Our blog - West of Etive, Mar'17

A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !

West of Etive

24 March 2017
A day hiking up the Munros west of Glen Etive. Steven was leading...

Loch Lochy Munros With nervousness, I'd been checking out the forecasts prior to this event. The days swapped around - Thursday looked the best day, then it was Saturday and on the night before, Friday looked cracking ! Sunshine, blue skies and gentle breeze - perfect !

I met with Lynn first at the top of Glen Etive and we car-shared down the Glen, meeting the others by the big lodge at Dalness. Packing some more folk and their clobber into my Land Rover (this is when a big vehicle proves it worth), we aimed further down the glen to the small parking area by Invercharnan. Gear organised (including crampons and ice-axes), we began our hike on the fine forestry track that heads south-west. Lots of the surrounding forestry has now been cleared, which does look a bit devastating, but has the advantage of giving us some fine views that we wouldn't have had otherwise.

Up to the end of the remains of the forestry, we began the hike over wet grass uphill. We started to meet up with snow at around 350m, reflecting the sun's rays - ah, a dose of vitamin D ! At around 550m, just below the col before the last major climb, we stopped to take in the stunning views as we enjoyed our early lunch getting in some energy for the major climb of the day.

Loch Lochy Munros The snow banked on the south-eastern shoulder of Sgor na h-Ulaidh wasn't as significant as I was expecting and looking like we wouldn't need our crampons or ice-axes (woo-hoo). So after lunch, we struck uphill. The steep slopes with grass proved slippy and we progressed with care over these slightly troublesome sections. Higher up, and onto the crest of the shoulder, we hiked onwards - the views were stunning !

The summit at last - wow ! What amazing 360 degree panoramas and the air was still (if a little chilly). Lots of posing for photos and picking out distant summits.

We retraced our steps, meeting a couple on their way up. The tricky parts seemed much easier on descent - weird, it's usually the opposite way round. At the col, we had a decision to make - there was the option to head up to Beinn Fhionnlaidh - should we go for this, or simply return ? We opted for the latter as it wass now well after 2pm, therefore heading to Beinn Fhionnlaidh would most likely mean a descent in the dark. So a relaxed walk was enjoyed back along the grass and then track returning us to Invercharnan around 4:30.

What a wonderful day and thanks to Lynn, Susie, Hayley, Izzy and Kara for being such good company !

More photos by Steven are here on Flickr.

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