/ Buchaille Etive Mor - conditions
Ta very much
By "main route" I assume you mean normal walker's approach through Coire na Tulaich? Mild today and every chance of there having been avalanche activity, but my guess (and it is only that) would be that with the forecasted refreeze slopes will stabilise. Might be a bit slippy and run-out though.
Curved Ridge is almost always viable, although the lower section can be quite rocky and scratchy. It's also well sheltered from prevailing westerly or southerly winds, but the flip-side of this is that the exit slopes can collect wind-slab. At the moment I suspect that the thaw and refreeze will have consolidated it, but you do want to keep an eye on the forecast for fresh snow an avalanche hazard.
Lots of small avalanches in Coire Cruachan yesterday, was absolutely amazed at the speed of the thaw, turbo injected thaw at all levels.
No longer there!
Curved Ridge still in winter nick, despite Mr Pummelzacken's suggestion to the contrary. http://boistelle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/hopefully-start-of-something.html
Watch out for the ultra friendly raven(s) at the summit. I could get within 3 yards of them today.
Ahhhh... not YOUR blog *penny drops*
I was on Buachaille Etive Beag today, glorious alpine conditions, superb light. Re-freeze has produced a lot of breaking crust on snowbeds, black ice on seeps and on boulders, skiddy white ice where slushy footprints have frozen. So even the BEB ridge needed crampons and a bit of caution, and Curved Ridge might be quite interesting. It was already -4 at about half-past three under a clear sky when I headed home, so everything will be consolidating further.
If the descent into Coire na Tulaich concerns you, consider going down the ridge that bounds the right-hand (as you look up) of the Coire. Or stash a second car and head down to Glen Etive.
The approach and exit to North Buttress is considerably safer, but the route is a bit harder.
Reading the UKC logbook it looks like there's definitely scope for epics and benightment on this route in the wrong conditions but on the positive side it looks like you can do it in just about any circumstances, there aren't significant navigation issues (the routefinding requirements aren't precise), and there isn't much avalanche risk as it's a buttress (subject to the usual qualifications surrounding avalanche issues on ridge routes). Thanks
I should say, no significant routefinding issues on the way up. Significant navigation issues and a potentially tricky dogleg on the way down!
Any updates on conditions? Or recommendations on routes?
Current forecast isn't promising - storm force winds with snow turning to rain at all levels :-(
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