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Creise and Meall a'Bhùiridh - Hike Report

Creise and Meall a'Bhùiridh - Hike Report

Elliot Forbes

The first weekend of the year, and what. a. fucking. weekend!

Munro Number: 22 + 23
Date: Jan 09 2024
Ascent: 1.149m
Distance: 11.38km
Moving Time: 4:21:22
Total Time: 6:28:25

The weather was absolutely unreal given we’ve just been through a fairly standard biblical 40 days and nights of rain in Scotland. The wind was negligible, and there was a solid snow covering on both the mountains which meant we’d have a fantastic opportunity to try out our crampons and winter skills.

We’d chosen to drive up the morning of. Which meant a fairly early wake-up call on the Sunday at roughly 5:30 am. These early wake-ups always have us reconsidering whether or not the adventures are worth the lack of sleep. I’ve already given you a bit of a spoiler, but, like many other adventures, this proved to be absolutely worth it.


The drive took just over 2 hours, with only one turnaround due to forgetting a fairly essential piece of equipment… I’m not pointing fingers at who was to blame, but I’m just going to say that it certainly wasn’t me…

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Sunrise mountain peaks

On the way up to Glencoe, we were treated to some fairly spectacular sunrise scenes - we had to take the opportunity to stop and grab a quick picture.

We parked up at the Glencoe Mountain Resort car park. Paid the £2 donation for parking and then had a lovely chat with a guy and his flat-coated retriever.

Once we’d gotten all our gear ready, we started our hike and immediately took the wrong path. If you’re doing this hike yourself, then I’d recommend going between the two buildings after you pass the ski lift on the left and side and heading up the path that’s clearly marked “FOOTPATH”.

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Looking up at the ski slopes

We climbed up the path following the ski lift and had a few brief conversations with the snowboarders and skiers opting for a more leisurely way to ascend up to the slopes. One of the kids suggested that they would have been better climbing and not taking the lifts, at that point I’d have happily swapped places…

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a lonely hiker

The path is fairly well marked heading right and away from the top of the first ski-lift. There were a couple of interesting bridges to traverse, but it’s fairly straightforward going.

The snow eventually got to the point where underfoot was getting a little slippy and we were just about to start the more serious inclines, and at this point, we decided that it was time to don the crampons.

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Looking up at Creise

This was the first real test of our ability to put our crampons on since we’d done the winter skills course last February. Putting them on felt like a small victory in itself, we’d went through the training, gotten the right equipment, but now was the time to put all of these things to the test.

Looking back down the slopes and up the glen, we were presented with some incredible views of Buachaille Etive Mòr from a different angle than we were typically used to!

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Looking up at Creise

At this point, the incline starts to increase and the snow becomes more compact. Walking on the perfectly smooth snow with the crampons made this ascent incredibly straight forward.

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Looking over at Etiv Mor

We carried on straight up, taking little and often breaks just to catch our breath.

I think one of my goals this year is to build on my cardio training to the point we can top something like this in one shot. We’ve a fair bit to go to get to that point, but I think it would really help us from a logistical point of view.

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Donna surveying the surroundings

The weather, as you can see from the photos, was just perfect. The light was really highlighting every crevice and crag on the neighbouring mountains which added to the epic-ness.

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Donna surveying the surroundings

We got to the top of Meall a’Bhùiridh at an elevation of 1,108m and did the obligatory summit booping. We took a few minutes to grab some photos and video clips and then started to make our way down the fairly thrilling-looking path onwards to Creise.

The path leading up to Creise

It was really hard to do the views we had justice.

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Panorama from the top of Creise

This is a fairly narrow path in sections with some steep falls on either side. As you approach the Creise ridge it becomes even more challenging due to the sharp incline.

This was possibly the biggest test of my own nerves and how far we’d come in terms of ability. Climbing through this to the ridge felt like an incredibly triumphant moment for me.

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Some epic views before our final descent

The ridge walk at this point was an incredibly pleasant 30-40m elevation gain to the newly classified true summit which stands a grand total of 1m higher than the original summit on the southern point of the ridge.

We then started to make our way back down the ridge to the path between the mountains and slowly made our way back to the original peak of the day.

Having to climb all the way back to the original summit felt like a bit of a kick in the teeth at this point. Our legs were feeling like jelly and were looking forward to something tasty from the cafe in the car park.

The big question that we both had was - “would we make it to the chairlift down in time?”

It was still moving as we made our way back down Meall a’Bhùiridh’s slopes, and we expected that the chairs would stop at any moment…

Thankfully, with a little bit of luck, the operators had seen us and allowed us on just before they closed up!

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