The round of Coire Lagan 24/04/93 9km 1200m 10hr
The KMC were at the SMC hut in Glen Brittle for the w/e and arguing over what to do.
Having joined the club last year I`m very much the new boy and none seem to keen to take me along. In my pocket lies photo copies of Dempsters new “ Mountain scrambles in Scotland” and the “Round of Coire Lagan” is deemed 2nd only to the Cuillin ridge itself.
Having free climbed on my local crag of Loudoun Hill (later with a guidebook I`ll find I`ve been climbing up to e1) I`m anxious to test my mettle against the best in Scotland.
Shoulder my pack ready to go. The climbers hang on waiting for the clag to clear from the tops, others head for the ridge. Stuart comes over and asks what I`m for doing, then says “without a rope ?” I reckon anything I climb up I can reverse - but accept his rope offer to come along. We take a path past the waterfall to Coire Lagan - where it forks R for the broad slope of Sron Na Ciche. In later years I would come to know this area well climbing most of the easier routes with a multitiude of partners. For now Stuart and I climbed steadily over heather scree and gabbro to where it narrows. Steep rock falls on both sides. The West, Cioch and East Buttress, a truly awesome place. The weather had cleared and the sun shone on us while clag remained to N, makings of a great day. Then the top with rocks scattered all around, a drop to Bealach Coir` a` Ghrunnda and walk to the broad summit of Sgurrr Sgumain@947m. Great views of the Inpin and Mhic Choinich. Down climb here for a narrow section and three pointed spires to Bealach Sgumain. Then onto the “bad step” taken direct, though we used the rope to bring up the sacs. You can bypass this by skirting along Coire`s Ghrunnda`s edge. There was a guided group of three here who waited for us to move first before going this way ( obviously didn`t want to reveal the route) Anyhow we stormed up the next section of large boulder “Alpine style” ridge for the top of Sgurr Alasdair@992m. Sea views of the Outer isles, of Eigg and Rum where I would someday climb another Cuillin ridge. Down to top of the stone shoot, there is no way S from here, just a steep drop. A climb onto Thearlach - a look into the TD gap, then over the summit @ 984m. to a cleft - a step down L to where a gap leads across a slab to the Mhic Choinnich Bealach. Another break here as we contemplated Kings chimney, in the end we settled for Collies ledge which cuts around the face. A magical viewpoint for both levels of Coire Lagan, then up on slabs leads to the summit @948m and more views. Back and down climb on big blocks to the lowest part of the ridge, named Rotten Gully, because it is. Then up again. A scramble becomes a climb to An Stac, the scree slopes would have been easier, but we step off Stac onto the base of the Inaccessable Pinnacle. The blade of rock with a sharp drop on the W side and sloping on the E, leads to the top @ 986m and we stand on the block at the top, grinning like idiots. An absail from the wire hawser Stuart has gear I use my untried method of LH on rope/ rope under crotch/ round waist /up and over left shoulder/ held away from body by RH. It works. Safely down we coil the rope and stride off down the Dearg ridge to run the screes to where a path leads back to the hut.
My thanks to Stuart Mc Farlane for a great day out and the beginnings of a climbing partnership.
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