Ben Starav

Arriving in Scotland on a very sunny Friday (17 May 2019) seemed like a good omen for the whole hillwalking trip. But it was not to be so easy. The Saturday, on which we had planned to do the Tarmachan Ridge was a rather dreich and windy affair.We were content with driving from Lochearnhead to Fort William to buy our provisions for the week. There we visited the Costa on Fort William’s High Street, took advantage of the Wi-Fi there and then found no further excuse for not driving back a few miles to Glencoe Village.

We reached our coveted Laraichean Cottage about an hour too early so the housekeeping was still under way. Soon however we could move into the cottage and settled in quite comfortably. The plans for the next day were of course very much dependent on the weather which promised moderate winds, temperatures of a few degrees Celsius above freezing at Munro level and clouds. Fair enough we thought.

The next morning saw us heading for Glen Etive to saviour its rough and beautiful wilderness which will soon be destroyed by hydro developments on half a dozen of River Etive’s northern tributary burns. Shame, shame, shame!

We arrived at the small layby where the hike starts to find one or two other cars parked there already. A group of three just left for the bridge crossing the river when we booted up. Soon we were on our way followed the path around the perimeter fence of the small Coileitir cottage by the river and crossed the Allt Mheuran to reach the start of Starav’s steep and soaring north ridge. After a few minutes on the ridge we caught up with the threesome we had met at the cars. From then on our group of three English and two German baggers climbed the ridge together in a loose line of gasping hikers: It was the first Scottish hill for all of us this year. I had only climbed one mountain two weeks before on Crete – the 2000+ hill … [Read More]