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Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich


Postby gman » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:28 am

Route description: Sgurr a Mhadaidh and Sgurr a Ghreadaidh

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh, Sgurr a'Mhadaidh, Sgurr na Banachdich

Date walked: 10/06/2015

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 1300m

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Mhadaidh Ghreadaidh actual.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



First visit to the Cuillin, obviously heard a few tales of scary scrambling, difficult route finding, GPS/compass not working on the ridge etc. And the hills are a step up from anything on the mainland. 5 hour drive to Glen Brittle so I wanted to get as many Munros bagged as possible and this looked like a good introduction. There are several good reports here of this route including gpx files, so my GPS would apparently be OK. Drove up on Tues night & parked in a roomy space next to the bridge before the YH bridge. Next day I'm ready for the Cuillin: got my Harvey's map, compass, gps, helmet, cheapo gloves from Asda and old trail shoes...and the clag was down. Tried to convince myself that there would be an inversion and fantastic vews higher up :lol:.

Hardly any spaces at the YH, nice waterfalls on the path up.
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Path goes along the right side of the burn and crosses it higher up.
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Loads of water to drink here and on the descent so I'm probably carrying too much for the ridge.
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Route becomes rocky scree further on and I couldn't see anything in the clag. I could make out a notch ahead which I thought was An Dorus but the GPS told me it was too far south and must have been Eag Dubh so I traversed some damp slabs to get to the steep scree leading to An Dorus. Got a text message here which was sent last night so I knew I must be approaching the ridge top, it was an offer to dep with a band on Fri which will pay for a new pair of sportiva raptors :D .
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I didn't use the helmet today, but the last approach to An Dorus would be a good place to put it on - rocks are easily dislodged underfoot and quickly pick up speed as they descend. Luckily there was no one ahead of me. Rocks were wet at the top of An Dorus but don't think there's been recent rain, view back down:
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The sandpaper gabbro is reassuringly grippy even when wet. I had read that the scrambles out of An Dorus were grade 2 & 3 and you can find easier routes before you get to the top but it was fairly easy. There's a path on the left after the initial scramble but I stuck to the ridge.
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Good hand & foot holds all the way. Met someone on the top who was moving quickly on the ridge, he went down the path so I did the same.
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First break in the clag - Loch Coruisk!
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Scramble up the other side of An Dorus was easier.
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Coruisk again.
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Mhadaith top clag-free now. The low cloud was coming up the Glen Brittle side and over the ridge, the Coruisk side looked clear.
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Coruisk again.
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And Mhadaith again, there's a group ascending the path to the left.
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Onwards, Banachdich on the right.
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Ridge narrows, scrambling & views are excellent. Tried to avoid bypass paths and stick to the creast of the ridge.
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The wart can be bypassed but I just went over it, think I went round to the right to ascend and it's an easy descent.
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Route to Banachdich.
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Coruisk yet again.
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Met a group coming in the opposite direction on Ghreadaith, they had climbing gear and were doing the ridge traverse. Looking back:
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Scramble to the top focussed on the rock then see the views. There are words for moments like this, but they're unprintable.
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Narrow ridge descends from Ghreadaith.
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Back up:
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Cloud spilling over.
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Back to Ghreadaith.
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Scrambled over the first 2 teeth but the descent from the last one was too steep.
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Up to Banachdich, there's a path off the right but I tried to stick as close to the crest as possible.
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Some of the rock here is flaky with hairline cracks where water has seeped in, frozen and weakened it so the holds can be dodgy.
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Top of Banachdich was claggy, the ridge scramble seemed to be over too quickly and I was envious of the climbers doing the traverse. Route down was on fine scree so I used the walking poles since my shoes didn't have big lugs on the soles. Nearly fell a couple of times but was saved by the poles, then when I was almost back at the main path I went over in the mud and had a wet seat for the rest of the walk out :lol:
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Last edited by gman on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby weaselmaster » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:42 am

You're a braver man than me!
Enjoyed that - sounds like you are really up for a traverse of the full ridge yourself.
Glad you got some views - we saw nothing on any of those 3 hills
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby gman » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:11 pm

It wasn't s scary as it looks, think I'll leave the full traverse to the proper rock climbers though. Got lucky with the views, and no midges!
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby PeteR » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:31 pm

Hopefully this will be me next week :D

I've invested in a guide though :lol:

Got to say, it does look great in your photos, but I still have a healthy nervousness about the whole thing......
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby gman » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:34 pm

PeteR wrote:Hopefully this will be me next week :D

I've invested in a guide though :lol:

Got to say, it does look great in your photos, but I still have a healthy nervousness about the whole thing......

I did too, but the grippy rock gives you confidence. Good luck with the weather!
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:54 pm

That's a great day out, one of the best in these Isles. Thanks for taking me back to my youth (god I sound old!)
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby mgmt! » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:18 pm

nice report and pictures gmam, the cullin is seriously addictive, you can do a full traverse detouring from the graded climbs, a rope for the numerous abseils is handy. im sure you will have a go one day.
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:37 pm

Brought back happy memories of the same route a few years ago :D . I too skipped the third tooth for similar reasons.
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby gman » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:37 pm

mgmt! wrote:nice report and pictures gmam, the cullin is seriously addictive, you can do a full traverse detouring from the graded climbs, a rope for the numerous abseils is handy. im sure you will have a go one day.

That definitely sounds interesting, I'll have to learn how to abseil though.

LeithySuburbs wrote:Brought back happy memories of the same route a few years ago :D . I too skipped the third tooth for similar reasons.

It should look familiar - I downloaded your gpx route, cheers! :D
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:46 pm

Some smashing pics there - brought back some great memories! :clap: :clap: :clap: Thanks for posting.

And reminded me that my main objective this year is to get up on the ridge again!

You say that "...there are words for moments like this.." - I'm not sure at all: I've never found words to capture the magic of the Cuillin...
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby Sunny Speyside » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:16 pm

What a difference a day makes :( , did this route on Tuesday and spent the entire day in the clag. Good to see your photos and to see what I missed...guess I just need to return and do them again on a clear day!
Cheers
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby simon-b » Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:55 pm

Well done gman. The weather meant we did the first two one day and Banachdich another. An Dorus is a good place to wear a helmet; a falling rock narrowly missed us there. Your scrambles along the crest sound impressive.
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby thomsok » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:01 pm

Thinking about the same trio myself next week. Couple of questions for you - how was the ridge between Ghreadaidh and Banachdich? Did it add a lot on to your route in terms of time/distance? How did you descend from Banachdich - down the ridge (An Diallaid) back into Coire a Ghreadaidh?
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby gman » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:33 pm

thomsok wrote:Thinking about the same trio myself next week. Couple of questions for you - how was the ridge between Ghreadaidh and Banachdich? Did it add a lot on to your route in terms of time/distance? How did you descend from Banachdich - down the ridge (An Diallaid) back into Coire a Ghreadaidh?


The ridge was a highlight of the day, it's grade 3 in Skye Scrambles but didn't seem that difficult. Don't think it added much time but the whole route doesn't take too long. I just descended the standard scree path from Banachdich. Great day, enjoy!
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Re: Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh & Banachdich

Postby dav2930 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:51 am

Don't know how I managed to miss this report! :roll: Great stuff gman; I agree with Mal that this is one of the finest outings in the UK. The ridge of Greadaidh between the two tops is reckoned to be the narrowest of them all - not difficult, but it makes Crib Goch in Wales look like a nature trail. All the more kudos for doing it on your tod! :clap:
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