WH Murray

I found this excellent account of an ascent of The Curved Ridge of Buachaille Etive Mor GM/WS-044 on BBC Sounds. A modern ascent intertwined wiith passages from WH Murrays classic “Mountaineering in Scotland” - a book which he wrote during his time as a POW during World War 2.


It’s years since I last read that book, but I first climbed Curved Ridge after reading it. I have climbed it twice in winter and once in summer, and was frankly disappointed! In summer it is barely a scramble, mostly a trudge, and in winter the only difficulty was a small ice fall at the start. A great viewpoint for the Rannoch Wall, but not a climb I would recommend!

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A classic book indeed. He must have had a good memory to have written that as POW. I wonder wether it made him feel worse for being captive or was it an uplifting experience.

I’ve climbed that in winter with a partner but we didn’t rope up until the iced up pitch. I think it is only grade 2 ??


He completed his manuscript and then had it confiscated by prison guards, who thought it may contain code, so he had to start again…

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I recall the first draft was apparently written on toilet paper, the only paper available in a POW camp. After it was confiscated, and he was later freed, he then had to rewrite the entire book.

So yes, he did have a good memory.



At that point I’d have given up!!

WH Murray’s book is a must-read for any enthusiast for the GM mountains. Thanks for the link Fraser @MM0EFI


Yup. I’m having trouble locating my copy. Must be in the bothy. The tower ridge chapter is my favourite, oh and the summer crossing of Rannoch Moor.

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I had a well-thumbed copy of “The Craft of Climbing” but unfortunately lent it out and never saw it again. I hope its still out there, informing and inspiring someone!