Munro Number 6 almost done – Buchaille Etive Mor

17 08 2010

Due to the fact that a wee visit to The Ben fell through on Friday night, an early decision was taken to get as much done on Friday morning and high tail it up to Glen Coe for a wee trip up North Buttress and down Curved Ridge. All went to plan and by half two I was making my way along the Loch Lomond road on my tod looking forward to a quick up and down my favourite mountain with a light pack. No rope, no harness, no gear, no bivvy bag. Just some waterproofs, waterbottle and a snack – oh and my iPhone. 

Would have made better time if it wasnt for the 30mph-ers along the Lochside road. Eventually got past most of them by the time I got to The Drovers, only to be held up again at Crianlarich. It was a Friday after all. 

Arriving at the car park at Lagangharbh, the weather was perfect, overcast slightly with sunshine peeking through now and again. Combined with a slight breeze, this was enough to keep the midges at bay as I got ready to head off. 

Buchaille Etive Mor and North Buttress in profile. Munro number 6.

If I’m being honest here, my intention was to get up North Buttress and down Curved Ridge as quickly and safely as possible, any thoughts of “not getting to the top” of Munro number 6 were secondary as I have “not been to the top” of this one a million times. However, it had to be done correctly, and the intention of “not getting to the top” had to be there. So off I set. 

At Lagangharbh hut I set my watch and headed off. Within about 15 minutes I was off the main path to the waterslide and at the first granny stopper on the way up to North Buttress. 

North Buttress on the BuchailleI think I must have started off too quickly as I was feeling pretty knackered. Hoewever, knowing that the worst was over in the way of walking, and here lies the true benefit of North Buttress over Curved Ridge, the scrambling and climbing starts much earlier and trudging through scree is mostly avoided. Up I went, enjoying every hand and foothold and just taking in the situation. Scrambling up this series of chimneys is exhilarating, the feeling of moving freely and quickly on such easy and exposed rock has to be some of the best scrambling in Scotland. Before too long, I popped out of the chimneys at the top and landed onto the rounded rock which leads up to the summit and gives great views of Crowberry Tower at the top of Curved Ridge. 

Almost at the top, I stopped, it is too easy to keep plodding and before you know it, you are at the summit cairn. 

Taking a couple of minutes to stop for some water and photographs, began to head back down towards Crowberry and into the grotty gully. 

Curved ridge was an absolute treat to decend, so much more enjoyable than going up! In the distance, I could see The Ben and Carn Mor Dearg. It was clagged in cloud, and some of it looked like it was heading our way. Maybe just as well we didn’t get to the Ben after all, and anyway a vist to Arran tomorrow sounds like a good idea. Downclimbed past Rannoch Wall and finally onto the scree slopes before the waterslide. Easy plod from here. 

Got back to Lagangharb at 2 hours and 42 minutes, a wee bit slower than I had hoped for. Old age Bobby. 

By the time I arrived at the car, the midges had noticed the breeze was gone as was the sun. They swamped me. I chucked my stuff in the car and jumped in flapping in all directions. Got changed in the car, looking forward to some crisps and Coke at the green welly. Then the legs started to hurt and I thought “oh shit – the Arran Ferry tomorrow at 7.00” 

Crowberry Tower with the top of the Buchaille shadowing the slopes around Jacksonville

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