Blustery showers of snow above 800m made it not quite right for rock climbing today so Mike and I went for an exploration of the SE side of Stob Dearg on Buachaille Etive Mor. We climbed the Chasm to Crowberry Tower Traverse which is a brilliant expedition. It had all the hallmarks of a challenging day with wet rock (then dry, then wet, then dry ....) sunshine, snow showers, big boulders rolling under our feet and route choices to be made all the way up. If you ever get a chance, go and look into the depths of The Chasm. It's a brilliant sight. One day I might even get to climb this traditional gully but I'll choose a dry, warm day.
There are still a few patches of old snow around so I was glad of my big boots. As it melts, the trumpet lichen is pushing through with its Devil's Matchsticks. Near the top the old snow was getting quite firm so don't pack away the crampons yet if you are exploring the tops of the hills. We went to the summit and down the path as far as the top of Coire na Tullach. For the first time I then turned left and went down the wild and rugged coire into Glen Etive back to the van. For a very popular and busy hill, this felt like a rarely visited aspect of it and it gave Mike and i a great day out.
Tomorrow, Three Wise Monkeys opens in Fort William. This is the new indoor climbing wall built in the MacIntosh Church close to the High Street. I have been lucky enough to have had a couple of preview visits and I think it looks excellent. The quality of finish and details in the climbing walls is really high, the routes are varied and very good fun and the bouldering wall looks ace (I'm keen to have a go on it for the first time tomorrow). Get along to the grand opening at 1pm if you can and show some support to Oliver, Naomi, Dan and the team!
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.