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Glencoe trip report


posted by Sam Harrison on 2013-02-26
Destination: Glencoe
More information about the Glencoe/Tyndrum TBC trip

Apologies for the lateness of this trip report - things have been rather busy handing over the exec and what-not at the moment! This is a trip report for the Glencoe/Tyndrum TBC trip in week 3.

We finally made the choice that it would be worth the extra journey at Tesco's in Lesmes - the decision was a necessity at this stage as if we were to be staying in Tyndrum, we'd have to stock up on beer as there wouldn't have been the Clachaig down the road from the campsite!

We arrived just before midnight and after pitching our tents and deciding on a 8am departure time in the morning, went to bed. I decided upon Buachaille Etive Beag and Alex, who is going in for his Winter ML assessment this week, decided that would also be a good chance to get some nav and winter skills practice in. Lorna and Laura also came along with us, whilst the rest opted for the Aonach Eagach.

The weather was rather good, with only bits of cloud scattered about. We worked our way up the usual route to the col, picking out interesting contour features on the OS 1:50 map and trying our best to find them exactly.

An Alpine-esque Stob Dubh.
From the col, we branched north and up the rocky ridge to the summit of Stob Coire Raineach, admiring the extensive views over the Bidean range to the west and Buachaille Etive Mor to the east. The summit itself was quite airy, and though not pinnacle-like in the slightest, still offered a good deal of exposure.

Summit of Stob Coire Raineach.
The decision to tag on Stob Dubh, Buchaille Etive Mor's southern summit, was cemented in place upon seeing the Alpine-esque snow ridge that lead to the summit. After cautiously negotiating a wind-slabbed snow-loaded slope, with last week's tragedy on Bidean fresh in our minds, we gained the middle summit of the Buachaille and then pressed onwards along the aforementioned snow ridge. What with the sun, still air and narrow snow ridge, it really did feel like we were in the Alps. We must have spent at least twenty minutes on the summit, admiring the breathtaking views down Glen Etive and again over the Bidean range.

On the way down, we made use of the good snow covering to make some snow bollards, bucket seats and stomp belays.

Panorama shot of the Bidean range.
As always, the Clachaig provided great craic on Saturday evening, with entertainment from a lively folk duo who's name unfortunately eludes me. The only downside was that me and Calum had opted to not bring waterproof and it was chucking it down when we walked back...

The Clachaig on Saturday evening.
On the Sunday, Lorna and myself had intended to go ice climbing at Kinlochleven's Ice Factor, but there were no spaces left when we arrived, and so instead we took a windy and wet drive down Glen Etive. Alex and Laura did some nav practice again, whilst the other had the first summit of Buchaille Etive Mor.

Thanks to Mark for providing plenty of crackers to go with our selection of cheese, and thanks to Richard for passing me many crackers whilst driving!