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.

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.

 

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.

 

Rhum

Jen and I have been on the Island of Rhum for the last few days. After arriving and settling in to the hostel in Kinloch Castle we went for an afternoon wander up Mullach Mor, which proved to be very rough pathless terrain with lots of tussocks, but gave great views of the island and across to Skye.

The accomodation - Kinloch Castle

The accomodation – Kinloch Castle

A late start the next day allowed us to traverse the Rhum Cuillin over two days with a bivvy high on Trallval. The bivvy was planned to let us hear the 1000s of Manx Shearwaters returning to their burrows after dark. This was an amazing experience with the bulk of the bird’s noisy activity seeming to be around midnight. The ridge gave an excellent walk with easy scrambling or more difficult options if desired, the final descent down from Sgurr nan Gillean is steep and a cup of tea in the well mainatined Dibidil bothy was most welcome.

Jen on Ainshval with Askival and Hallival behind

Jen on Ainshval with Askival and Hallival behind

On Tuesday we headed west via good tracks and stalker’s paths and walked up the granite hills of Orval and Ard Nev, which give great views of the Rhum Cuillin. A representative of the Lochaber Geo Park gave a very good, free and well attended talk on the geology of Rhum in the evening.

View from the bivvy site on Tallval with the Skye Cuillin in the distance

View from the bivvy site on Tallval with the Skye Cuillin in the distance

Our final day saw us out to the beautiful beaches of Kilmory and Samhnan Insir for some attempted swimming and excellent bouldering/short solos on the Torridonian sandstone in an idyllic setting with great views to Skye. A quick walk back to Kinloch allowed time for one last tasty cake in the Community Hall tea shop before catching the ferry back to Mallaig.

Bouldering at Samhnan Insir

Bouldering at Samhnan Insir

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.