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Crystal Ridge & Flake Buttress


A committing mountaineering journey into the corries of Scotlands second highest mountain. Long miles from any road, experience an adventure deep in the heart of Scotlands mountain wilderness. This trip can be started from either Aviemore or Braemar.


Route Length 

Crystal Ridge 120m

Flake Buttress 110m


Max Ratio



Experience Grade

Crystal Ridge- Hard- Grade 4 Scramble

Flake Buttress- Hard- Grade 4 Scramble


Approach Time (Approximate) 

3.5 hrs/ 5 hrs


Total Trip Length 

22km/ 28km


Meeting location 

Aviemore/ Braemar


Experience Duration 

2 days



Very strong summer hillwalking experience. Ideally some previous experience of scrambling at Grade 2 or above. 


Is it for me? 

This trip is exactly why EverydayClimbing exists, it epitomises everything we love about remote scrambling in the UK. Two clean and sustained lines on perfect rock, in a lonely corrie and as far away from other people as it's possible to get. The long approach adds commitment and a night wild camping below the complex cliffs adds adventure. We think this might be the ultimate, complete mountaineering experience to be had in the UK. 


You can choose to start this experience from either Aviemore, to include the  option of additionally summiting some high mountain Munros, or from Braemar for a longer, but more gentle ascent to our target corrie, the Corie Sputan Dearg.


Once in the corrie we leave our overnight equipment at one of several suitable sites and attack our first route, Flake Buttress. This classic 400ft journey up a steep buttress offers a huge variety of pitches. Optional variations in the lower half allowing us to choose our line as we see fit and explore the crag at leisure. Later, the route channels us towards a section of slab, corner and crack climbing, eventually leading us to a series of perfectly formed holds and an arete that deposits us directly upon the plateau. A short trip down a handy gully leads us back to the corrie floor and a well earned rest.


The next morning, once the sun has filled the corrie and with breakfast behind us, we start our next route, the highly regarded Crystal Ridge. Harder and more exposed than Flake buttress, the ridge benefits from a purity of line that is obvious to all that climb it. It is considered a bold route by many and you will be thankful of the experienced instructor above you ready with a tight rope as you travel the length of the ridge, the grand wall of Grey Mans Crag soaring above us on our right. This grand route is considered by many to be the best of its grade in the whole of the Cairngorm mountains and its easy to see why, perfect rock, fantastic setting and such a clean line.


At this point, time and energy depending, we need to choose whether to cram in one more, shorter line in the corrie, or begin our long retreat back to civilisation. Either way, eventually we must start on the trail back, leaving the quiet, high corrie to the wild mountain hares and deer that call it home.


Mountains included in route 

Sron Riach 1113m (optional)

Ben Macdui 1309m (optional)

Creagan a' Choire Etchachan 1108m (optional)

Stob Coire an t-Sneachda 1176m (optional)



Additional information 

This is a two day expedition to a remote venue. Camping equipment is not provided. You will climb several routes during this experience.

Multi-day experiences typically start at 8am on day one and finish at 6pm on day two. Please note that very remote crags or long routes require the experience to start earlier and finish later than this. You will be guided on the routes by an independently qualified, fully insured and competent Rock Climbing and Mountaineering Instructor. The instructor will choose routes based on your experience, fitness and preferences and will aways try to give you several options. All climbing equipment required for the route and instruction on its use is included. Clients may use their own equipment following an inspection by the Instructor. Clients must ensure they bring appropriate clothing and equipment as listed on our kit list page. In case of dangerous weather conditions an alternative activity or a full refund will be offered. Please read our Terms and Conditions for further information.

Crystal Ridge & Flake Buttress

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