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Aonach Eagach Ridge
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The Aonach Eagach Ridge - Glencoe

Location: The north side of Glencoe, Argyll, Central Highlands

Length: 7km / 4.33 miles

Ascent: 1125m / 3690ft

Time: 6 hours

Difficulty: The jagged north skyline of Glencoe provides a fine challenge. Horizontally from Am Bodach to Sgorr nam Fiannaidh the distance traversed is some 3km (2 miles).

It must be stressed that there is NO SAFE DESCENT FROM THE RIDGE between these points.

We traverse the ridge from east to west, and the difficulties begin with the descent of Am Bodach (Scrambling Grade 1).

  Buachaille Etive Mor
     

Thereafter, it is The Pinnacles section between Meall Dearg and Stob Coire Leith which provides the main area of interest.

Here, problems come thick and fast, and there are numerous short scrambling sections with not inconsiderable exposure in places; the hardest is the very last pinnacle, at Scrambling Grade 2.

In winter conditions this walk becomes a mountaineering expedition, of Winter Grade1/2 severity.

The descent west of Clachaig Gully is steep and demanding, with exposed sections of scrambling which are technically easy, but should still be tackled with considerable care.

Seasons:

Summer conditions may be expected from June to September and winter conditions from May to October.

  Aonach Eagach Ridge in winter
     

Geology:

The rock is ryolite, except for the shoulder below the last peak of Sgorr nam Fainnaidh which is quartzite; it is reasonably rough and dependable, though it can be slipperywhen it is wet or damp.

There are sections of loose scree, particularly by the side of the Clachaig Gully and care needs to be taken not to dislodge any stones onto parties below.

Flora and Fauna:

Raven and stonecaht may be seen. Yellow saxifrage, crowberry, rowan and autumnal hawkbit grow in this area; the red fos and the mounatin hare are also shy inhabitants.

Comment:

A compelling classis walk that fully lives up to its reputation for excellence. It is a linear trip best tackled east to west.

  Looking towards the Buachaille Etive Mor from the Aonach Eagach Ridge
     

Glencoe was created when the great ice cap flowed inexorably down from Rannoch Moor, carving an uncompromising line through ancient volcano and on to the sea.

It is truly a most magnificent valley: incomparably intense, intimidating yet intriguing, of savage grandeur and spectacular rock architecture, it is one of the most hallowed of mountain sanctuaries.

The south flank, sometimes seeming perpetually dark, is comprised of the Three Sisters - Beinn Fhada, Gearr Aonach and Aonach Dubh; to the north, kissed by the sun, is a towering jagged rock edge held aloft by unassailable steeps - the Aonach Eagach Ridge.

The summits:

Am Bodach - 943m / 3085ft, Meall Dearg - 953m / 3127ft,

Stob Coire Leith - 940m / 3088ft and Sgurr nam Fiannaidh - 967m / 3173ft

  Loch Achtriochtan - Glencoe

 

   

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