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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).