The Big and Small Buachaille’s
Area: Loch Linnhe to Loch Etive
Munros: Stob Dearg, Stob na Broige, Stob Dubh, Stob Coire Raineach
Ascent = 1800m
Time taken = 6 hours 50 mins
Sundays walk was to be a good one combing Both Buachaille ridges and covering four munros.
Me and Danny set of from Dunfermline at 0430 and arrived at the car park/layby 1km north of Altnafeach on the A82 at about 0625. We donned our packs and set of on the track into the valley at 0630. The track is well laid and easy to follow. The sun was shining and there was little or no wind so the midges were looking for dinner. In fact the midges were pretty active all the way around even on the summits.
We walked just under 2km along the track and then headed East directly up the hillside. There was a burn here and it was pretty good going up the grassy slopes East of the burn for just over 1km to the summit of Stob coire Raineach. This involved a pretty steep ascent of just under 600m but we worked well and arrive on the summit after 1 hour 20 mins from the car. The weather was tremendous and the views were spectacular.
We quickly set off in the direction of Stob Dubh which is 2km pretty much SW descending and ascending over the spot height at 902m then descending and ascending to the summit. There is a path all the way here which is very easy going and we quickly arrive at Stob Dubh. We arrive at the first cairn which is the summit on the map but there is another cairn 50m further on and, since we are heading that way, we decide to continue to the second summit before stopping. We now have to descend to the beallach and then ascend Stob na Broige and had been looking for possible descent route on our way to this summit but it all looked a bit steep so we decided to continue past the cairn and head SSW down the ridge.
After descending to 550m we would then traverse across to the Beallach and hopefully find a route up to the ridgeline of Stob na Broige. The descent was down some very loose scree and I fell a couple of times which wasn’t much fun. However when we got to about 600m we were on wet grassy ground and the going was a bit better. Looking across at the slope in front of us it all looked a bit daunting with rocky scree and steep slopes so we were not sure if a direct ascent was possible.
However when we got to the Beallach we decided just to head vertically upwards as it looked doable. Dooable but hard work and thats what it proved to be. So with a very steep but grassy climb for 300m we were on the ridgeline and only had another 200m of not so steep walking to the summit of our 3rd munro. We were doing good time at this point, 4 hours from the car, but Danny had a slight problem with one of his thighs and decided on some stretching and application of some deep heat to try to correct it.
Its now a 4.5km walk to the summit of Stob Dearg walking over Stob Coire Altrium and Stob na Doire. However the walk up Stob na Doire is quite steep and quite a good ascent so I am hopeing Danruns leg holds out ready for the final ascent to Stob Dearg. As it happens he has no real issues and quite happily makes it to the final summit. Its like piccadilly circus up here. The weather is superb and views are exceptional. I was feeling elated by what we had achieved today and with the sun and the views there was a certain magic about my first munros in Glen Coe.
It was now simply a matter of heading back to the beallach above Coire na Tullaich and drop into the coire down the steep zigzag path. The path soon changes to boulder steps which we manage to run down and jog all the way to the main bridge below the A82. We then walk up the road for the final 1km back to the car.