/ Buchaille Etive Mor - conditions

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
deebo on 08 Dec 2012
Was planning to to Buchaille on Sunday 9th by main route but slight thaw and poorer forecast has caused me to think again. Can anyone in area advise on snow conditions in the main corrie ? Preferably someone who has visted Saturday.

Ta very much

Deebo
Jamie B - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to deebo:

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.
Sutty22 - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to deebo: I would be very interested to hear how conditions were today. I'm heading for Glencoe on Tuesday so an up to date report would be a big help in choosing where to head for. I'm hoping for Curved Ridge but this is subject to weather, snow etc.

Cheers, Chris
Jamie B - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Sutty22:

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.
Sutty22 - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: Thanks for that information. I'll be watching the forecasts avidly. Local knowledge is always well received. Much appreciated.

Chris
Wesley Orvis - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to deebo:

Lots of small avalanches in Coire Cruachan yesterday, was absolutely amazed at the speed of the thaw, turbo injected thaw at all levels.
French Erick - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to deebo:
No longer there!
Pummelzacken - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Sutty22: pics and update from today here
http://davidbuckett.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/plan-b/
Jamie B - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Sutty22:

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
Sutty22 - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: great news. Off for a look in the morning. Can't wait.
In reply to deebo:
Watch out for the ultra friendly raven(s) at the summit. I could get within 3 yards of them today.
Pummelzacken - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: That's great news! hadn't been up there myself, just saw the blog and thought it was useful... btw it is MISS Pummelzacken ;-)
Jamie B - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Pummelzacken:

Ahhhh... not YOUR blog *penny drops*
Bob Aitken - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to deebo:
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.
Pummelzacken - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: exactly! just one i read...
jhw - on 24 Dec 2012
Any updates on how it's shaping up there this week would be much appreciated. I'm toying with the idea of North Buttress or Curved Ridge this weekend. Avalanche risk on the descent is my main worry (also the risk of something sloughing off the top or the ridge approach, looking at the contours - I've never been).
Jamie B - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:

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.
jhw - on 24 Dec 2012
Thanks - that's really helpful.

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

Jack
jhw - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:

I should say, no significant routefinding issues on the way up. Significant navigation issues and a potentially tricky dogleg on the way down!
StuartCJones - on 24 Dec 2012
I'm thinking about one of the routes up the NE face on Friday (hoping for a freeze on Thursday)

Any updates on conditions? Or recommendations on routes?
Simon Caldwell - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to StuartCJones:
> I'm thinking about one of the routes up the NE face on Friday

Current forecast isn't promising - storm force winds with snow turning to rain at all levels :-(
StuartCJones - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Toreador: :/ damn
nicjbuk - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw: after finishing curved ridge be very careful on the final slope that goes to the summit, particularly around the top of crowberry gully. Have experienced windslab avalanche that fortunately broke over my thighs as the axe was well in. The descent can also be very dangerous even over to the left hand side of the corrie (as you face your car in the glen) in the same snow conditions. hope this helps
jhw - on 25 Dec 2012
Understood - so avoid after high south or westerly winds and/or snowfall. Next weekend currently looks like last weekend but hopefully this storminess will lead to good conditions later in the season. I salute the individuals my friend reported seeing at London Liverpool Street with gear and Quarks on sacks heading up for a little climb!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.