Buachaille Etive Mor

Gib and I had an excellent day in Glen Coe in the sun today. We climbed Curved Ridge up to the summit of Stob Dearg on Buachaille Etive Mor before descending via Coire na Tulaich.

Gib on the upper section of Curved Ridge with Rannoch Wall behind.

There was no snow on the route or in the gully behind Crowberry Tower and just a very short patch of soft snow to be crossed at the head of Coire na Tulaich. A stunning day in great company.

Glen Coe

John and I were out in Glen Coe today with a Falkirk Community Trust Winter Mountaineering Team of Alan, Antonia, Ben, Jacob, Peter and Tom. We climbed a very wintery Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor before descending via Coire na Tulaich.

Jacob, Antonia and Peter happy with the amazing views on top of Stob Dearg.

Views were excellent with clear cold weather. There was a strong South-East wind and there was plenty of wind movement of snow during the day with wind slab forming in sheltered locations. A great day to be out in the hills.

Buachaille Etive Mor

Yesterday John and I climbed on Buachaille Etive Mor in Glen Coe with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors winter climbing team of Doug, Gregor, Lewis and Steve. We had a great day climbing North Buttress with excellent views and relatively low winds. After taking in the summit of Stob Dearg we were able to descend via Coire na Tulaich, but care and good route choice is required here with current snow conditions.

Gregor and Lewis near the bottom of the chimneys.

Gregor and Lewis near the bottom of the chimneys.

The recent snow isn’t consolidated, is deep in sheltered locations and contains a fair amount of graupel. There is very little old snow on The Buachaille, but where new snow overlies old snow there are very easy shears. A North-East wind was redistributing snow throughout the day meaning there will be potential for avalanches on lots of aspects today and until the snow consolidates. Higher up on the route, above the chimneys, there is a thin layer of generally crusty snow ice, which isn’t very helpful for climbing and it’s worth allowing extra time in your planning for this. I’ll put some more photos on The ClimbNow Facebook page.

Gregor high on North Buttress with the expanse of Rannoch Moor behind.

Gregor high on North Buttress with The Kingshouse and the expanse of Rannoch Moor behind.

Curved Ridge

John and I were out with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors team of Devon, Emanuelle, Linda, Tzvetie and Wilson today climbing Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor in Glen Coe.

Devon just above the first steep section low down on Curved Ridge.

Devon just above the first steep section low down on Curved Ridge.

There was fresh snow down to around 450m and it snowed fairly continuously throughout the day. There was some north-westerly in the wind and no real base, so there was no problem descending in to Coire na Tulaich after we’d summited Stob Dearg. The conditions made for relatively slow progress as there was a lot of clearing required to find rock holds. There’s some ice around, but not much of it was useful on the route. I’ll put some more photos / videos of conditions on the ClimbNow Facebook page.

Glen Coe

John and I were out today in Glen Coe with a Falkirk Community Trust team of Andrea, Gregor, Helen and Marco. There were rain showers as we drove across Rannoch Mor and cloud down to about 400m , so we opted for an ascent of North Buttress on Buachaille Etive Mor.

Andrea in the cloud high on North Buttress.

Andrea in the cloud high on North Buttress.

The rock was drier than expected and we only had very minor rain showers; this made for a pleasant day although unfortunately no real views. We climbed to the summit of Stob Dearg and descended via Coire na Tulaich.

Curved Ridge, Glen Coe

On Thursday I was back in Glen Coe with a Falkirk Community Trust team of Alec, Imran and Nathalie. We scrambled up Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor taking in Crowberry Tower and the summit of Stob Dearg before descending via Coire na Tulaich.

Imran, Nathalie and Alec on Curved Ridge with Rannoch Wall behind.

Imran, Nathalie and Alec on Curved Ridge with Rannoch Wall behind.

It was sunny with a cool North-East wind and superb views. John was also on the hill climbing something approximating to Bludger’s Revelation on Slime Wall with Graham and reporting it dry apart from the odd avoidable streak lower down. There were also teams on Engineer’s Crack and January Jigsaw.

Glen Coe

Today Ivor and I headed to Glen Coe to catch the good weather and climbed Fracture Route on the North-East Face of Crowberry Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor. We then continued on up Crowberry Ridge to the top of Crowberry Tower before heading to the summit of Stob Dearg and descending via Coire na Tulaich.

Ivor approaching the top of the first pitch of Fracture Route.

Ivor approaching the top of the first pitch of Fracture Route.

The rock was dry and we had sunshine for most of the day with clouds building a little later on. Teams were out on Agag’s Groove, January Jigsaw, Direct Route and lots of folk on Curved Ridge.

Curved Ridge

John and I were out today with a Falkirk Community Trust Team of Gayle, Isobel, Lorn, Mary, Sarah and Wilson. We climbed Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor including taking in Crowberry Tower.

Sarah, Mary and Gayle on the lower part of Curved Ridge

Sarah, Mary and Gayle on the lower part of Curved Ridge

We descended via Stob Dearg and Coire na Tulaich. There was rain on and off all day and a fresh Southerly wind. The route was sheltered until Crowberry Tower, which made for a pleasant ascent even though the rock was wet.

The team descending Coire na Tulaich

The team descending Coire na Tulaich