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Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!

Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!


Postby EACHANN AN DOIRE » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:12 pm

Munros included on this walk: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor)

Date walked: 23/07/2010

Time taken: 4 hours

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This was my third attempt at climbing the curved ridge and Crowberry Tower.

The first two times I was in eejit mode so let’s just say I failed in my objective and leave it at that.

This time I did exactly what I set out to do. However my two guide books and three printouts from t’interweb were of no use at all. For those of you who have done this before I defy you to stand by the “waterslab” looking up and find a form of words to describe clearly where you’re supposed to go. After about five minutes I abandoned trying to read the guide and relate it what I could see round about me and just got on with it. The good thing about my guide book is that it was a photo like this which inspired me to do this climb in the first place.

crowberry tower.jpg
Photo found on Google Images


This is great scrambling. I was constantly alert to the possibility of finding myself at a dead end and having to come back down – I find it so much easier going up than coming down! I know I’m at the limit of my ability and courage when, if I have to come down, I’m coming down facing the rock. I found only two areas where the degree of exposure unsettled me a bit.

So I eventually got to the top of the Crowberry Tower and also found the vantage point from which the above picture was taken

I had started the day with some doubt in my route finding ability – doubt introduced by the blinking guide books perhaps! - but in the end I was thinking “ Alastair, you’re not such an eejit after all” The trick will be next time not to let that self satisfaction turn in to over confidence.

I didn’t take my camera & tripod so as not minimise the size of my pack. Next time will be just to get more familiar with this part of the mountain and after that I hope to go up in two parties of at least two people so as to get some really good pictures. If you fancy joining in let me know.

Alastair
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Re: Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!

Postby mountain coward » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:31 pm

Defo not for mountain cowards! :lol: I'm sure I'd have found words to describe the route ahead while looking up the waterslide slab area - would probably begin with F! :lol:

Funny you find facing in more comforting than facing out (I know you're supposed to face in to downclimb) - I find it really unsettling for several reasons... one is that you then can't see where to put your feet very easily (unless you position well out from the rock like non-cowards do - cowards usually hug it closely!). Another point is that I find it more exposed facing in as then, when you're looking down for holds and suchlike, you're actually looking down the drop whereas, if you're facing out, in order to look for holds below you, you end up looking straight back into the rock and can ignore the drop slightly easier. And of course, the other advantage of facing out is you can use your bum as an extra hold-gripper! :lol:
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Re: Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!

Postby malky_c » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:16 pm

Good work finding this. The first time I attempted Curved Ridge I got completely lost too, and ended up doing a completely different route by mistake. It was pleasant enough, and actually easier than CR itself, but I was much happier the next time when I found the proper route!
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Re: Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!

Postby EACHANN AN DOIRE » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:34 pm

The problem with descending with your back to the rock is that there comes a point when the angle is so steep, so close to vertical, that facing the rock is the only option. (Then your bum becomes a hindrance not a help!) That's the bit that scares me.

Malky - I'm so glad I'm not the only one to have got lost.

A
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Re: Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!

Postby mountain coward » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:52 pm

Oh yeah, I know when it gets steeper it's safer facing in... but those are the kind of bits I'm not happy to do anyway which is why I don't often do it. Well done anyway! Now go up again with your camera! :lol:
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Re: Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!

Postby murphy999 » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:54 pm

Well done!
I take your point about route finding, the waterslide slab looked nothing like it does in many pictures to me so blind luck got us onto the route. We only got lost once as we headed towards the Rannoch Wall instead of the ridge.
There was no way I was coming back down the ridge once we reached the summit so we descended by the walkers path, it would have slightly bum clenching if we had.
Its a great climb and I think we had an advantage by ascending almost completely in cloud past the wall, eliminating the exposure. Need to try it again to test my mettle!
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Re: Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!

Postby mountain coward » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:56 pm

Cloud makes me much worse about exposure - for a start, I can feel exposure... for seconds, I have a superb imagination - far better than my eyesight nowadays!
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Re: Curved Ridge & the Crowberry Tower - Tadaaa!!!

Postby Jock McJock » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:26 pm

Nice report and really liked the pic. Would def be interested in doing this as I have been looking at the various routes for this one. Give me a shout next time your planning a go at it and hopefully I will be abke to arrange to come along. Would love to get some good pics up there myself. :D
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