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Skye Day 3 - Andy's Observations

Skye Day 3 - Andy's Observations

Postby Fife Flyer » Fri May 22, 2015 11:36 am

Munros included on this walk: Sgùrr na Banachdich

Date walked: 17/05/2015

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 948m

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The original plan for Day 3 of our Skye Adventure (a term that should probably be trademarked) was for us to meet at the beach and climb Sgurr Nan Eag, Sgurr Dubh Mhor and Sgurr Alasdair in that order. Weather would again scupper our plans though and when our legendary guide Paddy arrived he asked us instead to drive North to Glen Brittle Youth Hostel so we could do Sgurr na Banachdich instead.

In fact, Sgurr na Banachdich was considered a potential 3rd peak on our first day, after Sgurr a'Mhadaich and Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh but the boot-filling levels of rain on that day meant that the scramble from Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh over to Sgurr na Banachdich would have been inadvisable and this left Sgurr na Banachdich as a solo peak we could do on another bad weather day such as this.

Once parked up by the hostel we followed Paddy up the path, past some cracking views of waterfalls before reaching the zig-zagging scree of Coire an Eich. Whilst the path is clear and uncomplicated it was certainly quite a trudge getting up it, with the zig-zags seemingly infinite when combined with the two-steps-forward one-step-back steep scree. Eventually we wound our way up through it as the weather closed in on us.


ImageImageImageBy this stage, our overcast start to the day had descended into a claggy mess. Emerging from that mess was George, another Skye mountain guide who Paddy knows and we had seen elsewhere on the Cuillin too. Presumably he was on a reccy to check conditions up there (his previous group had apparently summited just 5 Cuillin peaks in 6 days because of weather problems.) He told us that weather on the summit was considerably worse and after he wished our group well and began to descend, he was unsurprisingly proven correct when we hit the summit.

Unlike the day before on Blaven where we got a summit view before getting smacked in the face with hailstones, this time we got no view and we were hit worse. Far worse. We quickly touched the summit cairn, which on a better day should have had some good sights to soak in.

ImagePaddy moved us towards a large boulder where we ate some lunch away from the full force of Mother Nature. Or at least Paddy ate some lunch. The rest of us just wanted to get off the thing and didn't fancy any more time in the cold than necessary! Paddy picked up on this and says that either we don't seem to be eating anything or that we all eat incredibly fast and when he's not looking! We pose for a couple of traditionally daft photos and even Paddy takes one photo of us lot for his own album, no doubt with some wry comment on us as a group.

ImageImageApparently Sgurr na Banachdich means either The Milkmaid's Peak or The Smallpox Peak. We encountered neither of these but were glad to get another peak knocked off successfully. In retrospect if we had been doing Sgurr nan Eag, Sgurr Dubh Mhor and Sgurr Alasdair that day when the weather became the drizzling proverbials, it would have been very dangerous and definitely a good decision made there.

Special Bonus Trip!!!

The weather was clearing up as we returned to our cars and I suggested that as we were having another short 1-peak day we might want to do something else together. Karen suggested heading to the north end of the island where she had done a brief walk the previous day after her funky candle shopping. This sounded good so we all headed up to Quiraing. On the way we saw some "moron" (a harsher term was used by me at the time!) doing a jumping backwards somersault in the middle of the road. The mind boggles.

The Quiraing area is stunning in a completely different way to the Cuillin. We walked a section of it that is also crossed by the Skye Trail, this bit at least being along a good path with just a small gully to get up and down. We clambered up a grassy slope for a picture under some pinnacles where (as appeared to be the tradition of the day!) the weather turned hard again and we were blasted by an angry downpour from up above. I had a bit of a slip getting down the slope and was limping a bit when I caught up with the rest of the gang. I was fairly confident I could walk it off although we were moving pretty fast with the rain smacking down so that didn't help it relax too much. Thanks to everyone else though for being a lot more concerned about my condition than I was. (Turned out to be nothing thankfully and I was doing fine within 20 minutes or so.)


Kilt Rock waterfall

We finished up in the pub where I had a tasty haggis for the 4th of what would become 7 consecutive nights. Yum yum.

A grand day all told. Just a shame weather can impact a trip so much.

Thanks to the gang for letting me come along. Great to have met Jimmy for the first time too as well as to share some more hills with Martin, Simon and Karen.

I'm still in Munro-bagging mode as I write this, with 4 more done in the 2 days since leaving Skye. Certainly a great experience. I would use a specific word for the whole thing but I fear doing so would risk spoilers for Karen's day 5 report!

PS: The report was composed by AJ Nicholls (Andy), photo's added and report posted by me, with one or two technical glitches :wink: Technical glitches continue, apologies for the underlining in blue, unable to rectify :roll:
Last edited by Fife Flyer on Fri May 22, 2015 1:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Skye Day 3 - Andy's Observations

Postby Mal Grey » Fri May 22, 2015 11:48 am

And thus the week is complete, I believe. Impressive amount of summit bagging in the toughest mountains in the UK, especially considering the conditions.
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Re: Skye Day 3 - Andy's Observations

Postby AJNicholls » Fri May 22, 2015 6:39 pm

Thanks for adding this on my behalf.

Cheers! :)
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Re: Skye Day 3 - Andy's Observations

Postby simon-b » Fri May 22, 2015 6:44 pm

Nice one, Andy and Martin. Those hailstones were big! The afternoon walk around Trotternish was a real bonus, despite another soaking.
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Re: Skye Day 3 - Andy's Observations

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Fri May 22, 2015 6:46 pm

well done all! :clap: glad you managed to get up to the north of Skye too ..some great scenery up there.
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Re: Skye Day 3 - Andy's Observations

Postby kmai1961 » Sat May 23, 2015 5:44 am

Nice report, AJ!

Those middle days, weather-wise, all sort of melded together, and I couldn't quite remember whether that dreadful hailstorm (the most stinging I've ever been in!) was on Banachdich or Bruach na Frithe. I was so relieved when it turned to heavy snow -- soft, heavy snow, instead. :roll:
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Re: Skye Day 3 - Andy's Observations

Postby Riverman » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:14 pm

Well done guys. Looks like you battled some tough conditions!
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