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Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus


Postby Bod » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:31 pm

Route description: Sgurr a Mhadaidh and Sgurr a Ghreadaidh

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh, Sgurr a'Mhadaidh

Date walked: 07/07/2012

Time taken: 7.25 hours

Distance: 9.5 km

Ascent: 1023m

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..."Long, but come it will,
the golden run will come to us;
the Cuillin will rise,
genial in his white glory;
though the night is bitter to us
that cast a black shadow on the beauty,
the morning will break
on splendid battlements." SORLEY MACLEAN


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Coire An Dorus.


It was time again to venture back into the Cuillin and once more with Marty and Sandy, all of us prepared for tackling more of these magical mountain ridges full of puzzles and tantalising intrigue :D :D :D
What I love is the combination of both the physical and the emotional levels experienced in the blend of fear and excitement that is hard not to feel in these mountains. The Cuillin deserves many trips getting to know sections of it bit by bit, and you can't avoid your mind planning what if this? What if that? Will I try a full traverse one day? :crazy:

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Might goodness, jings! Quite a drop down into the burn.
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The cloud level matching with the boulder level where we decided it best to put on our hard-hats.
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The final approach into An Dorus.
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Good steady progress, and not too difficult scrambling up. But the actual gap is small and may have varied sensations for different people. Safe to sit though and plan next moves :)
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This is us now heading northwards up onto Sgurr a'Mhadaidh after pulling out of the An Dorus notch using big shiny hand holds. There is an easier groove on the right hand side to reach easier ground. We are continuing up here on a very broken slope that has options of rugged paths and scrambles over crests. Quite a place to be and well worth recording your route up so that you will recognise rocks and features on your way down as were going to be doing.
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Mists clearing and our first sight of Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh now behind us, and the winds that had been threatening were gone :)
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There are four tops over Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and this leads the way, but that is for another day :)
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The views appear and disappear! Very pleased to be on top of Sgurr a'Mhadaidh :) :) :)
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I think Marty has the Olympics in mind here? :)


We did experience what the Cuillin can do on our way back down to An Dorus, and that is when the mist is thick, even a very small area that you have just passed through can seem completely unrecognisable. This sets minds into confusion and sometimes panic! The secret is keep calm, refocus and enjoy the thrill. Do not go rushing off anywhere though until you have relocated.

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A small glimpse down into Coir' Uisg, but no view of Loch Coruisk today. Still evocative and magical.
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Marty negotiating his way back down to An Dorus.
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Sandy following Valerie to a place of safety to regroup, now on the slopes of Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh.
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Marty climbing up out of An Dorus. A tricky wee scramble, but one that bothered us more for the way back? We would likely want to put a safety rope in place for the down climb later? Always options to be considering and the solutions depend on your nature of the party and the conditions of the day.
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Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh above and our first sight of the Wart!
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Skirting round above Eag Dudh.
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Making good progress now after the manouvres in An Dorus.
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Clouds clearing again and more sights of scale and grandeur, Sgurr Eader da Choire somewhere down there!
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Now looking back across the Eag Dubh slot and An Dorus to the Munro summit we left 45 minutes ago. Sgurr a'Mhadaidh briefly exposed :)
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On top of Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh, all of us delighted especially after the winds experienced in Glen Brittle overnight. My mind was thinking, I wonder, shall we continue onto to the south top via the arete, pass the three teeth and climb Sgurr Thormaid before summitting Sgurr na Banachdich for a second time??? But again that will wait for another day :) :) :)


This is the point in the day when our plans changed! Not for any real reason other than intrigue about descending Eag Dubh. We had met a couple of lads that had emerged out of it earlier as we passed, and we had a little concern about setting up a safety rope for the down climb into An Dorus just a short distance further ahead. It would have been fun to pass through An Dorus again, but Eag Dubh won our vote today and it proved reasonably easy, though great care is required! There are small sections of down climb within Eag Dubh to be very sensible with and it is worth noting too that although less airy, some may feel very enclosed inside this dark rocky mountain crack. The following pictures tell the story of Eag Dubh :)

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To my mind the essentials of the day:
1. Listening to great advice beforehand that I am so lucky to have received.
2. Assessing our group capabilities continuously.
3. Having the Harvey's map of the Cuillin (two scales available front and back).
4. Having made reference to and recorded pages of the SMC Skye Scrambles Guide.
5. Proper gear, foods and water.

