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Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) via Curved Ridge

Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) via Curved Ridge


Postby wundeBeine » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:17 pm

Route description: Buachaille Etive Mor

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

Date walked: 06/07/2019

Time taken: 4 hours

Ascent: 1021m

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After much deliberation and reading practically all the reports on here about the infamous Curved Ridge I decided to give it a go...

I have recently started walking again after a sizeable gap due to living in London and being ‘blessed’ with a couple of kids so have only recently got myself back out on the hills and have been loving every second so far.

Also I’ve taken up indoor climbing and thought I’d try to put some of the skills into practice on the Bookle.

So after all this research I headed up to Glencoe on the Friday night, camping at the ski centre and after a fairly restless night listening to 90’s dance music being blasted from a motorhome by a PA system I can only guess had been stolen from Hamden Park I made my way to Buachaille at around 6:30 on Saturday Morning.

Finding a space on the lay-by I headed over the road past the cottage and on the path to the left.

The path was much longer than I expected it to be and my eyes were playing tricks on me when I was attempting to spot the water slab. This resulted in a couple of pointless walks back but as others have said when you see the water slab it is unmistakable.

Headed up to the left of it which was all good and was able to follow crampon scratches most of the way.

Gained height very quickly but the scrambling was a bit harder than I thought it would be and I started to have trouble spotting the route. I expected it to be slightly harder than the cobbler with much more exposure but in my opinion it was much more difficult than that and the exposure was off putting at times.

As I approached a couple of vertical climbs I ventured off route another few times but managed to traverse back and went into my back to check the map and photos I printed off from here.

Which was a horrific time to realise I had left them in the car boot.

Didn’t fancy my chances getting back down from that point so decided to have a sandwich and begin praying that some other misguided souls would come along who knew the route.

Fortunately they did and I met 4 (hungover) members of a non-local mountain rescue team who were spending the weekend in glencoe.

After clarifying the route with them I proceeded to head upwards but found myself consistently going slightly wrong and ended up enquiring (begging) said rescue team if I could climb alongside them..

Really enjoyed this point as we went over the crux and headed towards crowberry tower, going in between then up to the summit.

Was intended to do Broige as well but time wasn’t on my side so descended down the scree back to the car.

Mixed bag of a day for me, on one hand I really enjoyed it but on the other hand I could have been in trouble if I didn’t run into the right people.

I’ve always enjoyed solo walking and getting away from it all but this made me realise that it isn’t always a good idea. Especially when you’re on a dangerous route.

Feel like a prize tool for not checking my map and route information but I put that down to choosing the wrong campsite to sleep in the night before.

Would love to do the ridge again but this time will make sure I’m in a group as would be so much more enjoyable.
wundeBeine
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Re: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) via Curved Ridge

Postby dav2930 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:59 pm

Credit for your honesty. Well done for completing the route, albeit with some guidance from another party. It is, after all, a grade 3 scramble (also a 'Moderate' grade rock climb), so perhaps some easier scrambles in preparation for this might have been helpful, given the long gap since you were previously active in the hills.

Interesting that you mention practising on an indoor climbing wall. It just goes to show, doesn't it, that climbing on an artificial wall does little to prepare you for something like CR? It's really a completely different skill set. What you need on CR is not super-strong fingers and the flexibility to heel-hook, but the ability to route-find and 'read' the rock, to use its frictional properties and gain a 'feel' for where it takes you, to keep going quickly and fluently for over 200 metres, and to cope with big exposure without bolts to clip every 4 ft. Climbing walls are fine for keeping the muscles going over the winter, but getting back on rock in the spring is always a humbling experience.
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dav2930
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Re: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) via Curved Ridge

Postby past my sell by date » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:31 pm

I've done it (or something like it )) twice. I found it much easier to see the route starting from the East and crossing the burn beside Jacksonville.Traversing diagonally across from LaganGarbh you are much too "close" to the hill (IMO)
past my sell by date
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Re: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) via Curved Ridge

Postby wundeBeine » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:38 pm

It was a bit of a wake up call to be honest, even though I made the ultimate mistake of not packing the route info I have mostly always done routes that are easy to find.

When I used to do a lot of hillwalking years ago it was with a group of mates, one of them had a bit of an obsession with planning walks and the rest of us just went along with it.

The only issue with that is that now that can’t remember the names of half the hills I’ve been on. I went up Ben Vorlich recently and was about 2/3 of the way up when I realised I’d done it before and know I’ve done all the Arrochar set except one but can’t remember which..

The ones I’ve done on my own have paths that are so obvious it would be hard to get lost, obviously can’t continue that way so going to start being a sensible soul and do more planning/bring compass & map etc..

Not sure if it would have helped me work out the curved ridge but want to start doing some remote Munros so need to get my act together.

You’re right about indoor climbing, helps to get you into shape physically but didn’t help me actually plot a route..
wundeBeine
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Re: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) via Curved Ridge

Postby past my sell by date » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:05 pm

dav2930 wrote:Interesting that you mention practising on an indoor climbing wall. It just goes to show, doesn't it, that climbing on an artificial wall does little to prepare you for something like CR? It's really a completely different skill set.

I remember someone on Keswick climbing wall (far from the best) saying in the spring " Great I'll be able to use my feet again soon" :lol: :lol: :lol:
past my sell by date
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