Buchaille Etive Mor

I was out in Glencoe yesterday with a small group of the young adults from SiMY who were taking part in the DofE’s Flag-a-Munro challenge. As this group have a bit more experience out in the hills, we decided on a more ambitious objective for this trip.

After the customary bacon roll stop at the Green Welly, we arrived at a very busy car park in Glencoe with the ‘big Buchaille’ bathed in sunshine. We motored up the path into Coire an Tulaich, climbing up through the wreckage of what looks like some fairly hefty rock fall over this winter. There’s still enough snow at the Coire head wall to make gaining the ridge a tricky prospect, requiring an unpleasant scramble up loose scree, then a series of chossy, greasy rock steps, and by the time we hit the main ridge, I’d already made my mind up to find another way back down.

The main summit of Stob Dearg was pretty busy when we got there, which meant we had plenty of options for recruiting an impromptu group photographer. With the all-important photo in the bag, we had a number of options for how to spend the rest of the day, and opted to head toward the second Munro on the far end of the ridge, which would also take us towards the much more appealing descent down Coire Altruim. We made pretty good time over Stob na Doire, which always feels like it should merit Munro status, rather than the rather anonymous Stob na Broige, but found ourselves halted in the bealach at the far side by a medical emergency. As I approached the fallen walker, I was already weighing up how long a ‘worst case scenario’ evacuation might take, but my concerns were unfounded – the patient was not the lad seated on the ground, but his boots, which were both suffering from detached soles – a bit of work with some gaffer tape and a bit of cohering bandage soon had him mobile again.

Although we were all feeling pretty fit, time was slipping away from us and, as I’d promised to try and get the guys back in Glasgow as near to 7pm as we could manage, we opted to leave the second Munro for another day and made our way down the rocky path in Coire Altruim and back to the car. The option of chips at the Real Food cafe was sacrificed to a speedy return to Glasgow, and we made it back to SiMY Towers at 7.20pm, in plenty of time for the guys to get showered and head off to their various social occasions, where they’d no doubt be wowing the girls with their tales of manliness!

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