Stob a'Choire Odhair (945m/3100ft) is the munro peak that sits to the north east of Coire Toaig and directly east of Stob Ghabhar. These two peaks are the most southern of all the peaks within the Black Mount range. Of the two, Stob Ghabhar is undoubtedly the one with the greatest character. Not that Stob a'Choire Odhair is dull, it just doesn't have the attributes that the other peak has to offer.
Stob a;Choire Odhair (pronounced:Stob a kora ooer) translated to English means Peak of the Dun Coloured Corrie. The best viewpoint for this peak is seen from Rannoch Moor, to the east, on the A82 road to Glencoe. From the south the peak is hidden from view by the lower satellite of Beinn Toaig (834m).
The traverse of both of these fine peaks offers a great days walking and should take up no more than 8 hours of the day from start to finish.
The most exciting and entertaining part of the route comes in the latter stages of the day when you need to negotiate the Aonach Eagach ridge. The pinnacles of the ridge are very narrow and provide breathtaking moments as you scramble up and down them. The only downside to this section is that it only lasts for five minutes.
This route offers a wide diversity of scenery and gives varied levels of difficulty for those opting to do this circuit.
The summit of both peaks are fairly rocky, with grand views of some of the Southern Highlands finest and most noteable mountains.
Getting ThereFrom Glasgow take the A82 road through Crianlarich and Tyndrum until reaching Bridge of Orchy. Turn left directly after the Bridge of Orchy hotel onto the A8005 road. Follow this road for roughly 3 miles until reaching the Inveroran Hotel. Continue on until reaching the parking for the Victoria Bridge viewpoint at the foot of Loch Tulla.
Start at the Victoria Bridge viewpoint car park.
Head north along the single track road until arriving at the Forest Lodge. Follow the landrover track westwards that runs adjascent to the Abhainn Shira river until arriving at the Clashgour Hut (a corrugated metal building). Turn right immediately after the hut and head north along an excellent stalkers path, taking time to admire the beautiful waterfalls of the Allt Coire na Muic of Stob Ghabhar on your left, as you amble your way up the glen.
At around the 400m contour mark a minor river will block your way. Carefully cross at the best point available and take the path that veers right off of the stalkers path on the other side. This path leads steeply and directly towards the summit of Stob a'Choire Odhair. The path zig-zags generously until it straightens out and eventually fades as you hit the 750m mark. The final 200m of ascent to the summit is done over large rocky/bouldery ground (hence the lack of a path) in a NNE direction. If you have a clear day, then take time to admire the views over Rannoch Moor and the rest of the Black Mount range before heading off for Stob Ghabhar.
Distance travelled - 6 Kilometers
Elevation gained - 760 Meters
Estimated ascent time - 3 Hours
Stob Ghabhar is directly west and it is a straight forward walk down in this direction (eventually a path will appear) towards the bealach above Coire Toaig. The wind doesn't half blow up the glen at this point and I was almost able to to lean back 45degrees and keep on my feet!
Follow the path up towards the ridge south of Coirein Lochan that is extremely steep and involves clambering over large boulders as once again the path vanishes. Now heading in a south-westerly direction, continue scrambling over the boulders until reaching the top of Stob Ghabhar's eastern ridge, Aonach Eagach. Now for the fun bit! The ridge is fairly wide to begin with, but becomes very narrow for a good 500yards with pinnacles that rise and drop for the entire five minutes that your scrambling over it for. The views down into each coire are excellent if you can handle looking down. For those wanting to avoid the airy heights of the ridge it is possible to avoid the worst parts by sticking to the southern side of the ridge, however as this undoubtedly the highlight of the day, I would advise going for it as it doesn't last that long anyway. In winter or windy conditions it would be advisable to be extremely careful on this section of the route.Continue onwards until reaching the end of the ridge where old Victorian fence posts close to the eastern face of Stob Ghabhar lead the way north-west to the summit. These fence posts are ideal for roping up to when facing winter conditions as the eastern corrie above the lochan is prone to severe cornicing and the drop is around 400m. Now finally there, rest those weary legs, replenish your energy levels and take in the array of beauty around you.
Distance travelled - 9 Kilometers
Elevation gained - 1220 Meters
Estimated ascent time - 4.5 Hours
To descend, follow the old victorian fence down the south-east ridge above Coire Ghabhar until it disappears at around 800m. Head ESE along the faint path until the fence reappears and heads easterly towards the waterfall. Continue downwards until crossing the Allt Toaig and regaining the original stalkers path you came up that leads back down to Clashgour Hut.
Once down feel free to pop into the Inveroran Hotel for a well deserved pint!
Summer conditions: Backpack, walking boots/trainers, hat, gloves, water, food, waterproofs(your in Scotland you can bet it is going to rain at some point), map, compass, first aid kit, penknife, spare socks, walking poles can be good to ease the jarring on the old knees and your camera.
Winter conditions: All of the above and ice axe, crampons, helmet and rope.
Maps and Books
Harvey superwalker map: Glencoe
Landranger map 50
OS map explorer 377
The Munros book by Cameron McNeish page 57.
50 More Routes on Scottish Mountains by Ralph Storer page 24.
The Scottish Peaks by W. A. Poucher by page 159.