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Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge


Postby wilkiemurray » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:41 pm

Route description: Sgurr Alasdair

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich

Date walked: 01/07/2019

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vlog:



Collies Ledge , Sgurr Alisdair to Sgur Mhic Coinnich

A family holiday in Skye which I was really looking forward to and the first two days were looking superb (weather wise)- how could I resist the pull of my favourite place in the whole wide world – The Black Cuillin??? With family commitments and trying not to lose any brownie points, I set the alarm at 4am, sound in the knowledge that the rest of the family wouldn’t surface till well after 9!! In fact I hoped they wouldn’t know I was gone until at least mid morning!!;) Which would then give me time to get back soon after as if I hadn’t been away at all !! (Please read last bit with a sprinkling of sarcasm ;)).

After arriving at our home for the week, I set about getting my gear ready and I was ready for the off early on the Monday morning….

4am and porridge and coffee were consumed and then a drive into the sunrise with some of the most majestic scenery in the world. To add to my delight the first thing I saw as I left the car was an otter crossing the garden , this was followed by the skies glowing pink, then orange as the sun rose before the hour hand hit 5am.

Imagesunrise broadford by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageRed Cuillin by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr


I was finding it hard not to stop at every layby to take photos, but I eventually got round and down to a quiet (a rarity in the summer) Glen Brittle for about 05.30am. The Cuillin were inviting me up and I had a right good spring in my step. My original objective was a quick blast up The Great Stone Chute an back again to allow me to get back mid morning, however if things were looking good (they were!) I wanted to visit Collies Ledge again and then head up Sgurr Mhic Coinnich. The last time I had been on these peaks was on a traverse of the ridge 14 years previously and I have vivid memories of Collies Ledge which I wanted to relive today 

The path up to Coire Lagan is well made and the Cuillin dominate the view, with Rum and Eigg taking second place;) Arriving in Coire Lagan the lovely lochan awaited and I stopped for a while on the slab of rock that sits on its crest and admired the views back down to the beach .



ImageCoire Lagan by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr



However, I was only delaying the inevitable, that being the brutish ascent that was awaiting me. The Great Stone Chute is easily identified and just about takes you to the top of Sgurr Alasdair, I was expecting this ascent to be brutal, and it didn’t disappoint! Foot placements were key and I must admit the walking poles really helped (I was doubtful if they would’ve helped). After a good old slog, I eventually reached the Bealach.


ImageGreat Stone Chute by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

The sun was starting to light up Coire Lagan behind me which gave great views, but as I crested the bealach the panorama of the southern Cuillin with the mainland mountains as a back drop was spectacular! What a sight. It was around 07.30ish now and after gawking at the views I had the short scramble to the top of Sgurr Alasdair (involved a short balancey section!). It was fun though and soon I was perched on the highest point in Skye with the ridge stretching out before me !


ImageCuillin Ridge by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageSouthern Cuillin by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr



I’d like to say I had the place to myself but before long I spotted a group of three climbers coming over from Sgurr Dubh Mor. It was amazing and I sat on the summit for about 30 minutes before moving on – the climbers I had seen hadn’t arrived by the time I left the summit but they would soon catch me up.

Descending back to the bealach and I decided that I would descend down the Great Stone Chute and traverse across the face of Sgurr Thearlaich to gain access to Collies Ledge. When we did the traverse, 14 year ago, we had come over Surr Thearaich to get to Collies Ledge but this involved some grade 3 scrambling, down the face and being on my lonesome, I decided on this slightly easier route today.


Once about a third down the Chute I found a slight path heading off north and traversing the rocky face. The poles were put away as to get to the Bealach Thearlaich involved some easy (grade 1) scrambling. I found a gully leading to the bealach and scrambled up. At this point I could hear voices very close and eventually spotted the three climbers descending Sgurr Thearaich. They were very close to me and I expected them to appear at the bealach at the same time I arrived but when arrived I couldn’t see them although I could still hear them. Next was the highlight of the hike – Collies Ledge. To ascend it from the bealach you follow the polished rock round to the right and a couple of scrambling moves up see you at the start of the airy traverse.


From this point , Collies Ledge didn’t disappoint! The airy traverse is a sheer joy. Nothing technically demanding but the exposure to your left is immense. At points I had both hands on the rock to my right with gaping drops looming below me, but saying that if you are ok with heights this is a few hundred metres to enjoy – absolutely stunning
I eventually reached the end of the traverse and soon the going was vertical again. At this point the three climbers had caught me up and I let them pass as it turned out they were doing the ridge traverse. They were moving well and at speed – hope they made it safely to the end of the ridge 

ImageCOLLIES LEDGE by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr


ImageCOLLIES LEDGE by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

Once you reach the crest of Sgurr Mhic Coinnichs ridge there is scrambling all the way to the summit. At points the exposure is almost greater than when on Collies Ledge as the drops are now on both sides. A head for heights is a definite requirement here! However I was soon on the summit and the chaps had passed and were quickly descending – heading for the Inn Pinn and Sgurr Dearg. Me on the other hand , well I was in no rush and I enjoyed another 45 minutes on this airy perch, enjoying the views and solitude. It was now about 9 am.

ImageBlack Cuillin by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

More filming and photos were taken and now I had to descend. I knew that more scrambling was required as I descended the same route I had just ascended. Beyond this however, more down climbing and scrambling moves are required before reaching the flat area above the An Stac Screes. After a wee bit of route finding on the descent (there are lots of ways down through the large boulders – some easier than others!) I eventually reached the flat area and sat and had a third breakfast before getting the poles out again for the scree descent.


