Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Glencoe Part 3.Beinn A Chrulaiste.

The weather forecast for Sunday was for an excellent day so everyone was out the hut early except for Andy and Alan who were still recovering from the hill day before and preferred the comforts of hut and coal fire.
Alex had recommended the view from Beinn a Chrulaiste just across the road from the cottage.It sat looking down the glen  and straight across at the steep walls of the Buachaille.More importantly I hadn't climbed it yet so it was settled.While Jules and Alex Bagged the Pap Of Glencoe which I,d spent a memorable and warm summer night on many years ago I asked around to see if anyone else fancied this isolated and often overlooked Corbett.
Gavin,John,Jon and myself teamed up to climb this lump of rock which has a  summer scramble on its flank.  The old Scrambles in Lochaber book covers  Glencoe,s many steep buttresses.This used to be our bible as well as Classic Rock.
Up we went  over a blue and crunchy frozen landscape.The heavy overnight rain had turned to ice lower down and some campers outside at the Kingshouse Hotel had literally chucked in the towel as well  as a good few other items from their hastily packed up tent.Most of  these items were now stuck to the grass.
There was a lot of fresh snow on the slopes of the hill.We took it in turns trailblazing through knee deep powder to the summit.The views across to Curved ridge and Crowberry tower,  Classic Scrambles on the Buachaille were superb.
I found it hard to believe I thought nothing of climbing this ridge in full winter conditions like these without using a rope.Nowadays I,d soil myself but I suppose you always think you are immortal when you,re young.
The views over towards Bidean Nam Bian were not too bad either.It was fairly hard going on top but being in a group spirits were high.
The clouds started to drift over as the day progressed but it was still a cracker.

We had left a car at either end of the ridge so we could do the full traverse from east to west.The temperature had dropped like a stone overnight and it felt like an Arctic expedition up here.All that we needed were huskies and a sled.
It was a fairly steep drop at the other end.I stumbled in the knee deep snow at one point and was disappointed to find I was no longer the confident jumping Jack of old,falling on my  outstretched hands instead of staying on my feet by leaping forwards to counter being off balance.Even just two years ago I,d have stayed on my feet.
Oh well.....
On the way back we had a good view of Ossians cave overlooking the Glen as we went to pick up Alex and Jules after their day,s hill walking. Very good weekend spent on the bigger hills yet still spending it in the sun thanks to dynamic advanced festering and some nifty commonsense.
Ossians cave.Looks good but its a grim sloping hellhole.Ossian must have been a spider to live there in comfort.Ossians dripping slot might be a better title and stop so many  folk having accidents trying to reach it.
Epic scramble right across these steep walls however,the exposed but easy(ish) Rhyolite romp,a long traverse high above the abyss with fantastic rock  scenery and plunging gullies.Best done in  clear,dry summer conditions  with the scrambles guidebook and a safe head for heights.Route finding would be tricky in mist and in winter its a proper climb.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great pics Bob!

As for Rhyolite Romp, first time I did that particular scramble was years ago with you (and Gavin, I think?)...so good that I've been back and done it twice since! If it was in the Dolomites it would probably have some cables and be called via ferrata!

BigVally

blueskyscotland said...

Just read some young local nutter,s chopped a lot of the cables from the chain route in Fife,Scotland,s only proper via Ferrata type route causing £10,000 pounds worth of damage.And he got away with it due to a legal blunder in court.Wah!!!! Hope the powers that be put them back again as its a great tourist attraction and classic day out.Quite exciting at high tide. bob.

The Glebe Blog said...

Stunning views Bob.
Ossian must have been a good traveller.I've visited his supposed grave in Glenaan over in the Glens of Antrim.

writesofway.com said...

Looks like a cracking couple of days with the club, Bob. As for those over-energetic youngsters, you may have to reduce their squirrel intake.

Robert Craig said...

Could be in the Alps in the first pic, then the Arctic like you say later! It's a highly underrated hill, Beinn a'Chrulaiste. There's a few hills like that dotted about.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers guys.May go out with the younger crowd again just to show them how to take photos of mountains :o)
bob.