Etive Slabs

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 JimR 19 May 2024

I had my first visit there again for 42 years recently and several things struck me

1) the path up had virtually disappeared, I recall it as a well trodden path you could run down easily!!!

2) my memory of the slabs was more of a pale yellow colour, it seemed a lot more grey and lichenous.

are these just false memories?

oh and the place was heaving with camper vans and tents , I reckon over 100 on Friday night!!

 Michael Hood 19 May 2024
In reply to JimR:

Peak district gritstone is definitely more green and lichenous than it was in the late 70's & 80's (except for where there are "chalk streaks"). I believe this is down to lower levels of atmospheric pollution - I can certainly remember thinking this well before global warming became evident.

Maybe the same up in the highlands as well, even though the starting point would have been much less polluted air.

 Wee Davie 19 May 2024
In reply to JimR:

I think the Etive Slabs are one of a few trad venues that have not really suffered from trends away from remote mountainous rock to bouldering and sport. They always look immaculate to me after a decent dry spell.

I always see them as light grey when dry to my mind. In my experience of 30 years of visits the path has always been boggy. Before I go there I often wonder if wellies would be an idea due to that. On one of my last visits we saw they were soaking from the roadside, aborted to North Face Route on the Buachaille and then had to use our wellies for the descent down Curved Ridge which was about E3 5b. 

 alan moore 19 May 2024
In reply to JimR:

1. The path is invisible in places, and a foot-wide gravel path in others, but is it there.

2. Grey in the shade, pink in the sun to my mind.

3. Yes, Glen Etive is now a 15 mile long campsite, which is a shame.

 James0101 19 May 2024
In reply to JimR:

path seemed ok last week, it was better than last year. maybe still recovering from a few years of ferocious growth in lockdowns, ive been 3 times in the last couple of years and each time theres been 3-4 teams at the crag

the pause will probably be the best route i climb this year

 Wicamoi 19 May 2024
In reply to JimR:

I agree with Wee Davie, although my history with the slabs stretches back a little under 30 years. During that time the path has always been wet and terrible (and after the first time I have always worn wellies), and the granite has always been grey. Perhaps your memory is influenced by the warm tones of kodachrome?

And yes it has got very much busier over the years. But despite it all, Etive in spring or autumn is one of my favourite things.

 65 20 May 2024
In reply to JimR:

Memory says the slabs were pink but 35 year old photos say they were grey. Memory also says the path was clear and easy to follow but was a horrible boggy cleg infested squelch.

Post edited at 00:09

 gooberman-hill 20 May 2024
In reply to 65:

The first few hundred metres of the path definitely used to be a horrible boggy squelch. higher up it was ok though.

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