Buachaille Etive Mor hike scramble Scotland

A return to Buachaille Etive Mor and Stob Dearg

I first walked up this great mountain in 2012. This time it was as part of a long weekend in Glen Coe and around to the north side of Ben Nevis.

Buachaille Etive Mor was ascended by the guys I was with in two ways. Four of us went up a curving ridge (called, I think, the Curved Ridge) and the other two of us (me as part of that) up the path that ascends Coire Na Tulaich.

Buachaille Etive Mor Stob Dearg hike scramble Scotland

We took the path from the little car park on the A82, crossing the River Coupall as a group before we split into two parties just after the Lagangarbh climbing hut.

Buachaille Etive Mor hike scramble Scotland
Red deer near the path.. I actually didn’t see that many this time around, unlike the January trip.

The path is steep in places up the gully but well-engineered with rock steps along most of it. As always, I managed to find the last, relatively benign, few feet of the gully at the top of Coire Na Tulaich ‘a bit of a tricky scramble’.

My vertigo-head convincing me I would somehow confound gravity and fall all the way to the valley floor  below (as opposed to a few feet if I slipped where the previously clear path ended and the scree / rock scramble started). Nonsense of course but that didn’t quell the slightly spinning head and beating heart of this acrophobic.

Buachaille Etive Mor Stob Dearg hike scramble Scotland
Jeff and I at the lower reaches of Coire Na Tulaich.. the short near-vertical climb at the top of the gully described as as a little snow line in the distance.

Strictly speaking we walked up to the northern peak, Stob Dearg (1021m). There are other peaks / Munros that make up the whole Buachaille. And it would have taken more time than we had available to reach them.

Buachaille Etive Mor Stob Dearg hike scramble Scotland
On top of Coire Na Tulaich (various northern peaks behind us) before heading higher across to Stob Dearg.

The weather was great, with excellent views all around. Truly stunning vistas. As per the trip in 2012, we encountered strong winds and sleet right at the top but other than that we had a great walking conditions.

Buachaille Etive Mor Stob Dearg hike scramble Scotland
Jeff walking up towards me and the summit of Stob Dearg.
Buachaille Etive Mor Stob Dearg hike scramble Scotland
Looking to the top of Stob Dearg where the scramblers were waiting for us. I think that’s the Kingshouse on the A82 down below. Nice beer served there, as I found out in my last trip to the area.
Buachaille Etive Mor hike scramble Scotland
Taking the same route down to the car park – my scrambler / climber mates are also fell runners, so were ahead of me the whole way down. I dislike them all.

Whilst my head for heights hasn’t improved since that last ascent in 2012, my fitness has. Grumbly knee to aside, I found the actual walk up straightforward, more so than 5 years ago.

Little was I to know that I’d be feeling really done in when we walked up to the north face of Ben Nevis the next day (see the next post for that).

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