Date: Sunday 29th August 2010
Some late accommodation let us head up to Glen Coe on Saturday and a short walk up Tom Mheadhoin in wet and windy conditions was followed by an evening in a totally stowed out Clachaig.
Sunday was forecast mainly sunny with a strong wind – decided to head down Glen Etive to climb Beinn Maol Chaluim and head over to the adjoining munro Sgor na h-Ulaidh.
There was a cutting wind with intermittent showers for most of the day, although the rain never got particularly heavy.
There are some crags in the middle of the ascent at about 700m – bypassable on either side, we kept to the left.
It was clear from the maps and eyeball on approach that a direct descent to the bealach with Stob an Fhaurain was not on. We headed N nearly 1km and then picked our way down through minor crags on a dropping traverse back to the Bealach Fhionngaill.
The climb up Stob an Fhuarain is steep in bits and benefitted from clear conditions to pick a line up at least 2 steeper sections.
It’s an easy bimble between the 2 tops to the summit.
Saw our only 2 walkers of the day at the summit as we had our lunch.
Entertained on the summit by 2 ravens which were surfing the wind currents and checking out the area. One decided to hang in the wind about 10m behind Hazel’s head as she was on the move. I suspect a game was afoot.
The ravens were distracted briefly to mob a juvenile Golden Eagle – this spiralled up into the cloud base to deter them and dropped back after. Watched it for about 5 mins before it sailed towards Starav.
To return to the car we had a few options – Corr na Beinne and the S ridge to the glen, make for forestry access points in either glen to the S.
We opted to descend SE and over Meall a Bhuiridh to Dubh Chnoc then descending a forestry gap to the track (having eyeballed the gap from our ascent).
The descent is untechnical – there’s a crag line at about 700m that can be bypassed down a ramp to the left or grassy slopes to the right.
Saw a Leucistic Wheatear up here – partial albino. Very light coloured, almost pinky but still with the characteristic white rump. Too mobile for a pic – stood out too much for likely survival.
From Meall a Bhuiridh we descended south. We headed a bit too far left (E) and needed to track right to avoid crags but were soon at the forestry gap.
Deer keds made their presence known as soon as we neared the trees.
The descent from here was a bit irritating – very long tussock grass made for slow progress to the gap but the gap was present and no forestry needed crossed.
Very enjoyable route. From my perspective far preferrable to the SMC route for this Munro – nearly a whole day at high level with no glen-crawling ticks my boxes.
A good day would be advised – some route selection is easier with the eyeball, and of course the views are fab.