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Bruach na Frithe - Winter on a Good Day
by BobC » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:21 pm
Route description: Bruach na Frithe
Munros included on this walk: Bruach na Frithe
Date walked: 09/03/2017
Time taken: 5.5 hours
Distance: 13.5 km6 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).
I was visiting Scotland and managed to persuade my wife and daughter for a "leave pass" for a day in the mountains. We were traveling to a few areas and were only on the Isle of Skye for a few days. The weather forecast was not good for the first couple of days, but was looking promising for the third day, a Friday. My initial intention when planning this trip from Australia was to ascend Blaven, but a suggestion from the local outdoor shop in Portree was to choose Bruach na Frithe as a simpler option, particularly as I was walking solo. The advice that it had a simpler retreat was possible if the weather and/or visibility declined seemed prudent.
Friday dawned and the weather was very kind - some cloud, but plenty of breaks of sunshine and relatively light winds.
I was dropped off at Sligachan and walked along the very well defined path following Allt Dearg Mor with views of the Cuillin getting more imposing as I progressed.
The path turns south east and heads up Fionn Choire and in the fine weather it was easy navigating. At this point I was passed by a couple of younger walkers who were walking more quickly than I. After exchanging pleasantries I asked where they were heading. They replied that they were just heading for the top and going for it. They had one small, light daypack between the two of them and I was concerned about their lack of gear and very light boots. I asked whether they had crampons and ice-axes and they didn't think that they would need them. I suggested that when they reached the snowline that they make a very careful assessment of the conditions underfoot.
We then continued to ascend the choire and the slope gradually steepened. The conditions underfoot were very forgiving as we entered the snowline. They elected for a more direct ascent onto the ridge whilst I headed more towards the Bhasteir Tooth. As you reach the ridge the Tooth is suddenly front and centre and is a striking image.
I stopped on the ridge to drink in the fantastic views and take several photos.
I then made my way along the ridge to the summit of Bruach na Frithe being absolutely in awe of the superb views in all directions. The snow had become a lot firmer and wind packed along the ridge with a couple of little icy spots.
By the time I reached the summit the younger couple had already started to descend the north west ridge and seemed to have stopped for lunch. I also stopped for lunch on the summit - I suspect that I was very lucky to be able to sit on the snow and enjoy fabulous views with almost no wind whilst having a quick lunch.
I then looked down to see that the younger couple had moved a little further down the ridge, but appeared to have reached an impasse. They were faced with a significant step down and steep drop-offs on either side. It looked very dangerous given their lack of crampons and ice-axes. I yelled at them to stop and come back up. I am very pleased that they did so. The lady said that she was very scared and had been about to telephone the rescue service.
I gave them each a walking pole to help with the descent down Fionn Choirre, which was a much simpler and safer route than they had intended. They were both somewhat embarrassed at the position they had got themselves into and they vowed that they would be better equipped next time. I was just relieved that they had stopped when they had got into a dangerous position.
This was my first solo Munro and was a thoroughly enjoyable day. I rate it as one of the best days walking I have had. The refreshing beer at the Sligachan Hotel also wewnt down a treat.
by malky_c » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:31 pm
by Cairngorm creeper » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:03 am
by Graeme D » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:43 pm
Now THAT'S what I call a PHOTO!!!!!!
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