Route: NE to SW is definitely the best direction to traverse
Buachaille Etive Mor even with the prevailing wind because of wind, terrain and views.
There is a steep, well-engineered path up the normal route in the corrie above Altnafeadh,
but be aware of the significant avalanche danger there.
Consult SAIS for detailed warnings.
The descent path into Lairig Gartain is less good.
Although much engineering work has been done on it,
there are still some rather treacherous unavoidable slabs about half way down
(at about 550m altitude) where no path has been constructed.
There are many alternative routes up Stob Dearg, such as by the very enjoyable "Curved Ridge" up the NE face of the "Buckle", and from the SW end in Glen Etive.
There are 5 cairns along the summit ridge of Buachaille Etive Mor, of which either of the last two may be the true summit, but it isn't the third, which is a substantial cairn. The last is clearly at the end of the ridge.
The path back along Lairig Gartain is being built and is well designed for fast, easy walking. However, the sand used for the surface may soon wash away as it has no clay binding.
Access: If doing both Buachailles, it's better to park on the A82 rather than on the track down to Altnafeadh.
Weather: Showers throughout day; overcast except brief sun on Stob Dearg. Clouds touching most tops, but not when on them.
|0615||Leave A82 at Altnafeadh NN22085629 &
park at bridge over R.Coupall (No Orange)
|Follow path SSW to fork & take right.||0.3 miles||NN22155578|
|0635||Path SSW for 665 yds to crossing of corrie burn||395||120||0.67 miles||NN21935524|
|Continue well-built easy path S up
Coire na Tulaich to cairn at corrie rim.
|Well-engineered path E to summit plateau||1010||735||1.7 miles||NN22065411|
|Path NE to 1st cairn||1012||725||NN22125415|
|0745||Third cairn of Buachaille Etive Mor|
|0750||M Buachaille Etive Mor Stob Dearg
(5th cairn) Orange
|0755||Return to third cairn|
|Return SW to first cairn||1012||NN22125415|
|Continue SE to plateau end||1010||1.86 miles||NN22065411|
|0805||Return WSW to cairn on col at path down||875||2.2 miles||NN21605414|
|Continue 300 yds WNW to top by pools||902||775||2.36 miles||NN21375422|
|460 yds SW to col at Feadan Ban||865||2.6 miles||NN21045394|
|240 yds SW to minor top||893||800||2.75 miles||NN20955371|
|125 yds SSW to col||885||2.83 miles||NN20905363|
|0840||425 yds SSW/S to T Stob na Doire||1011||930||3.07 miles||NN20775326|
|0855||500 yds WSW to bealach NN203531||820||3.35 miles||NN20285305|
|275 yds SW to minor bump||860||970||3.5 miles||NN20145292|
|0900||120 yds W to minor col||845||3.6 miles||NN20075293|
|0910||360 yds WNW to T Stob Coire Altruim||941||1065||3.8 miles||NN19755304|
|625 yds WSW to col||906||4.15 miles||NN19295282|
|0930||315 yds SW to M Sgor na Broige (big shelter)
|Return 315 yds NE to col||906||4.5 miles||NN19295282|
|0945||625 yds ENE to T Stob Coire Altruim again||941||1115||4.85 miles||NN19755304|
|0950||360 yds ESE to cairn at col||845||5.05 miles||NN20075293|
|Descend (mostly easy) scree/path NNE
into Coire Altruim
|1030||Continue path NNW into Lairig Gartain||450||5.6 miles||NN20055372|
|Leave path and contour WNW to R. Coupall at
black box by burn from Bealach Mam Buidhe.
|1125||NW to Bealach Mam Buidhe
(Path up NE side of stream.)
|1138||SW/SSW to top||902||1655||6.8 miles||NN18455417|
|SW on undulating ridge to col||880||7.15 miles||NN18225374|
|SW/WSW to M Stob Dubh (No Orange)
(2 cairns, unclear which is higher;
times are at 1st cairn.)
|Return NE to col||880||7.5 miles||NN18225374|
|NE on undulating ridge to top||902||1755||7.87 miles||NN18455417|
|NNE/ENE to Bealach Mam Buidhe||748||8.15 miles||NN18785450|
|1300||NE to M Stob Coire Raineach (Orange)||925||1935||8.45 miles||NN19145479|
|1315||Return SW to Bealach Mam Buidhe||748||8.75 miles||NN18785450|
|1340||Descend SE to Lairig Gartain at black box||390||9.35 miles||NN19555393|
|1350||Well-built path NE to Buachaille Etive Mor path||370||9.65 miles||NN19875422|
|1415||Continue path on NW side R.Coupall
almost to road
|1440||Rough ground by river back to parking
(no Orange), or – faster –
return along road if not too busy