Rannoch Wall: Agag's Groove
VDiff 99m ** (Classic)
Agag's Groove is almost certainly the most climbed rock route on Buchaille Etive Mor. This being so it is definitely worthwhile, however it isn't the best route on the crag! We have only given the traditional route two stars even though it is regarded as a classic.
The traditional route is described below although we would recommend that pitches 1 and 2 be dropped and replaced with pitches 1 and 2 from January Jigsaw; the technical standard is only moderately highter but the quality of those two pitches (steep, fine pitches with interesting moves) far outstrips the leading pitches on Agag's...
The belay after pitch 2 of Agag's Groove and January Jigsaw is shared so there should be no routefinding confusion caused by this alternative start!
The route starts at the EXTREME right end of the face.
The groove is huge and really can't be missed. The rectangular block is also huge; it's described as detached in the guide but you'll not notice until you are behind or atop it. The smaller 'detached rectangular block' is in front of the start of Groove Direct.
- Pitch 1
At extreme right end of wall behind block (path round base of block). Large holds lead up a definite groove into what soon becomes a corner (tricky). This pitch is fairly steep. Belay at a large block beneath an overlap.
- Pitch 2
The route now begins to wander leftwards across and up (line of least resistance). The climbing is easy and this pitch, and the next, are ideal for taking sensational photos. Belay at a large block (big flat ledge, nut belay).
Note: This is also the 2nd belay for January Jigsaw (S).
- Pitch 3
The best and hardest pitch on the route.
Climb the corner/groove above the belay and then move out left and round onto steeper rock. Climb the nose on big holds (sensational position!) to reach a spacious ledge. (Block/large hex belay).
- Pitch 4
Pull over the block and follow the line of least resistance leftwards and up via a slopy ledge and a nice steep rib/groove to the top of Crowberry Ridge.
You can either arrange a nut belay (if you look hard enough) or there's a handy "bump" slightly further up the ridge that will act as a spike belay.
Scramble up what's left of Crowberry Ridge and contour round to Crowberry Gap (you don't need to climb Crowberry Tower). Descend either Curved Ridge or if you feel lucky, Easy Gully (choss/rockfall :-)...