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Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)


Postby jimandandrea » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:41 pm

Munros included on this walk: Am Basteir, Bruach na Frithe, Inaccessible Pinnacle, Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh, Sgurr a'Mhadaidh, Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Dubh Mor, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich, Sgurr na Banachdich, Sgurr nan Eag, Sgurr nan Gillean

Date walked: 27/05/2012

Time taken: 35 hours

Distance: 35 km

Ascent: 4000m

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Day 2

The Sun set about 10.45 but the glow in the sky lasted till the wee small hours, like the dying embers of the day. I woke at 2.00am and it was still there and at just after 3.00am (OK, I don't sleep good at the best of times) the sun was rising.

Breakfast was a simple affair, rice pud and a cup of tea. What we had not checked (a small but important oversight) was Andrea's water for the day. Should have filled that up before we left.
The group to our left were up early and off by 6.30am and we sat and watched them head up to Midget Ridge. We were a led leisurely and had another brew before packing up and heading up to the ridge. The light, coming from the East had not hit us or the valley below - so no pics but as we hit the ridge...
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Looking East from Sgurr na Banachdich
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The Inn Pinn mouse
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Looking due East on Midget Ridge
We made our way along Midget Ridge and towards Sgurr na Banachdich. Mood in the camp was good and we set our sails to be walking for the next 12 hours - so sit back and enjoy the ride we thought. How many get to do this Traverse in these conditions?Image
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Sgurr Thormaid, a' Ghreadaidh and a'Mhaidaih from Sgurr na Banachdich
Andrea had already decided that the rock had taken its toll on her hands and opted for gloves (I had a climbing pair) and by the end of the ascent of Sgurr na Banachdich (SnB) I was also beginning to feel my wee paws hurt. Perhaps also the dry conditions.
Good and straightforward ascent of SnB
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Sgurr na Banachdich (965m)
What became the order of the day was focusing on route finding. You could see where you wanted to go - it was just getting there that was the issue. The weather was a blessing as the rock was unbelievably dry and grippy. I had made the 'controversial' decision to wear Inov8 boots (as I am used to Fell shoes) and it payed off in spades as descending the rock was made so easy. Good call. I had read some reports that said such shoes would be trashed in the Cuillin - not so. The same cannot be said for Andrea's New Scarpa - 3 months old and they split!!
ANYWAY.... We descended SnB and it was most enjoyable and looked ahead to Sgurr Thormaid.
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Sgurr Thormaid, a' Ghreadaidh and a' Mhaidaih from Sgurr na Banachdich
A most enjoyable and straightforward ascent to Sgurr Thormaid (ST)
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Sgurr Thormaid
From ST we had a right did view of the Skye Bridge in the distance
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looking onto the Skye Bridge
We did not shake hand on the summit as we still had three teeth to do. It was a tad technical but again, thankfully, due to the dry conditions it was unbelievably enjoyable scrambling.
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Sgurr Dubh Mor
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Ascending The Wart
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Looking back on Sgurr Thormaid
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The Three Teeth
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Still ascending
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Still ascending
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NEXT - Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh (SaG)....Image
Steps: going up Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh


Now this is where it becomes apparent that I am clearly focussed on the task and have lost the thread with taking pics to capture our day. We did shake on SaG however I did not take a pic. I did manage to realise the glitch and take a pic of it from An Dorus.

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Bidein Druim nan Rham[/url] by Jim and Andrea Loudon, on Flickr

Passing An Dorus, which we abseiled into followed by the ascent of Ascending Sgurr a'Mhaidaih then over Bidein Druim nan Ramh was a life experience and something I won't forget but it did take a lot of concentration (normally a tough and elussive challenge at work but today easy). I did take pics - but not as many as I would have liked - multitasking - what can I say!!
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What I do remember through all this was the 'leaps of faith' on An Casteal. Andrea, with long legs could step across then be pulled over. For me alas this was not possible and so I had to jump across. Andrea felt taking a picture may annul any insurance claim that she may have had to complete in the event of my failure to complete. Whilst I was pumped for the jump my wee heart felt inspired enough to continue leaping for the next few minutes .... almost out of my chest or so it felt!!! Scary moments.

Note. After the last leap follow the route to your left NOT right (Right has a fairly tricky abseil) whilst left is easier but still requires an abseil into the bealach that starts the easier ascent of Bruach na Frithe

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Lowering to the bealach

We were now getting low on water as we ascended Bruach na Frithe. In addition we had had a fairly sustained period of scrambling and tricky descending and were feeling the effects of a carb dip. As we reached Bruach na Frithe we took pics and ate and drank. Amazing the difference some water and some grub makes - I got my camera out again!!

