Stob na Broige or bust...

On a Saturday in September two carloads of WLMC members parked at Dalness in Glen Etive.  Our objective for the day was Stob na Broige, the second Munro on Buachaille Etive Mor. 

 

Visibility at the outset was poor, with cloud lying quite low over the glen, but the midges were out in force!   We donned our boots and jackets as quickly as we could and shouldering our packs set off to climb into the Lairig Gartain which is the pass running between the Buachaille and its smaller but equally characterful neighbour, Buachaille Etive Beag.  It was hot work, but we were glad not to have the enormous amount of kit that a group of Duke of Edinburgh award hopefuls were carrying.   Near the head of the pass we met three young men who were looking up at the steep side of Stob na Broige.  We would meet them again...

In the Lairig Gartain – about to ascend into the corrie

In the Lairig Gartain – about to ascend into the corrie

Some distance further on, after a considerable descent, we reached the mouth of Coire Altruim which was to be our route to access the ridge.   We crossed the bog and took a rough path up into the corrie, eventually reaching the col between Stob na Doire and Stob Coire Altruim.  On the walk along the ridge to Stob na Broige we met up with the threesome again – they had ‘climbed the wall’ from where we met them and had just left the top.  Stopping at the top for an overdue lunch we were able to enjoy quite an extensive view, particularly the hills above Glen Etive (Beinn Starav and Beinn Trilleachan and Buachaille Etive Beag), the summits of Bidean and the tops of the Black Mount. 

The summit cairn on Stob na Broige

The summit cairn on Stob na Broige

Following the ridge we descended in a south westerly direction and enjoyed great views towards Loch Etive.   The clouds were again hanging over the hill tops.

Looking down the glen towards Loch Etive – neighbouring hills obscured by low clouds and huge clear patches where extensive timber felling operations have been carried out.

Looking down the glen towards Loch Etive – neighbouring hills obscured by low clouds and huge clear patches where extensive timber felling operations have been carried out.

Finally we reached the end of the ridge and had to keep our wits about us as we zig- zagged between rocky outcrops to descend into the glen.   When I reached a patch of ragwort hanging on in a little gully I knew I could make it to the road, but it was touch and go.

 

Did we really come down this?  Safely back at the road, mission accomplished.

Did we really come down this?  Safely back at the road, mission accomplished.

It was another great day on the hill with good company, good views and a feeling of achievement.  Thanks to Calum for coordinating this trip.  

 

At the other end of the mountain fellow Club members in the Big Hex Team were about to complete their challenge with time to spare.   We popped round to offer our support but they were not yet off the hill when we headed for home.   The months of training paid dividends.  Not only did they complete the routes set in record time but they raised an amazing sum for Mountain Rescue.  Congrats to Fraser, Alan and Robert for a superb effort.