Friday, 4 June 2010

Two scrambles on the Buachaille

After a late start, I took a taxi down to Lagangarbh this afternoon with the intention of camping in the shadow of the Buachaille and ticking off some of the scrambles. After pitching my tent I started the walk up to Curved Ridge, but the weather was so pleasant and my pack so light that I ended up running most of the approach and part of the ridge as well! It's my third ascent of this classic scramble to date so I know it fairly well by now, and the only step that gave pause for thought (as usual) was the crux corner right at the top. 1:30 hours from Lagangarbh to the summit!

I then descended Coire na Tulaich and climbed the NE Ridge of Creag Coire na Tulaich. This is a two-star Grade 3 scramble, very accessible, and showed signs of previous traffic. I found it to be very enjoyable but a rather unbalanced route. The first half was on delightful easy slabs, insanely grippy so that you could just walk up them. Then when the final tier was reached, two separate near-vertical steps have to be negotiated, and these are what earn the route its grade as a top-end scramble. The first step is not too hard, but the second is about 15m of almost vertical rock. Luckily the holds are large and of excellent quality, but they are all square-cut and there aren't too many reassuring jugs! Even so, the difficulties are soon over ... it amounts to one Moderate pitch, the rest of the climb being Easy.

It was only just after five o'clock by the time I returned to my tent, and as I'd already done two classic scrambles I decided a good day had been had and I might as well head home!


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