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Failure on Skye; how my better half is my wiser half.
by jacob » Fri May 06, 2016 12:53 pm
Route description: Bruach na Frithe
Munros included on this walk: Bruach na Frithe
Date walked: 26/04/20165 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
After a long long year of waiting, it was finally time for our once a year visit to Scotland. We arrived on Skye the 23rd of April and used the 24th and 25th to get to know the Island a bit, by visiting/climbing Storr, the Quiraing, the Spar Cave, Prince Charlie's Cave and Coran beach (yes, we did find the Jurassic footprints....I think...)
The 26th would be our first attempt into the Black Cuillin. All excited and hyperactive I woke that morning, the lady still vast asleep, to find the world was covered in snow and sunshine. A beautiful morning.
So after the the lady awoke, we both had our coffee and breakfasts and we put on the rucksacks that were prepared the evening before, we set of.
The plan was to follow the path from the campsite that lead you to Coire a Bhasteir, but at the gorge swing right to scramble onto the ridge of Sgurr a Bhasteir, to its summit, from there to avoid the teeth on Am Basteir and again to swing right to reach Bruach na Frithe. From there we were going to descend towards Bealach a Mhaim. The route drawn on the map is the route actually walked, not the planned route.
The weather was changing every five minutes. All Vivaldi's four seasons every twenty minutes. A real joy.
Glen Sligachan was looking beautiful and the view on the Red Hills in snow was magnificent.
The higher we were up, the better was the view on Sgurr nan Gillean. The view on the pinnacles, that can't be seen from the campsite, was impressive. The more with all four seasons fighting eachother around these pinnacles.
But never forget to look backwards as well. Not only for routefinding, also for the views. Here's another one on the Red Hills and Loch Sligachan.
However, the higher the steeper. Here we are, close to the gorge to Loch Bhasteir and the rigde to Sgurr a Bhasteir is clearly visible on the right.
And from there the failure begins. Having arrived at the ridge, we discovered it was all covered in ice. Now on my own, I would have maybe attempted the ascend. Stupidly so, for we didn't bring the proper materials for it. Having my lady with me though, means I have to listen to reason. Stubborn as I am, I decided to do check the ridge for doable scrambleroutes. "I'll be back soon". This is me trying to find a way through ice covered rock, leaving my reluctant lady behind.
Being up there though only proved me wrong in being stubborn and her right in being reluctant. Without the proper materials this would be to dangerous a expedition. We decided to go back to the campsite. She relieved. Me grumpy and anxious that we might not be able to do any summit this holiday.
Coming down from the ridge with cold hands and a snowstorm above.
With views like this though, how can anyone stay grumpy for a long period of time? It proved to be the start of a lovely holiday on Skye. More walkreports to come.
Edit: forgot to include my drawing of the place:
by Mal Grey » Fri May 06, 2016 1:01 pm
by Alteknacker » Fri May 06, 2016 8:36 pm
I had to make a similar sort of call this last weekend, and in retrospect I'm 120% sure it was the right one.
I've discovered (and this discovery has taken an embarrassingly long time) that different people have different views of - and tolerance levels in respect of - risk. For example: it's really difficult for someone with no particular problem with exposure to understand the issues that people who do have. But these issues are absolutely real: it's challenging for those on one end of the spectrum to understand the perspective of those on the other. But I'm sure that the best thing is to accommodate it.
I'm planning to put this stuff to the test in about a month's time on the self-same Black Cuillin. Hopefully I can remember my own advice
BTW: it must be wonderful to camp in Sligahan without having to endure trial by midge..... (the only way I've experienced it)
by Jaxter » Fri May 06, 2016 9:16 pm
I'm not good at backing out either, far too stubborn but I guess we just have to remember that the mountain will still be there - it would be good to be around to enjoy it
Definitely whetted my appetite for the Cuillin though
by BobMcBob » Fri May 06, 2016 11:37 pm
by jacob » Sat May 07, 2016 7:56 am
I wouldn't view it as failure though, just a change of plan. How can it be a failure to have been up and seen those fantastic views, and got such great photos?
True. I can look at it this way. But not on the exact moment we're deciding to go down again. And aren't most of us secretly summit lovers, more than slope lovers?
I'm sure of it myself as well. Like I said: sometimes you need the mrs. for the sane reasoning.and it looks to me like you made a good call.
I've discovered (and this discovery has taken an embarrassingly long time) that different people have different views of - and tolerance levels in respect of - risk.
True, but the same goes for energy levels and endurance. Also difficult to put yourself in the other's shoes when they're tired and you're full of energy. Climbing mountains is like life itself. Together you go slower but further.
Good luck with that. And good luck with the midges as wellI'm planning to put this stuff to the test in about a month's time on the self-same Black Cuillin. Hopefully I can remember my own advice
Thank you, and it definitely was.Those photos look stunning, I think even getting as far as you did into those mountains must be an amazing experience.
Oh the curse that is stubbornessI'm not good at backing out either, far too stubborn but I guess we just have to remember that the mountain will still be there - it would be good to be around to enjoy it
And true, the mountains will still be there. It's just a pity I'll have to wait another year before visiting them again
Thank you, and I am very happy with the opportunity to be able to go on holiday and experience things like this, in weather like this resulting in photos like these.That's not a failure, look at the photos you got!
I understood from the Skye Scrambles by Noel Williams, it's a good introduction scramble for the less experienced?your choice of route would be challenging in any conditions.
by dogplodder » Sun May 08, 2016 6:04 pm
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