Walk: Impossible made possible on Buachaille Etive Mòr

[Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mòr) on the final leg to the car park]

Buachaille Etive Mòr is the unmissable pyramid rising out of Rannoch Moor as you drive past, wide-eyed, on the A82 into Glencoe (click here for the dramatic roadside view). The name actually refers to the whole ridge, which extends for a few miles over several peaks (and two separate Munros) to Stob na Bròige overlooking the upper reaches of Loch Etive. This side of the pyramid looks a frightening prospect, but Coire na Tulaich makes the seemingly impossible possible with almost no scrambling. Epic mountain scenery throughout: rough ridges, rocky buttresses, waterfalls and summits of all shapes and sizes. And the views measure up too. Ben Nevis and the Mamores crown the northern vista, while Rannoch Moor stretches away to the east (its sheer scale fully realised from up here), drawing the eye all the way to Schiehallion's proud cone above Loch Rannoch.

[Stob na Doire (left) and Bidean nam Bian (centre right) from Stob Dearg]

Name: Walk: Impossible made possible on Buachaille Etive Mòr ★★★
Length: 13 km / 8 miles
Ascent: 1110 metres
Main summits: Stob Dearg (1022 metres, Munro); Stob na Doire (1011 metres); Stob Coire Altruim (941 metres); Stob na Bròige (956 metres, Munro)
Points of interest: Coire na Tulaich; Buachaille Etive Mòr ridge; Coire Altruim
Start / finish: Layby or car park at Altnafeadh, 9 miles east of Glencoe village, G.R.: NN 220563 / tips unique daydreams

Route: Car park - Coire na Tulaich - bealach at head of coire - Stob Dearg - return to bealach - Stob na Doire - Stob Coire Altruim - Stob na Bròige - return to bealach above Coire Altrium - Coire Altruim - Lairig Gartain - A82 at Cnoc nam Bocam - start
Terrain: Paths throughout, mostly clear but often rocky and rough. Steep ascents and descents both in the coires and on Stob na Doire. Hands occasionally needed, especially in Coire Altruim where the path passes over steep rock slabs which could be a little awkward if wet. The last half mile is (sadly) along the A82: there's a path (the only boggy bit of the entire route) a few metres from the southern side which is preferable to getting hit by a passing lorry.
Wildlife today: Pair of cuckoos heard at Altnafeadh; tame raven at the top of Stob Dearg.
Weather today: Mostly sunny although some cloud around, especially in the middle of the day with showers visible to the west and south. A few degrees above freezing on the ridge, with light winds. Snow patches still covering the path at the head of both coires, but now avoidable on rough ground to the side.

[The ascent through Coire na Tulaich has magnificent views throughout]


Route credit: Walkhighlands

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