Sron na Creise

I arrived at the entrance to Glen Etive hoping to see my route for the day, but as forecast, the cloud was lower than the summits and Sron na Creise, the ridge I would ascend Creise by, was completely hidden.

Having had no view of the route, I took some photos of the route description for reference later on and set off. First challenge of the day was crossing the Etive, my second river crossing in a couple of weeks with a strong current. No danger other than a potential soaking as a consequence, but my camera was in my mind as I struggled to get across, this time with no bike to assist stability. Fifteen or so minutes of trying various options to get across and I was over with soaked boots and somewhat committed to going for the ridge.

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Good upward progress was easy after crossing the boggy ground low down and despite the cloud cover high up, I had great views across at my favourite mountain, Beauchaille Etive Mor, and down Glen Etive.

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I was nervous on the first bit of scrambling, not used to trusting my feet, but soon realised how grippy the rock was and started to relax. I reached the ‘house sized’ boulder and sat for a few minutes, taking on food, admiring the views and checking the route description. The next section was an angled slab, atmospheric and felt like the point where hillside transitioned to mountain.

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Thick mist lowered briefly then rose again, briefly denying me views then revealing them again, but after this I was ascending into the summit cloud. The route description did come in handy, but largely the route was obvious and though it would be easy to stray off onto easier ground away from the ridge I managed to follow the line of interest without too much thought.

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There were no views up top and I had to navigate to work my way to the summit of Creise and round to the western ridge that would take me onwards to Beinn Mhic Chasgaig.

Part way down to the bealach, the mist cleared, giving me a view of the hill ahead as well as up Glen Etive and back towards Clach Leathad.

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The northern ridge I would descend by had looked impossibly steep from my start point earlier in the day, but proved to be an easy route down. Tier after tier brought me quickly back down to Glen Etive, finishing with a section following a continuously white burn (Allt Fionn Ghlinne), flowing down exposed, smoothly worn bedrock right to the Etive and my second crossing point of it.

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By now, the cloud had lifted, at least from Creise, and as I walked back up Glen Etive to my start point the ridge had revealed itself so that I could see the line of my ascent in its entirety and given the distinctive sections of the route, it was easy to piece together exactly where I had been earlier in the day.

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