UKC

Aonach Eagach ridge possible With Larger backpack?

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Jamie Kataky 23 May 2022

Hi there,

Im heading to Aonach Eagach next week to do the ridge walk and join up to the west highland way to carry on to fort william. I'm planning on doing it backwards following Dan Bailey's extended version. 

I'm planning to take my camping gear which I can hopefully packdown quite tight as im only going for 2 days but was wondering if that is risky on the ridge as it will be larger than a day pack. Will be carrying tent, water, stove etc.. 

I'm a strong climber but just a bit worried about balance and getting up and down gulleys with it on.

3
 BruceM 23 May 2022
In reply to Jamie Kataky:

Only you can know the answer to this.  I could do it no problem.  Many others could too.  It's just like scrambling in to a bivvy/hut in the alps.

It's not that hard, just a couple of chimney like thrutches here and there and a very short section of ridge gendarmes.  Mostly balance stuff.

But, I wouldn't want to guarantee you could do it, nor do I know how big your load is.  Are you used to that sort of thing?

 Graeme G 23 May 2022
In reply to BruceM:

> Only you can know the answer to this.

This ^

I’ve done it multiple times, first pretty much as the OP describes. Big pack, camping gear, stove etc etc.  Was no different from any other time. But then I was 22 and much fitter and more confident.

In reply to Graeme G:

Thanks for the responses, really helpful. Very confident I can do it on a physical and mental level, but just needed to know that it was in the realms of possibility logistically. Great to know it's been done by others. 

 alan moore 23 May 2022
In reply to Jamie Kataky:

Might have more fun if you dumped your pack on Am Bodach and did a there-and-back along the ridge before heading down the WHW to Kinlochleven.

 TheGeneralist 23 May 2022
In reply to Jamie Kataky:

You doing west to east?

It's much better that way. Climb up little cliffs, walk down hills. Other direction is more walk up hills  climb down cliffs  which sucks, relatively.

1
 morpcat 23 May 2022
In reply to Jamie Kataky:

What kind of logistical challenges are you worried would prevent you from doing it with a large pack? 

Tight squeezes or overhanging bulges come to mind, but these can sometimes be done by removing the pack and hauling it through after. Neither of these type of obstacles are found on the Aonach Eagach. There are a couple of exposed and balancey moves, but it's impossible for us to judge if you'd be ok on these.

+1 to suggestions of there and back. You could consider camping at one end of the ridge, caching the bulk of your kit for the day, and doing a there-and-back with a light pack.

 GrahamD 23 May 2022
In reply to Jamie Kataky:

First time I did the ridge,  I didn't know it was a famous scramble - it just looked like a great line on the map.  I hadn't started climbing back then.  Anyway, I did the ridge with a full camping back pack, stopping to drop off the ridge some way along  down a gulley to pitch tent overnight.   Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

 JLS 23 May 2022
In reply to alan moore:

> Might have more fun if you dumped your pack on Am Bodach and did a there-and-back along the ridge before heading down the WHW to Kinlochleven.

^^^ this

Yeah, out and back doubles the fun. Being able to move freely, unencumbered, will be much more enjoyable. 

In reply to alan moore:

> Might have more fun if you dumped your pack on Am Bodach and did a there-and-back along the ridge before heading down the WHW to Kinlochleven.

If you're wild camping there's potential spots at the top of the Devil's Staircase that could be a starting point for there-and-back. 

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Thanks again for all the great replies. Feel confident about doing it now. Because of time constraints i'm not sure I can double back on myself.

Was wondering if any one knows if there are possible camping spots on the western side of the ridge, around Pap of Glencoe? 

In reply to morpcat:

I guess tight squeezes and also wondering about going round the crazy pinnacles with a slightly heavier backpack on.

Sounds like it's doable though.

Thanks for the tips

 65 24 May 2022
In reply to Jamie Kataky:

> Was wondering if any one knows if there are possible camping spots on the western side of the ridge, around Pap of Glencoe? 

Yes, also around Sgòrr nam Fiannaidh though that might be a bit stony (I've not been there in a a long time), but water will be an issue. Nearer the Pap would be good and it's not so far to lug a few kilos of water up in the evening.

Re the feasibility of doing it with a big pack on, of course it is perfectly doable but whether it is safe or even enjoyable for you is entirely subjective, only you know that. It also depends on what you mean by a big pack. If you're 2m tall and 130kg then a full 70l pack isn't going to be very noticeable. FWIW I would reckon on doing a 2 day backpack with nothing more than a 40l backpack and that includes a big camera. I used to need a 60l+ for the same though.

I'm not sure what direction I prefer, but W-E is at least as good as E-W and those who only ever do E-W are missing out. 


New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...