Colin's Munros


Buachaille Etive Mor & Buachaille Etive Beag, map 384; 29th May 2010

Route: 1955m = 6400' ascent; 11.7 miles; 8.5 hrs

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)
289   00.0 milesNN22185611
  Follow path SSW to fork & take right.   0.3 milesNN22155578
0635 Path SSW for 665 yds to crossing of corrie burn 3951200.67 milesNN21935524
Continue well-built easy path S up
Coire na Tulaich to cairn at corrie rim.
8755851.37 milesNN21605414
  Well-engineered path E to summit plateau 10107351.7 milesNN22065411
  Path NE to 1st cairn 1012725  NN22125415
0745 Third cairn of Buachaille Etive Mor      
0750 M Buachaille Etive Mor Stob Dearg
(5th cairn) Orange
10227501.8 milesNN22275423
0755 Return to third cairn     
  Return SW to first cairn 1012  NN22125415
  Continue SE to plateau end 1010 1.86 milesNN22065411
0805 Return WSW to cairn on col at path down 875 2.2 milesNN21605414
  Continue 300 yds WNW to top by pools 9027752.36 milesNN21375422
  460 yds SW to col at Feadan Ban 865 2.6 milesNN21045394
  240 yds SW to minor top 8938002.75 milesNN20955371
  125 yds SSW to col 885 2.83 milesNN20905363
0840 425 yds SSW/S to T Stob na Doire 10119303.07 milesNN20775326
0855 500 yds WSW to bealach NN203531 820 3.35 milesNN20285305
  275 yds SW to minor bump 8609703.5 milesNN20145292
0900 120 yds W to minor col 845 3.6 milesNN20075293
0910 360 yds WNW to T Stob Coire Altruim 94110653.8 milesNN19755304
  625 yds WSW to col 906 4.15 milesNN19295282
0930 315 yds SW to M Sgor na Broige (big shelter)
95611154.3 milesNN19075255
  Return 315 yds NE to col 906 4.5 milesNN19295282
0945 625 yds ENE to T Stob Coire Altruim again 94111154.85 milesNN19755304
0950 360 yds ESE to cairn at col 845 5.05 milesNN20075293
  Descend (mostly easy) scree/path NNE
into Coire Altruim
700 5.25 milesNN20235323
1030 Continue path NNW into Lairig Gartain 450 5.6 milesNN20055372
Leave path and contour WNW to R. Coupall at
black box by burn from Bealach Mam Buidhe.
390 5.9 milesNN19555393
1125 NW to Bealach Mam Buidhe
(Path up NE side of stream.)
74815006.5 milesNN18785450
1138 SW/SSW to top 90216556.8 milesNN18455417
  SW on undulating ridge to col 880 7.15 milesNN18225374
SW/WSW to M Stob Dubh (No Orange)
(2 cairns, unclear which is higher;
times are at 1st cairn.)
95817357.33 milesNN17905353
  Return NE to col 880 7.5 milesNN18225374
NE on undulating ridge to top 90217557.87 milesNN18455417
NNE/ENE to Bealach Mam Buidhe 748 8.15 milesNN18785450
1300 NE to M Stob Coire Raineach (Orange) 92519358.45 milesNN19145479
1315 Return SW to Bealach Mam Buidhe 748 8.75 milesNN18785450
1340 Descend SE to Lairig Gartain at black box 390 9.35 milesNN19555393
1350 Well-built path NE to Buachaille Etive Mor path 370 9.65 milesNN19875422
1415 Continue path on NW side R.Coupall
almost to road
300 10.8 milesNN21145558
1440 Rough ground by river back to parking
(no Orange), or – faster –
return along road if not too busy
289195511.7 milesNN22185611

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