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View from BnF
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Looking back to Bidein Druim nan Ramh

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Bruach na Frithe: Fed, watered and happy

Refuelled we headed down, skirting below Am Basteir then back up to the Bealach a'Bhasteir where we dumped our sacs and headed up to AB.

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Am Basteir
Then back to the Bealach to complete the traverse via the west ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean. A tricky initial ascent with the rest fairly straightforward.
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Almost there - Sligachan in distance
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Post box
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b]Traverse Completed[/b]
It was with great joy (and a little relief that we reached the summit of SnG. Fortunately there was a couple on the summit who took our pic . All we had to do now was descend and reach the Sligachan.
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Abseil off SnG
All that was left was a long walk out.........
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The long walk to Sligachan
On reflection, a great, unmissable and unforgettable experience. Whilst we considered ourselves blessed we could not have done it without our guide, Tim B. :clap: :clap:
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My 50th: Cheers. What an experience. Thanks to all esp my dear wife for pulling it all together. :clap: :clap:
Last edited by jimandandrea on Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby monty » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:35 am

Superb guys. Jealous me? yes. :lol: :lol: Perfect weather on a super two days. nice :D
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:46 am

Another great read, thats the way to do the Cuillins. Well done on a trip you'll never forget :thumbup:
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby jimandandrea » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:31 pm

Cheers.
Monty - you would have broken the traverse record I am sure with these conditions.
johnnycorbett: Best birthday ever - cheers
Mountainstar: Cheers - could not believe our luck with the weather. Am doing the garden today (???) in full body armour! :shock: :shock:
Last edited by jimandandrea on Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby ChrisW » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:36 pm

and I thought part 1 was good, man this is extraordinary. stunning shots and perfect weather...did you sell your soul to the devil for your birthday treat :lol: This must be the best birthday present I've ever seen...awesome :clap: :D
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby jimandandrea » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:23 pm

ChrisW wrote:This must be the best birthday present I've ever seen...awesome.


I felt truly blessed -All my ducks aligned. What an experience. Problem is its Andrea's 50th next year - what do I come up with to top this??? :thumbup:
Last edited by jimandandrea on Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby Bod » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:48 pm

Loving it, just loving it, we're back to Skye next month. Well done and thanks :D :D :D
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby BobMcBob » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:38 pm

Awesome stuff, I am so jealous. I've stood on Bruach na Frithe looking along the ridge and dreaming.... How often do you get two successive days that good on the Cuillin? Memories for life.
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby dooterbang » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:34 pm

couple of brilliant reports - stunning photos.

Fab birthday present.

Ive still to do these and im bricking it :shock:
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby foggieclimber » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:56 am

Excellent pair of reports - best I have seen of a ridge traverse.

This has been top of my wish-list for years, I just hope everything comes together sometime to allow it to happen - weather, fitness, ...

Cheers
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby jimandandrea » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:14 pm

dooterbang wrote:couple of brilliant reports - stunning photos.

Fab birthday present.

Ive still to do these and im bricking it :shock:


Thanks. We could not have done it without our guide. You'll love it. The best two days EVER!
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby jimandandrea » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:17 pm

foggieclimber wrote:Excellent pair of reports - best I have seen of a ridge traverse.

This has been top of my wish-list for years, I just hope everything comes together sometime to allow it to happen - weather, fitness, ...

Cheers


Shucks. Thanks for that. :-D :-D
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby ciderpeter » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:44 pm

Wow what a trip you had, can't believe the weather you got - you lucky whatsits!

I can only hope we get a day or two like this in a couple of weeks and I will be happy as larry!

Great report and pictures.

Out of interest Jim - did you have your 7D with you for these walks/climbs??
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:51 pm

Two amazing reports of an amazing achievement. Well done and I'm sure the memories will never fade :clap:
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Re: Cuillin Traverse: Ration sweat not water (Day 2)

Postby jimandandrea » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:00 pm

ciderpeter wrote:Wow what a trip you had, can't believe the weather you got - you lucky whatsits!

I can only hope we get a day or two like this in a couple of weeks and I will be happy as larry!

Great report and pictures.

Out of interest Jim - did you have your 7D with you for these walks/climbs??


Cheers. You must be joking. No it was left behind. It was a Lumix, which did the job.

Your wedding must be very soon - is it this weekend? All the best to you both on your big day. May you have the weather we had and may the midge respect your privacy!

PS: Did you get your camera?
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