Bagpipes on Sgurr Alasdair

Date walked: 07/08/2017

Time taken: 6 hours

I had high hopes for August. A bit of time off work, time spent up North around the mountains, and I hoped, lots of time spent in those mountains.

As it stands, at time of writing, this one magical day on the Cullins, is all I have to show for the month, but, the day almost makes up for it!

Lets go

The day started early, with the recruitment of two of my local friends, we headed for Glen Brittle. Even at the fairly early time of 9am, the glen was starting to get busy. As is well documented, Skye has become a true magnet for all visitors to Scotland, and who can blame them :-)

Cloud was shrouding the peaks when we started the fairly straight forward march towards Coire Lagan, It is such a stunning easy walk, that it is very popular, so we met quite a few on the way. It was a great walk. I kept waiting for a pterodactyl to rise out of the corrie, such is the landscape. My friend Rab was telling me of his last visit, and when his friend was scaling the cliffs surrounding us! Now that is a different game all together.


On arrival at the corrie, we took it all in. We would have been happy had this been the destination, such is the beauty and atmosphere of Coire Lagan. Awaiting us across the lochan, was the infamous stone chute.


Now, I grew up at the foot of Beinn Sgritheall, I know all about scree, having spent my days up and down it, but this was something else! Every step was a carefully calculated procedure. The sound of stones giving way, and knowing people are coming up behind on the route, was a worry, and ill be honest it is the first time I have been a little uncomfortable on a route.

On the stone chute

We were in no rush though, and each stop, and 180 degree turn gave a bigger, broader view of the Cullin.

Upon arrival to the ridge, I was delighted. Solid footing, and views to die for! It was now a simple scurry to the summit.

I'm not lying when I say it was the most spectacular view I have experienced on the hills. The realisation of where you are standing, the onward views, and surrounding hills just combines to form stuff you have to see to appreciate.

Out came the pipes, and the sound verberated all around the hills! It was a fantastic feeling, as was the sound of the echo upon finishing, and the applause coming from all directions. Climbers all over the ridge had stopped to listen, and it was such a surreal feeling. It is the sort of feeling you wish you could bottle, and use when normal days get to you. Free therapy in the mountains!

Ceilidh at the top

The descent, despite being on a mental high, was another challenge. The fear of starting a landslide looming over me as I came back down the chute. As I neared the bottom, confidence got higher, and was able to scree surf with a bit more gusto.

What a day, and, being on Skye, even the drive back to Glenelg was stunning!

Cullins, I am coming back for you!!! Check out summit video below.


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Occupation: Sport Therapist
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Glenelg Inn
Mountain: Beinn Sgritheall
Place: Glenelg
Ideal day out: Ridge Walk
Ambition: To complete all Munros

Munros: 110
Corbetts: 3

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Ascent: 1921m
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Joined: Feb 20, 2013
Last visited: Aug 07, 2020
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