Sron na Creise, the great spur of the mountain that gives the route its name, is a climb I have wanted to do ever since I arrived here. The line is one of the most obvious in the entire glen and I have heard good things about the quality of the rock. With a day off on a good forcast, James and I made the journey over to Glen Etive.
The day began by crossing the River Etive, luckily in low water conditions at present, but that didn't stop me from getting water over the top of my gaiters! We then walked through the pathless bog up to the start of the ridge, which is studded by minor outcrops. Some confusion was suffered when we attempted to climb one of these little crags, vegetated and slimy, furnished only with sloping holds of little value. After considerable climbing up and down on disintegrating choss, we decided to walk around.
The route properly began above a collection of giant boulders. The main weakness in the crag above is a narrow chimney corner, quite steep at the beginning. It proved awkward but not difficult enough to justify the use of the rope (about Moderate for a few moves). Once at the top of this, easy slabs led to the next major obstacle.
A steep wall had to be negotiated. We tried various ways, but eventually settled on a corner to a capstone, followed by a very steep face, quite vertical and exposed for a few metres, albeit on the best Rhyolite and with superb holds. All said, this wall was about Moderate as well.
The route continued without much further difficulty, but many pleasant sections of scrambling, to the summit. After enjoying the view, we reversed our steps back to Stob a' Ghlais Choire (the Northern top) in order to descend the NE Ridge.
This ridge is much easier than Sron na Creise, but still substantially a rock arête and care was necessary to negotiate the best way down. I even found sine crag swag in the form of an old abseil anchor setup!
Back at the bottom of the mountain, all that remained was an easy stomp through the bog beside the river, then back over the Etive to the car.
An excellent day out in fine weather, and yet another route done from my long-term wishlist!
View photos here