Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Glen Etive: Ben Starav (63), Beinn nan Aighenan (196) and Glas Bheinn Mhor (145)

Walk date: 12/7/14
My Munro #'s: 262, 263 and 264

Pronunciations - translations - heights:

Byn sta-rav - unknown - 1078m
Glas vyn voar - big green/grey hill - 997m
Byn yan yanan - hill of the hinds - 960m

Duration - 09:10 - 19:40
Distance -   21.3km
Total ascent -  1827m
Weather - very pleasant, cloudy but mostly dry
Team - with Paul P
Other hikers: 2 young fast versions of ourselves and one slow old version!

Today's route and track are the blue pairing - the red is tomorrow's!

Hike week 2015 - Day 2 - Sunday

This was a great day which had been overshadowed with a threat of thunder, but that never even nearly materialised this far north.  The worst part of this hike was actually the flat section at the start once the managed path gives out and becomes a full-on bog of squelch!  We later found out that you can skip most of it by staying right up against the river (actually as plotted) before making the turn up along Allt nam Meirleach and ignoring the track into the bog with its dubious promises of a shortcut, but we live and learn!

Once off that bit, there's a river crossing which can be fun (me) or tricky (Paul) depending on your gusto for these things, and then what the book described as 'a brutal ascent' up Ben Starav's long northern ridge.  Having visited every peak in nearby Glencoe before, I didn't think it was that bad.  Having said that, this was where two spritely younger versions of ourselves said their hellos as they left us for dust.  Just wait until they have kids!!!

The top of Ben Starav came quicker than expected and was a fine spot for an early lunch in the still weather, with fine views down over Loch Etive.  Once done, we continued on the crest of the ridge for a while, which was airy but firm, but then saw a tempting good looking path exiting to the south and seemingly toward the next hill, the outlier Beinn nan Aighenan.  The obviousness of the path meant we went for it, but after the initial descent, we found ourselves with no route onward, just a complex mix of rough grass and boulder fields for the next hour!  We were not the only ones to make this mistake as we saw our younger versions later on and they'd done exactly the same!

Once over the rough ground and reacquainted with the path, the route to Beinn nan Aigheanan was fine if not a little scrambly and further than anticipated.  We also got a little rain here but it was finished before the top.  After that the return to the main path and the plod up Glas Bheinn Mhor seemed quick, which was perhaps fortunate seeing that the descent  along Learg Mheuran took quite some time in my mind's eye, and that was only to be followed by our second visit to the bog of delights!

Ah well, a great day really, with that great happy-tired feeling in the legs!

Let the games begin!  Once you've driven a fair way down Etive!

Moody morning clouds over our hills:

Down the Glen:

Nearing the final section to Ben Starav:

Views from Starav over Loch Etive:

Views of the ridge onward from Starav:

Looking back up the ridge and wishing we'd stayed on the good path!

The view over to Beinn nan Aighenan:

On da summit:

Back on the circuit and working on Glas Bheinn Mhor:
Views of Allt Choire Dhuibh:

And back at t'car:

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