generally agreed to be one of the best ridge traverses in Scotland; it
is also the most difficult, mainly due to several rocky pinnacles which
have to be crossed but also due to the committing nature of the ridge
between the two Munros, Meall Dearg to the east and Sgorr nam Fiannaidh
to the west.
no safe descent off the ridge between these two peaks; once you have started,
either finish or retrace your steps. Its name means notched ridge, due
to the gullies and pinnacles along the route.
are not so much technical as exposed and in places slightly awkward -
one of the difficult bits for example involves a descending slabby ledge
which is also exposed. Many hillwalkers would probably be happy to at
least carry a short scrambling rope for security if needed.
is invariably done from east to west; some height is thus gained as the
road is higher towards the east and also the views to the west are finer.
You could be awkward and do it in reverse, therefore probably incurring
some delays as you wait for parties coming from the east!
Start a few
hundred metres west of the cottage at Allt-na-reigh and strike steeply
up the hillside to gain the south east ridge of Am Bodach (943m), the
most easterly peak of the ridge. The traverse lies before you now, with
a descent to the west leading to a sharp drop of about 20m. Go down ledges
on the north then traverse left to the ridge where a steep descent is
provided with good holds (rope useful for some). Continue along the ridge,
one awkward descent en route, then a small top followed by an easy slope
leading to Meall Dearg (953m; 161 584).
the "pinnacle" of the traverse, with several scrambly sections taking
in pinnacles, notches, gullies and other exposed sections between Meall
Dearg and the col below Stob Coire Leith, a distance of about 800m. The
scenery is awesome, especially looking down to the Glencoe road and over
to Bidean, and the exposure exciting but the rock is mostly good and a
steady approach wins the day. Difficulties end once the col is reached,
leaving a steep ascent to gain Stob Coire Leith at 940m followed by the
easy and level ridge to the second Munro, Sgorr nam Fiannaidh.
from a traverse of the ridge used to take the path down the west side
of Clachaig Gully, above the Clachaig Hotel but in the last decade or
two this has become severely eroded and dangerously loose. Instead, from
Sgorr nam Fiannaidh head directly south down a steep slope, with rocks
at the top merging into grassy slopes lower down. Stay on the spur and
avoid entering a gully lower down.
wish to avoid any possibility of steep descent by continuing the traverse
further west, going about 750m west from Sgorr nam Fiannaidh then about
1 km NNW, which will take one to the col beneath the Pap of Glencoe. Now
descend SW on a path, which leads down to the old road between the Clachaig
Hotel and Glencoe village.