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The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

The not so easy, easy Cuillin!


Postby chieftain41 » Sun May 13, 2012 11:28 pm

Route description: Bruach na Frithe

Munros included on this walk: Bruach na Frithe

Date walked: 03/08/2011

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 11.6 km

Ascent: 940m

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This was our first venture onto the main Cuillin Ridge. According to the books it was the one of the easiest to do. After warming up the day before on Beinn Sgritheall and enjoying the nightlife of Portree, we started the day at Mackenzie's Bakery for a spot of breakfast rolls and tea. There I spoke to Neil one of the co owners, who is also a keen walker. When he asked which one we were doing, we told him Bruach Na Frithe. He replied "Ach the easy one!" I turned to my two companions Brian and Darren(who had completed his first Munro the previous day), who were aprehensive about tackling the main ridge. "There I told you so, nothing to worry about" Fast forward a few hours as I'm picking my way tentatively up a narrow scree path with a 2000 ft drop down to the valley floor, I think to myself "If this is the easy one I shudder to think what the rest are like" I could see my chance of doing all the Munros evapourating for fear of the not so easy Cuillin Munros to do.
We set off for our start point and were ready for the off by 10 am. We decided to tackle this one from the Glen Brittle side. We parked in the car park at the end of the first forest plantation,opposite the start of the path. The drive along the single track road from Carbost gives you a great view of the ridge. We quickly got ourselves organised as the Midgies were horrendous.

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The path stays high and close to the trees and takes you to the lower end of the northwest ridge of Bruach Na Frithe.
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The path at the start keepig close to the Trees with the destination, the lower part of the North West Ridge.
This was a nice warm up for the days climb ad took us about 3/4 of an hour. The morning was bright with a bit of greyness to it but it would eventually clear up to give us fantastic weather for our walk. Eventually the path reaches a wee Lochan but continues round to the left but we headed to the right on a faint path. At this point there is a route straight up the ridge but we kept going to Allt an Fhionn Coire.
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Going round the small lochan, Glamaig in the background.
Soon we found the path heading up into Fionn Choire and the incline got steeper.
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The path heading up to Fionn Choire, with B Na F summit in the distance.
Soon the path levels off into Fionn Choire and you get a wonderful view of B Na F. Now, with hindsight and knowing what I know of the North west ridge, going straight up into Fionn Choire is the best option for those who do not like airey scarey bits on their walks. We descended this route and by going up and down this way is a good option for the not so faint hearted and would explain why it is the easiest of the Cuillin Munros, if tackled this way. We though, were following the route set out by most books and WH and that was to head onto the Northwest ridge. This route is great, and has a well defined path and only a small amount of hands on scrambling. Brian certainly enjoyed but Darren and myself had moments when we thought "What are we doing up here!!"
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Striking out towards the ridge from Fionn Choire.
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The start of the ridge is nice and wide. Thu summit looming ahead.
The path soon makes it ways round and over some of the pinnacles.
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The path to the summit
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The path went round the side rather than going over the top.
The greyess had gone away and blue skys prevailed giving us some amazing views as we worked our way up.
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Stopping to admire the views.
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Darren stopping for a rest.
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Brian enjoying the ridge route up
Two thirds of the way to the summit Darren and myself were starting to wonder if this was the "easy one" as the path led us along the side of the ridge with some 2000ft of scree slopes to the floor.
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Starting to wonder why this is the easy one!
At this point the path zig zagged up the scree slope, with one hand down walking required.
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Don't look down.
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Darren working hard for Munro no 2
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Darren taking a well earned break.
All the squeaky bum moments were soon at an end as the summit approach took us up what seemed like a man made staircase to the summit.
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Stairway to Heaven
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Munro no 12
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The 3 Amigos on the Summit of B na F
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Panoramic Summit View
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Couldn't have asked for a better day to be at the top. Fantastic views!
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Looking down into Fionn Choire with Portree, Raasay and the North End of the island in the background. Meall Odhar to the right.
After chatting with a few groups that had also made the summit, we took in the views over a spot of lunch. We then reluctantly dragged ourselves away from the views to make our descent along Bealach an Lice. the first little bit was steep but soon the walking got easier.
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The path heading along the Bealach.
We headed down the path into Fionn Choire and realised that if we had taken it up then it would have been an easier walk to the summit.
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The path down into Fionn Choire was steep but it didn't have the 2000ft drops down one side.
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The path is less steep near the floor of Fionn Choire.
From Fionn Choire, we retraced the path back to the car. Up and down in just under 6 hours. For those who like a bit of adventure and pulse raising, take the ridge up but if you like a nice gentler walk, then follow the path up Fionn Choire. If you get the weather, then there's no better place to be!
chieftain41
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby Ranger » Mon May 14, 2012 9:53 am

When I did the NW ridge of Bruach of Frithe I stuck to the crest and - far from being the 'east grade 1 scramble' its often painted to be, there was more rock scrambling that I can recall doing on Liathach, aonach eagach etc. Avoidable though.

