We have a trip to Scotland planned in early March with three days of climbing and one rest day.
We have Curved Ridge, Ledge Route and AE ridge on our itinerary so energy conservation is key as not all of us are as fit as usual.
I have been researching Curved Ridge which seems straightened enough once you have located the start but finding a quick descent route has eluded me so far in my research.
Most say to walk across the top of the Buchaille bag a few peaks and there is a descent route there but is there a way down without peak bagging is just reversing the route or is the gully between CR and Rannock Wall doable?
Any advice to help save the legs would be appreciated and I am aware sometimes it’s better to cover more ground for an easier descent so if the peak bagging is best due to good ground and a more solid path let me know.
Thanks in advance
Vast majority of folk climb Curved Ridge, complete the short easier ground to the summit (choice of gully on left or diverting right into Crowberry Gap) then descend into Coire na Tulaich (avalanche blackspot in unstable conditions). The spur on the NW side of the coire is often taken for this reason.
Either of these descents will be much easier than rigging abs on the front of the Buachaille. And no need to be going off peak bagging to Stob na Doire/Broige.
Occasionally folk will ab off parts of the Buachaille but in real numbers it's not commonly done.
> Vast majority of folk climb Curved Ridge, complete the short easier ground to the summit (choice of gully on left or diverting right into Crowberry Gap) then descend into Coire na Tulaich (avalanche blackspot in unstable conditions). The spur on the NW side of the coire is often taken for this reason.
Also a significantly more satisfying finish to the day IMO. Assuming we’re talking winter ascent?
Like KWoods says the only realistic option is to head over the top of Stob Dearg (a satisfying conclusion to the route) and then Southwest and West to the head of Coire na Tullaich. In good conditions this descent can be straightforwards if steep snow or the (easy) scramble path can be followed into the coire.
If the avalanche forecast is such that you don't want to drop into the coire then it is possible to head a few hundred metres further west to spot height 902 and to follow Creag na Tullaich, the ridge north from there. This usually represents a safer option (technically easy walking just a little convoluted to follow indoor visibility) although there has been a past incident of an isolated patch of snow avalanching a party over a large crag from near the crest of the ridge.
I've descended the buchaille via the north west flank before now about half way down it or so. (which I reckon is less likely to be avalanche prone - check SAIS obv). I think we just we went down near Alt Feadain Bhain but it could have been down the path of Corrie Altruim. Anyway it was super straight forward and not much snow build up. Its a bit out of the way though (we were traversing the summit ridge so it didn't matter)
Curved ridge isn't one I'd do when avalanche prone anyway as it has that bowl than can go above the route.
This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are...