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Sgurr nan Gillean - The Return!

Sgurr nan Gillean - The Return!


Postby JimboJim » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:33 pm

Route description: Sgùrr nan Gillean

Munros included on this walk: Sgùrr nan Gillean

Date walked: 15/10/2020

Time taken: 6.3 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 985m

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After the two southern Cuillin Munro's the day before, I headed down to Broadford to stay the night, well pleased with my efforts. Had a wee (very wee, 25ml) Highland Park to celebrate. £5.25 :shock: Wasn't so pleased with that!

Anyway, I did enjoy it and breakfast next day was grand, contemplating meeting Steve and what lay ahead - Sgurr nan Gillean! Had visited it previously, but had to turn back near the top https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=89765
I knew I would find it pushed my tolerance of exposure to the limit, but had the reassurance of Steve's knowledge, experience and equipment to help out.... hopefully.

Steve, near caught me unawares with his early arrival on Skye, but didn't take me too long to bail out my room with my bags and catch him up at the Sligachan Inn. After sorting out some climbing gear and rope, we were soon on our way. Conditions looking reasonably clear and not too breezy.
SnanG1.JPG
Heading in. Just about managed the bridge without too much difficulty :)

The thing about the walk in, apart from scenic waterfalls, spectacular, surrounding mountains, is the hugely impressive and dominant stature of Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Bastier....... unless it is in the clag. Hard to keep the mind off it, much as I wanted to :D
SnanG2.JPG
SnanG and Am Bastier, the Executioner, ahead.

We took more direct line up the hanging corrie than I seem to remember from the first time, when we were more to the left. It required a bit of awkward scrambling, but nothing too problematic. Then comes the the just as awkward clambering over boulders and loose stones to the SE ridge, which seems to grow in steepness the further one as ends.
SnanG3.JPG
Raised corrie to climb, before crossing boulderfield to SE ridge. Hard enough to find way up/down here in poor vis.
SnanG4.JPG
SE Ridge, Knight's Peak, Pinnacle Ridge.

We climbed a smallish sort of chimney/cleft, then keeping more to the Lota Corrie side, which seemed pretty near where we came to a halt last time. Made a few trickier moves upwards here although probably just the exposure beginning to make it so.
SnanG5.JPG
Steve, heading up SE ridge. Wouldn't have made it without him holding my hand.
SnanG6.JPG
Some of the Cuillin Ridge.
SnanG7.JPG
Across to Am Bastier summit, Am Bastier Tooth and Bruach na Frithe.
SnanG8.JPG
Across Lota Corrie to south end of ridge.
SnanG8a.jpg
Plodding up the ridge.

My rucksack seemed to be getting in the way, as was my walking pole, so I decided to abandoned both, not really thinking of anything I might need higher up! Not the cleverest move :lol:
SnanG9.JPG
Last tricky wee bit to the summit.

The scrambling became more difficult and Steve quickly left me floundering up, round and over various bits, till there appeared to be not much more "up" to negotiate. That does not mean the trouble is over, oh no, still a few narrow, exposed manoeuvres, bum sliding and crawling to go :shock: Not helped by various others who appeared to wander over the ridge without the slightest care in the world. What a sight I must have looked :lol:
SnanG10.JPG
Across Glen Sligachan, to Blaven.
SnanG11.JPG
Loch Sligachan and Glamaig, from the top.
SnanG12a.jpg
Me, summit of Sgurr nan Gillean. Something to shout about ..... or, just taking my first breath in ages :)
SnanG12.JPG
Across to Sgurr a Basteir.
SnanG13a.jpg
The last airy, hairy, scary wee stretch to the summit.
SnanG13.JPG
Steve, makes it look like a dawdle.

Nevertheless, I made it! Didn't know whether to laugh or, cry :? Took in the fantastic views toward Sligachan, Red Cuillin, Am Bastier, Sgurr Na Uamha, etc, etc and tried to restore normal function to legs and airways.
SnanG14.JPG
Climbers on west ridge.

