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Sgurr Mhic Choinnich & Sgurr Alasdair via Collie's Ledge
by kevsbald » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:59 pm
Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich
Date walked: 14/08/2020
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 10 km
Ascent: 1100m13 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).
We left Glen Brittle and stormed up to the loch in Coire Lagan, which was still enshrouded in mist. We took a breather at 1800ft and he said to keep to the left of the An Stac screes, otherwise it would be tough work. I could sense that the sun was trying to burn off the mist and as we walked and climbed higher, the cloud dissolved leaving me staring at the behemoth of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich 1000 feet above; "eh, it looks bigger in real-life, Jonah". He chuckled. Already I was thinking how the hell would I be able to go from that big peak in the sky over to that other big pointy peak in the sky - on Skye. When we got up to the bealach, the sight that lay around us was one of the best I've ever witnessed - a full inversion of all the major peaks poking through the cloud - even as far as Rhum. Just incredible and I was in awe of my situation. It's possibly the best view I've ever experienced in all my hill days.
We took on some water, got the harnesses and helmets on and began the final assault up on to Mhic Choinnich. I was very glad that I could follow Jonah up this - I wouldn't have had a clue. Before long, we made it up on the small summit and to the cairn. I daren't ask how we were going to connect the ridge but Jonah just said "Collie's ledge, bit of a climb after that; round a corner and a down-climb - you'll be fine". Now, I'm very lucky in owning Gordon Stainforth's Cuillins book and I was desperately trying to remember what Collie's Ledge looked like - it didn't sound particularly wide - ledge would suggest a narrow 'path'. A likely drop of 1000 feet to the corrie floor, I thought. Anyway, without time to **** myself, we carried on back to where said ledge was and he said to just follow him and if I wanted to look down, I could. I did but rather than freeze, I just accepted that this had to be done and carried on. The mist most likely hid where I'd die if I fell - perhaps overly dramatic. We made it round the ledge and we roped up, before we did some exposed climbing. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Jonah is a very charismatic and honest man - his stories of his time in the Marines (and out of) were both fascinating and tough to listen to. We can never comprehend the sacrifices these folks make - and how they have to adapt to civilian life after it. A sense of purpose can be the difference between life and death. I was extremely grateful to have lived the life I had and to have kept good physical and mental health. We spoke about the latter and it was refreshing. We need the hills to remind us of what we are. They give us a sense of purpose.
Eventually, we began the last climb up on to Sgurr Alasdair and once at the summit, the view out to Gars-Bheinn was also sublime.
Munro no. 262 and possibly one of my most memorable - or was it Munro 261? We down climbed after a cuppa, cooled off and then began the descent down the Giant Stone Chute - it looked steep but we got down in quick time and took a breather and soaked our heads in the loch. From here, it was an easy and hot descent back to the cars. What a superb day - not sure it can be beaten, Huge thanks to, in my opinion, the best guide in Skye.
by Collaciotach » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:33 pm
by Graeme D » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:24 pm
by jmarkb » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:08 pm
Out of interest, did the guide take you over Sgurr Thearlaich or did you skirt round it?
by kevsbald » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:13 pm
by jmarkb » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:32 pm
kevsbald wrote:Good question; we went over as it’s a Top. I found this the most airy situation!
Great, thanks, that's handy to know! I have not (yet) done the link between Mhic Choinnich and Alasdair.
by litljortindan » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:28 pm
by Sgurr » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:00 pm
We joined up with Mike Lates and having been rained off twice just asked him to phone us when he had a client for the Inn Pin. He did, and husband completed on it. Then Mike said his other client . Pete, wanted to do Sgurr McCoinich as well, what about it? Did that, and then Collie's ledge and over Sgurr ?Tearlich to Sgurr Alasdair, none of which I was expecting, but having been told there wasn't an easier way, was just glad to do it. This is Collie's ledge converted from a print with the Inn Pin in the background, still don't know how we did it.
by rockhopper » Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:04 am
by kevsbald » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:42 am
by malky_c » Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:27 pm
I think I spotted one of your photos from here on the BBC website a couple of weeks ago .