Ascended Curved ridge but couldn't stop

Munros: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor)

Date walked: 13/09/2009

Having climbed Buachaille Etive Mor by the the common Coire na Tulaich in the past i thought i would have a go up Curved Ridge. Navigation didnt sound very straightforward especially as it encroaches upon climbing routes , so i decided for the first time to hire a guide.
So yesterday i set out at 7 to meet Bill Strachan in Glencoe. [www.scotchontherocksguiding.co.uk]
I was making great pace until shortly after Bridge of orchy when my brakes felt strange after some overtaking. Stopped again at the entrance to the Kings House Hotel which confirmed that the brakes were a bit spongey-probably too hot i thought. Had a good look at the Buachaille and tried to guess where curved ridge lay.

Met up with Bill and set off from Lagangarbh which was already busy by 9.15.
Took the gently ascending path to the left.

Turned uphill at the large Water slab[seen in first photo,and so called because there is always water dripping off it] and about 10 people in the vicinity although most turned out to be climbers.
The initial bit was easy going with some scree and we were aiming for the large rock face in the middle of the following photo.

This is the bottom of the North Face [says Bill] and below you can see 2 climbers setting out on the right and some more queueing in the grassy gully [which leads nowhere]in centre shot. Our route was from the left of the gully , up to the peak in the top left. One steepish section in the foreground and the rest pleasant scrambling.

After another short steep section , we were now looking down upon the waiting climbers. Worryingly , two of them asked us where some jigsaw climb was as they couldn't see it!

Below is a picture of myself near the top of Curved ridge as we entered a band of thin mist.

We then ascended to the very narrow col between Crowberry Tower and Stob Dearg.
This is a dark ,narrow and slightly damp area which put some fellow scramblers off from doing the tower.
We went up the left side of the tower which was quite easy tho slightly uncomfortable on the downclimb during which i was quite happy being roped for safety.Unfortunately too cloudy to get a view from the tower.
It was then a nice easy scramble to the top of Stob Dearg which was hoaching.
After an easy walk down Coire na Tulaich we returned to my car and i thought i would test my brakes before setting off.
My foot sank straight to the floor!
A scout round the car revealed a nasty stain.

Be warned , there is no mobile reception from this carpark.
So a trip down to Ballachulish where Bill's mum provided great refreshments while i phoned the AA.
The first breakdown man confirmed a leaking breakpipe and suggested i needed a flatbed truck to get the car back to the Glasgow Sytner garage..So a truck was dispatched from Spean Bridge and i retired to the Laroch Inn in Ballachulish having arranged to get picked up there.
Finally got home to the Ayrshire coast at 9.30 after a trully unforgettable day.

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Comments: 2

gearr aonach zigzags

Munros: Bidean nam Bian
Date walked: 31/05/2009
Comments: 8
Views: 10071

david roy

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