Curved Ridge

Weather in the glen:
Clear and sunny yesterday, with scattered showers and a few inches of melting snow on the highest Lochaber summits. Today, milder and more showery but still better than average. High cloud base but ragged lower cloud in places. Occasional clear spells.

Yesterday Rach, Isi and I had a fantastic climb on Curved Ridge, one of the classic routes up the NE Face of Stob Dearg on Buachaille Etive Mor. As a route I have always wanted to do, it was very satisfying to have it all to ourselves in good weather! The climbing was never hard, entertaining throughout and on ribs of excellent rock. The rope only came out for the steep crux pitch on the upper ridge.

The rock architecture and scenery all around was more impressive than I would have believed. Rannoch Wall is a vast, sheer cliff reaching high above Curved Ridge; classic climbs such as Agag’s Groove run up and around the face. It’s an inspiring mountain cliff and I think Curved Ridge was an ideal initial venture onto this side of the mountain.

The view from the top was lovely as ever, with the huge drop down onto the moor all the more impressive as we had climbed the steepest side of the mountain. A few inches of snow lay around the summit cairn giving it a wintry feel.

We finished the day in the bar as usual, with whisky and hot chocolate making a fine end to the adventure. All in all another classic day in the mountains, and probably the finest weather we’ve had since we’ve been here!

Today Rach and I made a trip into Fort William for shopping and ogling at things in Nevisport (I ended up getting a pair of new gloves, as my old ones have worn out). Nearly bought a pair of approach/scrambling shoes as I have been converted to their usefulness. Had coffee, ate pie, got food supplies in Morrisons, then returned home before heading off to the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven … only to find out it closes early on a Saturday. =( So we only got two routes in before we had to go home again!

Never mind, it’s been a great ‘weekend’ all round.

By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

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