Aonach Eagach for Cowards

2 04 2011
When it comes to narrow Scottish ridges I’m a total coward – I just don’t have a head for 2 drops at once! However I have done the Aonach Eagach and, by adopting my approach, so can any other mountain coward…

I did the western end one Easter as an extension of a walk up Sgurr na Ciche or the Pap of Glencoe.

From there it’s an easy walk along the skyline to Sgurr nam Fiannaidh. It becomes slightly more airy as the ridge descends from there to the col but then rises easily to the second peak (top) Stob Coire Leith. You can then admire the pinnacles

Aonach Eagach pinnacles

or even descend to examine them more closely… and then turn and go back the way you came!

Aonach Eagach retrospect

The following year I did the middle Munro, Meall Dearg, from the back passing south of Garbh Bheinn. That completely took a guy doing the ridge by surprise – he asked where I’d popped up from and I told him I was doing the mountain by stealth and had come up the back from Kinlochleven. He kindly offered to take me along the ridge with him but I turned him down as I’m not really up to it nerves-wise at all.

Lochan on ascent of Meall Dearg Looking to Garbh Bheinn

Aonach Eagach from Meall Dearg

Am Bodach from Meall Dearg

I then did Am Bodach a couple of days later on a long walk from The Devil’s Staircase with my friend Richard who continued along to Meall Dearg and then decided to give the rest a miss until next time – he said that was enough excitement for one day.

Am Bodach

The Executioner

Until I found him on the Kinlochleven road, I thought he’d got stuck on the ridge as I’d seen 2 figures on Meall Dearg instead of the single figure I was looking for – turned out I was actually seeing double! It was about a mile away but I think my eyesight is definitely going somehow. I had to laugh at where he was waiting – it was the hottest day of the year, well over 80 degrees – he was waiting, not only in the shade of a nice little woodland, but with a nice wooden hut/box to sit on (think it was a water tank), by the river, and there was a tap and hosepipe to cool off with! This was completely in the middle of nowhere!

Now if only I can do Liathach in the same manner, i.e. piecemeal, I’m onto a winner with my Munroing!;-)… well, until Skye that is…




2 responses

7 02 2014

Hi Carol. If you’ve done all that stuff on Skye, the Aonach Eagach is a doddle in comparison. Have you done Liathach yet? I’ve have nightmares about doing that ridge.


8 02 2014

I actually think there’s much harder moves on the Aonach Eagach ridge from what I’ve seen than the stuff I’ve done in the Cuillin. I also did Liathach piecemeal – there’s 2 posts on here – my nightmare on the Eastern end and the nice walk we had on the Western end. Now I just have that very awkward, crumbly and quite dangerous northern top to try to get to! 😮


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