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Ben Starav & Glas Bheinn Mhor`

Highland Walk

County/Area - Highland - Fort William Lochaber

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 10.0 miles / 16.3 km    Ascent - 4600 feet / 1394 metres

Time - 9 hours 40 minutes    Grade - hard

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Ordnance Survey Explorer 377Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Ben Starav & Glas Bheinn Mhor`
Click image to see photo description.

This tough walk climbs Ben Starav (1078 m.) which lies at the lower end of Glen Etive. The route continues over Stob Coire Dheirg and Meall nan Tri Tighhearnan to the airy summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor (997 m.). The initial ascent onto Ben Starav is an almost continuous climb of over 3,500 feet to reach the summit of this Munro which offers commanding views across the surrounding lochs, glens, and mountains. Further ascent to reach the second Munro makes this a strenuous walk. Generally, the terrain is rocky with the walk crossing some narrow ridges. It is worth remembering that due to its location, Ben Starav sees rapid changes in the weather so be prepared. In winter, the hill should be avoided by those not experienced and equipped for such an outing.

To start off-road parking in Glen Etive (grid ref. NN136468). In good weather you may need to park elsewhere. Take the private track leading to Coileitir. Pass this cottage on your left and continue parallel to the river on your right. Turn inland to a footbridge (grid ref. NN136460) and the left beside Allt Mheuran. The path starts climbing and swings south with the river below on your left. You soon reach a path junction (grid ref. NN139453) where you take the right-hand path.

The path climbs up Ben Starav's north ridge. The well-defined route keeps to the crest of the ridge between Coire Sgroidain on your right and Coire an Fhir Leith to your left. As you make progress up the hill there are dramatic crags on your right with the ridge narrowing. A sustained ascent over rocky terrain takes you to the trig point on Ben Starav. The views are superb especially to the south over Loch Etive. In addition, the panorama includes Bidean nam Bian, Ben Cruachan, and many other peaks.

To start the descent head south-east along the top of the crags falling away to your left. The path follows a narrow ridge and climbs the north flank of Stob Coire Dheirg. Care is needed in poor visibility with steep crags to your left. Continue the descent towards Glas Bheinn Mhor to reach a bealach (grid ref. NN139424). If conditions require you can escape left here to descend into Coire Lochain Ghaineamhaich.

The route rises steeply to reach Meall nan Tri Tighhearnan. A short descend leads to the final ascent of the day leading you to the top of Glas Bheinn Mhor. Again, there are fine views which reward you for the effort expended to reach this point. This superb high-level walk continues descending initially east and then north-east to reach a bealach (738 m.). The path then descends following the north side of Allt Mheuran. At times, the path is boggy although the view down the glen compensates. Continue past the Robber's Waterfall and keep the burn on your left. The route leads you back to the footbridge where you retrace your route past Coileitir to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 3118 Sgor na h'Ulaidh from Achnachon, Glen Coemod/hard8.0 miles
Walk 2955 Ridges & peaks of Bidean Nam Bianvery hard10.5 miles
Walk 2554 The Lost Valley, Glen Coeeasy/mod4.2 miles
Walk 3251 Bidean nam Bian via Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glencoehard5.0 miles
Walk 2808 Buachaille Etive Beag, Glen Coehard9.0 miles
Walk 1162 Pap of Glencoemoderate4.2 miles
Walk 1234 Pap of Glencoe (Route B)moderate4.2 miles
Walk 3000 Sgorr Nam Fiannaidh & Stob Coire Leithhard6.2 miles
Walk 3322 Sgurr na Ciche (Pap of Glencoe)moderate4.2 miles
Walk 2819 Stob na Broige, Buchaille Etive Mor, Glen Coemod/hard6.1 miles

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