Wild camp on Beinn a ‘Chrulaiste followed by Meall a’Bhuirid and Creise

On Thursday afternoon I checked the weather which was showing a 95% chance of cloud free Munros on both Thursday and Friday! After seeing this, I quickly packed my  rucksack and began to think of possible camping locations in Glencoe. After realising I had left it too late to do my original plan (climbing all the Glen Etive munros in one go), I decided to head for the summit of Beinn a ‘Chrulaiste. I have summited Beinn a‘Chrulaiste twice before, but I  have never  experienced the views at sunset or seen Buachallie Etive Mor lit up by the morning light from that viewpoint.

I headed for Glencoe and  arrived at the Altnafeadh car park at about 18:30

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On the way up, the sun broke through the clouds and shone down on the glen:

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The light was incredible. I arrived at the summit about 20:00 hours and began looking for a spot to set up my tent.

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The summit is very exposed to the wind and my hands became cold very quickly, even with my thick gloves on. After a short time looking, I found a spot just below the summit which was flat enough to pitch my tent.

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Amazingly, once my tent was up the wind subsided and was almost non existent. It became so quite and still. I spent some time taking photographs of the surrounding scenery while I waited on my chicken Korma cooking 🙂

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It was at this point I realised that I need to invest in a new stove, 40 minutes it took to boil a pot of water! By the time my dinner was ready it was completely dark and the clouds had rolled in above me. I was hoping for a clear sky to see the stars but it wasn’t to be. I fell asleep and I woke up every hour to see if the sky had cleared, but it remained cloudy through the night.

I woke up at 4:50am to catch the morning light which was fairly unspectacular. I didn’t get the sunrise which I had hoped for, but it was still a beautiful sunny morning:

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I took some more photographs then headed back down to the car. I was back at the car for 09:30 and spent some time trying to decide what to do with my morning. I had a look at my map and decided to climb Meall a’Bhuiridh and Creise from the ski centre.

I set off at 10:30am and began walking up towards the main basin. I made quick progress and was at the café in just over 20 minutes:

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I couldn’t see a path from here but I headed right towards the north ridge. Once on the ridge, there still didn’t appear to be a clear path, but I fought my way through boulders and snow and eventually reached the summit.

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Once on the summit, I started my descent towards Creise. The view towards the Clach Leathad ridge was incredible:

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Once down at the bealach, I looked back and couldn’t believe how far I had descended

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The photograph makes it look like a gentle slope, but it is actually very rock and fairly steep. There was a bit of scrambling involved to get to Creise ridge and some steep snow to negotiate, but it didn’t take long before I was walking towards the summit

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The views from Creise were incredible, I could have stayed there all afternoon admiring the view but I had to be home for 6pm. I retraced my steps back to the summit off Meall a’Bhuiridh and almost ran down the snow slopes back towards the car.

It was an incredible couple of days and definitely worth the pain that came from the sunburn!

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