If you have been up Stob Dearg on Buaxchaille Etive Mor you might remember the little stream crossing at the foot of Coire na Tullach. Or you might not since it is normally very low and insignificant. On two previous occasions I have been unable to cross the stream due to the volume of water in it being too high, both in winter with snow melt adding to the run-off of rain. Today was the third time the water was too high to cross and there was no snow melt adding to it. Today was a very wet day in Glen Coe!
Simeon, Nick and I are doing a couple of days of rock climbing so we went for D Gully Buttress first today. Unusually strong winds for the time of year were forecast to be 40mph to 50mph on the tops so it was good to find a bit of shelter. The wind was certainly not a problem on the climb but it was really quite wet all day. The steep crux of D Gully Buttress felt quite slippery and cold, not a great warm up climb to be honest. However, Simeon has a lot of climbing experience to draw on and we got up this pitch and the rest of the ridge in good style.
Most of the climb is at a friendly standard, even in the wet. There are two disctinct harder sections though, the steep cracks lower down and a tenuous slopey ledged wall higher up. After this the angle sits back and the route traverses round to Curved Ridge which was grippy and much more simple in comparison.
Glen Coe in heavy rain is a very impressive place to be. The streams fill with torrents of foamy water, white lines cascading down the steep sides of the glen. We had a very wet time of it but the atmosphere was great, being right in amongst the streams and waterfalls where normally there are none was a real treat. You need very good gear to stay at all comfortable on a day like today but it is always worth giving it a go, even if the fun is type two fun. The drying room is on full blast now!
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.