Buchaille Etive Mor
The North Buttress
The North Buttress looks very steep and impressive from the road across Rannoch Moor with what look like steep cliffs of unbroken rock climbing up from the Lagangarbh path all the way to the summit.
On closer inspection the rock isn't as steep as it looks and lends itself well to scrambling and climbing in the middle grades. The routes are found immediately above two large boulders which are distinctly visible on the skyline as you follow the Lagangargh path underneath the mountain. >From the Lagangarbh path to half-height the rock is simple scrambling across small crags and heather ledges. If you wish to avoid unnecessary scrambling there's a path leading up the buttress immediately after crossing the stream at (INSERT REF) - this is just before %quot;the two boulders".
On the approach up the path (or scramble) you should be able to identify a broken chimney/cleft up he very centre of the buttress. This is the scrambler's route (Mod) which will be described below.
This route is perfectly feasable in the rain though a rope would be advisable due to the nature of the rock/route. In the rain sections will be Diff (and slippy).
North Buttress - Scramble/Mod
Once you have taken the path northwards away from the main Lagangarbh path and up the buttress you should soon come to a very broad grassy area, directly above "the two boulders" and directly below a marked steepening of the terrain. The rock above should look unbroken and the chimney/open crack running up the centre of the buttress should be very obvious.
The chimney line can be climbed directly all the way to the top where easy scrambling finally leads to a short path and the summit. Should you wish to make the climb easier it is possible to move right after the first "hard" section in the chimney and climb ledges out to the right before moving back into the chimney line. This approach can also be used later as the chimney steepens and may be advisable in wetter weather (or you may as well climb The Chasm instead).
The rock is mostly sound when it matters although there are large fridge/freezer sized blocks which only appear to be attached by mud and there are plenty of smaller boulders and loose rocks on the route just waiting to fall off so care is required at all times (mostly for those below yourself).
The narrower sections of the route are somewhat polished but the holds are so large and plentiful that this should make little difference to the climbing, even in the rain.
From the summit you can either descent via the tourist track in the main corrie or for the more adventurous a descent can be made of Curved Ridge.