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A special, special landscape that presents beauty and danger unfolding days of quality atmosphere and light :shock: :wink: :D :D :D
Last edited by Bod on Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:10 pm

Brilliant pictures Bod,cannie wait till its my turn for these beautys.

PS.................Val looks really "Camp" in that helmet mate.. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby mrssanta » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:18 pm

Great!!!
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby rocket-ron » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:33 pm

What a great report bod. Am back up in skye in September can't. Wait 3-4 days. I just have inn pin left. So plenty of days to do other hills
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby Valerie » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:48 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:Brilliant pictures Bod,cannie wait till its my turn for these beautys.

PS.................Val looks really "Camp" in that helmet mate.. :lol: :lol:


Aye, the 'Camp' helmet that he is still trying to convince me looks good :? I clearly remember saying I didn't really mind what colour it was but definitely not orange, couldn't believe my eyes when out of the box came an orange helmet with Camp in huge letters over the front :shock: :shock: :shock: It would definitely have been returned if we hadn't been going to Skye the next day and I needed it :roll:
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby Bod » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:57 pm

Valerie says her helmet was very comfortable to wear and it does look good, much more red than orange! :D :D :D
Also, I was told to avoid a plain white one like mine, but when they arrived she prefered mine :lol: :lol: :lol:

Camp Armour, and Petzl helmets, both spot on for the job! :clap:
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby Bod » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:03 pm

rocket-ron wrote:What a great report bod. Am back up in skye in September can't. Wait 3-4 days. I just have inn pin left. So plenty of days to do other hills


Cheers rocket-ron! Enjoy the In-pinn when it comes :D :D :D
I've Sgurr nan Eag and Sgurr Dubh Mor in the south, been saving Sgurr nan Gillean and then looking forward to a Bla Bheinn traverse to complete the Skye munros. Been up Marsco and now planning too all hills on Skye :wink: :D :D :D :D
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby madasa mongoose » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:01 am

Well done Bod! You really capture the drama of the Cuillin. Certainly a place to respect and enjoy, again and again :D
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby Gavin99 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:44 am

Great report and lovely atmospheric photos ,and some wise words for those of us yet to venture up there.
Nice hat Val :D
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby quoman » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:10 am

Quality stuff the pictures are amazing.
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby foggieclimber » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:29 am

Nice to see these again, especially a descent via Eag Dubh (which I've not see before). Nice basalt dyke in there - could be exciting if wet. Using a rope to protect the descent from Ghreadaidh into An Dorus is straight-forward, there are large blocks a short distance back from An Dorus. I once lowered an elderly chap down who had got himself stuck.
Last edited by foggieclimber on Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:31 am

Great stuff Bod, at last i see the reason why you and Val were on such a high when i met you at House of Bruar. Can't wait to venture into the Cuillins myself. :D
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby Stuart Angus » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:35 am

Be a long time before you catch me near the cuillin but enjoyed reading that a lot, top man Bod 8)
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby Bod » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:00 pm

foggieclimber wrote:Nice to see these again, especially a descent via Eag Dubh (which I've not see before). Nice basalt dyke in there - could be exciting if wet. Using a rope to protect the descent from Ghreadaidh into An Dorus is straight-forward, there are large blocks a short distance back from An Dorus. I once lowered an elderly chap down who had got himself stuck.


Cheers foggieclimber, a basalt dyke that i guess at one point 1000's of years ago would have filled all the way up the cleft that has been widened a little by weathering. A sombre and fancinating place, that yes, would have forced us to review our thinking if very wet :crazy: :wink: :D
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Re: Sgurr a'Mhadaidh and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh via An Dorus

Postby foggieclimber » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:26 pm

Bod wrote:
foggieclimber wrote:Nice to see these again, especially a descent via Eag Dubh (which I've not see before). Nice basalt dyke in there - could be exciting if wet. Using a rope to protect the descent from Ghreadaidh into An Dorus is straight-forward, there are large blocks a short distance back from An Dorus. I once lowered an elderly chap down who had got himself stuck.


Cheers foggieclimber, a basalt dyke that i guess at one point 1000's of years ago would have filled all the way up the cleft that has been widened a little by weathering. A sombre and fancinating place, that yes, would have forced us to review our thinking if very wet :crazy: :wink: :D


Did An Dorus in "very wet" up and down both sides. Thoroughly unpleasant too - should have forced a review :lol:.
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