Petestack Blog

5 June 2012

Double Aonach Eagach

Filed under: Running — admin @ 10:22 pm

Afraid the blogging’s been getting a bit sporadic recently, with some good stuff like May’s excellent Polldubh Club Skye Meet (on which I spent the first day climbing at Neist and the second traversing the ridge from Sgurr nan Eag to Sgurr Dearg) just not getting written up here. But yesterday’s run strikes me as interesting enough to merit a line or two, starting (as it did) as a routine late afternoon jaunt over to Altnafeadh and back, but spontaneously transmogrifying somewhere above the Allt a’ Choire Odhair-mhoir into a double traverse of the Aonach Eagach. So I peeled off the West Highland Way at the top of the zig-zags to run up the lovely broad ridge of Sron a’ Choire Odhair-bhig and over the tops to Am Bodach before slowing down somewhat for the more exposed descent and pinnacled knife-edge between Meall Dearg and Stob Coire Leith. Which, wary of a lightheaded ‘bonk’ in the wrong place when I was carrying neither food nor water (the ridge being 100% spontaneous change of plan), I took pretty steadily in both directions before cutting north from Meall Dearg on the way back. Saw nobody apart from a pair I didn’t quite catch up Stob Coire Leith, and must admit I was almost (but not quite!) tempted by a dropped Gummi Bear I spied on the return traverse before finally finding water on my way out by the Feith nan Lab (between Sron Gharbh and Garbh Bheinn). Having left home at 4:00pm without a watch, I could only guess at the time but, estimating two hours to the top of Am Bodach, ninety minutes for the double traverse (told you it wasn’t quick!) and another hour-and-a-half home from Meall Dearg, I guessed I should be back about 9:00pm… and might have been spot on there but for the three or four sit-down stops on comfortable-looking big rocks that kept me out till 9:10pm (funny how experience of the terrain and that ‘inner clock’ can work so well together!). So I was tired, thirsty, hungry, chafed by my nylon shorts (no planning = no BodyGlide!) and quite glad I’d skipped the return over Garbh Bheinn I’d been contemplating at one point, but what priceless joie de vivre from simply following my nose! :-)



  1. Wow! What a “detour”. Sounds great. It took us a few hours to cross the ridge one way so 90min seems rather fast to me! Well done!

    Comment by Silke — 6 June 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  2. Brilliant, Pete ~ especially doing it spontaneously and off the cuff like that. Very satisfying!


    Comment by MtM — 6 June 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  3. Thanks, folks! Of course I’m ultimately just guessing how long I took on the ridge but, having recorded 19 minutes from Am Bodach to Meall Dearg and 42 from there to Stob Coire Leith on my 2006 Round of Glen Coe, 90 minutes to do that and back to Meall Dearg in a similarly thirsty (if not quite so tired) state shouldn’t be too far off. And Monday’s little escapade was far more about a good day out than speed in any case.

    Might also point out (just in case it’s not clear from my post) that I never actually got to Altnafeadh on this occasion, and would obviously have gone via Stob Mhic Mhartuin if I’d only thought of the ‘detour’ on the way back!

    Comment by admin — 6 June 2012 @ 8:59 pm

  4. I just hope nobody doing the race sees those red lines on your map and thinks that is a race day detour they should take. I wouldn’t put it past some folk, though! No names!!


    Comment by MtM — 7 June 2012 @ 5:46 pm

  5. Nah, they’d be better by Stob Mhic Mhartuin if approaching from the south! ;-)

    Must try .903 via Meall Ruigh a’ Bhricleathaid sometime, but managed Penstock and back tonight without ‘losing my way’…

    Comment by admin — 7 June 2012 @ 7:42 pm

  6. […] you’ve read Tuesday’s blog post, you’ll know exactly what! Meant to turn right at Meall Dearg today to head straight for […]

    Pingback by Oops!… I Did It Again « Petestack Blog — 10 June 2012 @ 12:25 am

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