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.

Curved Ridge

Alex, Ivor and I had a great day out today climbing Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor. This is a classic Glencoe scramble and highly recommended.

Great rock scrambling in Glencoe.

Great rock scrambling in Glencoe.

St.Sunday Crag

Tam, Alec and Gayle on Pinnacle Ridge

Tam, Alec and Gayle on Pinnacle Ridge

The Falkirk High Tops Team and I visited the Lake District today. The original plan had been to visit Glencoe but with forecast torrential rain we opted to go south. This proved to be a good choice as we had dry weather all day.

We completed the classic scramble Pinnacle Ridge on St. Sunday Crag.  The rock was dry. The crux corner is currently very green and requires care.

People often have difficulty locating this route. The best way to locate the route is to look back down into Grisedale. Directly downhill from the route is a large sheep pen which appears to be part of a wall. Just underneath the ridge is a large fan of scree.

As the guidebooks suggest, this is one of the best scrambles in the Lake District.

Wilson, Bob and John enjoying Pinnacle Ridge.

Wilson, Bob and John enjoying Pinnacle Ridge.

 

The Cobbler Traverse

The Falkirk High Tops Team and I were out today in the Arrochar Alps near Loch Lomond. We climbed the South East Ridge of the South Summit of The Cobbler (Moderate) before abseiling to the col after a very brief stop on top. Some of the team continued to the Central Summit while others returned to the valley.

It is worth noting that all the abseil tat required to descend from the South Summit in anything but perfect conditions has vanished! We have put a new length of 10 mm rope through the thread anchor which will hopefully remain in place.

The weather was very challenging today but all members of the team did a great job in the conditions.

Part way up the South East Ridge of The Cobbler.

Part way up the South East Ridge of The Cobbler.

The Slant, Cairngorms

I have been out today in the Cairngorms with Wilson, Bob, Paul and John from the Falkirk High Tops Team. We walked into Coire an t-Sneachda with the aim of doing some scrambling.

The approach to Coire an t-Sneachda.

The approach to Coire an t-Sneachda. Winter is almost here!

 

We were greeted by lots of snow and rime on the rocks so opted for ‘The Slant’ on Mess of Pottage. In the conditions we found, the route was interesting and provided some fun moves on rock linked by grassy ledges.

The team climbing on 'The Slant'.

The team climbing on ‘The Slant’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The turf on the buttresses is not frozen. This will have to improve before winter climbing is an option.

Descending from Point 1141m.

Descending from Point 1141m.

 

Pygmy Ridge and Afterthought Arete, Cairngorms

Out today in the Cairngorms with Harry and Fiona. After meeting in the ski centre car park and being pleasantly surprised to find the majority of the cloud below us we headed in to Coire an t-Sneachda and climbed Pygmy Ridge.

Harry & Fiona high on Pygmy Ridge

Harry & Fiona high on Pygmy Ridge

We approached the route via the line of Central Left Hand and then a short traverse, which works well. The rock and turf on Central Left Hand were damp from having been in cloud, but the rock on Pygmy Ridge was dry.

Near the top of Pygmy Ridge

Near the top of Pygmy Ridge

We then headed over to the Loch Avon Basin and climbed Afterthought Arete on Stag Rocks. Again the rock was dry and we enjoyed excellent views from the route.

Harry on Afterthought Arete

Harry on Afterthought Arete

A stroll back over the plateau and a wander down Fiacaill Coire Cas completed a very good day out. Lots of ptarmigan about in their autumn plummage and the odd hare.

Fiona and Harry with Carn Etchachan behind

Fiona and Harry with Carn Etchachan behind

Dry all day with light easterly winds. As we descended the cloud was rolling in over the plateau.

Innaccessible Pinnacle and Sgurr Mhiccoinnich

Keith and I are just back from a quick visit up to Skye having headed up late yesterday and out on the hill today. The forecast was for rain and strengthening winds later in the day so we had an early start and approached Sgurr Dearg from Glenn Brittle via Bealach Coire na Banachdaich. We then ascended the Innaccessible Pinnacle with Keith climbing it via the West Ridge, the harder short side.

Keith climbing the West Ridge of the Inn Pinn

Keith climbing the West Ridge of the Inn Pinn

After a quick bite we descended the South East Flank route of Sgurr Dearg to reach Bealach Coire Lagan and then headed up the long North Ridge of Sgurr Mhiccoinnich. We reversed the North Ridge to the near the bealach before descending the An Stac Screes and out via Coire Lagan.

Keith happy near the top of the Inn Pinn

Keith happy near the top of the Inn Pinn

Despite the fact the rain didn’t arrive until we were walking out the ridge was in cloud all day and the rock was wet. Care is required in these conditions particularly when moving from the good friction of the gabbro onto the much slippier basalt. In these sort of cloudy conditions on the ridge route finding can be very tricky and prior knowledge is definitely helpful. It was raining very heavily as we left.

The initial steep steps of Sgurr Mhiccoinich in the background

The initial steep steps of Sgurr Mhiccoinich in the background

Keith was particularly happy to summit both these hills today as he’s now completed all the Skye Munros.

Keith at the summit of Sgurr Mhiccoinnich

Keith at the summit of Sgurr Mhiccoinnich

The Aonoch Eagach, Glen Coe

Out scrambling on the Aonoch Eagach with John and a Falkirk Community Trust team of Ian, Isobel, Mercy, Morag, Vanda and Wilson today. We did the ridge from East to West and had good dry conditions as far as the pinnacles and then some light drizzle and low cloud.

Near the start of the Aonoch Eagach

Near the start of the Aonoch Eagach

 A relatively quiet Saturday on the Aonoch Eagach with only a few other people around, perhaps the forecast for further east or the days sporting events kept people away.

John, Ian, Mercy and Wilson nearing the final difficulties

John, Ian, Mercy and Wilson nearing the final difficulties

The team at the summit of Sgorr nam Fiannaidh

The team at the summit of Sgorr nam Fiannaidh

Scrambling in Glencoe

Today I have been out with John, Fiona, Harry, Paul, Bob, Mercy and Wilson from the Falkirk High Tops Team. We parked in Glen Etive and crossed a very low River Etive to gain access to the slopes of Sron na Creise. Once over we completed the grade 3 scramble which finishes on the summit of Stob a’ Ghlas Choire. After some lunch we descended a grade 1 ridge and returned to the bus.

The weather was beautiful all day and all the rock buttresses we were on were dry.

Enjoyable scrambling on good rock.

Enjoyable scrambling on good rock.

High on Sron na Creise.

High on Sron na Creise.

 

The Cuillin of Skye

For the past few days, John, Keith, Martin and I have been on Skye mountaineering in The Cuillin. Conditions on the ridge at the moment are quite difficult for this time of year. Each day it snowed putting down wet snow which increases the difficulty of the summits. We wore crampons three out of the four days at various points although if trying to do each of the peaks in isolation this may be avoidable. Despite the difficult conditions we still managed to climb eight Munros and two other summits.

It was a great week and the summits felt even more alpine than normal with the large amounts of snow that are still present.

John climbing on The Cuillin.

John climbing on The Cuillin.

Keith and John scrambling with Sgurr Alasdair behind.

Keith and John scrambling with Sgurr Alasdair behind.