Skye and Loch Quoich

I’m just back from two excellent days on Skye with Jonathan and Julia. I was based in the very good and friendly Skye Basecamp Hostel. On the way back today I took the opportunity to nip up Gairich on the south side of Loch Quoich.

Jonathan near the summit of The Inn Pinn.

On Friday Jonathan, Julia and I headed up in to Coire na Banachdich and on up Sgurr Dearg with Jonathan and I taking in The Inaccessible Pinnacle via it’s East Ridge. We then completed a circuit of the coire by scrambling up the South Ridge of Sgurr na Banachdaich via it’s South and Centre tops and descending over Sgurr nan Gobhar. The rock was dry, but we were in cloud most of the day on the ridge and only got views when descending the Sgurr nan Gobhar ridge.

Jonathan and Julia on the summit of Sgurr na Banachdaich.

On Saturday Jonathan and I went up to Bealach a’Bhasteir and ascended and descended Am Basteir via it’s East Ridge taking in the Bad Step. We then ascended Sgurr nan Gillean via Tooth Groove and Arete and the West Ridge before descending the South-East Ridge. Again the rock was dry and the cloud lifted during the day to give us good views in the afternoon.

Jonathan descending Sgurr nan Gillean.

Today the weather forecast had changed overnight and the heavy rain and strong winds were forecast to arrive later, so I was able to stop off and take in Gairich on the way south with the rain only catching up with me on the descent. I descended the North ridge, which gave a quick way down out of the weather and was able to walk along the Loch Quoich “beach” as the water levels are currently low. The hills in this area are pretty wet underfoot at the moment and gaiters are a good idea if away from well drained paths. I’ll add more photos to the ClimbNow Facebook page.

Three Days on Skye

For the past three days I have been on Skye with Andy and Rob. We have had a successful trip climbing the following peaks; Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Bastier, Bhastier Tooth, Sgurr a’Mhadaidh, Sgurr a Ghreadaidh and Sgurr an Fheadain. The weather was mixed but Skye always provides memorable days out.

Rob and Andy down climbing Sgurr nan Gillean.

Rob and Andy down climbing Sgurr nan Gillean.

Grand Days Out on Skye

The Falkirk High Tops Team and I have just had three great days out on Skye. The first two were spent in the Black Cuillin and the last day in the red Cuillin.

On Thursday we climbed Window Buttress and the South Crack of the In-Pinn as well as the Voie Normale. The South Crack was brilliant and offers a fantastic alternative to the normal route.

The weather was again perfect on Friday so we traversed Sgurr Sgumain, Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Thearlaich, Sgurr Mhic Chonnich and An Stac.

Today we climbed Sgurr nan Each via the North Butttress. This is a good place to avoid the crowds.

There are many more photos on the facebook page.

The In-Pinn.

The In-Pinn.

Skye Scrambling

I’m just back from Skye with Euan, John and a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Team of Isobel, Linda, Lorn, Lynne, Mary, Norrie, Siobhan and Wilson.

After driving up on Thursday Linda, Wilson and I traversed Sgurr Thuilm in fairly horrible weather including driving sleet and hail. The rest of the team went up to An Dorus and climbed Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh and Sgurr a’Mhadaidh.

Mary and Siobhan looking relaxed on Am Basteir.

Mary and Siobhan looking relaxed on Am Basteir.

On Friday John, Linda, Lorn and Wilson went in to Coire Lagan and after heading up the Sgumain Stone Shoot traversed Sgurr Sgumain, Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Thearlaich, Sgurr Mhiccoinnich and descended the An Stac screes. The rest of the team headed to the other end of the ridge and after walking up to the Bealach a’Bhasteir scrambled up Am Basteir via the East Ridge Direct. After returning to the bealach we then climbed Sgurr nan Gillean West Ridge via Tooth Groove and Arete and descended via the South-East Ridge. This was the best day of the trip for weather and views particularly at the north end of the ridge.

The team on the summit of Am Basteir

The team on the summit of Am Basteir

On Saturday Euan, Linda and Wilson scrambled up the Sron nan Gobhar Ridge to Sgurr na Banachdaich whilst the rest of us headed around to Coire a’Ghrunnda. We then scrambled up Sgurr nan Eag via the Right Hand Flank of the North Ridge and then descended to the Castle via the North Ridge. After nipping behind the Castle we climbed Sgurr Dubh na da Bheinn via it’s South Ridge and then headed down the East Ridge and up to Sgurr Dubh Mor. We then returned over Sgurr Dubh na da Bheinn and descended it’s North-West Ridge to regain Coire a’Ghrunnda. This day completed the Skye Munros for Norrie and he seemed suitably pleased despite having been in cloud for most of the day.

Norrie in the cloud happy to be completing his Skye Munros.

Norrie in the cloud happy to be completing his Skye Munros.

Yesterday Norrie and Isobel decided on a well earned rest day whilst Lynne, Lorn and I walked up Sgurr na Bannachdaich via Coire an Eich with a detour to An Diallaid in descent. Euan, John, Linda, Mary, Siobhan and Wilson avoided the worts of the wind by scrambling up The Spur on to the excellent peak of Sgurr an Fheadain.

Lynne and Lorn on the summit of Sgurr na Banachdaich.

Lynne and Lorn on the summit of Sgurr na Banachdaich.

A great few days with seven new Munros for some of the team and some excellent scrambling despite fairly unfavourable weather at times.

Another Great Trip to Skye

I am just back from another very successful trip to Skye with the Falkirk High Tops Team.

On Thursday we visited the beautiful Spar Cave. As the tide was in we abseiled into the inlet which gives access to the cave. Following our visit to the cave we jumared back out.

