Dramatic views dominate the approach to this lonely corner of the high Cairngorms corries. Surrounded by 1000m high mountains we forge two bold lines on a steep and serious cliff.
Quartzvein Edge 120m
Quartzvein Edge- Hard- Grade 4 Scramble
Pikestaff- Hard- Grade 4 Scramble
Approach Time (Approximate)
Total Trip Length
Very strong summer hillwalking experience. Ideally some previous experience of scrambling at Grade 2 or above.
Is it for me?
This trip is another EverydayClimbing favourite and epitomises everything we love about remote scrambling in the UK. Two audacious lines follow good quality rock through dramatic terrain, in a lonely corrie and as far away from other people as it's possible to get. The long approach demands commitment and a night wild camping below the complex cliff fosters a sense of adventure. We think this trip is up there with the ultimate, complete mountaineering experiences to be had in the UK.
The long approach walk is an experience in itself, passing from Derry Lodge to Glen Derry, the already impressive scenery improves with every step. Soaring mountains littered with crags flank us and the final approach into Coire Etchachan reveals the complex system of massive, ancient glacial valleys and hanging corries that is our home for the night.
Once in the corrie we leave our overnight equipment at one of several suitable sites and attack our first route, Quartzvein Edge. This classic 350ft journey follows the left edge of The Bastion, a massive crag dominating the corrie. The route follows steep walls on big holds and delicate slabs on small ones. We climb through a band of quartz, giving rise to the routes name, offering interesting holds and variety to the granite climb. Reaching the top, a short optional final tower or scree chute 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 breakfasted and packed, we make an attempt on Pikestaff. This route is harder and more exposed than Quartzvein Edge and forges a line directly through the middle of the cliff. The route has some technical sections of mountaineering that just edge into true rock climbing and it is considered a bold route by many. Luckily you will have an experienced instructor above you at all times, ready with encouragement, advice and a tight rope. The route weaves the easiest line through some very serious ground and it is important that we do not stray from the correct path As you follow be sure to take in the dramatic architecture of the buttresses around you and consider the expert rock climbing lines that trace up them.
Once successfully back at the start of our route, we must begin our long retreat back to civilisation. leaving the high plateaus and quiet corries to the wild mountain hares and deer that call it home.
Mountains included in route
Creagan a' Coire Etchachan 1108m
Derry Caingorm 1155m (optional)
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.
top of page
bottom of page