All too soon, it was time to reverse the process. Memory tells me leaving the summit seemed less problematic, but am sure video would prove otherwise. I suspected we were taking slightly different route down, especially when Steve started to probe around looking for decent descent route for me. He didn't seem comfy with the options and suggested he rope me down. It was now my faux pas, of leaving climbing harness in rucksack didn't seem so clever! Nevertheless, I didn't feel too bothered about the downclimb, despite not knowing what lay below. Once he had set up the belay and fixed the rope round my belly, I edged my way down a narrow flute, without too much difficulty, though I probably took ages.
SnanG15.JPG
I was scared just watching Steve walk up and down this slab.
SnanG16.JPG
Steve and a female we joined up with for the descent, check out possible ways down. Eventually, I got roped off about here.
SnanG17.JPG
Steve, still looking for way down. Sgurr na H-Uamha, at the end of the ridge.
SnanG18.JPG
Steve, still probing :)

Once down, Steve and Australian lassie, traversed a bit back and down what must have been close to our way up. There weren't too many difficulties from there, back down ridge, across boulders, to the initial corrie, though when descending here, Steve dislodged a pretty big boulder, which fair crashed down a long way. Shows what can happen and brought back to mind my experience on Sgurr Alasdair. https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=87739
SnanG19.JPG
Happy chappy.
SnanG20.JPG
Zoom to Sgurr na h-Uamha.
SnanG21.JPG
On way back out.
SnanG22.JPG
Marsco, on the way out.

From there the walk back to Sligachan is pretty. Pretty hills, pretty waterfalls and pretty long, or it seems that way despite it not being a particularly big hike. Wish Steve and I could have parted with a wee pint in the Sligachan Inn before I hit the long road back, but Covid put paid to that, however I enjoyed the long drive home, buzzing, but yet perplexed in a way, that I had now climbed on of the Skye toughies. Whether I try, or succeed doing any more remains to be seen. :wink:
Last edited by JimboJim on Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JimboJim
Walker
 
Posts: 658
Munros:268   Corbetts:38
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:22
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

Re: Sgurr nan Gillean - The Return!

Postby Wanderlust7 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:56 pm

Well done you Jimmy. Braver than you think. But we were certainly blessed with outstanding weather and views to die for.

You only have a few more on Skye left to finish 2021 will be a better year for sure.

Great report and thanks for your company, as always.
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Wanderlust7
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Re: Sgurr nan Gillean - The Return!

Postby jenniferc6 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:00 pm

Great report, I was on Sgurr nan Gillean that day too and it was brilliant weather for it :D I see myself in one of your photos about to 'thread the needle' on the way down!
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jenniferc6
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Re: Sgurr nan Gillean - The Return!

Postby JimboJim » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:07 pm

jenniferc6 wrote:Great report, I was on Sgurr nan Gillean that day too and it was brilliant weather for it :D I see myself in one of your photos about to 'thread the needle' on the way down!


Ah, so, it was you :D Thanks for kind words. It was a fine day. Just as well for me. You looked like you were having fun. Rather jealous, but I was just relieved to make it up the "easy" way. Here's another of you.
Eag Gillean 193_1067_800.JPG


All the best!
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JimboJim
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Location: Lochgilphead

Re: Sgurr nan Gillean - The Return!

Postby JimboJim » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:11 pm

Too kind, Steve! Only a few more left on Skye, sounds so easy ......... :lol:

Look forward to many more fine days on the hills for sure and thanks again for your great patience and encouragement.

Jas

Wanderlust7 wrote:Well done you Jimmy. Braver than you think. But we were certainly blessed with outstanding weather and views to die for.

You only have a few more on Skye left to finish 2021 will be a better year for sure.

Great report and thanks for your company, as always.
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JimboJim
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Posts: 658
Munros:268   Corbetts:38
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:22
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

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