Quite possibly the most famous ridge walk / scramble on the UK mainland, who could say no to a day out doing that then…
If you’re heading for the AE on your own or in a small group it’s worth giving some thought to the logistics – its a long, one way walk – so in all likelihood someone’s getting an extra five miles at the end of the day to get the car back. As I’d gone to Scotland with Matt – I knew this meant me (still there are worse places to have to walk back for your car!)
There’s no sugar coating the start of the walk – you’ve got to get up Am Bodach, roughly 600m of pretty direct ascent – but your rewarded with tantalising glimpses of the route to come. The first scrambling section comes pretty quick in the descent off Am Bodach – a tricky little 15m or so section where the nervous may well want a rope – in winter many less experienced parties turn back at this first steep obstacle.
(Matt stares down the first awkward step)
After this the ridge is pretty straightforward until you reach the first munro of the day, Meall Dearg. The ascent had taken it’s toll on Matt – so I got a little while to pause & take in the view- a wonderful panorama in all directions, but for the main part your eyes are drawn to the ridge.
(the Ridge proper)
Now this what we’d come for. Despite Matt thinking he was going slow we were still first onto the ridge proper and were able to take the time to seek out the spiciest lines, climb all the little pinnacles & generally monkey around. Sadly all too soon the scrambling was over – leaving us just the last short climb up to Stob Coire Leith then on to the last munro of the day at Sgorr nam Fiannaidh, which again offered us some spectacular views
From here it’s mostly slog I’m afraid. It’s important not to bear left – the descents that way are notoriously dangerous, instead bear rightwards heading for the Pap of Glencoe & meet a large path that heads down into the bracken and bog – eventually meeting up with the road that runs between Glencoe & the Clachaig. Fortunately for Matt this is also the road that our camp-site was on – so I left him for a power nap in the tent whilst I walked back along the valley floor for the van,
All in all – an excellent day out.