The cliffs of Buachaille Etive Mor were on fine form this morning. They are impressive at any time, but when they appear suddenly, briefly revealing themselves though gaps in the fog, they are spectacular.
I've quite suddenly changed back into "climbing mode" again, so this morning I headed towards D Gully Buttress (Difficult/Severe) - the steeper and meaner neighbour of Curved Ridge. I made very quick work of the walk-in, simply to avoid the clouds of midgies intent on eating me alive.
I was slightly worried at the amount of mist around as I was soloing a route I'd never climbed before, but slowly things were beginning to clear. And it turned into a morning I'll remember for quite a while.
The route itself was a really enjoyable solo - perfect Buachaille rock throughout with sustained interest, some nice exposure and in awe-inspiring surroundings. But it was what started to happen with the light and mist that really made my day.
Fog thinned to mist and haze with the sun shining down through it. And for a few brief seconds, I witnessed something that I've never seen before in all my time in the mountains. A small loch on Rannoch Moor was reflecting the sun so brightly through the mist that it was projecting it's own circular rainbow towards me from below. Almost like a Brocken Spectre in reverse, but projected by a loch instead of by the sun. Incredible.
An incredible "solar glory", reflected off a loch on Rannoch Moor
After by-passing Hell's Wall (didn't fancy soloing a pitch of Severe with a name like that…) I made quick progress to the traverse onto the top section of Curved Ridge and finished to the summit. As I arrived at the cairn, my Brocken Spectre appeared. Always a special experience.
Finishing off up Curved Ridge