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So close to Sgurr nan Gillean

So close to Sgurr nan Gillean


Postby JimboJim » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:33 pm

Route description: Sgurr nan Gillean

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr nan Gillean

Date walked: 01/06/2019

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 930m

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Had a shout from a good mate, asking if I'd fancy another visit to Skye, to try and do a couple of the toughest one's, after a previous visit a year before floundered in bad weather.
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Sgurr nan Gillean, 964m and Pinnacle Ridge. Looks a dawdle :)

Heart in mouth, I signed up once more, knowing that my head for heights ain't what it used to be in my seafaring days, many moons ago. The plan was to knock off a Munro in Kintail on the way there, do the In Pinn or, Sgurr nan Gillean the next, then, the other the following day.

Advance weather watching proved frustrating, as prospects varied from good to awful. As it was, the hoped for hike in Kintail was blown out of the question and stroked off the list days before, by snow and wind.

Never mind, the next two days didn't look just so bad, though wind and showers might be an issue. As usual, enjoyed the fine drive up to Skye. Steve, took his own motor as he planned to stay an extra day and do Sgurr Alasdair, before going home.

Got settled into the bunkhouse in Carbost and quickly resumed weather watching. Yeughy looking early doors, some snow showers and breezy, but gradually improving. Ok, let's try SnG, with a wee bit later start.

Didn't look too nice as we set off from Sligachan, think about half 11, but hopefully weather would play ball! Followed route as per WH's. Mountain was well shrouded in clag and we had light showers of snow, as we made our way across Choire Riabhaich. It was already apparent to me, that navigating in these parts can be tricky, as I soon lead us off too much to the right. Steve, quickly sensed things weren't on track and soon had us bearing up the boulders on the left hand slope.
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Way up somewhere to left, though think this was taken coming doon. Doesn't look much, but it isn't easy to find the route, in poor visibility, at least.
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SnanG towers above, as we head up the ridge.
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Lovely ground!

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Time to get the crampons on.

About half way up here we put on the crampons, which were a great help, though they would often be scraping on barely covered rock, too. Crossing the boulders out to the SE ridge was tough work and hard to plot a route. Somewhere higher up the ridge, Steve made me get the harness on and we got roped up. The going was harder now, but at least the sky cleared quite a bit, for spells, though occasional showers still passed by.
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The quite amazing looking spire of Sgurr na h-Uamha. Left it for another day :)
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What a view. Pity never had my bridge camera, though.

I think we got to about "stage 6" when things started to get more hairy. Again, am not certain, but think we were on the "less steep but more exposed and less reliable sloping rocks out to the left," when Steve came to a pensive halt. He said he was struggling to find a place to make a belay, but it looked like the summit was only about 50 yards beyond. Despite my anxieties beforehand, I felt reasonably comfortable up to this point, but knew there was worse to come.
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In Pinn just about poking through.
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Round to Am Basteir.
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Looks more airy than I remember. Maybe my eyes were shut??
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Pretty exposed here.

Steve, continued to contemplate what to do. Afraid, I didn't offer much contribution, neither did he ask for it. After a minute, or two he said, we will call it a day. I felt for him, as I hadn't been much help either in the climb, or deliberations. If he had a fitter, more confident climber, I am sure he could have made the summit, no bother. I wasn't sure whether to tell him just to go for it himself, or what, but as he said, if "I get into bother, we're both in bother." I hadn't any issue turning around and going down, though as I expect happens with others in the same situation, it wasn't long till nagging doubts come into the mind, wondering "if only....?"
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Quick way up/down.
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Getting a bit tricky now :)

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Still managed a smile, despite turning around just above here.
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Steve, making his way down.

We roughly followed same track back down. It seemed like a lot longer walk back to Sligachan. Not much was said, apart from marveling at some of the many great views to be had and hopes of a quieter day to come on the In Pinn tomorrow. Back at the car in 7 and a half hours, pretty jiggered to be honest with you. How I wish I hadn't lost so much fitness after a bad episode of flu in February!
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View of Glamaig and its pals. Would like to do them some day.
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Through to Bla Bheinn. Marsco, to the left, we climbed the following day.
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Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir and Sgurr a' Bhasteir, as we retreat, defeated :)

Ah well! Retreat to Carbost, for a good bar meal, pint and prayers for the better weather, which I would need. Would we get lucky ........ ? :(
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How it looked the next day!
Attachments
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Steve, heading down down.
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Sgurr Beag round to Sgurr na h-Uamha.
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Why is it called the Black Cuillin :)
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Kinght's Peak, centre.
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Garbh Bheinn, left and Bla Bheinn, right.
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Lingering look back at SnG, having had to give up 50m, from top :(
Last edited by JimboJim on Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JimboJim
Walker
 
Posts: 633
Munros:243   Corbetts:38
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:22
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

Re: So close to Sgurr nan Gillean

Postby JimboJim » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:45 pm

and a few more of an epic, if ultimately defeated day.
Attachments
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Murder trying to cross these boulders.
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SE Ridge. Doesn't look too tough :)
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Nearing the summit, or about as near as we got :)
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Time to get prepared.
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Over to Bla Bheinn.
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Old fogie.
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The confusing ground.
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Why couldn't it have been like this in the morning?
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JimboJim
Walker
 
Posts: 633
Munros:243   Corbetts:38
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:22
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

Re: So close to Sgurr nan Gillean

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:52 pm

You may not have got the summit, but you did get some sensational photos!

A friend of mine told me about turning round on that ridge - at probably the very same spot you got to...

Tim
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: So close to Sgurr nan Gillean

Postby JimboJim » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:28 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:You may not have got the summit, but you did get some sensational photos!

A friend of mine told me about turning round on that ridge - at probably the very same spot you got to...

Tim


Thanks, Tim, yes, was pleased with some, even though Ii never had better camera and even more pleased to get back down to view them :lol:

We shall call it the turnaround spot :)

Jimmy
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JimboJim
Walker
 
Posts: 633
Munros:243   Corbetts:38
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:22
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

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