I have spent the last two days ticking Munros and Tops with Ian. Yesterday we nipped in ahead of the hordes on Pinnacle Ridge and enjoyed the classic round of Coire Basteir, finishing with Bruach na Frithe. Today we started on Sgurr Mhadaidh and finished with Mhic Chonnich. The sun has been blazing both days and the cool breeze on the tops has been much appreciated. We have been over 8 Munros, 6 tops, descended 4 abseils and covered a huge amount of scrambling in the last two days. An amazing effort from Iain and hopefully tomorrow he will tick the Munros and tops on the south end of the ridge.
Climbing out of An Dorus
Looking north from Ghreadaidh
Sgurr Thuilm and North-West Skye
Ian on one of the many tops we visited
Chloe overcame all her dislike of exposure and big drops in no uncertain manner today as she talked herself every step of the way up the long East Ridge of the In Pinn. Sis Emma tried to claim some nervousness but was far too calm and smiley throughout.
The girls loved the scrambling and we headed over to Banachdaich before a rapid descent of the screes in Coire an Eich.
Easy scrambling with Coire Lagan peaks behind.
Fun running on the screes
A privelige to guide local physio Eve Bolton & hubby Paul today on their 6th wedding anniversary. Also along was best man Matt, a Cuillin virgin who thoroughly enjoyed his baptism of fire.
Local understanding was easy with a wet start and we agreed on a relaxed start to let the damp weather move through. The result was a midday set-off resulting in a dry day with ever improving views and not a sole to be seen! My guess is that many took the cloud as a welcome excuse to have a rest after such an excellent period of weather.
We climbed Mhic Choinnich, An Stac Direct then moved straight onto the Pinn for wedding cake & Talisker.
Malt whiskey appreciation continued when we got back to the Sligachan too.
Paul confidently striding along the back of Mhic Choinnich
The mists clear just as we top out
Eve relaxed despite the position
On An Stac Direct; possibly the best part of the whole Cuillin Ridge in my opinion.
Matt calms the nerves with Talisker
I went out with Sam and Tim for their final day of rope-work, route finding and scrambling coaching. We opted for the super classic traverse of Clach Glas and were rewarded with a fine, dry and windless day. We had a great time on the awesomely grippy rock and enjoyed all the route finding and decision making challenges. Good luck to Sam and Tim for their riding across Mongolia mission!
Tim leading the way up the initial slabby crest
Sam in the lead
Tim leading on a steep section
Sam practicing lassoing for Mongolia!
Descending under the cliffs of Bla Bheinn
Tim enjoying the scree running
Tim & Sam are actually off to Mongolia not the Alps next year but their rope skills should help them enjoy the unclimbed peaks out there with greater confidence. Both have shown good abilities and understanding and I let them keep each other safe for most of the outing today.
In cold but glorious weather we climbed Sgumain, Alasdair and Thearlaich
Final section of the south-west flank approach to Alasdair
An important exercise was setting up anchors for abseils and descending Sgurr Thearlaich direct certainly provided a testing challenge.
Tim on the top abseil with Blaven behind.
Sam holds the nerve a long way above Coire an Lochain
Turquoise waters of Loch Coire a’ Ghrunnda
I have been out with Robert and Malcolm for three days out of the last four and we have been up Gillean, Am Basteir, Mhic Chonnich, Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh, Banachdich and the In Pinn. It has been an excellent few days of Munro bagging, good weather and good company. It was also great to see the guys confidence and scrambling ability improve through the course. They went from slight concern at the prospect of the Tourist Route on Gillean to total self-confidence on the knife edge section between the north and south tops of Ghreadaidh.
Testing the frictional properties of the Gluteus Maximus!
Mal enjoying the exposure
Nearly at the top of Mhadaidh
Robert looking relaxed on the way down
Great view into Coriusk
Rob seeing the funny side while Mal climbs.
The crest is best!
Chloe, Emma and I lapped up the sunshine on a couple of rock climbs at Neist Point today.
Emma smearing on Sonamara, VS 4c.
Chloe topping out with An t-Aigeach, the Stallion’s Head, behind.
As the result of an inebriated conversation Tom had bought his Dad (Joe) and Uncle (Richard) a Christmas present which was a guided ascent of the In Pinn. Joe and Richard have been Cuillin enthusiasts for a long time, so long in fact that they even remember when the Great Stone Shoot was a good scree run! Despite the guys protests of being unfit we stormed up to the In Pinn in a fast time and hopped straight on to the East Ridge. In contrast to yesterdays cold and windy conditions today could not have been any more perfect. It was a magical day to be out in the Cuillin, dry rock, sunshine, good views and plenty of people out on the tops. There was still traces of ground frost near the top of Sgurr Dearg at 11am so bring a good sleeping bag if you are planning a traverse in the near future!
The In Pinn lurking behind Sgurr Dearg
Tom enjoying the approach to the In Pinn
If you look closely you can see 2 people at the top of the Stone Shoot, gives a good sense of the scale of Sgurr Alasdair and Thearlaich
Nearly at the Summit.
Joe showing good style and excellent socks on his abseil!
A pulse of baltic air removed the summery feel from the Cuillin today. I opted to avoid queuing for the Pinn and climbed the classic South Crack a 30m long Hard V Diff on the south face. Despite cold fingers Richard & Jo enjoyed this unusual first day in the Cuillin & we carried on to Banachdich to warm up & enjoy the views.
Mike on the South Crack (Taken from the halfway platform on the East Ridge)
I forgot my camera but hopefully Matt has some as he was also on the Pinn with Rob & Mal before taking them over to Mhicchoinnich. Whiskey was flowing before they’d even reached Coire Lagan apparently!
The heavy overnight rain that still hung around this morning soon cleared today to give ideal conditions.
Very full waterfall above the 2nd bridge on our approach.
Matt & I both headed up the Tourist Route with our clients; Tim & Sam learning to use a rope safely with me and Rob & Mal aiming to complete their Cuillin Munros.
Sun and Gillean clear just on cue
Beal Joker ropes put to good use at the crux of the “Tourist Route”
Mike, Sam and Tim contemplating the final narrow section to the summit of Gillean.
Sam & Tim compare notes with Am Basteir behind.
Just love it when you get good days unexpectedly!
Returning over the 1st bridge with the North End behind.