Skye

The last four days I’ve been on Skye with John and a Falkirk Outdoors team of Donald, Euan, Fiona, Julie, Mel and Mike. On Sunday after travelling up we walked in from the Glen Brittle Youth Hostel to An Dorus and climbed Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh and Sgurr a’Mhadaidh in the cloud.

Euan and Donald on Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh.

On Monday we started form Sligachan and went up via Coire a’Bhasteir to ascend Sgurr nan Gillean via the West Ridge. We descended back to the bealach before heading out and back to Am Basteir and then nipping around and up Bruach na Frithe and descending via Fionn Choire.

The summit of Sgurr nan Gillean. Photo credit: Julie Stewart.

Tuesday looked like potentially the best weather day so we headed out to Sgurr nan Eag via Coire a’Ghrunnda before taking in Sgurr Dubh na Da Bheinn and Sgurr Dubh Mor. We then retraced our steps over Sgurr Dubh na Da Bheinn before heading around and up to Sgurr Alasdair via its South West Ridge. After that we descended to the top of the Great Stone Shoot,  before heading on over Sgurr Thearlaich and Sgurr MhicCoinnich via Hart’s/Collie’s Ledge and descending via Coire Lagan.

Mike, Euan and Donald descending Sgurr MhicCoinnich.

Yesterday the weather was worse than forecast, but thanks to a fine effort from the team we still managed to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle in very wet conditions approaching and returning via Coire na Banachdaich and Sgurr Dearg.

The girls on a very wet Inaccessible Pinnacle.

A great few days climbing all but one of the Black Cuillin Munros. Thanks to all the team for making it a very enjoyable and successful trip.

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.

Four Days and Four Seasons on Skye

I’m just back from spending Monday to Thursday on Skye with Marian and Hazel. We visited all eleven Munros on the Skye Ridge over the four days and experienced some very varied weather.

Hazel and Marian with Sgurr Alasdair and Sgurr Thearlaich behind on June 2!

Hazel and Marian with Sgurr Alasdair and Sgurr Thearlaich behind on 2nd of June!

On Monday with wet snow down to around 750m and sleet falling from early afternoon we had an early start and went up Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh and Sgurr a’Mhadaidh from An Dorus.

Marian and Hazel just above the chimney on The South-West Ridge of Sgurr Alasdair

Marian and Hazel just above the chimney on The South-West Ridge of Sgurr Alasdair

The forecast had worsened for Tuesday, but we decided to attempt Sgurr nan Eag, Sgurr an Dubh Mor via Sgurr Dubh na Da Bheinn and Sgurr Alasdair via it’s South-West Ridge and descend The Great Stone Shoot. Fresh snow and fairly constant sleet/rain made for a long day. However, the occasional break in the clouds gave amazing views and successfully completing the planned route made it very rewarding.

Hazel and Marian on top of Am Basteir with Sgurr nan Gillean behind

Hazel and Marian on top of Am Basteir with Sgurr nan Gillean behind

The best weather of the week on Wednesday saw us traversing Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe in sunshine or broken cloud for most of the day.

Marian and Hazel in cloud on the top slab of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Marian and Hazel in cloud on the top slab of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Thursday didn’t live up to it’s better forecast and we spent most of the day in cloud and later steady drizzle as we visited Sgurr na Banachdich, The Inaccessible Pinnacle and Sgurr Mhic Choinnich.

Hazel lowering off the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Hazel lowering off the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Skye, as usual, didn’t disappoint and Marian and Hazel coped brilliantly with all the weather had to throw at us. An excellent few days in very good company.

The sun on Wednesday and drizzle on Thursday had cleared most of the fresh snow by the time we left. However, the odd patch was still making some slabby sections quite treacherous and care was definitely required. I’ll put some more photos up on the Facebook page.

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.