Mountain Memories – Buchaille Etive Mor

During one winter course we managed to get round to stay in luxury at the SMC cottage of Lagangarbh (it being equipped with “the electricity”), making it a short walk to get to the gullies on Buchaille Etive Mor. While walking round the Buchaille, we could keek up Ravens Gully, which looked really fearsome. We’d heard wild stories of Hamish’s escapades whilst trying to do it earlier with a young Chris Bonington.  On the contrary, Great gully served as a good area for basic snow techniques warmup – but we got bored, so headed for Crowberry Gully. The Left fork was a good challenge, similar to Gardyloo Gully on the Ben. However, at the crux I placed a runner under the chockstone without extending it and by the time I’d climbed over the chockstone, the friction on the rope was multiplied many times, forcing me to make a stance on one of these seemingly all too common psychological belays to bring my second up. I emphasised to him the need avoid falling off!  He seemed to understand my terse tones and with a few balletic moves, including deftly recovering the offending runner, moved up in full compliance, so that we were quickly reunited and able to gain the safety of the top another few metres above our tenuous stance. Next day we did the easier right fork of Crowberry Gully on which my partner easily led the awkward slabby left-hand bend in the gully.

Crowberry gully L and R forks at the top of great gully.

Buchaille Etive Mor

With our tenancy of the luxurious Lagangarbh Hut ended (we’d run out of shillings to feed the electric meter) we returned to Glen Nevis Youth Hostel.