Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Friday, 25 June 2010

Aonach Eagach, 25th June 2010.

We travelled north for a change of scenery and camped in the Invercoe Camspite just outside Glencoe village. The site has great views out over Loch Leven and the Ballachulish Bridge and beyond. The plan was to do the Grade II scramble along the Aonach Eagach Ridge. 
We had the bright idea of getting the City-Link bus out to Alt na Reigh in Glencoe and then just walking all the way back to the campsite (East to West); which we did, but be warned it's £6 each one way for less than 10 minutes on the bus!
As we arrived at Alt na Reigh we got talking to Mike, who was originally from Sheffield and had emigrated to Australia, and was over doing a "Grand Tour" of the UK. He was a little unsure of the route ot it's possible difficulties, so he tagged along with us, which turned out great as we spent most of the time moaning about the state of the country etc, etc!


The morning mist gave Glencoe the usual air of mystery and danger.


Lorna and Mike at the bottom of the first "difficult" down climb off Am Bodach; not really difficult at all with plenty of options and holds if you take your time to spot them.

As you gain height and move along the ridge to the first Munro of Meal Dearg - 953m, each new gully reveals a new view of Glencoe.

The way ahead with the Crazy Pinnacles to contend with.

Mike leading the way over one of the pinnacles. To be honest, once on the ridge it's difficult to relate exactly where you are in relation to the guide book. However most of the climbs, up or down are quite well protected, ie in chimneys or grooves although you still get the feeling of some exposure. Also it definitely safer to stick to the rock and the crests as we saw some paths that looked like they avoided the crest but lead to unsafe ground at the sides of the ridge.


I was looking for the "Chancellor", a spur that juts out over Glencoe. I'm not sure if this is it as I had put the guide book away, but it has a faint path running out to it so maybe it was? Across the Glen and almost directly above me is Ossians Cave on Aonach Dubh.


One of the gaps between one of the pinnacles (?). Although these appear narrow, they are easily crossed with care, oh and give jaw dropping views downwards!

Me poncing about right on the crest!

Mike trying to make it look difficult!

A team behind us on another (?) big downclimb.

The final Munro of the ridge is Sgorr nam Fiannaidh - 967m, and the long painful descent back to Glencoe Village, avoiding the Clachaing Gully. The descent although a bit unforgiving, gives you great views over Loch Leven and our campsite just right of centre in the photo. 
Vey kindly Mike and his wife Jenny (who was waiting to pick him up) gave us a lift to our car which we had left by the bus stop. And to round the day off, we all went along to the Claching Inn for a refreshing soft drink, ahem! Mike and Jenny were leaving for Skye the next day so hopefully the Scottish weather will be kind to them before the forecast rain at the end of the week.

The view from our camp.

The next time we do the Aonach Eagach, I think we will avoid the last Munro and reverse the route, that way you end up back at the car, and avoid the walk off! Just need to do it in winter now!!!  


Lucy Westenra said...

I tackled this route some years ago, but from West to East. The weather was clear, sunny and cloudless the whole day. To see from Jura to the Cairngorms, from Nevis to the Buchaille massif at the turn of your head! It was just one WOW after another! Heart stopping views down into Glencoe. Some stretches need great care, and I wouldn't like to be up there in bad weather.

Lucy Westenra said...

P.S. Arrived at your blog from a Google Image search for "The Chancellor, Glencoe."