When I looked down from the crest on that loose, exposed traverse path you took - I was relieved to have my hands on something solid! :)
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby mhairi_harrity_reid1 » Mon May 14, 2012 10:05 am

Lovely pictures - when i was there the wind was crazy - blew me off my feet twice.

Im heading to Skye after the whw next Friday - I will be "savouring" Portrees hospitality then - blisters and all!

:D
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby Gavin99 » Mon May 14, 2012 10:28 am

A good report with nice clear photographs of your route , this one will be my intro to Skye this summer so your report will come in handy , :)
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby dogplodder » Mon May 14, 2012 1:26 pm

I like an honest report and will look back at this when (and if) I get round to my first Cuillin!

That was a stunning day you got for it. :D
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon May 14, 2012 6:45 pm

I think i'll follow suit and make this my first Cuillin Munro, great report guys :D
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby David-Main » Mon May 14, 2012 7:23 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:I think i'll follow suit and make this my first Cuillin Munro, great report guys :D
Gavin99 wrote:A good report with nice clear photographs of your route , this one will be my intro to Skye this summer so your report will come in handy , :)


Me too lads, my 1st visit this summer and plan to do some munros.... cant wait.
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby Bod » Mon May 14, 2012 9:28 pm

Nice report and well informed for those fancying a bit of spice on Bruach na Frithe. Bet you can't wait to get back :D :D :D
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby chieftain41 » Wed May 16, 2012 8:40 pm

Ranger wrote:When I did the NW ridge of Bruach of Frithe I stuck to the crest and - far from being the 'east grade 1 scramble' its often painted to be, there was more rock scrambling that I can recall doing on Liathach, aonach eagach etc. Avoidable though.

When I looked down from the crest on that loose, exposed traverse path you took - I was relieved to have my hands on something solid! :)

There was a woman ahead of us doing what you had done but she eventually gave up and joined us on the path for the last bit. I'm glad there was no wind or rain on the NW ridge otherwise it might have been a different story!!
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby chieftain41 » Wed May 16, 2012 8:51 pm

mhairi_harrity_reid1 wrote:Lovely pictures - when i was there the wind was crazy - blew me off my feet twice.

Im heading to Skye after the whw next Friday - I will be "savouring" Portrees hospitality then - blisters and all!

:D

Good luck Mhairi on the WHW! It's something I hope to do at some point along with the Great Glen Way. Put a report up on how you get on. If your on Skye you should try Bla Bheinn as a easy introduction to the Skye Munros. I did it two years ago and found it an excellent walk and had no climbing or any exposed scrambling and gave you fantastic views of the main ridge.
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby chieftain41 » Wed May 16, 2012 8:55 pm

Gavin99 wrote:A good report with nice clear photographs of your route , this one will be my intro to Skye this summer so your report will come in handy , :)

Thaks Gavin. Hope you get the weather for it. Which way up do you think you will go?. We started our walk from the Glen Brittle end but you can also walk in from Sligachan.
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby chieftain41 » Wed May 16, 2012 9:11 pm

dogplodder wrote:I like an honest report and will look back at this when (and if) I get round to my first Cuillin!

That was a stunning day you got for it. :D

Thanks Dogplodder. The weather that day was amazing, that and with the effects of the night before meant that a lot of water was consumed :D On my reports I say it as I see it and if what I say can help people with their planning then great. This one is a good introduction and is easy to do going up and down Fion Choire. Good luck!
chieftain41
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby chieftain41 » Wed May 16, 2012 9:15 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:I think i'll follow suit and make this my first Cuillin Munro, great report guys :D

Thanks Johnny. Do this one as your first Cuillin, its a great walk which can be made as easy or as challenging as you want it to be plus the views not only of the ridge but the whole of Skye and the Islands, are amazing. :D
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby chieftain41 » Wed May 16, 2012 9:20 pm

David-Main wrote:
Johnny Corbett wrote:I think i'll follow suit and make this my first Cuillin Munro, great report guys :D
Gavin99 wrote:A good report with nice clear photographs of your route , this one will be my intro to Skye this summer so your report will come in handy , :)


Me too lads, my 1st visit this summer and plan to do some munros.... cant wait.

Enjoy Skye and B na F, a great introduction to the Cuillins, also try Bla Bheinn, it is also a cracking walk that is not too Scarey!. Check out my report on it.
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Re: The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Postby chieftain41 » Wed May 16, 2012 9:26 pm

Bod wrote:Nice report and well informed for those fancying a bit of spice on Bruach na Frithe. Bet you can't wait to get back :D :D :D

Thanks Bod, looking forward to this summers jaunt to Skye. I Fancy trying either Sgurr Alasdair or Sgurr na Banachdich although the great stone chute worries me on Alasdair :?
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