The warm and soggy theme continues. It's just as well we have some brilliant scrambling routes in the Outdoor Capital of the UK to enjoy which are great routes at any time of year. Alasdair and Euan were back for a second day of climbing so we went to Glen Coe for change of scene. We climbing up D Gully Buttress on Buachaille Etive Mor which leads on to Curved Ridge below its crux tower. After climbing this we went to the top of Crowberry Tower and on to the summit. This link up gives about as much rock as you find on Tower Ridge (lots!) and feels harder on the crux sections even though it's graded Difficult as well.
D Gully is straight above you at the top of the screes on the way to Curved Ridge. D Gully Buttress is to the left of the gully and is quite well defined. In fact, lots of people have climbed it thinking they were on Curved Ridge since it is the most obvious ridge in the area. Curved Ridge is quite hard to find on the first visit; D Gully Buttress is quite easy to find. The ridge leads up to the first of two crux sections, a short but steep wall with lots of cracks. Another pitch above this lands you at the foot of a steep, blank wall which is best avoided on the left unless it is dry and warm. A nice bit of blocky ridge leads to the second crux section, this time delicate and slabby.
From the top of the buttress a wee path goes across to Curved Ridge where we got to enjoy its crux tower, rubbed and scraped by thousands of boots and crampons. There's a small patch of snow above Curved Ridge but you barely touch it on the way to Crowberry Gap. We did the mini-excursion to Crowberry Tower, taking care not to spend any time under the very loos and overhanging block on the tower. This block threatens Crowberry Gully and will fall off at some point.
We didn't need crampons or ice axes today and in fact we didn't take them. We could see clearly from the road that we didn't need them. However it will get cold on 1st January and 2nd January looks like it will be a stunner of a day. Get out and enjoy some crisp sunshione.
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.