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a peak of a youngish man in a trough

a peak of a youngish man in a trough


Postby litljortindan » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:32 pm

Date walked: 07/05/1993

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1100m

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This was my birthday walk in 1993. I hitch hiked all the way from Aberdeen and camped a couple of miles south of Sligachan. Got up earlyish and smoked a cigarette before heading up to the start of pinnacle ridge. I didn't find it too difficult to get up on to the ridge, just sustained hunting amongst the plentiful ledges and holds to drag myself up the first pinnacle/bump. The ridge itself I recall as being fairly broad and the first two pinnacles not extremely steep or scrambly atall. I dodged left of the third pinnacle after ascending and descending it then made my way slightly west up the northern slope of Sgurr nan Gillean to hit its west ridge pretty near the window. The rock was cold to touch though and I had to put my embarrassingly large and bright blue gloves on for comfort. I remember one of a climbing party descending the third pinnacle shouting over/up at me to ask if I was ok. I suppose I looked like I ought not to be there what with no helmet and those silly looking gloves. Short, easy scramble from the window up to the surprisingly small summit where there was a couple of folk sitting admiring the views. And what views!
I didn't stay too long on the summit and was a bit disappointed with the view back down pinnacle ridge. Set off down the west ridge without any problems until I got to the top of a small tower. I hauled myself onto the top and lay on my stomach looking over the other side and thinking "I am stuck". I considered shouting for help but told myself there was no great difficulty in the account I'd read so thought it through and eventually spun through one-eighty degrees so that I could lower a foot onto the ledge I'd spotted below the top and this worked! Easy going after that but the up, down and round of Am Basteir felt like hard work. A nice end to the easy scrambling on Bruach na Frithe with its fine view south along the main ridge.

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South side of Knight's peak (I bypassed on the east).

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The window. My sticking/panic point can't be far off.

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The panorama that used to adorn a (bed)room wall. Sad, I know!

I was 26 years old and had no money but I slept well and happily that night.
Last edited by litljortindan on Thu May 14, 2020 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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litljortindan
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Re: a peak of a youngish man in a trough

Postby litljortindan » Sat May 09, 2020 9:08 pm

Updated.
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litljortindan
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Re: a peak of a youngish man in a trough

Postby Sgurr » Sun May 10, 2020 9:44 am

Very brave going by yourself...husband at a similar age took a friend so they could get into trouble together. Was VERY hesitant about taking me up Sgurr Dubh Mor when it was my turn 35 years later as he remembered it as a total nightmare, and was quite pleased to find it needn't be.
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Re: a peak of a youngish man in a trough

Postby Mal Grey » Sun May 10, 2020 12:02 pm

Good stuff. I was never confident enough to try Pinnacle ridge, though we did almost all the other bits of the Cuillin easily enough on our own (roped only on a couple of the key pitches elsewhere) in 1991 and 1992.

Seeing the old photos makes me think about digging out some of my old slides from that era.
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Re: a peak of a youngish man in a trough

Postby litljortindan » Tue May 12, 2020 8:46 pm

Sgurr wrote:Very brave going by yourself...husband at a similar age took a friend so they could get into trouble together. Was VERY hesitant about taking me up Sgurr Dubh Mor when it was my turn 35 years later as he remembered it as a total nightmare, and was quite pleased to find it needn't be.


I don't know about brave but I trusted Andrew Dempster's (I think) description and there was lots to hold onto, though obviously I must have got a bit confused descending the west ridge. Can't do it now so glad I did then.
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Re: a peak of a youngish man in a trough

Postby litljortindan » Tue May 12, 2020 8:55 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Good stuff. I was never confident enough to try Pinnacle ridge, though we did almost all the other bits of the Cuillin easily enough on our own (roped only on a couple of the key pitches elsewhere) in 1991 and 1992.

Seeing the old photos makes me think about digging out some of my old slides from that era.


Old photos can make for good reports I think so I'd say get digging!
Without wishing this to be a statement of the obvious I don't know if/when I'll return to the Black Cuillin but it would be nice to think I can at some point, or at least have some daydreams about it. Glad for the bits I have seen though. I was there in '92 and had two or three good back to back days traversing easier sections of the main ridge.
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