Cuillin munro bagging.
Life on Skye this week was pretty good. The rock was dry, the views immense and the company was excellent. We reached all eleven Cuillin munros in four days and threw in a few bonus extras as well!
You never know who you will end up with on a shared experience such as our Cuillin Munro Bagging trip. It normally works out pretty well, but this time it worked out very well indeed. James, Kev and Jimmy are from different parts of the country and different backgrounds, and they also have different experience of walking and scrambling in our mountains. Despite this, we all got on very well and were matched very evenly with pace and technical ability.
Our first day was in the southern end of the Cuillin. We walked up to Coire a'Grunda and gazed into the sparklingly clear water of the loch before walking up to the end munro, Sgurr nan Eag. Heading back north we went over Sgurr Dubh an da Bheinn to go out to Sgurr Dubh Mor. This has some nice scrambnling on excellent rock and gives a brilliant view of the whole ridge. We went back in and skirted the southern cliffs of Sgurr Alasdair to reach the gargoyles and climb Sgurr Alasdair via the Bad Step. It was a cold day in a strong breeze despite the sunshine and after we'd walked down the great stone chute and back to the campsite we all had a good mix of sunburn and windburn on our faces. At least the midges were blown away from the campsite.
On day two we went straight back up into Coire Laggan but this time we went up over the An Stac Screes. This got us onto the ridge and a lovely ridge scramble over to Sgurr MhicCoinich, a brilliant vantage point and a very airy summit. We went back and climbed straight up the front of An Stac to reach the Inaccessible Pinnacle. This we climbed by the east ridge and abseiled the west ridge. The most iconic munro did not disapoint and it was a great place to learn how to abseil for two of our guys! The walk up to Sgurr Banachdich was pretty chilled out as was the walk down to Glen Brittle afterwards.
We left Glen Brittle for the third day to reach the northern three munros. We started with the West Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean via the nicely exposed pinnacles and the superbly exposed gas vent breccia higher up. Heading back down we went over to Am Basteir and enjoyed the journey down to the nick next to the Basteir Tooth before going underground and abseiling out of Kings Cave Chimney. This involves two abseils, the second of which is really cool! A short walk got us to Bruach na Frithe before a long walk out to the pub and a welcome cold beer (or two).
The last day was our bad weather day. There was a little cloud and the chance of a shower in the evening. We took this in our stride though and did the shortest of the four days, up to Sgurr a'Greadaidh and Sgurr a'Mhadaidh. It turned out to be a popular choice so we didn't go straight up to An Dorus; instead we went over to the Thuilm Ridge of Sgurr a'Mhadaih and climbed this fantastic narrow crest to the summit. This is very worthwhile, a very impressive ridge in a stunning position that is actually quite simple scrambling. We went over to the last munro, Sgurr a Greadaidh, enjoying saying hello to the other teams but never getting in each other's way and soaked up the quiet peace on the summit for a while before heading back down to Glen Brittle.
When it's good, it's the best place to be in the world! The Cuillin on Skye are quite unique and absolutely wonderful. I'm so glad we had such a good week to enjoy the place and delighted that we had such a good group to spend the time with. James, Kev and Jimmy all did so well on the routes and the company was excellent. Let's hope for more of the same on our next Cuillin Munro Bagging trip on 24th to 27th September 2019.
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