August Day Trip to Glen Etive

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It may have been the attraction of climbing a Munro again, the need for some practice before travelling to the Aosta Valley (forthcoming Alpine Trip! .. Ed) or the promising weather forecast that drew a good attendance for this outing.  12 members met at Cathcart on Sunday morning before dividing into three cars and heading north.  After breakfast at the Green Welly, two groups made the long drive down to the end of Glen Etive.

Andy, Gwen and Allan chose the steep looking ascent of the Corbett, Stob Dubh (Beinn Ceitlein) while Bob, Diane, Hamish, Ian, Iris, Willie, Mark, Alasdair and James set off for Ben Starav.

In the warm sunshine we discovered that the footpath around Coileitir cottage has been diverted into a bog but, once across this, the well worn path led on and up the unrelenting north ridge of Ben Starav.  Great views opened up in all directions as we neared the summit with hills identified from Ben Alder in the east to the Cuillin of Skye in the north-west.  Ben Cruachan, the location for the previous day walk, dominated the view to the south.

On the ascent of Ben Starav with Stob Dubh in background  On the ascent of Ben Starav  Approaching the summit

As we reached the summit (1078m) there was a brief rain shower but, undeterred, Bob, Mark, Willie, Alasdair and James set off to bag the northern tops of Ben Starav, while the rest of the group began their descent.  Having reached the furthest top (Stob an Duine Ruaidhe), Mark and Willie decided to follow the ridge to its end then descend and return along the shore of Loch Etive.  Bob, Alasdair and James contoured below the summit of Ben Starav to the head of the Allt Mheuran and followed the path back down to Coileitir, meeting up with the rest of the group shortly before the bridge over the burn.

On the summit of Meall Cruidh  On the summit of Stob an Duine Ruaidh

A few brief showers on the descent turned to heavier rain just after we reached the cars at 6.30pm.  Bob wisely decided to avoid the rain and midges and join us at the Kingshouse for refreshments while awaiting Mark and Willie and his lift home.  We had the best of the day’s weather for our walk with great views and the added bonus of a new Munro or two new Munro tops for most members.

James Anderson

Yes, the three of us set off at 11am for Stob Dubh in warm sunshine .. and enjoyed a sandwich at Glenceitlein Cottage before beginning the 840m steep and unrelenting mega-assault on the summit.

Sustenance before the interminable ascent of Stob Dubh

The upward toil seemed unending, but we were rewarded with superlative and stunning views as described above.  At last the summit was reached just after 2pm, and the decision was made not to descend by the upward route .. it was much too steep.

At last on the summit!

Instead we headed southeastwards towards Coire Dubh-mor then made a traversing descent southwards over difficult but less steep ground towards the head of the Allt Ceitlein.  Here we picked up the vestige of a path, but the going didn't relent until the larger path for Meall nan Eun was joined.  We eventually arrived at the car at 5.45pm!  The day was rounded off by some good bar food at the Kingshouse Hotel .. and when the Starav group had not appeared by 7pm, we headed for home in very heavy rain.  The best of the day indeed .....


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August Weekend to Tomintoul

Five of us were booked into the Tomintoul Youth Hostel for the weekend trip to the Northern Cairngorms.  The low numbers were probably due to the concern of injury prior to the Alpine trip just a few days away.  James also had to call-off as his back twinged at the idea of a long walk and cycle into Beinn a'Bhuird.  Anyhow, to kick the weekend off, Bob set off on Friday morning and climbed the Grahams of Pressendye and The Buck.  The rest of us arrived after work.

On Saturday morning Miriam and myself set off at 8.30am and cycled from Tomintoul down along the river Avon.  The bikes were eventually dumped and we walked up over the Northern Tops of Ben Avon to the main summit.  The weather was kind to us and the views were nice and clear.  We then continued on via The Sneck to the summit of Beinn a'Bhuird arriving there at 3pm.  We then headed over towards the Top of Stob an t-Sluichd where we saw the remains of an old WW2 aeroplane.  After a brief stop at the summit we headed down to the main track, over a swinging bridge and then a 5km walk back to the bikes.  Due to the time we pushed on and got back to Tomintoul at 7.30pm, just as Bob and Justin got back from the pub.

On the northern Tops of Ben Avon  On Beinn a'Bhuird

Bob had had a good day on the Cromdale hills, taking in the Grahams of Carn a’ Ghille Chearr and Creagan a’ Chaise.  Justin was working his way back to hill fitness by climbing the Munros to the east of Glenshee.  We then sat down for a very nice three course meal, washed down with plenty of beer and two bottles of whisky.

The Jubilee Cairn on Creagan a'Chaise

On Sunday Bob started up the Graham of Cnap Chaochan Aitinn .. however the wind was quite strong so the walk was abandoned for another day.  The rest of us just headed home .. the right decision as the wind and rain battered the car!

A pleasant trip away .. a nice hostel .. but unfortunately I didn't get the chance to try the pub!

Mark Setford

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