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Trouble and strife in Glen Etive

Date: 23-25 April 10
Submitted by: Keith Monaghan


Trouble and strife in Glen Etive.

Left home at 5am after a minor discussion with wife as to the possibility of her moving a little faster in the hope we wouldn’t  be late, so it was a rather rushed “all picture and no sound”  trip to the airport.  The departure desks were all extremely busy giving me a smug sense of satisfaction in making the correct decision to gently persuade a little speed earlier. However after a bit of time in the slow moving check in line I realised I left my licence in the car. A quick dash to the car park and back and the smug look had been transferred to herself, still not much conversation but upon checking in we were told that we would have to take the walking poles out of our rucksacks so I was off back to the car, with someone trying not to snigger behind me.

Flight actually left early and we were soon heading down a grey and damp Glen Etive after a coffee and snack in the Green Welly. We had actually managed polite conversation by this stage which proved caffeine is a wonder drug!

A nice track and good sharp “I’ll bloody show her pace “about 3 k up through a forest towards our first mungo and when herself announced she had left her inhaler in the car and was getting breathless!  Being the gentleman I volunteered to go back and collect said item and set off jogging back down the track having regained my “smugness” as Sandra agreed to slowly dander, with head bowed in shame, up to the edge of the forest and await my triumphant return.  45 min later I arrived back to be greeted with “What kept you I’m getting cold!!  Having discussed relationships, options for future relationships and the possibility of someone else falling off a crag  for a change we agreed to disagree and put the morning’s events behind us. We headed on into increasing wet weather which turned decidedly wintery at 700m+. Beinn Fhionnlaidh bagged in a foot of fresh snow and a return to the car.

SYHA was fully booked so we had to make do with a B&B in Glencoe and meal in Clagaigh Inn,   

Next am was a return to a totally different Glen Etive in bright sunshine. This time I ensured we both had overdone the caffeine. We set off from sea level up Ben Starav which is almost 1100m with a great walk around a snow filled corrie and then drop off the back of the ridge to climb outlying Beinn Nan Aighenan before returning to the ridge and Stob Diamh to finish. 9 hr, 20k, 6500ft, day in bright sun resulted in the usual sunburnt head but very enjoyable.   

Sunday and we headed towards Oban and Glen Creran where we climbed Beinn Sgulaird, locally known as “the bastard”. Picked shortest but steep route with a few wee rock steps to scramble on. Found about 25 meters of new looking climbing rope which someone had left after an abseil and had been unable to retrieve. However CCC "leave no trace" policy require me to remove said item which now has a new home in Fermanagh.  4hrs later and almost back at the car, when we were passed on the road by a Landover 90 which had been converted to one of these super-cars used for the Paris-Dakar type rally, driver was having a ball and making a hell of a racket as he raced up and down his wee private estate road without a sand dune in sight.

Back in the car and we hadn’t even left the car park when the rain started.  Obviously Sandra had informed someone they did not have her permission to create any precipitation unto her car door was firmly closed!!     



27 Apr 2010

Sounds like a episode of The Good Life.

28 Apr 2010

When your both pottering about in old age, your Grand children will love this story. Sounds like you had fun too...:)

06 May 2010

More like an episode of Last Of The Summer Wine!

Photo of Route