Mountain Course & Activity Locations

Lakes Outdoor Experience cover locations across the UK, including North Wales, Scotland and The Lake District to mention but a few. We also offer guided scrambling and traverses on The Cuillin Ridge on The Isle of Skye.

Curved Ridge, Buachaille Etive Mor

Curved Ridge, Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe, Western Highlands

glen-coe-curved-ridge-lower-section.jpgCurved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor is one of the most sought after "tick list" routes in the Scottish mountains. It is a full day excursion whether it be Summer Scrambling or Winter Mountaineering although it is a shorter day than some of the other routes we offer. Steep and airy, the route takes you up through some of the best mountain scenery in the British Isle and in the Western Highlands.

The route starts at Altnafeadh located on the A82 when approaching Glen Coe from the east/Rannoch Moor. Our walk in to the start of the route takes us over the River Coupall and past Lagangarbh Cottage - the SMC Hut and then south east around the lower slopes of Buachaille Etive Mor, gradually ascending as it does so.

Eventually, after crossing Great Gully and rounding the lower slopes of North Buttress, one crosses below The Waterslide and takes a weaving line ascending in to Crowberry Basin - a small ampitheatre. Above & to the left of this can be seen the start of Curved Ridge with a deep gully to the right and rising above that - if you can see it, is the imposing looking cliff of Rannoch Wall.

glen-coe-curved-ridge-crux.jpgOur route takes us up the buttress to the left of the gully and upon reaching the top of this, easier going leads, eventually to a further steepening where one ascends a number of short walls and traverses ledges to arrive at a corner stance with a steep ramp leading off up to the right; this is generally regarded as the "crux" or hardest part of Curved Ridge.

Above here the route eases back momentarily, and then rears up again, but the ground is significantly easier than that just climbed. Above here, Curved Ridge merges in to the slope underneath Crowberry Tower. 

glen-coe-curved-ridge-upper-section.jpgThe Summer route generally turns right here to traverse on to the back of Crowberry Ridge above Rannoch Wall and then climbs to the top of Crowberry Tower where an abseil takes you down into the gap beyond from where you ascend the final slopes to the summit of Stob Dearg. The winter route takes you forward from the top of Curved Ridge and around the foot of Crowberry Tower to turn back right in to the gully descending from the aforementioned gap and from here, you follow the Summer route up the slopes above to the summit.


glen-coe-curved-ridge-descent.jpgThe Descent from Stob Dearg takes you west down to the head of Coire Na Tulaich which can be steep and corniced in winter months. An abseil descent from a snow bollard here gets you quickly down on to easier ground and the descent through the coire back to Lagangarbh and your parked vehicle. However, Coire Na Tulaich is noted for being an avalance blackspot in Winter, so, if the avalance forecast and snowpack dictate, then we travel a little further west and then descend north to the foot of the ridge forming the west boundary of Coire Na Tulaich.

Frequently asked questions about our Curved Ridge Winter Mountaineering Days.

Where do we meet for our Curved Ridge Winter Mountaineering Days? Answer Parking for the walk in to Curved Ridge is located on the A82 road opposite Altnafead House next to the track leading to Lagangarbh. The grid reference is. 22105630

What time do we start our day? Answer - no later than 8:30 am. The Curved Ridge Winter Mountaineering Day can nrmally be completed in four to five hours depending on your ability and the conditions on the route 

Do I need any previous experience to attempt a Curved Ridge Winter Mountaineering Day? Answer Yes, you must have already attended a two day Winter Skills Course either with Lakes Outdoor Experience or another winter course provider. You should also have experience of summer scrambling to at least grade 2 and basic ropework skills are desirable although not essential as these can be learnt during the day.

What equipment should I have in order to be able to undertake a Curved Ridge Winter Mountaineering Day successfully and safely? Answer - you each need a full complement of personal winter clothing - Goretex or similar hardshell jacket and salopettes, hat, gloves, winter gauntlets, ski googles, spare warm layers, lunch and a flask of hot drink and a headtorch with spare batteries. Your winter boots will be B2 or B3 rated and you must have walking crampons, that have previously been fitted to your boots before we meet on the day. You will also need a walking axe and ski poles are useful for the walk in to the route and for the descent back to the valley floor.

All of this equipment must be packed into rucksacks of at least 45 litres capacity. We will provide harnesses, helmets and all other technical equipment required to facilitate your Sron Na Lairig Winter Mountaineering Day and we will meet you the evening before your traverse day to ensure that you are properly prepared and ready to go.

How fit should I be in order to successfully complete the Curved Ridge Winter Mountaineering Day? Answer You need a good level of mountain fitness from regular walking in the mountains and should already have plenty of previous experience walking in mountainous areas of the uk.

How much does it cost per person to undertake a Curved Ridge Winter Mountaineering Day with Lakes Outdoor Experience? Answer The fee to do this with us is a minimum fee of £300.00 for 1 or 2 persons making the fee £150.00 each or £405.00 for 3 persons making it £135.00 per person. The ratio of clients to an instructor is a maximum of 3:1 on all of our technical mountaineering and climbing courses.

To book your Curved Ridge Winter Mountaineering Day - contact us here.


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Iain GallagherLakes Outdoor Experience is run by Iain Gallagher. Iain was born and brought up in The Lake District by parents who were very keen on the outdoors.

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