Moody In Pinn, photo by Cameron
Quick update while BB is running; hopefully long enough to let me upload. Apologies to anyone missing a blog about their days out or updates on Skye weather. Investing in Highland Wifi is looking likely:-(
Sword fighting on the Cioch
It has been incredibly busy with 7 Skye Guides out working pretty much constantly for the past 5 week; a massive thank you to Gillian, Scott, Andy, Lou, John and Francis. Thanks also to Cameron and Nathan who both added help, enthusiasm and youth on their work placements from the UHI Outdoor course in Broadford.
“Just a short note to say you have one very happy client after my trip up Gillean and Bhastair with Lou. It was just a brilliant, brilliant day. Lou was excellent and we all got something out of it, which as we all had different experience and capabilities was a great testament to her and the Ridge! “
“Both Scott and John were excellent guides. Personally, I was very challenged by some of the terrain, but they were a great help; ten Munros bagged, incl. the In Pinn!”
Picture Lou Reynolds
Rain was forecast for the afternoon so we set off for the Pinn at 8am. Roger’s gang are a fit bunch and no slouches on the scrambling too; a good job as the weather deteriated just as we reached the foot.
A strange mixture of an orange caped man and fixed ropes greeted us. Francis Lou & I braced ourselves for a long cold wait but, to be fair, the “Everest” tactics worked well and the team ahead hardly slowed us at all. Snow flakes flew past us but the rocks seemed friendly today and everyone shot up without any hesitation.
After fun on the abseil descent conditions deteriated far more so we warmed up by heading rapidly over to Sgurr na Banachdaich and down for an early bath.
The Black Cuillin landlords have announced that permits will be issued for teams making ascents of the Inaccessible Pinnacle this summer.
Traffic jams are commonplace on most fine days
A spokesman explained- “Queueing to climb the In Pinn has become a real problem in recent years. To sort this out a system with hour-long slots will be allocated between 4am and 5pm. A new high-speed internet connection at the campsite will allow climbers to book a slot either before they leave home, as they depart the Glen or even when they reach the foot of the climb.”
“The situation has got worse in recent years” agreed local mountain guide Mike Lates of Skye Guides. “Something certainly needed to be done. I’m just happy that they aren’t charging for these permits.”
Solitude on the Pinn as it used to be.
The campsite facilities have had a total overhaul this winter and the fine weather has allowed work to finish ahead of time. Wet-weather attractions available now include an extensive bouldering wall, cafe sauna and jacuzzi.
The stunning weather today belied the serious nature of the snow conditions. Rock hard on the rise out of Coire na Banachdaich became a wee bit slushy on the descent to the foot of the Pinn and then deep and unconsolidated on sunny slopes by the end of the day. Not a complaint but, with a perfect forecast, it is certainly a warning to concentrate through the week ahead.
Enjoy the pics-
Skye-born Munro-bagger’s link with Cuillin history.
In May this year our Skye Guide Malcom Airey guided 79 year old Alasdair MacPherson, along with his daughter Fiona, on an ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle. Malcolm was amazed to hear that Alasdair had once met the great Cuillin pioneer Professor J. Norman Collie.
Alasdair was born in Kraiknish by Eynort in 1932, the 2nd of 7 sons born to Duncan & Margaret MacPherson. In 1938, on a return journey from an auntie’s house in the Braes, he was taken to the Sligachan Hotel. It was here that Norman Collie was pointed out to him in the hotel lounge. Although his own encounter was very limited it seems that Collie was well known amongst the local crofters both through the hotel and accompanying him on the hill.
Collie had discovered the joys of climbing on Skye in 1887 and went on to pioneer many climbs throughout the world but made no secret that his heart lay in the Cuillin. He had retired to Skye shortly before Alasdair’s encounter with him and lived at the hotel for nearly a decade looking out on the peaks he knew so well. He died in 1942 and was laid to rest in a grave adjoining that of his Skye Guide and good friend John Mackenzie for whom he had so much admiration.
Alasdair himself left the island at the age of 18, qualified as a veterinary surgeon at Glasgow University and is now retired and living in Stonehaven. Having climbed the hardest of all the Munros he now has only 34 peaks left to compleat his round.
My Bangor Uni mate Julian with wife Bizzie and friends Ian, Gary and Chris hit lucky on the first day of their week with the first dry day on the Pinn all week. Early drizzle lifted in spectacular style giving us broken spectres and cloud-bows.
The brief glory wasn’t forecast to last and damp mist was steaming up the specs before we reached the top but the holds stayed dry just long enough.
We cracked on to Mhiccoinnich too and were descending the An Stac screes before the real rain arrived. Good snatch against the odds again. 🙂