We made use of an improving forecast for Saturday by climbing the North West ridge of Sgurr a Mhadaidh on Friday before making a water and food drop in preparation for Saturdays activities.

On Saturday we left the Sligachan at 4am for Sgurr nan Gillean. We then spent the next 20 hours completing a one day traverse of the Cuillin Ridge.

Following a long lie this morning we had a full Scottish breakfast in Broadford before returning to Falkirk.

There are many more photos on the climbnow facebook page.

Near the summit of Sgurr nan Gillean.

Near the summit of Sgurr nan Gillean.

North Wales and the Isle of Skye

I have just had a great seven days on the mountains and rock faces of the North Wales and Scotland.

Following the Lowland Leader Award Course last Sunday I drove to North Wales to meet Andrew. We had a good three days climbing on Tremadog, in the Ogwen Valley and on Gogarth.

The majority of the time the weather was excellent allowing us to complete the following routes; Christmas Curry (Micah Eliminate), Yogi, Shadrach, Ordinary Route on Idwal Slabs, Cneifon Arete, single pitch routes on Holyhead Mountain and Lighthouse Arete.

After our final route I drove North to meet the Falkirk High Tops Team. We drove to the Isle of Skye before having three good days in the Cuillin.

Emmanuelle, Gayle, Andy, John and I completed; Pinnacle Ridge, Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Bastier, the Bhastier Tooth, Sgurr Sgumain, Sgurr Alasdair, the Cioch and the traverse of Sgurr a’ Mhadaidh.

Nigel, Alec and Norrie completed; Blaven, Bruach na Frithe and Sgurr na Banachdich.

Once more Skye provided great adventures and great memories.

Andrew enjoying Lighthouse Arete.

Andrew enjoying Lighthouse Arete.

Great scrambling on Skye.

Great scrambling on Skye.

 

More Skye Photos

John has kindly sent through some very atmospheric photos from Monday’s day out on Skye. They might be just the thing to cool you down on a warm evening.

Me and Harvey on the Inaccessible Pinnacle. Photo Credit: John Strachan.

Me and Harvey on The Inaccessible Pinnacle. Photo Credit: John Strachan.

Harvey abseiling from The Inaccessible Pinnacle

Harvey abseiling from The Inaccessible Pinnacle. Photo Credit: John Strachan.

John and Harvey on The Skye Ridge. Photo Credit: John Strachan.

John and Harvey on The Skye Ridge. Photo Credit: John Strachan.

Spar Cave and the Traverse of the Cuillin of Skye

 

Paul taking a photo of the unusual rock features of the Spar Cave.

Paul taking a photo of the unusual rock features of the Spar Cave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the past few days I have been on Skye with the lads from the Falkirk High Tops Team. We arrived on Thursday late afternoon and visited Elgol. As the tide was in, we abseiled into the inlet that leads to Spar Cave. The cave has some very unusual rock features that are worth having a look at. After climbing back out the cave we jumared out of the inlet before heading to our accommodation in Broadford.

The main focus of our trip was the traverse of The Cuillin from Gars-Bheinn to Sgurr nan Gillean. Therefore, as we intended on sleeping out on the ridge, on Friday we dropped off some kit near An Dorus in preparation for Saturday evening.

We began the ridge on Saturday morning climbing from Glen Brittle campsite to Gars-Bheinn and completing the ridge as far as our bivouac site. Conditions were not exactly perfect. The visibility for most of the day ranged from 10 metres to 40 metres which makes the difficult route finding on the ridge even more challenging.

Following a good sleep at the bivouac site we began the next section of the ridge early on Sunday morning. An exciting day of scrambling, abseiling and climbing led us to then end point of Sgurr nan Gillean in the early evening.

Congratulations to all the team on completing a challenging, physical adventure. More photos can be seen on the climbnow facebook page.

Iain and Wilson nearing the end of the adventure.

Iain and Wilson nearing the end of the adventure.

Skye

On Monday and Tuesday this week I was working for Infinity Adventure on a TV shoot on the Isle of Skye. The TV shoot was for an American channel and featured a Holywood ‘A’ list celebrity as well as a very well know British celebrity.

We spent time mountaineering in The Cuillin  as well as being safety crew for activities such as cliff jumping and coasteering on the Elgol sea cliffs.

The helicopter bringing in some of the film crew.

The helicopter bringing in some of the film crew.

The Cuillin of Skye

After spending Monday and Tuesday last week rock climbing in the Lake District, I then spent Wednesday and Thursday delivering coaching courses on behalf of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS). These courses are aimed at Instructors who wish to improve their coaching skills. For more details visit the MCofS website.

On Friday I travelled to Skye with the Falkirk High Tops Team for our annual September Cuillin trip.

The Cuillin of Skye from Elgol.

The Cuillin of Skye from Elgol.

We began the trip on Saturday by traversing the ridge from Sgurr na Banachdich to Sgurr a’Mhaidiadh taking in Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh on the way. This is an excellent section of the ridge involving grade 3 scrambling that is best when dry.

On Sunday we took a boat trip for Elgol to the Coruisk Hut from where we climbed the ultra classic Dubh Ridge. This route is thought to be the best rock climb of its grade in the United Kingdom and did not disappoint. We continued over Sgurr Dubh Mor and the Sgumain Stone Shoot to Glen Brittle campsite where we had previously left vehicles.

Gayle abseiling on the Dubh Ridge.

Gayle abseiling on the Dubh Ridge.

The excellent weather of the previous two days continued on Monday. To finish our trip we made an ascent of The Cioch. This brilliant summit has many routes of all grades catering for all abilities of climber and provided an excellent finale to our trip.

Wilson and Mercy on the Dubh Ridge with Sgurr Dubh Mor behind.

Wilson and Mercy on the Dubh Ridge with Sgurr Dubh Mor behind.