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Early days

Early days


Postby past my sell by date » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:53 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh, Sgurr a'Mhadaidh, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich

Date walked: 20/09/1960

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Edit OCT 21 2019 This report was originally written for the University friends that I climbed with at the time, but Grisu (see below) thoughy I should make this report "public" - so I have :)

I've recently had all my early Scottish slides scanned. Some have survived reasonably well - others less so - but I'm putting most of them in for completeness.
THE original Skye meet - September 1960
We congregated at Mallaig but the sea was too rough for us to get to the loch Scavaig so we slept in the nice warm boathouse and went next day when it was (marginally) calmer
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Mallaig harbour early morning

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Once we got around the point of Sleat it became much calmer - first view of the Cuillins
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Inner Loch Scavaig - the mad burn

We were put ashore at the jetty and stayed a week in the BMC hut near the shore. The main characteristic of the week was that at least one party was benighted every evening. We were fit and technically quite competent but we had absolutely no respect for the mountains and as these are the toughest mountains/hills in the UK , it's quite surprising nobody had any serious accident. It was also very wet at times, so we simply put on our wet clothes each morning and kept a dry set in the hut :lol: :lol:

Collie's route on Sgurr Ghreadlaidh
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FRom Greadlaidh we continued over Mhadaidh to the Bealach na Glaic Moire - Yes it was getting a bit late and we inched our way down Loch Coruisk in pitch darkness - A torch? we never thought to bring one of those :lol: :lol:
Later in the week

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Skye Easter 1963
We headed up to Skye during the Easter vacation and Camped on the beach at Glen Brittle.

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Glencoe on the way up - Our future Nobel Laureate poses carefully to be photographed

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The first night at Glen Brittle it Snowed quite heavily and we headed for Portree and a B&B I think
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Glen Brittle beach
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Gillean from the Portree road
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Looking N to Portree and The Storr
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Portree

From Portree we did actually get on to the ridge by going up Coire na Creiche and then Coir a Tairneilar. The hills looked really good but getting along the ridge in the soft wet snow was a hopeless task and we retreated
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The Waterpipe gully
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Sgurr a Mhadaidh
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Bidean Druim Nam Ramh
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North to Loch Sligachan
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Sgurr nan Gillean on the L with the Red hills beyond
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Blaven - snow free

West buttress of Sgurr Mhic Chonnich
After a couple of days most of the snow had melted and we went up into Coire Lagan and climbed the W buttress of Mhic Chonnich - a good long Diff. with a classic corner chimney
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Looking up into Coire Lagan
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Further up
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Mhic Chonnich
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Sgurr Dearg and the Inn Pin from the foot of the climbing
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Thearlach, Alasdair and Sgumain
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Alasdair and the top of the Stone shoot
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The Corner chimney . I guess at the top we headed S to Thearlach and Alasdair and descended the stone shoot
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Mhic Chonnich from Alasdair - Gillean at the back
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Looking S down the ridge to Gars bheinn

Summer 1963 and 1964 - Skye and Torridon

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Camping in Glen Douglas - it took two days to get to Skye in those days :lol:
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Glen Orchy - One year we camped in Glen Orchy on the way North. we had a look at the falls on the way up and also on the way back when we were - as usual - driven out of Skye by the weather
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Quite a difference
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Loch Duich way
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The Coral beach on Skye I think

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Evening sunshine camping in the woods at Torridon :D - there were no free-roaming cows in the glen at that time

Liatach

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On Liatach I first understood what a wide-angled lens was!

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Looking North to the Flowerdale Corbetts. I see that we actually took a rope with us - Audrey and I took Prince along there about 30 years later :lol:

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Ben Eighe: David was not feeling well so I traversed it alone - with his Camera this was the only photo I took

Skye - The Storr and the Old Man

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Looking down the road to Marsco in unpromising weather

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Waterpipe gully again - I think we must have done more or less the same trip as at Easter

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Bidean Druim nan Ramh - with Alasdair behind

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Blaven - looks almost the same as the Easter pic

Bosigran 1965
A long weekend in May or june - we stayed at the CC hut there
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We couldn't resist having lunch by this old hay cart somewhere in rural Devon
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These early photos could be around Chair Ladder we did go there for a day and climbed a V diff

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The island

Commando Ridge

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Looking at the ridge from the side

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Going down to the start - you had your move round the corner between the waves :lol:
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The wind was ferocious - and the rope simply blew out horziontally :lol:

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These two photos and possibly the two before are of Richard Peterson at Sennen Cove; we went there but didn't climb anything

Summer 1965 - Skye again

Four pictures in Coire Ghrunnda; I think David and I were prospecting our route to the start of our attempt on the full ridge
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Clach Glas - Blaven traverse

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Rum - maybe from Elgol
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The Cuillin from Elgol
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Blaven from the road to Elgol
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Blaven - maybe from the slopes leading up to Clach Glas
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On the rocky section of Clach Glas
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The Prow
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NE towards the red hills
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Rum from Blaven

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Marsco from near Sligachan
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Gillean from the road to Carbost
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The Tooth
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A view thru a gap in the ridge

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Pinnacle ridge on Gillean - I've done it three times in all

Postscript
David and I made our attempt on the ridge in poor weather with squally showers. We tried to do far too much - I don't think anyone includes The Castle on Sgurr nan Eag or Sgurr Dubh Mor these days. The rock was wet throughout - We did the Inn Pin in a hailstorm :shock: but around 18 hours after setting out, finally came to a halt at Bidean Druim nan Ramh - my finger ends were all worn way and oozing blood and my hands cramped up totally. We retreated down Coire a Mhadaidh I think and then across the Bealach a Mhaim to Sligachan where we'd left a car. We got back to Carbost almost exactly 24 hours after we left!

