My 2016 Munro bagging campaign had been scheduled to start in April but it just never happened. However on Saturday 14 May I found myself in a packed car heading towards Glencoe and Glen Etive with my eyes on at least 2 munroes and possibly 4.
I arrived at the parking spot for the Wee Buchaille at 1030 and my mobile promptly rang wth news that Carols mother had been taken to hospital, with assurances that Carol would be alright I shouldered my pack and began heading for the first Munro.
There are two munroes to be bagged on the Wee Buchaille or Buachaille Etive Beag to give it it’s proper name they are Stob Dubh 958 m and Stob Coire Raineach 925m.
I headed down a mountain path that would eventually come out in Glen Etive and just took in the views and the sun. I was surprised at how empty the car park had been especially on such a good day. After a few K on the path I headed straight up the grassy slope of the mountain. As I gained height the terrain became rockier and at times I had to resort to using my hands to stay upright. I glimpsed a stag in the distance and also a trio of lesser spotter baggers, the first I had seen all day. As I neared the summit I could hear voices and eventually a large party was revealed. I hunkered down and in true hobbit fashion got my first lunch of the day out. The group, it turned out were from Edinburgh Uni, they had come the other side of the mountain from a second path called Lairg Eilde and the car park there was full! With my sandwiches consumed I set off down to the beallach between the two munroes and began the ascent of Stob Coire Raineach my second Munro of the day. The hill was now quite busy. And some chatting on the way up was an excuse to get a rest. I could feel my quads straining from the ascent of the first Munro already. Second summit second lunch this time with a couple from Glasgow showing some friends from London what Scotland has to offer.
A steady descent through the bouldery top back to the beallach. And back down the dry grassy slopes saw me on the path and heading for my car. Approx 8 miles with 2800 ft of ascent in just under 5 and a half hours. A good start to munroing in 2016.
I headed along the Glen to the Squirell campsite with every intention of going to the Clachaig for beer and music but after getting my tent up and having a meal all I wanted to do was sleep.
It was almost two years since I had camped and I was using a new tent for the first time. I had bought a Wild Country zephyro last year and never got around to using it. First impressions are not great but both my previous tents have been bought expecting more use and when weight was at a premium. And were significantly more expensive.
I was awakened at 0430 by a combination of birdsong and the dawn. But I managed to drop off again till about 7 when I rose and made breakfast. After food and morning ablutions I packed up and headed away to Glen Etive for my next two hills.
I got to the car park just as another walker was getting ready to go and after a short talk we agreed to start off together and see how we got on. The two mountains were Beinn. Fhionnlaidh 3146ft and Sgor Na H Ulaidh 3261ft. This was quite a day with a lot of descent between the two hills and the final descent being on a scree filled slope .
It was a hard pull up to the first summit with a few false summits just to get our hopes up. However the views once at the top were well worth it. These two hills are not usually described in the book as a single walk but as two day walks hence the drop almost to the Glen floor before we started to ascend the second hill. A tough pull up to the top followed by. A quad shattering descent saw us back to our cars after approx 10 miles, 5000ft and 6 and a half hours.