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back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.


Postby mrssanta » Wed May 16, 2012 7:52 pm

Munros included on this walk: Am Basteir, Bruach na Frithe, Sgurr nan Gillean

Date walked: 11/05/2012

Time taken: 9.75 hours

Distance: 13.3 km

Ascent: 1350m

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this was the last day of our Skye adventures and a brilliant finish to an outstanding week thanks to the weather, the company and the amazing hills.

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P5110911.JPG
from the campsite

Starting from the Sligachan hotel at 8am we were quickly on our way at a cracking pace up the well made path. My legs were certainly feeling stronger after a week of living outdoors. We took the path up to the left of Pinnacle Ridge to go up the south-east ridge, sometimes known as the Tourist Route. I don't like this name, it makes it sound easy and it isn't. I hope it doesnt encourage people to go out ill-equipped and get stuck.
As the path rises up the hill the views open up towards Marsco then Blabheinn and up Glen Sligachan.
P5110913.JPG
this wee lochan has orchids and water lilies but not in flower. classic calendar view over to Marsco

P5110915.JPG
waterfall

P5110917.JPG
Bla bheinn with yesterday's snow

Sadly the brave lady who had fallen on Wednesday had to turn back with her husband at about the 600metre point as she was finding it too painful. we were all very sad but promised to meet later in the bar for a well-earned pint. so the five of us continued, hitting the ridge just after eleven o'clock. That was another "Wow" moment with the sprinkling of snow from the day before really accentuating the features of the mountains.
P5110919.JPG
pano of the Cuillin from the southeast ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean. Really no picture can do it justice.

A wee rest here for a bite and a drink and a chance to soak in the wild beauty of the place before the hard scramble up the ridge to the top. this was quite tricky in places especially with patches of snow on the north side of the ridge, and especially the very last few feet to the top which is narrow with nothing to hold on to.
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Expert guiding up the tricky bits, "take your time now"

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from near the top west to Am Basteir , Sgurr a Fionn Choire and Bruach na Frithe

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just up here and along that flat bit now

P5110943.JPG
The Top of Sgurr nan Gillean

So now, where do we go? Oh, down there!! Really??
the climb down from Sgurr nan Gillean was pretty tricky and there was a biting wind whistling up the northern corries as we zig zagged down the ridge. The north side was freezing cold and covered in rime frost, but on the south we were out of the wind and warmer. We were roped together and hooked the rope between us over rocks as we went, but all came down safely with no slips.
P5110946.JPG
Graham organising the rope for the way down

there's a short pitch where we were lowered off one by one
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Rudolph being lowered off

onto the cold side of the hill.
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rime frost on the cold side

Second lunch at the bealach before leaving our bags with rocks on them as we did worry a little about them rolling off down the hill into Lota Corrie, then we scrambled up the east side of Am Basteir. actually this was fairly straightforward apart from the "bad step" where there is a notch in the ridge. We were lowered off/climbed down with a rope here but it's only about eight feet or so. Returning the same way we also got to use the rope to climb up again and back to the bags.
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Top of am Basteir

After this all the tricky scrambling was over. we bypassed Am Basteir to the north and a quick pull up a fairly normal path took us to the summit of Bruach na Frithe
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nearly cracked it!

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Done it!!!

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No actually this is the top, that's just the trig pillar

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Oh all right then!

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and here's our fabbie guide - another good week at the office! he gets a day off tomorrow.

The walk back to the Slig was great. we could see where we were going all the way to the bar, good brisk bounce over nice grass and not boggy due to the recent dry spell.
We all met up including our two missing companions for a pint in Seamus' bar at the Slig. Mine was a pint of tea, can't beat it!! A lovely evening for the classic Sligachan photo, and after all too short a time we took our leave with hugs all round.
P5110982.JPG
A perfect end to a perfect week. Sgurr nan Gillean on the left, Am Basteir with its tooth in the middle, you can see the "bad step" halfway up, and Sgurr a' Bhasteir on the right concealing bruach na frithe
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mrssanta
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby Alastair S » Wed May 16, 2012 8:56 pm

Another fab report there MrsSanta :thumbup: What a great week you had. Love that 'rime frost on the cold side' photo.

Does your guide have a website/email? I'm going to have to take these hills on in the not too distant future (i.e. before I become too decrepit :lol: ) so I'd like the names of guides that folk here can vouch for.
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby monty » Wed May 16, 2012 9:07 pm

Awesome Mrssanta. Been with Graeme all week. Weather has been fab. :D
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby mrssanta » Wed May 16, 2012 9:19 pm

Alastair S wrote:Another fab report there MrsSanta :thumbup: What a great week you had. Love that 'rime frost on the cold side' photo.

Does your guide have a website/email? I'm going to have to take these hills on in the not too distant future (i.e. before I become too decrepit :lol: ) so I'd like the names of guides that folk here can vouch for.

the guide is Graham Paterson who goes by the business name of SkyeHi. you can find a link to his website from the guiding and holidays section on this website, it is www.skyehi.co.uk Graham and his wife Annie will treat you like family and I can#t recommend them enough
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mrssanta
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby Alastair S » Wed May 16, 2012 9:30 pm

mrssanta wrote:the guide is Graham Paterson who goes by the business name of SkyeHi. you can find a link to his website from the guiding and holidays section on this website, it is www.skyehi.co.uk Graham and his wife Annie will treat you like family and I can#t recommend them enough

Thanks - now bookmarked :D
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby jonny616 » Wed May 16, 2012 10:24 pm

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby Bod » Thu May 17, 2012 12:44 am

Again, what a wonderful experience, very well done :) :) :) :) :). I have one of these left to do, but want to do all three together now.....:)
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby monarchming » Thu May 17, 2012 9:58 am

Well done to an epic week! I done these Munros a few years back but your report and pics will take me back again! :thumbup:
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby colgregg » Thu May 17, 2012 1:51 pm

Top quality Mrssanta and well done on a Northern Hatrick. Just makes me want to get back amongst the gabbro even more than ever!!!
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby pigeon » Thu May 17, 2012 5:00 pm

Great stuff mrssanta,enjoyed all your Skye reports and will be re-visiting these many times before my time comes :lol: :lol:
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby Scotjamie » Thu May 17, 2012 5:25 pm

Great photos and TR MrsS
very impressive - :clap: worth collecting the full volume of your great Skye TRs
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby kevsbald » Thu May 17, 2012 5:55 pm

WELL DONE! While you were up there, we were up the Inn Pinn. I met Annie, who was a lovely woman and we even had a wee chat in Doric. Our guide, Jonah, was equally fab.

Nice trip.
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby RussellR » Thu May 17, 2012 8:40 pm

Fantastic set of reports! Makes me more determined than ever to get back up to Skye. My two previous attempts were similar to your Blaven report. Looks like May is a better bet than September when my previous encounters have fallen foul of the weather.
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby Collaciotach » Thu May 17, 2012 8:55 pm

A cráic ing trip ..did you learn any Sgianach Ghaidhlig ? ....... bet the guides were all Galldachd :lol: :lol:
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Re: back to winter, the Northern Cuillin.

Postby Rudolph » Thu May 17, 2012 9:13 pm

Collaciotach wrote:....... bet the guides were all Galldachd :lol: :lol:


Fortunately no. Doric was our first language - with English as a lingua franca
We tried Gaelic but Mrs Santa and I only knew the Islay dialect leading to huge confusion on our attempt to ask about Eas Mor. :? :lol:
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