Winter Weekend – Stob Ghabhar   21 comments

The Saturday of our weekend had a much better forecast. There were clearly still some heavy showers around but there more expansive patches of clear sky. We all went our separate ways but a hardy group planned on one of the areas bigger and more dramatic mountains, Stob Ghabhar.

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The morning was bright and clear with great views across Loch Tulla to the group of four munros rising above it to the east.

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Stob Ghabhar is pretty big (pushing up towards 1,100m), you start from low down and its long walk in, so its a serious undertaking in winter. Luckily there was not much snow around to complicate things and there are good paths most of the way up and down.

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The valley of the Abhainn Shira forms the approach and is a classic scottish glacial valley surrounded by big peaks.

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Our goal was to follow the stalkers path up to the western top and then traverse back over the summit, pretty much along the skyline seen here.

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Plentiful sunshine drew us upwards although the path peters out around 750m so the last couple of hundred metres are harder work over rough ground. These stalkers paths from Victorian times are a godsend where they exist.

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Just before the top we were hit by a heavy hail storm. My mate OGS had a novel solution to this. Yes, that is a snorkelling mask he’s wearing. He’s from Yorkshire and genetically programmed not to spend money. Clever idea to re-use old stuff from the house. Tiny flaw in the plan, a completely sealed unit clamped to a hot sweaty face with a freezing cold outer surface has an obvious outcome. He took it off a few seconds later. It gave us probably the biggest laugh of the weekend.

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Days like these are some of the best. Showers tend to be violent but short lived but as they clear the light effects are dramatic and mesmerising.

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Peaks slowly emerge from the clouds bathed in the sunlight that you know is coming your way. The views here across the South Glencoe peaks and the Glen Etive mountains were amazing.

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There was enough snow to make the final walk to the summit both interesting and easier. Nothing finer than a winter walk high on a mountain on hard snow under sunny skies.

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This section of ridge was a sheer delight.

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The summit was windy and brutally cold so we didn’t linger long. The views across the expanse of Rannoch Moor were great as always.

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The two Matts enjoying claiming the summit.

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We headed down looking for a sheltered lunch spot and across the narrow but short ridge of the Aonach Eagach. Not as dramatic or difficult as its more famous counterpart a few miles away in Glencoe but it added some interest. Had it been under a full blanket of winter snow it would have been a more challenging proposition.

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Looking back to the summit of Stob Ghabhar and Coirein Lochain.

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And along the Aonach Eagach.

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After a brief and cold lunch the others set off to do the second munro in the group, Stob a Choire Odhair. I was feeling a little out of sorts and TJS didn’t like the look of the steep descent to the col so we took our leave and headed down. The weather turned a little greyer and showery so not many photos from here on in. Just a last look at the Beinn Dorain group across the valley as we reached the car and sat and waited for the others.

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A long, tough and tiring day, for me anyway, but one with great memories that I can share with TJS who now has four munros to his name, four more than I had at his age!

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21 responses to “Winter Weekend – Stob Ghabhar

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  1. Some fabulous pictures 🙂

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  2. Love all those mountain views! What a great trek.

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  3. Haven’t considered any of the munros to be honest. Looks by these pictures that I’m missing out

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    • I’ve been bagging them for over 30 years and still not finished (or ever likely to in fact) I’ve done over 200 but still around 70 left to. I’ve done this one three times though. Scotland has some superb mountains and this area has some of the best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 70 doesn’t seem like too many to do, but I’m guessing they are spread far and wide. I’ve got 70 odd of the wainwrights left and I’m sure I’ll get them done in 5 years but that doesn’t compare.

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  4. Lovely photos.

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  5. It’s a fine hill that. Like that area. My old backyard.

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    Blue Sky Scotland
  6. Great photos. Some questions:
    Didn’t you go on the New Year Scotland trip in your first year at Uni then? (Re: TJS has four more Munros than you, age adjusted).
    How come Matt M looks distinguished with a white beard, whereas I look like a tramp? There’s no justice.

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    beatingthebounds
  7. Great views and looks like a great walk too. I really must visit the Hfhlands before I’m too old and knackered!

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    • You need to get up there. Plenty of mountains up there to pick from across all levels of difficulty. Some oil the smaller mountains give days just as good as the big ones

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