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The shortest ever Cuillin ridge walk

The shortest ever Cuillin ridge walk


Postby JohnJoe » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:45 pm

Date walked: 10/04/2012

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 9.3 km

Ascent: 1375m

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Having done four munros in the past three days, including CMD and Ben Nevis, we opted for a short route up onto the Cuillin ridge. My legs were aching so much from the previous days' walking that when I stopped and tried to stand still I couldn't stop wobbling.

We were aiming for Sgurr na Banachdich. The light drizzle turned into cloud at about 400m, making navigation with the map almost impossible. I took a compass bearing, forgetting that you cannot rely on them in the Cuillin because of the magnetic rock. We followed the bearing up into the thickening mist.
SNV30573.JPG


We reached the ridge in what I guess are pretty standard Cuillin conditions - rain, wind, and appalling visibility.
SNV30577.JPG


We were not sure which direction the summit was in. The compass needle swung violently in one direction, and although by this time I'd remembered about the magnetic rock, in the absence of a better idea we decided to follow it. We continued northwards for what must have been several hundred metres in steadily worsening conditions until we came to a large (ish) cairn at what seemed to be the highest point.
SNV30578.JPG


We couldn't see anymore ascent ahead, so concluded we had reached the top of whatever it was we were on, and decided to bring our mini traverse to an end. We initially tried to drop down directly from this summit, but the steep scree quickly turned to crags, and with rocks sliding down around us we decided to return to the ridge and go back the way we came. We climbed back up to the ridge, along it, and retraced our steps all the way back to the Glen Brittle Youth Hostel. It's not difficult to imagine how things could quickly go very wrong up there.

I sat in the Old Inn in Carbost trying to figure out where exactly we'd been. We must have come up somewhere in between Sgurr na Banachdich and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh. We definitely missed the summit of Banachdich, but probably only by a few metres. We may have missed the true summit of Ghreadaidh too, but since we were so close to both of them I'm definitely counting this as one on my Munro tally :D
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JohnJoe
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Re: The shortest ever Cuillin ridge walk

Postby Ranger » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:06 am

Interested in this as these are the final three main ridge Munros I've left to do.

We reached the ridge in what I guess are pretty standard Cuillin conditions - rain, wind, and appalling visibility.

Few would disagree with you there... :lol:

The compass needle swung violently in one direction, and although by this time I'd remembered about the magnetic rock, in the absence of a better idea we decided to follow it.

This one tickled me too - the compass is fecked but sod it, lets follow it anyway :lol:

My bet would be it was Banachdich you reached the summit of as Ghreadaidh I gather is somewhat precipitous!

I look forward to similar chaos on my imminent visit :D
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Re: The shortest ever Cuillin ridge walk

Postby AlisonFox66 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:19 pm

Not Ghreadaidh as that needs scrambling

Banachdich is more likely
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Re: The shortest ever Cuillin ridge walk

Postby dunrig » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:22 pm

johnjoe I think you got to the top of sgurr na banachdich and came back down, no mean feat in bad visibility. If you had managed to negotiate your way along the ridge to anywhere near sgurr a' ghreadaidh you would have an (even) more exciting tale to tell - trust me.
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Re: The shortest ever Cuillin ridge walk

Postby JohnJoe » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:51 pm

I don't understand because if it was Bannachdich, then when we tried to descend immediately it should have just been scree all the way down, but it wasn't - there were steep drops.

Nevermind - I'll just have to go back on a fine day :? and do it again, just to be sure :D
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Re: The shortest ever Cuillin ridge walk

Postby dunrig » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:44 pm

johnjoe if you had gone any distance along ridge to sgurr a' greadaidh you would have scambled down a loose gully over sgurr thormaid (3s) then turn you need 3 teeth then before greadaidh there is a 180m knife edge ridge even in mist you would not be able to mistake doing this.
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Re: The shortest ever Cuillin ridge walk

Postby dunrig » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:12 pm

dunrig wrote:johnjoe if you had gone any distance along ridge to sgurr a' greadaidh you would have scambled down a loose gully over sgurr thormaid (3s) you need turn 3 teeth then before greadaidh there is a 180m knife edge ridge even in mist you would not be able to mistake doing this.
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