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The Munros
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Stob Ghabhar & Stob a'Choire Odhair


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These two Munros are well seen from Loch Tulla, and are normally begun from the car park just south of Victoria Bridge, gained by turning off the A82 at Bridge of Orchy Hotel. On the way, enjoy the small areas of original Scots Pine wood, echoed across the way in the Black Wood of Crannach. A notice in the wood reminds us that: 'That which Burns, Never Returns.' From the car park cross Victoria Bridge then turn left at Forest Lodge to take the track running beside the Abhainn Shira. The views in all directions are superb, and if it's sunny the river will be sparkling as you reach a small, black corrugated tin hut. This is probably the smallest club hut in the country, and used to be the local school!

Turn up the track on the east side of the Allt Toaig, and begin the gradual climb leading to the good stalker's path which zig-zags up the broad ridge towards the summit of Stob a'Choire Odhair. It's easy to pass the start of the zig-zags. These lead to more open ground and so to the rock-strewn summit. From there, descend west to gain the wide bealach between the two Munros. Continue west for about 500m, going uphill, then turn SW up steeper and rougher ground. This leads to the narrow ridge called the Aonach Eagach. Though not as long as its more famous neighbour in Glen Coe, it commands a fine view over to the final destination of the day, the summit of Stob Ghabhar.

The summit cliffs of this peak contain a classic winter climb, the Summit Couloir. This steep gully was a prime target for Victorian climbers, who attacked its rocky confines with their long axes many times before winning an ascent in 1897. Two ladies were on the first ascent. The view from Stob Ghabhar on a good day takes in many famous peaks, including those of Glen Coe, Arrochar, the Bridge of Orchy hills and the Cruachan chain. The cairn is a well-made pinnacle.

In descent, go down the wide grassy ridge to the ESE. Either continue easily south to reach the track (advised if the Allt Toaig is in spate), or for a more scenic route turn down to descend the side of a waterfall in Coire Muic. The rock scenery here is good, and many small pools provide a good splash on a sunny day. Find a safe spot to cross the burn and finish down the track on the east side of the Allt Toaig as you began the day.

 

Maps: OS Sheet 50 'Glen Orchy'; Harvey Maps 'Glen Coe'.
Distance: 15km
Ascent: 1220m
Time: 6 hours
Food & Drink: Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Inveroran Inn.

 

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