Sgorr na Cìche (Pap of Glencoe) - 742m
Saturday 3rd May 2014

Weather/Conditions: Quite 'flat' conditions. A high ceiling of thin cloud made everything appear desolate, but the sun broke through one or twice. Later on in the morning, the skies would clear beautifully.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 3.7km / 730m / 1h 55m
Accompanying: Alone

I'd planned on this day to climb the three Munros around Coire Ardair with Struan and Ian. It would another of my early morning drives, and I decided to head up far too early if I was just to go to Creag Meagaidh. So I'd have time for a short morning hill, but I didn't have any particular plans. I drove up the A82 at first light, and was actually driving past the Pap of Glencoe when the urge hit me - it would be the perfect summit! It would fill a couple hours prior to the "main event", I could be up in about an hour, and down in less. So I parked up at the foot of it, on the side of the road and set off up the track.

For a shapely, beautiful hill, the Pap is a lung buster. I just got higher and higher with views opening to the west, waiting for that little summit dome to arrive. I've heard people say it's a scramble to get to the top, but I didn't think it was, really. It is however really pleasant when you get up, and also a little disconcerting to see Sgorr nam Fiannaidh still looking so big for all the effort you've put in. But such is the nature of these short hills - when you expect a short haul to a summit, it always feels longer than it should...

Here and there the rising sun broke through the high cloud layer, but it was one of those slightly gaunt, lifeless mornings. It was nice to finally climb the Pap, to see the view from the top. There's also the pleasure of seeing it from a distance from then on, appreciating that you've been up there. It offers a new perspective.

But I wasn't hanging around. After a summit pano (of course!) and some photos, I shot off back the way I came, arriving back at the car 25 minutes after leaving the summit. A rapid descent - I didn't hang about.

I drove north to Fort William, Carn Dearg gleaming in the morning sun, my mood increasingly optimistic. I stopped for a moment in the Fort then continued eastward for the meat of the day: the trio of Munros encircling Coire Ardair: Carn Liath, Stob Poite Coire Ardair and Creag Meagaidh.

360° Panorama

Sgorr na Cìche
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 6.10am Layby, Glen Coe
(1.05) 7.15am Sgorr na Cìche
(1.20) 7.30am Sgorr na Cìche (left)
(1.55) 8.05am Layby, Glen Coe

Written: 2015-12-03