The Wee Bookle
30th April 2005. This was a Bank Holiday weekend and was also the last time I was up Stob Dubh and Stob Coir Raineach. Since then I hadn’t been back up Buachaille Etive Beag (BEB), having seemingly climbed every other Gelncoe hill numerous times apart from this one!
A rather miserable Boxing Day forecast meant our initial plans were scrapped and so I suggested a hike up BEB. This would give us shelter until the Bealach where we would assess the conditions. The walk was fine and the snow deep, we could see the snow twisters spilling over the Bealach and down our side of the hill. We eventually reached these with sudden gusts hitting us then fading as quickly as they had come. However as we neared the Bealach the wind was ferocious. We probably made it to around 850m before making a decision to descend. The blizzard and white room was bad enough here and the ridge above wasn’t offering any shelter!! Back to the car for 10.30am but glad to have been out to burn off the Christmas Day caloriesJ
Six days later and we set off again for the same hill. A weather window was scheduled -although winds were still forecast to be gusting to 45mph in the morning and rising as the day proceeded. Left the car round 9 and were first on the hill. The drifts made for some leg sapping trail breaking but the tops were clear and views magnificent! Our Snow twisters and spin drift soon made a reappearance but the winds were nowhere near as bad as Boxing Day. Goggles and gear on, we progressed up to point 902m. What a fine ridge, back in 2005 it had been cloudy and we didn’t get to see this.
We made the top at the back of 10 after battling the spindrift! The walk back was made much more comfortable by having the winds at our back and in fact the winds were easing (contrary to what was forecast) and the spindrift and snow twisters started to fade….
A quick descent to the Bealach and we decided to crack on to Stob Coire Raineach. A quick blast up here and then home. The hill was now busy and met lots of folks coming up, hope they all enjoyed the da as much as us. A grand start to 2016….
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...