1234 m. |
Translation: Little hill
Pronuncation: oenach bayk
For the third year in row we embarked on a walk starting in Glen Nevis. From the car park we walked to the Steall ruin and to the bridge over the Allt Coire Giubhsachan. From there we followed the path up the south-west ridge of Sgurr a’Bhuic. Climbing steadily we gained height quickly. Then we lost the path.
We were on the south-westerly side of the ridge and had to climb very steep grass slopes to reach the final steepening of the south-west ridge of Sgurr a’Bhuic 150 m below the summit. The cairn of this fine hill is perched at the edge of a long vertical drop. There were new and interesting angles on Ben Nevis to be seen from there. Before continuing onward to Stob Coire Bhealaich we took a break to eat a snack and to take in the views of the Grey Corries and Sgurr Choinnich Mor. On the ridge leading to the summit of Stob Coire Bhealaich the east face of Aonach Beag dominated the view ahead. There still were some cornices left and there was still plenty of snow in the gullies and even on the plateau.
From Stob Coire Bhealaich we continued on the path and climbed the broad south-east shoulder of Aonach Beag. It was quite windy on the plateau so we did not stay at the cairn for long. The descent to the bealach between the small ridge and the big ridge did not take long. From the col we followed the path to the massive cairn of Aonach Beag where we paused for a while. As forecast, the wind picked up and the air got considerably colder. Soon conditions became quite uncomfortable on the plateau and we headed for the west ridge of Aonach Mor. The path on this ridge is sandy, gravelly and very steep. Real fun and exciting. Once at the bealach under Carn Mor Dearg we took the path on the right-hand side of the Allt Coire Giubhsachan which – over two steps in the floor of the glen – leads all the way down to the Steall ruin in Glen Nevis. The big slabs of rock very evident both in the slopes below the CMD and Ben Nevis and in the bed of the stream were interesting and impressive. Soon we reached the flat terrain of upper Glen Nevis and then strolled back along the path beside the gorge.
A very entertaining walk with exciting views and a mix of stony, sandy, grassy and snowy terrains. A very good day in Scotland!
Description The Aonachs form a high ridge several kilometres long lying to the east of Ben Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg. The south end of this ridge rises from Glen Nevis over the peak of Sgurr a'Bhuic to the great dome of Aonach Beag. To its north there is a high col, beyond which the long level ridge of Aonach Mor continues to the wide north-facing corrie which is the site of a major downhill skiing development, with ski tows and lifts. The east and west sides of the Aonach Beag - Aonach Mor ridge are continuously steep and craggy, with several fine corries.Ignoring the gondola which can take one half way up Aonach Mor in a few minutes, the best approach to these mountains is from the end of the public road in Glen Nevis. Follow the path through the splendid Nevis gorge and on along the north side of the Water of Nevis to the ruins of Steall. From there climb north-east up a broad ridge to Sgurr a' Bhuic and continue over Stob Coire Bhealaich to Aonach Beag. Descend to the col and continue north up the gradually rising slope to Aonach Mor.The quickest descent is to continue north along the level ridge and down the skiers' corrie to the top of the gondola and ride down to the forest, but this is a long way from Glen Nevis. To return to the starting point, go south from Aonach Mor for 1 kilometre, then descend east down a steep ill-defined spur to the col at the head of Coire Giubhsachan. Go down this corrie to the Steall ruins and the path down Glen Nevis.