OverviewThe Buachaille Etive Beag is situated within the picturesque area of Glencoe and sits directly west of its brother the Buachaille Etive Mor. Due to the attraction of the latter the Buachaille Etive Beag does not get the same noteriety as its sibling, although personally this is my favourite of the two. The ridge walk along to Stob Dubh is excellent and there is certainly a higher degree of solitude to be had here.
There is a slight similarity between both hills when viewed from the A82 road through Glencoe but the real resemblence to their relation is better defined when both are viewed from Glen Etive.
The translation of Buachaille Etive Beag (pronounced: booachil etiv bek) is Small Herdsman of Etive. Beag meaning small and Mor in the brother peaks name meaning big.
The Buachaille Etive Beag is basically made up of two peaks at either end of its 4km ridge with an unnamed peak in the centre. The two peaks are as follows:
Stob Coire Raineach: 925m/3035ft, Pronounced: Stop Kora Ran-ach, Translation: Peak of the Corrie of the Ferns (This peak was promoted to a munro in a revision of the tables in 1997)
Stob Dubh: 958m/3143ft, Pronounced: Stop Doo, Translation: Black Peak.
The views from either peak on a clear day are extensive and include The Black Mount, The Mamores, Ben Nevis range and of course a close up view of the surrounding Glencoe peaks.
Approx journey time: 5 to 7 hours
For arriving in Scotland and making your way to the Buachaille Etive Beag in Glencoe, the best airports to arrive in are;
From Glasgow take the A82 road via Loch Lomond northbound direct to Glencoe.
From Inverness take the A82 southbound via Fort William direct to Glencoe.
From Edinburgh take the M9 to Stirling, then take the A84 Callander road, becoming the A85 until merging with the A82 northbound road at Crianlarich. Follow until reaching Glencoe.
Use the following link for a detailed route plan from/to your destination within the UK. AA Route Planner
From Glasgow Queen Street station take the West Highland Railway line to Bridge of Orchy. From here, you could hike/hitch/catch bus the remainder of the way to Glencoe. Train timetables are available here
A bus service runs daily from Buchanan Street bus station in Glasgow to Fort William, via Glencoe, and then to the Isle of Skye. A full timetable is available here
Red TapeThere is no red tape in Scotland due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which incorporated the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This code, which commenced on the 9th of February 2005, has established statutory rights of access to land and inland water for outdoor recreation.
The Land Reform(Scotland) Act 2003
Scottish Outdoor Access Code
The following aspects should be taken into consideration when you are in the Scottish countryside;
- Seek local advice in regard to deer stalking or grouse shooting activities
- Ensure that all gates are closed behind you
- During the lambing season (March to May) ensure that all dogs are kept on a lead
- Please refrain from feeding or annoying any animals
- Limited parking space is available at the start of many routes, please ensure that you are not blocking a road and/or entrance
- Parking is provided at the start of some routes by the local farmers, it is polite to ask if you can use this facility
- Try to refrain from crossing fields with animals and/or crops if an alternative route is available
- Ensure that you treat the local environment with care by leaving it as you found it and by taking any litter home with you
- Any camp fires should be carefully watched and only used away from dense forest areas
- Natural waste should be done in a hole and then buried when wild camping
Where to stay
There are two hotels in Glencoe. Clachaig Inn and Kingshouse Hotel. Both hotels have excellent climbers bars with the Clachaig providing live music, mostly at the weekends.
Scorrybreac Guest House
Invercoe Lodges and Campsite
Glencoe Independent Hostel
Red Squirrel Campsite
Glencoe Camping & Caravan Club
Glencoe Youth Hostel
There is wild camping available on the Kingshouse Hotel Campground which is at the rear of the building. Wild camping is totally legal in Scotland and can be done in various locations close to the Buachaille Etive Beag. This is due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 that was mentioned earlier.
Here are some of the basic rules that should be adopted when wild camping;
- The larger the group, the harder it is to keep impacts to a minimum. Keep groups small.
- Camp as unobtrusively as possible.
- Remember that noise travels from tents disturbing wildlife as well as humans.
- Enjoy the freedom of wild camping without leaving a trace of your passage. Protect our country's outstanding scenery and wildlife as well as the wilderness experience.
- Camping on the same spot harms vegetation. Aim to move frequently and do not stay for any longer than 3 nights in the same place.
- Lighting fires poses a high fire risk on peaty soils and close to tinder dry grass. A high risk of fire can exist at any time of year, and not just in times of drought.
- Watercourses and loch sides are important sites for birds and animals. Take extra care when camping near burns and lochs, and try to avoid camping immediately beside them.
- Always find a spot at least 30 metres from fresh/running water when going to the toilet.
- Bury excrement in a small hole (not under boulders). A trowel or ice axe can be used to lift a flap of turf.
- Remove all litter (even other peoples!) Think ahead and only carry in what you are prepared to carry out.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland provides an invaluable leaflet providing a full breakdown of the dos and don'ts of wild camping in Scotland. Wild Camping, A guide to good practice.
Maps and Books
The Central Highlands by Peter Hodgkiss
The Munros (SMC Hillwalkers guide) edited by Donald Bennet & Rab Anderson
Ski Mountaineering in Scotland by Donald Bennet & Bill Wallace
Scottish Hill and Mountain Names by Peter Drummond
The Munros by Cameron McNeish
The Scottish Peaks by W. A. Poucher
Scrambles in Lochaber by Noel Williams
Harvey Superwalker Map: Glencoe
OS Explorer Map sheet: 384 Glen Coe & Glen Etive
OS Landranger Map sheet: 41 Fort William & Glen Coe
OS 1:25 000 scale sheet 94: Glen Coe, Rannoch Moor & Crianlarich
Weather conditions in Glencoe can alter rapidly due to its location close to the western coast of Scotland, so you should be fully prepared for all weather possibilities. The following websites will provide information on the expected conditions for your planned trip. The first link is posted in the two Glencoe hotel bars on a daily basis.
West Highlands Forecast
General weather forecast
Walk the Highlands
The Scottish Mountaineering Club
Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland
Glencoe Visitor Centre
The West Highland Way
Discover Glencoe & Loch Leven