Having done my research I knew I had to find the correct line for the descent, which wasn’t too bad as the weather was clear, I had noted this point on the way down from Sgurr Mhic Coinnich. The top of the descent is steep and loose and I was grateful for having poles, but once on the actually scree run, the going was slow but nice , his time having gravity on my side (unlike the ascent of The Great Stone Chute!


Before long and I was again in the magnificent amphitheatre of Coire Lagan. I sat down and relaxed. The helmet was replaced with my hat and I soaked in the views in the knowledge that I could just about start to relax! The path out was now the only obstacle and I headed down passing many , many people who were taking a walk on the fine, warm and sunny morning.

An hour after reaching the car (and driving past the busiest locations I’ve seen for years – Fairy Pools and Sligachan!), I eventually got home at lunchtime. A few brownie points were lost but not enough to stop another quick Cuillin blast later in the week (stay tuned!;))
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby dogplodder » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:51 am

Wow! Watched your video and parts of that ledge had my stomach churning. But what a day you got for it - just fabulous. :thumbup:
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby DizzyVizion » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:58 am

Stunning pictures and a stunning report of a stunning adventure! Absolutely brilliant! :clap:
One of the best I've ever seen :thumbup:
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:08 pm

Great report, and absolutely superb pics (no surprise there)!!

But when I came to the video, I got this message....

Message.jpg


:( :( :( :( :(

Never had this before, and I'm not prepared to sign on to any google apps (I avoid Google, Amazon, Facebook whenever I can),
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby Bruno » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:38 pm

Another absolute cracker of a film and report. Just a joy to watch. I`ve done this route and I actually now get the opportunity to enjoy it rather than having to concentrate so hard on the route!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby LeithySuburbs » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:40 pm

Alteknacker wrote:I'm not prepared to sign on to any google apps (I avoid Google, Amazon, Facebook whenever I can),

You Luddite, you :wink: .
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:12 pm

LeithySuburbs wrote:
Alteknacker wrote:I'm not prepared to sign on to any google apps (I avoid Google, Amazon, Facebook whenever I can),

You Luddite, you :wink: .


Nothing against the technology, but these guys are way too powerful - I really fear for politics by the time my grandchildren start being conscious of such things. The Philippines and Dutarte is a great example of what is happening. Fake news lives!
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby past my sell by date » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:36 pm

Wow great stuff - takes me back to my first visit to Skye almost exactly 60 years ago :( Spent most of my holidays there for the next few years :D Avoided the stone shoot I think but went over the TD gap a few times. Charged along Collie's ledge without thinking anything of it :crazy: -'fraid I was young and foolish and had no respect for the hills at all :( :( :(


AK
I can't see the pics in a lot of reports ( particularly my own!) on Firefox - have to use Chrome. (tho not tried Internet Explorer or Edge) As you say the giants are taking over :(
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby wilkiemurray » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:19 am

dogplodder wrote:Wow! Watched your video and parts of that ledge had my stomach churning. But what a day you got for it - just fabulous. :thumbup:


I was lucky - it was meant to be blue skies , but I am kinda glad it wasnt wall to wall sunshine - been burnt in those conditions before on the Cuillins!! :)

Thanks and thanks for watching the vid :)

ATB

Murray
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby wilkiemurray » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:20 am

DizzyVizion wrote:Stunning pictures and a stunning report of a stunning adventure! Absolutely brilliant! :clap:
One of the best I've ever seen :thumbup:


Thanks :) it was a great day out - just glad I was able o d it- a week later and I was in my pit suffering from the Lymes infection and wondering what the heck was going on!!lol all better nowthough

thanks for watching the vid DV

ATB

Murray
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby wilkiemurray » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:22 am

Alteknacker wrote:Great report, and absolutely superb pics (no surprise there)!!

But when I came to the video, I got this message....

Message.jpg


:( :( :( :( :(

Never had this before, and I'm not prepared to sign on to any google apps (I avoid Google, Amazon, Facebook whenever I can),



Oh - not too sure what has happened there? could you watch it through the YouTube page perhaps? The vid is better tha the piccies IMPO ;)
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby wilkiemurray » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:23 am

[quote="Bruno"]Another absolute cracker of a film and report. Just a joy to watch. I`ve done this route and I actually now get the opportunity to enjoy it rather than having to concentrate so hard on the route!! :clap: :clap: :clap:[/quot

Its a cracker of a day on the ridge isnt it :) (well apart from the ascen up theChute!! lol

thanks for watching the vid

ATB

Murray
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby wilkiemurray » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:24 am

past my sell by date wrote:Wow great stuff - takes me back to my first visit to Skye almost exactly 60 years ago :( Spent most of my holidays there for the next few years :D Avoided the stone shoot I think but went over the TD gap a few times. Charged along Collie's ledge without thinking anything of it :crazy: -'fraid I was young and foolish and had no respect for the hills at all :( :( :(


AK
I can't see the pics in a lot of reports ( particularly my own!) on Firefox - have to use Chrome. (tho not tried Internet Explorer or Edge) As you say the giants are taking over :(



Think I'll be avoiding the Chute on the next trip too !lol cant wait to go back :)
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Re: Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Postby Sgurr » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:31 pm

We used to take it in turns to go out from Cockermouth when we took husband's aunt on holiday. Had either of us been as late as lunch, all Brownie points for the next n years would have gone up in smoke. Even the sight of our boots in the car meant zillions lost, so they would be packed in the suitcases in poly bags. 9 am would be the latest before disappearance of car would be spotted, so the truant would have to reappear with some shopping. You have a very tolerant family.

What a fantastic day out.
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