Skye Scrambling

For the last 3 days I have been on Skye taking people out scrambling around the Cuillin ridge.

On Friday I was with Jo and Eifian who were on their last day of their honeymoon.  With their legs still sore from heading up Ben Nevis earlier on in the week we headed up Bruach na Frithe via the north-west ridge.  The sun was out all day and it was very hot.  We made our way up from the Fairy Pools car park and then headed up the ridge where the scrambling begins.  Picking our way round and through the small rocky outcrops we made our way to the summit for lunch and their second Munro.  We then headed round to Sgurr a Fionn Choire and headed down the choire back to the path to the fairy pools, a good day all round.

On Saturday I met up with Louise from Glen Brittle SYHA and her friend Lorna who had driven up from Glasgow.  Plans had been made to head up the Inn’ Pinn’, so with the weather still amazing we went for it.  With a pretty unforgiving ascent up the west face of Sgurr Dearg, we were glad that we had decided to make an early start.  We then had a pleasant scramble along the ridge to the summit where the full view of the Inn’ Pinn is revealed.  We headed to the base and got our gear on and then I headed up the east ridge with Lorna following on her first rock climb!  The girls did really well and held their nerve and we were soon at the top!  Just for the ab’ off, which was done in style, with amazing views all round.

Still having time we descended the grade 2 slope round An Stac towards Sgurr Mhic Choinnich to get another Munro.  With a few tricky steps up to the top we were there by mid afternoon.  With great views all day we spent a moment on the top taking it all in.  Just for the decent now down the An Stac screes, which is a very quick way down.

On Sunday the 3 of us headed up to Bruach na Frithe, but this time in total cloud and very poor visibility.  When we got onto the ridge proper the cloud cleared a little to make the rocky buttresses a bit more intimidating.  After Bruach na Frithe we headed down the scree past An Basteir and then headed up the east ridge.  Which is little more than a walk apart from some steep slabs and big drops.

Now, for the final challenge of Sgurr nan Gillean.  We ropped up and walked round to the start of the first pitch of climbing called Tooth grove which the girls did well on, and were then stunned by the next section of airy pinnacles and steep drops to get along the arête.  After some nervous looks they both made it over amongst the cloud, even with a few other climbers around them.  With a few easier sections tackled we headed towards the enjoyable section of climbing through the eye of the needle which is a big hole in the rock.  Shortly after we were at the summit of our 5th Munro of the weekend with a few glimpses of Pinnacle ridge and the mountains beyond amongst the cloud.  We reversed the route and at the arête section we ab’ed down Tooth chimney, which is not easy in the damp conditions moving over chockstones and boulders on the way down.  Louise and Lorna did well to get down unscathed and we were soon back at the bags for a walk down Coire a Bhasteir, in the thick cloud with a very faint path over the slabby buttresses, which I lost a few times.

A good 3 days on the ridge and 2 very good days of weather, tomorrow I am out for another 4 days and the weather looks to be as good, I can’t wait.

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