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Ben Starav & Beinn nan Aighenan
Maps 377, 384; 17th December 2004 & 22nd September 2010

Route: 1760m=5780' ascent; 12¼ miles; 9–10 hrs


Route: The route has quite a lot of ascent but is not particularly long. As usual, it includes all the associated Munro tops and has a few variants. As well as the route described in the table below, one can, of course, ascend Ben Starav via its north ridge, which is a standard choice and is that given in the link above to the GPS route on the OS map. That choice adds 40m of ascent as a result of the detour to Stob Coire Dheirg, but it would save ⅓ mile of distnce and give better views in good weather.
It is slightly hard to pick the best route when contouring round from Stob an Duine Ruaidh to the col north of Beinn nan Aighenan as there are boulder fields and some minor cliffs to work round. However, none of this terrain is difficult, but it can be a little tiresome. The col NE of Stob an Duine Ruaidh seems the best starting point for the traverse as it may minimise any ascent and its SE aspect is less likely to have a cornice in winter. However, one day I will try starting the traverse from the northern end of Meall Cruidh as I think the terrain will be easier.
Deletion of Beinn Starav and its tops from the route leaves the usual sensible route for Beinn nan Aighenan.
The path back along the R. Etive used to go through Coileitir. In 2010 the land owner fenced off the traditional path with high pad-locked gates. For those unwilling to climb the gates this results in a very long, messy, tiresome & unpleasant detour (at least ½ mile and a considerable uphill climb) round the fence without any made-up path. Of all the Munros besides the four in Glen Lyon, this is by far the greatest inconvenience that any land-owner has placed on access and perhaps the only case where a proper path has not been provided on an alternative route.
Access: Park 10.3 miles down Glen Etive from the A82 opposite the track down to a bridge over the R. Etive. There is only very limited parking here.
Weather 17/12/04: Powdery snow showers, a little snow underfoot. Dark from 1700. 22/09/10: Overcast, very wet for first two hours, showers thereafter.

17/12/0422/09/10 Description Ht.Asc.DistanceGrid Ref.
08550705 Park opposite end of track down to bridge
over R. Etive (limited parking)
  40    00.0 milesNN13714686
 0710 Track E to bridge over R. Etive   20 0.27 milesNN14044683
 0715 Track S to fork   25    50.35 milesNN14074671
   Rt through Coileitir SW to "ftbr" at track end   15 0.85 milesNN13524617
09100725 Path S to Allt nam Meirleach FtBr   20  100.95 milesNN13614599
   Path S to ridge end 1751651.45 milesNN13884537
   Path S to fork above ford 2001901.65 milesNN13824500
0950  Ascend path S by Allt nam Meirleach
and cross tributary
2902802.2 milesNN13694417
1045  Path S to Bealach Lochain Ghaineamhaich 7667553.25 milesNN13914240
   Ridge NW to slight bend 8608503.45 milesNN13604259
1120  W/WNW to T Stob Coire Dheirg 102810203.75 milesNN13134268
   WSW to col 1015 3.87 milesNN13044262
1140  WSW to Stob Coire Dheirg (old top) 106810754.0 milesNN12834249
   WNW round corrie rim to col 1055 4.1 milesNN12654255
1150  NW to M Ben Starav (trig pt has gone) Orange 107811054.22 milesNN12564270
   Return SE to col 1055 4.33 milesNN12654255
   SSE to Stob Coire Dheirg (again) 106811204.5 milesNN12754240
   SSE to col on Stoineag.
(In winter there may be a cornice here.)
895 4.87 milesNN12884185
12251125 S/SW to T Meall Cruidh Orange 93011555.05 milesNN12914157
   SW to col 852 5.35 milesNN12614119
12401200 SW to T Stob an Duine Ruaidh No Orange 91812255.5 milesNN12444100
   Return NE to col 852 5.65 milesNN12614119
   Descend due E to 575m 575 6.25 milesNN135411
 1255 Contour round corrie below cliffs to main burn 575 6.6 milesNN14054150
 1305 E up to pass 61512406.85 milesNN14384159
   SSE to bend in ridge 73013557.2 milesNN14674111
   S to lochan at bend in ridge 87014957.45 milesNN14684075
14251400 S to M Beinn nan Aighenan (Orange prob.) 96015807.6 milesNN14824049
   100m N then NW to lochan at ridge bend 870 7.75 milesNN14684075
   N to bend in ridge 730 8.0 milesNN14674111
15001440 Return N to col 615 8.35 milesNN14384159
15301525 Traverse NNW on path to
Bealach Lochain Ghaineamhaich
76617308.95 milesNN13914240
1625  N down path by Allt nam Meirleach to
wide tributary stream
290 10.05 milesNN13694417
   Path N to fork at ford (easy) 200 10.57 milesNN13824500
17151715 Path N to foot bridge over Allt nam Meirleach   20 11.25 milesNN13614599
   Path NNW on E bank to "ftbr" at track end   15 11.37 milesNN13524617
   Track NE through Coileitir to fork.   25174011.87 milesNN14074671
   Left fork to R. Etive bridge   20 11.95 milesNN14044683
17401740 Track back to parking beside road   40176012.2 milesNN13714686


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