FATMAP difficulty grade
This route takes in one Munro, Stob Ghabhar (1090m), but can easily be extended to incorporate Stob a’ Choire Odhair (945m). The loop runs better in an anti-clockwise direction, which capitalises on the views to the north and west.
Easy parking can be found at the Victoria Bridge car park. Start along a short section of the West Highland Way, crossing the Victoria Bridge before taking the fireroad to the left by the housing.
The track is signed for Loch Etive and follows the river in a westerly direction. Just passed a fishing hut, take the stalkers path up the hill on your right.
It’s well-trod and hard cored in places, meaning it stands up quite well even after wetter weather.
The track follows the burn before crossing it and taking an un-obvious left fork directly up to Aonach Eagach.
It is at this point where you could stay on the main track in the direction of Stob a’ Choire Odhair, summit the Munro, then drop down and re-join this route on Aonach Eagach.
It is a longer option, but if moving quickly is a good addition.
If you took the left fork, then the track becomes less good underfoot and quickly turns very steep as you follow a series of majestic waterfalls up the side of the hill.
At a slight mellowing of the gradient, the path ends, and it becomes a case of picking the best route onto the ridge of Aonach Eagach. Reaching the ridge of Aonach Eagach, it is easy to think the summit is in sight, but Stob Ghabhar is concealed behind and only becomes clear once over the top of Aonach Eagach.
It is at this point that the dramatic eastern face of Stob Ghabhar reveals itself—breath-taking if you still having the energy to take it all in after the steep climb up! The narrow ridge connecting Aonach Eagach and Stob Ghabhar is a classic, but care is required on a windy day due to the technical terrain, sheer face, and large drop on the northern side of the ridge.
Tag the summit of Stob Ghabhar before branching in a westerly direction.
The topography becomes alpine-esque with far-reaching views to the west coast.
Rather than continuing on towards Stob a’Bruaich, Leith turn left down the hill aiming for Meall an Araich.
The route is pathless at this point, but as you approach a saddle in the hills, you will pick up a doubletrack that leads you further down the hill, through a brief section of woodland, and over a bridge before arriving at Clashgour Farm.
Here you have two options: go through the farmyard on the wide fireroad, which makes for fast going (as per the plotted route), or drop down to the river and follow the river path back down the valley.
Whichever option you decide, you will re-join yourself at the fishing hut where you headed up into the hills on the way out.
From here, it is just a case of retracing your steps along the valley and back to the car park.