens and the howling winds that accompanied me on many trips this winter were only a memory. The blue hues were now taken by high cirrus turning pink as I reached the summit. A short distance later I set up the cameras, just in time to watch the sun rise to the north of Schiehallion between Stob Dearg and Stob na Doire.

ImageSUNSRISE SCHIEHHALION by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

Not a drop of wind as I sat down to enjoyed breakfast with a grand vista, watching the peaks illuminate as the first rays of sun lit the up one by one.

Imagebidean massif first light by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageAXE over Glencoe by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageGlen Etive by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

After an hour, I pulled myself way from the top and enjoyed a sublime descent, again following the sweeping ridge back to the bealach and eventually back to the waking world….

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Comments: 2

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Location: Perthshire
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Place: NW Highlands
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