The Inaccessible Pinnacle and Sgurr Mhic Choinnich
by Redrock » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:05 am
Route description: Sgurr Dearg and the In Pinn
Munros included on this walk: Inaccessible Pinnacle, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich
Date walked: 04/06/2011
Time taken: 10.8 hours
Distance: 9.5 km
Ascent: 1186m5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
When you are offered the chance of climbing the In Pin with an experienced climber you drop everything and go - don't you! That's what I thought - but then I started to wonder: Is this really wise? Can I cope with the exposure? And what about my climbing ability? So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I set our with my three companions, Bod, Val and Steve, from the Glen Brittle Memorial Hut at 6:30am feeling rather chilly and wondering if the wind would drop and the cloud would clear. We headed west up the path from the memorial hut and were soon greeted by the delightful sight of Eas Mol waterfall and the oasis of life around it, complete with the sound of a cuckoo.
This lifted our spirits and soon we were heading off up the east ridge of Sgurr Dearg gaining height quite quickly.
Looking back we could see Glen Brittle now catching the morning sunshine.
We continued climbing past Window Butress towards the summit of Sgurr Dearg.
And then, like some giant prehistoric monster waiting to devour us, the Inaccessible Pinnacle appeared lurking in the mist.
Soon we were on the summit ridge of Sgurr Dearg looking up at the In Pin and it was time to get kittted up with the climbing gear. It was still early and we had the whole place to ourselves - what a great feeling! And it was time to meet with the challenge of the In Pin.
We carefully descended the slabs by the Pin and gathered at the start of the climb - preparing ourselves for the ascent.
Steve prepared the way for us on the route up the east ridge and it looked rather steep from where we were standing.
It was time! Val started the climb first and I followed with Bod bring up the rear, clearing the route and taking photos! My mind was concentrated on the finding all the holds and I hardly noticed the drop on either side. I normally don't take well to exposure - but having a good hold of the rock at all times and a good rope for safety - made all the difference.
Progress was steady but I have now idea how long it took. But we made it and were soon standing on the summit platform of the In Pin. I had to have a picture at the summit but I was content just to touch the top of the boulder that forms the highest point.
We spent a few moments admiring the view from the summit - but now it was time to descend back onto Sgurr Dearg as there were others arriving to claim the Pin for themselves.
The view of the In Pin from the summit of Sgurr Dearg really highlighted the strange boulder at the summit; the one which is regularly used for abseiling. It seems to change its shape depending on the angle from which it is viewed. It seemed to me like an Easter Island statue from a vantage point on Sgurr Dearg.
By now we were hungry. Climbing the In Pin had given us an appetite. So it was time for a wee break and bit of lunch while we watched some other climbers enjoying the airy exposure of the pinnacle above us - including one who climbed up onto the summit boulder. He was down again, safely I'm glad to say, before we had time to reach for our cameras!
After lunch it was time to decend the slabs beside the Inaccessible Pinnacle again - this time heading for Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. We proceeded very gingerly as a slip on that ground could have serious consequences. The view from here of Sgurr Alasdair across Corrie Lagan was stunning!
We took great care going down the slabs and eventually reached safer ground below An Stac were we took a moment to look back up at the In Pin to see it from a less familiar perspective.
Soon Sgurr Mhic Choinnich came into view at the far end of the Corieachan Ruadha Crags. We were going to be making our way along them!
So we took off our ruchsacs, stashed them in a cave and headed off along the ridge towards the crags. They looked totally impregnable as we walked towards them!
After much scrambling - both up and down - we gained the ridge and were soon heading towards the summit.
Finally we reached the summit of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich and the team posed for a summit photo. And even the In Pin manged to get into the shot!
From here it was back down the way we came taking in views of the In Pin and Sgurr na Banachdich on the way. The An Stac screes on the left (west) of the ridge looked pretty steep from there - but I was assured that they were to be our way down!
The In Pin remained busy all day with groups of climbers still making their way to the top.
For us, now, it was time to come down off the mountain having retraced our steps along the ridge. We descended the An Stac screes in style with Bod demonstrating the technique!
It was a relief to reach the bottom of the screes and take a momenst rest by the Corrie Lagan Lochan.
All that remained was the walk back out to the Glen Brittle Camp Site. Looking back at the mountains their alpine nature was very clear.
It was one of those days you remember for the rest of your life. There were mountain experiences aplenty up there all day and we were truly fortunate to enjoy it all in good weather. I enjoyed the challenges and I'm glad to say I overcame my fears in climbing the In Pin. But even the scrambling was challenging and exciting too. The Cullin are like no other Scottish mountains I have climbed. I've now got a taste of them - and I will be back!
by stomper » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:00 pm
by colgregg » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:19 pm
by Alan S » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:31 pm
Some nice pics, well done getting decent weather for this.
And well done for bagging Sgurr Mhic Choinnich also, i wanted to add this when we done the inn pinn but i think our guide wanted more money
by Redrock » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:09 am
stomper wrote:You certainly had better weather for the inn pinn then i did a few weeks back mind you at least i didn't see the exposure. The views look great 100% more than what i got. Thats why in Sept i am doing the inn pinn again (providing the weather is good) along with 4 i mist out on to complete Skye. Yes the holds going on up the inn pinn were great
Aye, stomper, we really did hit it right with the weather that day. But Skye is fickle - just the day before I had climbed Sgurr na Banachdaich in the hope of getting a wee preview of the In Pinn. But the cloud was right down and I couldn't see much past the end of my nose!
by Bod » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:30 pm
by Alastair S » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:42 pm
by Redrock » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:04 pm
Alastair S wrote:Nice one Red - great report & piccies and congrats on topping this moster. Also really good to see different views of the Inn Pinn.
Thanks Alastair. I wanted to show the In Pin from as many angles as possible and the conditions were good for photos. That boulder at the summit still intrigues me. I can't figure out it's shape - it looks so different depending on the angle of view. And it doesn't look too stable in some of the views! But I'm trusting that the mountain rescue people, who fixed the abseil chain under it, have assessed it well.
by pollyh33 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:40 pm
Really want to do this as well. Just away now to check out the guides available on Skye.
by Redrock » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:06 pm
pollyh33 wrote:Truly magnificient!!! All of it!!! No wonder you all look so happy in your photos
Really want to do this as well. Just away now to check out the guides available on Skye.
Thanks pollyh. It's mostly the others who look so happy in the photos - I'm the one who looks worried at times - climbing things like the In Pin, good grief! Skye is an amazing place to climb / walk - but you definitely need to have people with you who know the territory! And in places like the In Pin - they need to know the ropes too! Having said all that it was great fun. All the best with your ambition to go for the In Pin too!
by rockhopper » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:25 pm
by Redrock » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:32 pm
rockhopper wrote:Seem to have missed this first time round - great report redrock and some very helpful photos However, I think it'll be some time before I get near them and by the look of some of the photos maybe even longer until I pluck up the courage well done
Thanks Rockhopper! I surprised myself. With the right guide to give me confidence and rope-work properly in place - it made all the difference. I'm not one to go looking for extreme exposure - never will be - but this worked out okay. And actually, I really enjoyed it all!
by mountain thyme » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:44 pm
by Johnny Corbett » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:34 am
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