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Buachaille Etive Mor in autumn
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Buachaille Etive Mor by Curved Ridge - Glencoe

Location: Above Rannoch Moor at the entrance to Glen Etive

Length: 13km / 8 miles

Ascent: 1100m / 3620ft

Time: 7 hours

Difficulty: A strenuous and technical ascent of Buachaille Etive's north-east face by Curved Ridge leads to a high mountain traverse. The Curved Ridge follows an impressive line beneath the great pink face of the Rannoch Wall, providing reasonably easy scrambling initially, then steepening at the top. A few rocky steps have to be climbed; individually these are perhaps no greater than 10m (30ft) high and with good ledges beneath, but there is no easier alternative; however, the climbing is of only moderate, and is short-lived (Scrambling Grade 3).

  Dalness and Glen Etive


Summer conditions may be expected from June to September and winter conditions from October to May.


The predominant rock is ryolite, which is reasonably tough and dependable although it can be slippery when wet or damp, and there are sections of loose scree (take care not to dislodge stones onto parties below).

Flora and Fauna:

Golden eagle, raven and ptarmigan may be seen; also red deer.

Purple saxifrage, crowberry, blaeberry and heather grow in this region.


Buachaille Etive Mor by Curved Ridge and the long traverse of the summit ridge is an outstanding ridge walk requiring basic rock climbing ability and is for the technically competent only.

  Rannoch Wall

Guarding the entrances to Glen Etive and Glencoe, a great pyramid of red/pink ryolite rises for some 2500ft from the purple heathers and vast empty expanse of Rannoch Moor.

The 'Great Shepherd' - or more properly, 'Herdsman' - of Etive, Buachaille Etive Mor, is one of Britain's most evocative mountains.

To climb it by Curved Ridge, then continuing along its sinuous summit ridge high betwixt lovely Glen Etive and the lonely mountain pass of Lairig Gartain is surely the stuff of dreams!

This demanding outing can be fore-shortened in length for the technically adventurous including a circular route to the summit via the Curved Ridge, Crowberry Tower and the North Buttress.

  Stob Dearg and River Coupall

An alternative route follows Curved ridge and Crowberry Tower to the summit and descending via Coire na Tulaich back down to Lagangarbh cottage and the start:

Length: 5.8km / 3.5 miles

Ascent: 700m

Time: 5 hours

Combined with a more expansive walk to Bidean nam Bian by the Lost Valley Horseshoe, this provides a superb two day experience in one of Scotland's most dramatic mountain locations.

The Summits:

Stob Dearg - 1022m / 3353ft

Stob na Doire - 1011m / 3316ft

Stob Coire Altruim - 941m / 3087ft

Stob na Broige - 956m 3136ft

  Buachaille Etive Beag

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