Hills: Beinn nan Aighenan and Glas Bheinn Mhor
Date: Friday 15th April 2022
Company: Myself and Ann-Marie
Distance: 20.7km, Ascent: 1550m
Time: 8Hrs 30Mins
Ann-Marie kindly picked me up at 4.15 yesterday
morning before driving to Glen Etive for an ascent of Beinn nan Aighenan.
I last ascended Beinn nan Aighenan in September 2003 when I was
sufficiently young and fit to ascend not only Beinn nan Aighenan but also
Ben Starav, Glas Bheinn Mor, Stob Coir an Albannaich and Meall nan Eun in a
For this ascent of Beinn nan Aighenan, we parked in a
car park near the start of the track which descends towards a bridge over
the River Etive, at Coiletir.
The MWIS West Highlands forecast had advised of negligible wind and 80%
cloud-free Munros by late morning so we were expecting the weather to
improve in a few hours time.
As we progressed along the track, seeing Stob Dubh instantly brought
back memories of its relentlessly-steep ascent. I ascended both Stob Dubh
and nearby Beinn Trilleachan in January 2011. Seeing Stob Dubh also made me
realise that I had not ascended any hills in/from Glen Etive since January
On reaching the bridge we stopped to take some photographs before
following an over-sized unsightly track leading towards current hydro scheme
Glen Etive was one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland. The current
destruction in the glen associated with the numerous hydro schemes is
criminal. Whoever approved these schemes, and the associated destruction of
one of Scotland's most beautiful glens, should be stripped naked, tied to
trees and left for the midge to devour. The damage in this glen better be
put right once the works are complete!
Hydro scheme works:
On reaching the end of the unsightly hydro works track, we took to the
hillside following a narrow path alongside the Allt nam Meirleach. It was
disappointing to see the cloud base falling rather than ascending above the
summits. It was however still early and there was time for the weather to
Following the track alongside the Allt nam Meirleach:
We eventually passed beyond the gorge and continued on and up to the
Looking back along the Allt nam Meirleach gorge:
A short distance below the 766m bealach:
On reaching the bealach we were into the cloud.
At the 766m
bealach between Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor:
From the bealach we descended c.150m to the col where we deposited our
rucksacks before commencing our ascent of Beinn nan Aighenan. My trusty old
Macpac Ascent is still going strong after 20 years of use.
left at the col before commencing our ascent of Beinn nan Aighenan:
The ascent of Beinn nan Aighenan was pleasant without the weight of our
packs. The views were however sub-optimal. During our ascent we passed a
couple of other walkers who must have started walking earlier than
Ascending Beinn nan Aighenan:
Into the mist during the ascent of Beinn nan Aighenan:
A short distance below the summit we passed another walker who I thought
looked familiar. We just said a passing 'hello' before continuing on to the
Loch Etive and Stob Coire Dheirg appearing below the clouds:
On reaching the summit we stopped long enough to take a few photographs
before returning back.
At the summit of Beinn nan Aighenan:
A short distance below the summit we again met the walker who looked
familiar and we stopped for a chat. I mentioned that he looked familiar and
thought that we had met previously. The walker, George, remembered that we
had met on Creag Meagaidh four years previous. If you are reading this
George, it was really nice to meet you again.
Descending Beinn nan
Looking back to Beinn nan Aighenan:
During our descent of Beinn nan Aighenan we passed several more walkers
who were making their way up the hill.
After collecting our packs we
ascended back to the bealach between Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor. During
the ascent to the bealach, I suggested extending our day to also ascend Glas
Bheinn Mhor. I was however conscious that Ann-Marie had driven four hours to
reach Glen Etive and also had a four hour drive back after our walk. The
chance of an extra Munro was however too good to miss
back to Beinn nan Aighenan:
At the bealach we stopped for a drink before commencing our ascent of
Glas Bheinn Mhor via Meall nan Tri Tighearnan.
Ascending Meall nan
During our ascent of Meall nan Tri Tighearnan, the cloud briefly lifted
above the summit of Beinn nan Aighenan.
Beinn nan Aighenan from
Meall nan Tri Tighearnan:
After traversing Meall nan Tri Tighearnan we commenced our final ascent
of the day to the summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor.
Descending from Meall
nan Tri Tighearnan towards Glas Bheinn Mhor:
Alas, on reaching the summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor, it was also capped in
cloud. The MWIS forecast was as believable as Boris Johnson!
summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor:
Descent from Glas Bheinn Mhor towards the 738m col:
The final section down to the 738m col required due care as it is steep
Descent from Glas Bheinn Mhor towards the 738m col:
Looking back at the steep, rocky descent:
The walk back out to the car was not particularly pleasant. The track in
Coire Odhar is rough going. During the walk out, the weather continued to
deteriorate instead of improving so much so we had to put on our
During the descent we passed a lovely waterfall named The Robber's
The Robbers' Waterfall:
Looking across to Beinn Trilleachan:
It was nice to eventually reach the car and get our boots off.
to return to Glen Etive in the not too distant future as I have still to
ascend Ben Starav, Stob Coir an Albannaich and Meall nan Eun to complete