Hill: Buachaille Etive Mor
Date: Sunday 1st November 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 14.2km, Ascent: 1285m
Time: 5Hrs 40Mins

The weather forecast this morning looked pretty-good. I therefore abandoned plans to ascend one of my remaining dull Grahams and instead drove from my base in Arrochar round towards Glencoe with a view to ascending Bidean nam Bian. As I drove along the A82 towards the Glencoe Mountain Resort, Buachaille Etive Mor looked outstanding. As it was 12 years since I last ascended this fine mountain, I also abandoned plans for Bidean nam Bian in favour of once again ascending the Big Buachaille.

I stopped twice en-route to the car park at Lagangarbh to take photos.

Buachaille Etive Mor from the Glencoe Mountain Resort road:

Buachaille Etive Mor from the A82:

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

While getting suited and booted, an expensive disaster struck as I stupidly dropped my iPhone into a deep puddle. The water must have damaged the circuitry inside as it will no longer charge.

From the car park, I made my way towards Lagangarbh and beyond towards Coire na Tulaich.

Lagangarbh and Buachaille Etive Beag (Stob Coire Raineach) during initial walk in:

Lagangarbh and Buachaille Etive Mor:

Heading towards Coire na Tulaich:

Passing the fork in the path leading round towards Curved Ridge and other scrambles/climbs brought back great memories of my last ascent of Buachaille Etive Mor via Agag's Groove. Kevin led the 1st and 3rd pitch and I led the 2nd and 4th pitch. Despite it being 12 years ago, I still remember the exposure on the 4th pitch.

Kevin ascending Agag's Groove on Rannoch Wall:

Today, I would be taking the easy approach via Coire na Tulaich. I last ascended this way in 2001.

Ascending Coire na Tulaich:

The path ascending Coire na Tulaich was much better than I remembered. Perhaps the path has improved during the past 12 years.

Looking back towards Lagangarbh, the Mamores and Blackwater Reservoir:

Within 75 minutes of leaving the car, I reached the top of Coire na Tulaich. From the top of the coire, I proceeded towards Stob Dearg.

Stob Dearg from the top of Coire na Tulaich:

The views this morning were very impressive. The Black Mount Munros had wisps of cloud inversion while all the Glencoe hills to the West were completely cloud-free. The clarity today was outstanding.

Inversion over the Black Mount Munros:

It was good to set eyes on Bidean nam Bian, my original target for today. This was my final Munro in October 2005.

Bidean nam Bian beyond Buachaille Etive Beag:

The ridge out to Stob na Doire:


Ascending Stob Dearg:

The view down to the Kingshouse and the flat expansive of Rannoch Moor was also nice.

Looking down to Rannoch Moor from Stob Dearg:

I visited both cairns at the summit area as I wasn't sure which one was highest.

Across the A82 lies the Corbett, Beinn a' Chrulaiste. It is a great hill for views of Buachaille Etive Mor.

Beinn a' Chrulaiste with the Blackwater Reservoir beyond from top of Stob Dearg:

View from summit of Stob Dearg:

Bidean nam Bian, Buachaille Etive Beag and the Aonach Eagach:

Ben Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg (zoom):

From the summit of Stob Dearg, I returned to the col and then progressed along the ridge with a view to visiting Stob na Broige (Munro), Stob na Doire (Munro Top) and Stob Coire Altruim (Munro Top).

Looking towards Stob na Doire from the 902m top:

Looking back to Stob Dearg:

The ascent of Stob na Doire was straight-forward.

View towards Stob Coire Altruim from the summit of Stob na Doire:

The descent from Stob na Doire is quite steep but there is a good path to follow.

Looking back to the steep descent of Stob na Doire:

On reaching the col, I took a short diversion off the path to have a brief stop on a grassy area with two cairns.

Two cairns near the col between Stob na Doire and Stob Coire Altruim:

I then progressed up Stob Coire Altruim and on towards Stob na Broige.

Stob na Broige and Stob Coire Altruim:

Looking back to Stob Dearg and Stob na Doire from summit of Stob Coire Altruim:

Heading out to Stob na Broige:

Looking across to Buachaille Etive Beag (Stob Dubh):

I had my longest stop of the day at the summit of Stob na Broige where I took numerous photos of the surrounding hills. I particularly enjoyed the view towards Loch Etive. Glen Etive is an area I definitely need to revisit in 2016.

At the summit of Stob na Broige:

Looking back along the ridge to Stob Dearg, Stob na Doire and Stob Coire Altruim from summit of Stob na Broige:

Ben Nevis in the distance above Buachaille Etive Beag's col from the summit of Stob na Broige:

Bidean nam Bian and Buachaille Etive Beag (Stob Dubh) from the summit of Stob na Broige:

Glen Etive hills and Loch Etive from the summit of Stob na Broige:

View towards Loch Etive from the summit of Stob na Broige:

From Stob na Broige, I retraced my steps to Stob Coire Altruim and beyond to reach the top of a track which leads down to Lairig Gartain.

Descent to Lairig Gartain:

Care is needed in the descent as it is steep in places and there is an unavoidable 20-30m section of easy down-scrambling next to a waterfall.

On reaching Lairig Gartain, I followed the track out to the A82 and then walked along the A82 back to the Lagangarbh car park.

Walking alongside the River Coupall in Lairig Gartain:

Today was about as good as it gets on the hills. On a good day it is worth doing good hills.