||Stob a'Choire Odhair & Stob
||Location: Bridge of Orchy
||Accommodation: Hotel, bunkhouse and some camping at
Bridge of Orchy (close to train station). Inveroran Hotel at head of Loch
||Transport: Train station at Bridge of Orchy. Buses run
along the A82 (Glasgow to Fort William).
||Trip Date: 12 June 1993
Stob Ghabhar (1087m, goat peak) and Stob a'Choire Odhair (943m, peak of
the dun-coloured corrie) are the eastern most peaks of the ranges between Loch
Etive and Loch Tulla. Stob Ghabhar makes a fine sight from the A62 road along
the side of Loch Tulla. These peaks can be bagged as part of the classic
traverse of the Black Mount range, linking the old and famous inns of
Inveroran Hotel and
Hotel (see the second link above). This route though is a round trip from
Bridge of Orchy (where I was staying).
Leave the hotel at Bridge of Orchy and immediately turn to cross the
River Orchy. Cross the ridge of Ben Inverveigh along a path straight on from
the bridge (this is part of the West Highland
Way). The path is an old military road built in 1752 or 1753. There is a
cairn at the highest point (Mam Carraigh) with good views across the loch and
west to the day's objectives. The path drops down to meet the lochside road at
Follow the road as it crosses the Allt Tolaghan. I noticed quite a
number of tents set up here - a good option for campers with the pub so near
(ask at the inn first). It is about a kilometre from the hotel to Victoria
Bridge. Cross the bridge and turn left at Forest Lodge. Easy walking along a
landrover track leads in 1.5 kilometres to a small corrugated iron hut. Turn
north here along a well-defined path, forsaking the Abhainn Shira river for the
Allt Toaig stream.
The path rises gently until it gets to the entrance of the corrie Coire
Toaig. Across the stream you can see a waterfall with a rough path dropping
down its right side. This is the path used on the descent from Stob Ghabhar.
Continue along the path as it starts to climb more steeply. into the corrie.
After the second side-stream (point 252446 on the map), the base of a broad
heathery ridge is reached. Climb up the ridge for 300m on the generous zigzags
of a good stalker's path. This takes you to about the 800m contour where the
path ends on open bouldery ground. Make your own way northwards up the ridge to
the summit of Stob a'Coire Odhair.
This summit is a good place for a breather and perhaps lunch. Take your
time looking over Rannoch Moor with its patchwork of lochs.
Descend down the broad west ridge to the wide bealach (pass) between the
two hills. The photo at the top looks along this ridge to Stob Ghabhar.
Continue west until you gain the crest of a SW ridge - dropping left to right
on the photo. Climb steeply up the ridge on a path up rough slopes and some
scree. You emerge on a ridge called the Aonach Eagach ('notched ridge') -
nowhere as narrow or notched as its namesake in Glen
Coe. Turn west on the ridge and walk along the narrow crest for 500 metres.
The ridge turns to met the SE ridge from Stob Ghabhar and this is climbed
steeply to the summit along the edge of the vertical NE face of Stob
|Stob a'Choire Odhair from the
ridge leading up to Stob Ghabhar
On a clear day the summit is a place to sit and admire the mountainous
nature of this part of Scotland. To the north you can see
Ben Nevis in the distance (40 kilometres away), the
Glen Coe hills in the middle distance and the rest of the Black Mount range
stretching from your feet to Kingshouse. To the west the valley of Loch Dochard
gives way to the hills grouped around Ben Starav. To the south the Bridge of
Orchy hills (Beinn a'Chreachain, Beinn Achaladair,
etc.) lift up above Loch Tulla and further away (SW) the Ben Lui group makes up the horizon. Rannoch Moor
completes the view to the east.
Leave the summit the way you came dropping down to the start of the
Aonach Eagach ridge. Here you can choose to descend via the south-east ridge
for about 1.5 kilometres and then turn to the ESE across open grassy slopes to
cross the Allt Toaig and regain the path. I chose to continue down the Aonach
Eagach past the ascent route until it was possible to work my way around crags
and down into Coire na Muic. The head of the waterfall was easy to reach over
marshy ground and a rough steep path lead back to the path.
Once you get back to the Inveroran Hotel (and a couple of well-earned
pints), the return route can be varied by following the road around the