Monday, 29 July 2013

Skye Friday

After Tuesdays walk conditions deteriorated to the point that the guide (Tony) was unwilling to take us onto the hills due mainly to the strong winds. However, with time running out we had to condense four days walking into two.

We were up at 4.45am – parked up and ready to walk in Glen Brittle at 6.00am. After the poor weather it was a relief that yesterday afternoon it had brightened up considerably. There was hardly a cloud in the sky when we started and it was obvious that it was going to be hot. Fortunately on the walk in to Coir’ a Ghunndia we were shaded by the towering mountains that we were walking towards. As we gained height the views were simply stunning with the clouds inverting the sea covered in cloud whilst the islands of Rhum and Eig poking out through the cloud.

We soon reached the loch at about 2,500ft in this the most magical of corries. We then headed east to reach the ridge leading to Sgurr na Eag we reached the summit to be greeted with superb views. We retraced our steps picking up our haversacks before continuing along the ridge. Leaving them again for the climb to Sgurr Dubh Mor. We were harnessed up with helmets on as there was a fair bit of simple climbing and a lot of scrambling to reach the summit.
Sgurr Dubh Mor from Sgurr nan Eag

The view looking south-east from the summit of Sgurr nan Eag
As we were making our way back towards the haversacks a Raven flew past us carrying a sandwich! On returning to the bags they had opened the zip on Joys bag and removed all her sandwiches, two packets of crisps and a Mars bar! They had been in Karen’s bag and had all of her medical supplies were spread all over. Tony was telling us he had had clients that have lost wallets, cheque books, designer sunglasses etc. Apparently it is a real problem, due to the nature of the ridge and the retracing of the route to reach the outliers, they just wait for you to disappear and in they go!

The heat was tremendous by now, and not being the slimmest I was struggling a little. I had already drunk two litres of water. On the way to the highest of the Cullin summits Sgurr Alasdair there was a natural spring so we filled our bottles up and continued. So far the day had been relatively easy but the next two babies were in a different league. We traversed under the south ridge of Sgurr Alasdair, then with Tony leading we climbed very steep slopes towards the summit, clinging on like limpets. As we reached the crest we had about 100 yards to cover to the cairn, it was narrow, very narrow. On reaching the cairn we sat down for safety reasons. It was like the five of us were sitting on my dining room table with a 3000ft drop on either side. We all took a look at Sgurr Mhic Choinnich and didn’t fancy it at all! We dropped down to the col and then climbed up over an intermediate top before dropping steeply to the base of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich making our way along Collie’s Ledge a path in the cliff face about a foot wide in places which is the only way to access ‘The Mhic’ without climb up the cliff. We then faced another climb to the summit which again was very airy. The ridge continued but we dropped down the An Stac screes to return to Glen Brittle. However filling our eyeline on the way down was Sgurr Dearg and the Inaccessible Pinnacle which for most hill walkers is their Nemisis!
The four of us perched on the “Dining Room Table” on top of Sgurr Alasdair

That is the way we came up!

Sgurr Mhic Chonnich that was airy as well

Sgurr Dearg and the ‘In Pin’

No comments: