Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Saturday, 31 May 2008

Curved Ridge, Glencoe 31st May, 2008

Myself, my youngest son, Ben and Mark went up to Glencoe today to do Curved Ridge; Ben's first time, and we went with the intention of doing it as a roped scramble. However the weather was so good, and so hot, that the rock was bone dry and no gear was needed! See map.
Our first view of Curved Ridge, just starting on the left, with the Rannoch Wall in the centre.

Ben on the lower sections of Curved Ridge.

Ben showing that we don't need a rope ( for today anyway!).

Ben making light work of the steeper sections!

Looking across to the climbers on "Agags Groove", V-Diff, on the Rannoch Wall.

Myself and Ben near the top of the ridge before heading up Crowberry Tower for lunch! Ben, down climbing the tower into the gap

Looking down Crowberry Gully, with the shadow of the tower and someone (?) against the Rannoch Wall.

Looking out from Glen Etive side of the tower, with pockets of snow still surving in the heat.

View from our lunch spot on top of Crowberry Tower.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Buttermere, Chockstone Ridge, 27th - 29th May, 2008

Having made a snap decision as to where the better weather would be for the week; North to Glencoe, or South to the Lakes, we turned hastily left off the Edinburgh bypass and headed south! See map.
We camped at Syke Farm campsite in the village of Buttermere. The village has two pubs and a small cafe/shop; perfect! We spent two days just doing a couple of walks in the area waiting for a dry day to do some scrambling; High Crag and High Stile one day and another up over the fells and into Honister Pass, with a stop for tea and buns in the not so attractive cafe there!
Finally after two averagely dull, damp days, the sun came out! So we set off from the campsite, heading SE (anti clockwise) round Lake Butteremere, before turning almost due east at the southern end of the lake for the long slog up into Burkness Comb. Our intended destination was the grade 3, Chockstone Ridge, which we thought was the huge buttress in the centre of the above picture! Fortuneatly it wasn't where we were headed. Chockstone Ridge is to the right of the Comb, and after almost a two hour slog the far left of the correct buttress still looked a bit dodgy! We did this as a roped scramble, which although not always neccesaary, there were several times when a slip would've spoilt the day! Also we didn't take many photos en route, I tooke photos later as we descended from the top of High Stile and High Crag.

The ridge is in three sections, the first being Harrow Buttress, graded as a "Diff" climb but turned out to be okay.

The second section (third also in the above photo) was strangely a little trickier. In fact I dropped the guide book at one point so poor Lorna had to downclimb to get it, only to drop it herself a little later on!

There is short section of "V Diff" up a corner near the top that I wished I had done. Instead I opted for the quote, "escape inot the grassy gully on the left to a chockstone, which is turned by a ledge on the right". I didn't know grass could grow on something so steep, so I was glad to get back onto rock where I could at least use some gear! Once up on the large grassy terrace, we packed the rope away for the final section which is well protected.

The above photo shows the whole 150m route to the top of Grey Crag and High Stile.

Lorna descending High Crag, with Haystacks in the centre.

As we walked back SE along the tops to High Crag, we got a great view of Great Gable to end the day.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Lagangarbh Buttress, Glencoe 5th May 2008

Lorna and myself went up to Glencoe today, with an idea to do something on the "Buchaille". See map.
Sitting on the bench at the car park at Lagangarbh, we studied the Cicerone guidebook and decided on Lagangarbh Buttress, graded 2/3 (the buttress is the central one in the pic).
The lower sections are mainly big sloping slabs, separated by grassy terraces. Although not that easy to follow from the guide book, as everything looks the same, with a bit of careful route finding you will eventually get to the top!

Looking down from one of the terraces onto Lagangarbh.

Easier ground appears nearer the top, with just a straightforward walk to the summit shelter at 1022m on Buchaille Etive Mor (Stob Dearg). It is very tempting to walk on the snow at the tops of the gullies, but in ordinary boots a slip on the soft snow could be disastrous, so we stuck to solid ground!

Today we got a rare view of Ben Nevis 1344m, and Carn Mor Dearg 1223m , with it's arete linking the two.

The route back, down through Coire na Tulaich, although straightforward, still had soft snow to negotiate and having an ice axe gave me some security on the traverse across to better ground. Others, including Lorna, who didn't carry an axe had to make do with shortened walking poles or hands for stability!