Scramble Route - Garbh Bheinn

There's more than one Pinnacle Ridge out there and this one is on the Corbett, Garbh Bheinne in the western Highlands of Scotland with a promise of great views and solitude.

Posted: 24 July 2006
by Dave Mycroft

Pinnacle Ridge of Garbh Bheinn, Western Highlands

Grade: 3

This particular Pinnacle Ridge takes you away from the honeypots of Scottish scrambling and Munro bagging to the far side of Loch Linnhe, and the Corbett of Garbh Bheinn, with stunning views across to Ballachulish.

Equipment: Ropes and protection required.

Online Map link

Views: 4
Technicality: 4
Exposure: 3

out of five.

You could almost certainly write a book of 100 scrambles called Pinnacle Ridge, the name's so - understandably - popular.

This particular one takes you away from the honeypots of Scottish scrambling and Munro bagging to the far side of Loch Linnhe, and the Corbett of Garbh Bheinn.

With a 1000ft north-east face and stunning views across to Ballachulish it makes an ideal escape from the crowds.

Approach Start from Glen Tarbert where an old road heads north alongside the Abhainn Coire an-lubhair, just beyond Inversanda. Follow the path along the right hand bank of the river for 3/4 of a mile to the Allt a' Gharbh Choie Mhorwhere you turn left.

As you approach the obvious tree, just beyond an overhanging wall on your right, the grass bank on your right leads up to the rocky start that marks the beginning of Pinnacle Ridge.

Route Head straight up the rocky toe of the ridge, picking your own route over easy scrambling ground with good holds and grippy rock in abundance. After reaching what is little more than a bump on the ridge a short descent takes you to a tiny lochan.

Climb again, picking your own route as the rock degenerates into boulders as you approach an obvious buttress ahead. The buttress is approached by trending left over a short rib, and once established on the butress move left again to avoid the dark recess in the centre.

Now move right on grassy ledges to a steep and exposed move over two large blocks to another ledge with an obvious groove above. Take the groove on, moving left to gain another vegetated ledge below a large hanging boulder.

Move left as you climb past the boulder to another groove following the same left-trending direction. Now the ground becomes easier and holds more abundant as the ridge temporarily levels.

Continue along the ridge crest as it narrows into a classic arete, and pass right of the final large tower. The route now remains obvious as you traverse the ridge crest, with an awkward and exposed step onto a small ledge the only difficulty.

The end is almost in sight as you reach a slippery, grass-covered, groove where the angle steepens. Follow the groove to a point where you can exit left onto better ground and continue along the ridge crest.

The ground now levels out into a large vegetated terrace with an enormous slab on the left. Take the slab directly on superb rock with holds everywhere to emerge on the final section of crest.

A left turn at the top takes you to the summit of Garh Bheinn and expensive vistas in all directions, with the Mamores and Nevis Range dominating to the north east.

Descent The best descent route is south east over the second, lower, summit to the ridge of Sron a Garbh Choire Bhig. Follow the ridge down to meet the road just a few yards away from your start point.
Caution Scrambling is potentially dangerous and, particularly at the higher grades, requires technical skills and equipment to minimise the risk. We suggest that you take professional instruction or climb with an experienced partner.

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