We lucked out on the weather , with Wester Ross being fine and dry for a period of several days. The plan was to climb the route then continue on and over the A Cioch Ridge on Sgurr a Charorachain. So we parked the car at the Bealach na Ba carpark, and headed down the steep grassy path to the coire floor.
The route is easily found, although negotiating the exposed Middle Terrace path that girdles the buttress is a wake up call to the exposed nature of the route. P1 has the letters “CN” scratched in the rock.
P1 was easy enough, with only a couple of tricky corners to get up. P2 is a 15m chimney that would be easy but the drag of our backpacks making the balancy moves that wee bit harder. Once up the chimney, you walk a few metres to the right and the most fabulous belay stance – a couple of feet wide and about 6 feet across – with a huuuge drop down the face of the mountain.
P3 involves a committing step out right for a metre over the drop (on great holds though), and then you surge upwards on a long pitch to a lovely big belay ledge. P4 is just nice, and then a short pitch leads to the top of the route.
At this point you can carry on up and over the next obstacle to continue the ridge. The guidebooks suggest its a mix of scrambling and one or two short pitches at vDiff or Sev grade. But I couldn’t see the route, so we bailed, choosing to slither and slide down the horrible South Gully path.
At this point the gully got very steep and wet, with a 3m drop straight down. Thankfully, there was a load of tat at this point and we abseiled 40m down to another abseil point. A second full-length abseil took us to the bottom of the gully. We were down!
Except I had to yomp back up the original descent path to retrieve the car! Joy.
A must-do route!