So last month saw our mascot TJ leading Bill and Kirsty on a spectacular walk up The Buachaille, and Bill brought a bottle of The Balvennie 12 year old Doublewood…here’s how they got on…
The Buachaille and The Balvennie
Buachaille Etive Mor – which refers to the entire ridge about 8km’s long including the following peaks;
Stob Dearg – 1022m (Munro)
Stob Na Doire – 1011m (Munro top)
Stob Na Broige – 956m (Munro)
Stob Coire Altruim – 941m (Munro top)
Distance 12.8 kms total 1090 metres of ascent. 7.5 hours total.
OS Map 41 (Landranger)
The Buachaille as it’s known by those who have been to its tops is one of if not the most recognisable mountains in all of Scotland. Sitting at the head of Glencoe The Buachaille dominates the skyline. Driving along the A82 over Rannoch Moor you can’t help but be drawn in by its striking grandeur. Ever since I’ve started hillwalking I’ve wanted to climb this hill, it is without a doubt one of Scotland’s finest mountains and one you have to put on your ‘to do’ list.
There’s no doubt that this is an imposing mountain from any angle and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly apprehensive. The route we chose started in the small parking area at Altnafeadh which is next to an outcrop of trees on a bend before the A82 drops down to Glencoe. This affords a great view of the route and allows you to plan your ascent prior to setting off. We crossed the road, heading past a small cottage (SMC climbing hut) and followed a well-defined path taking the right hand branch.
We climbed through a rocky boulder field on a relatively steep ascent which although looked tricky from a far was quite easy going. As we reached a large area of scree in the narrowing corrie we chose to skirt east, round the larger scree field before traversing west again and picking our way over a broken rocky trail eventually emerging at a bealach around 900m.
After a rest we left our bags at the bealach for the short walk to Stob Dearg over rocky ground. This takes about fifteen minutes and is just over a kilometre. The views from the summit have to be seen to be believed, your effort is rewarded with a spectacular panorama encompassing Rannoch Moor, Glencoe and the distinct outline of Schiehallion can also be seen to the east. This is a classic Scottish walk for good reasons.
Having enjoyed the views, we headed west along the rest of the ridge, collecting our bags on the way. The terrain was rocky in places but there was an obvious path leading over the two tops and finishing with our second Munro of the day Stob Na Broige. All in all, it took us 5 hours at a leisurely pace to reach the end of the ridge. All along the route we could see many of Scotland’s most famous Munros including the Mamores, Buachaille Etive Beag, The Aonach Eagach and Bidean Nam Bian.
The return walk is by an obvious path which is found at the bealach of Stob Coire Altruim which descends over rough stone tracks to the Lairig Gartain. From here it’s about 4km walk on a good path to the A82. One of my best ever days on the hills.
The Balvenie 12yo Doublewood
Distiller: The Balvenie
This is a classic dram in my opinion and one that I always find to be well received by newcomers to whisky. Interestingly the entire distilling process is carried out on site at The Balvenie, including a cooperage, malting floor and barley they have grown themselves!
Nose: this is a lightly scented dram with hints of fruit and vanilla but certainly not overpowering!
Palate: the taste is very smooth with a slight hint of spice. It’s got a soft caramel sweetness to it which I found easy to enjoy!
Finish: this dram has a long soft and warming finish.
A great dram available for about £37 and one that I will most likely always have in my collection. It’s also a great reward and the end of a long day.