in W.H. Murray's words as a "Neolithic arrowhead", the view of The Buachaille
as it is usually referred to, when you top the climb over the Rannoch
Moor road, is certainly inspiring. The rocky faces and buttresses change
colour with the rain and sky, fading from black to pink as they dry in
of newly promoted Munros includes one each to the two neighbouring ridges
of Buachaille Etive Mor (the big shepherd of Etive) and its sister, the
Buachaille Etive Beag (the little shepherd). This walk takes in the two
Munros of the bigger ridge.
The key to
the steep defences of the Buachaille is Coire na Tulaich, gained from
the A82 road at Altnafeadh. Take the track over the River Coupall and
pass the climbers' hut at Lagangarbh (run by the SMC and a superb base
for Glencoe and further hills). Just past the hut take the right fork
on the path and head up into the corrie, sticking to the west bank of
the burn coming out of the corrie.
bealach ahead scree slopes indicate worsening erosion of the hillside,
amplified by the gullies which have been exposed in native bedrock previously
covered by soil and stones. These provide awkward footments and may be
better avoided by either climbing the rocky steps on the left of the gully,
or taking to the slopes further right. This, as an aside, is really just
spreading the erosion problem and it's surely only a matter of time before
some pathwork will be needed here.
At the bealach
catch your breath before turning east and climbing up the rocky slopes
to gain a narrowing ridge leading north-east to the fine summit. Only
from here can you fully appreciate the vast spaces of the Rannoch Moor,
with the geometrical shape of Schiehallion hopefully visible.
to the bealach to continue along the ridge, traversing over the two tops
of Stob na Doire (1011m) and Stob Coire Altruim (941m) before reaching
the second Munro of Stob na Broige (peak of the shoe, which has been anglicised
to brogue). From here are very fine views down Glen Etive.
and return to Altnafeadh, return over the penultimate top, Stob Coire
Altruim and go down the ridge a short distance to find a path descending
north into the Lairig Gartain at Grid ref 201 529. Due to the increased
numbers of walkers ascending this new Munro, there is also erosion here,
so be careful to both avoid slipping in wet conditions and to minimise
further damage to the slope. Descend to the Coupall and cross it to reach
a muddy track on its west bank leading back to the A82 about 500m west
of your starting point (unless of course you chose to park here in the