Then I went off to Canada, and when I came back you guys had all gone and married each other :D , and we all had to earn a living which wasn't easy in the Wilson years - particularly after the IMF had to intervene :( .

That was the end of the "Early Days" -

WHAT WONDERFUL CAREFREE TIMES THEY WERE :D :D :D
Last edited by past my sell by date on Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:58 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Early days

Postby Grisu » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:48 pm

What a documentation! Walking in the sixties! GREAT STUFF, Tony, really!
The pictures are so impressive and most of the time of really good quality! And still it is funny that they do look different compared to the digitals of today.
I really laughed out loud when I saw the pictures with all the tiny tents and the old cars on the snow! And then the gear! Unbelievable! What fantastic memories! :lol: :lol: :lol:
THANKS so much :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Early days

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:34 pm

Thanks Grisu - glad you liked it
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Re: Early days

Postby Silverhill » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:10 pm

What a wonderful report. Thanks for making it public! :D
That looks like a completely different era, though it is less than 60 years ago. No Skye bridge yet; very few cars around (only 10 cars in the car park in your picture of Portree :shock: ); the gear (those heavy duty tents!). How times have changed.
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Re: Early days

Postby Graeme D » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:58 pm

Not every day I see pictures on here or read a report that predates me! :lol: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Early days

Postby Marty_JG » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:08 pm

Some fantastic, back-in-the-day photographs. The sort of stuff I'd expect to have to buy a book to see. Thank you for sharing.
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Re: Early days

Postby gaffr » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:26 am

The days when Morris travellers and Dormobiles were used, heavy Blacks tents with no down to earth flysheets and when we tied directly onto the rope and used classic abseils....must say that things have changed for the safer and better. :)
Quieter times but still good for times spent in the hills. Must say that having read about the adventure of the two Ferranti folks in the fifties?.... motor bike to Sligachan then by way of the Pinnacle ridge and the traverse of the ridge from there and of course the Welsh gents who seemed to have an annual meet based at the Scavaig cottage and usually included a traverse in their holiday plans. I guess these folks inspired us to regularly reach the Cuillin and to aspire to traverses and also other attempts that ended in bivvies and retreats. :)
I didn't have four wheels at the time but reached many hills using an old Puch scooter. The current ease of getting to the hills could well be under pressure with the end in sight of using the infernal combustion engines. :) Will there be sufficient charging points to allow the hill-goers to get to the out of way places?
My diapositives taken on an old Yashica camera did not stand up to being boxed up for decades with just a few surviving the melting away. Your image of the 'corner chimney ' looks a bit like Kings chimney on the traverse between Alasdair and Mhic Chonnich ...never did the West Buttress... so maybe it finishes in the same area?
Many thanks for posting the images bringing back good memories of nearly sixty years ago. :)
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Re: Early days

Postby dalavil » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:16 am

Great to see. Brilliant. Thanks for showing.
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Re: Early days

Postby past my sell by date » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:54 pm

Thanks all and especial thanks to Grisu for persuading me to make the report public - i really didn't think anyone would be very interested :lol: :lol:
Gaffr
it might be Kings chimney - but I'm not sure. Here are a couple of stock photos of the latter. It looks similar but i can't find any identical features.
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Re: Early days

Postby Grisu » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:19 pm

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :D
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Re: Early days

Postby Grisu » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:19 pm

that's nice
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Re: Early days

Postby Chris Mac » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:05 am

Amazing, thank you so much for sharing! :clap:
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Re: Early days

Postby gaffr » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:15 am

past my sell by date...….Don't know if this sketch of the area of West buttress helps much :)
From the Bealach Mhic Coinnich when on the traverses we reached the top of Mhic Coinnich by way of King's Chimney directly from the Bealach. It would look as if your route to the summit of MC, following the West Buttress, would be by this chimney. 8)
sorry file is too big..rejected. :(
Scan_20191024 (640x417).jpg
It has been Shrunk
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Re: Early days

Postby past my sell by date » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:45 pm

Hi Gaffr
yes I think it must be the same though my photos are taken from much lower. I can't remember going under it on Collies ledge which I've done at least twice but the little triangular overhang top R is probably the same. I do remember at the very beginning of the ledge a horrible black and totally uninviting cleft and thinking surely that's NOT Kings chimney :lol:
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