The Northern 3 Munros, Skye

Yesterday, Jon and I made the most of his final day by tackling the 3 northern Munros on the main Cuillin Ridge; Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe. The weather was marginally better than the day before, but it was still pretty wet for much of the day!

We tackled Sgurr nan Gillean first, but ascending and descending the West Ridge, before heading straight up and down the East Ridge of Am Basteir and finally cutting beneath its north face and over to Fionn Choire and up on to Bruach na Frithe. We managed to bag 9 Munros over the three days, in less than ideal conditions, leaving Jon with only 9 more Munros left to go.

Despite the conditions, it was a surprisingly social day, with a number of friends also out guiding.





Wetter than an otter's pocket on Skye today

Today was wet, very wet! It's been a while since I've experienced such wet conditions on Skye and fortunately, it looks like it won't be quite so wet in the foreseeable future!

I was back out with Ed and Jon and we braved the rain and tackled the southern three Munros on the main Cuillin Ridge; Sgurr Nan Eag, Sgurr Dubh Mor and Sgurr Alasdair. We did have to head quite far up the Allt Coire Lagan to find a suitable crossing point.

Needless to say, views were non-existent today and we didn't see anyone all day, but Jon and Ed still enjoyed the adventure, even if we did finish the day with wet pants! Dave was also out braving the weather on Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh and Sgurr a'Mhadaidh with Emma today.





Misty on the Black Cuillins

Jon, Ed and I entered the clouds at the lip of Coire Lagan and didn't drop back out of it until quite a way down Coir' an Eich, but fortunately, it mostly stayed dry for much of the day.

From Coire Lagan, we made the steep pull up to Bealach Lagan, before ascending Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. We retraced our steps, then headed round to the In Pinn, for which there were no queues and finished our day on Sgurr na Banachdich. The rock was definitely much more slippery than of late, but we still made good progress and were down before the rains started.





Sgurr na Sgine and The Saddle

I was back out with Carole, who I had been out with last year, exploring some lesser nooks and crannies on An Teallach and Liatach. Today's adventure was no different, as Carole is on a mission to reach the summits of the Munros, Tops, deleted Tops, SIMs (hill over 600m with a drop of 30m all round) and ideally subsidiary SIMs. That's quite a list.

Anyway, I shan't list all the tops we visited today, but we did visit 13 of them, by walking up to Bealach Coire Mhalagain, then onto Faochag and Sgurr na Sgine, before crossing back across to Sgurr na Forcan, the outlier of Sgurr na Creige, The Saddle and a number of other summits before dropping into the picturesque Alt Undalain. It's great getting out and exploring all these lesser visited spots.

Brilliant weather for much of the day, with a few light snow flurries, but overall, dry and clear.






Nice and dry on the In Pinn, Skye

Despite a mixed forecast for the day, Neil, Ben, Caroline and myself enjoyed a dry ascent of the In Pinn on the Cuillin Ridge on Skye.

With it being a bank holiday, and with the weather having been pretty wet yesterday, we were expecting a fair few teams today, so were very pleasantly surprised to find no one else there. The clouds parted just as we arrived, allowing us to savour the ascent of the most technical of all the Munros.

Just as we finished, Caspar and his team set off, and whilst there was a flurry of sleet, it soon passed through.







Curved Ridge, Castle Ridge & Golden Oldie

Over the past three days, I've been out with Blair, bagging some of the classic scrambles in Lochaber. On Thursday, we went for Curved Ridge, which was largely dry, although once in the clouds, things were a bit damp underfoot. We made our way round onto Crowberry Tower, which tends to be much greasier than Curved Ridge, but still gives some excellent scrambling.

On Friday, we tackled Castle Ridge, which whilst not quite as sustained as Curved Ridge, is definitely a bit trickier. From the top of Carn Dearg, we descended Ledge Route, to give a fantastic circuit.

With rain moving in from the west yesterday, we decided that we would leave the Aonach Eagach for a nicer day. Instead, we took the gondola at Nevis Range and made our way round to the West Face, where we climbed Golden Oldie. Despite it being more popular in winter, it still gives some excellent scrambling in the summer. Just be prepared for quite a bit of steep grass on the approach!

We have a few spaces left on various scrambling days over the next month:

Curved Ridge, Buachaille Etive Mor £99
https://www.westcoast-mountainguides.co.uk/…/curved-ridge-…/
-2 June

Aonach Eagach £99
https://www.westcoast-mountainguides.co.uk/…/aonach-eagach…/
-15 June
-22 June
-13 July








Skye Munros Course – Days 3 & 4

Two more days, six more Munros bagged. Yesterday, with tired legs and various niggles, we were a slightly denuded team. A fresh dusting of snow blanketed much of the Cuillins first thing in the morning, but with it being another clear day, much of it melted fairly quickly. We made ascents of Sgurr Nan Eag, Sgurr Dubh Mor and Sgurr Alasdair, before descending the Great Stone Chute, which was still holding a far bit of snow on its upper reaches.

Today, we were back to a full compliment and had a great day on the northern three Munros. We made an ascent of Sgurr Nan Gillean via its West Ridge, before traversing Am Bastier and abseiled down the atmospheric King's Cave Chimney. An easy ascent of Bruach na Frithe marked the final summit of the day and the eleventh Munro of the week. Skye wouldn't be Skye if we didn't have to don our waterproof jackets for even just a short time and whilst it was snowing lightly up high, we soon hit the freezing level on our descent.

It's been a great four days, with largely excellent conditions throughout.

If you're up for the challenge of tackling all eleven Munros on the main Cuillin Ridge, get in touch, as we spaces left on our 10-13 September course.

















Skye Munros Course – Day 2

With rain due for sometime in the afternoon, we decided to have a shorter day, by tackling Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh and Sgurr a'Mhadaidh, which worked out well, as we were down just before the rain arrived.

It was a day of fluctuating temperatures, from very warm in the sunshine one minute, to bitterly cold as the easterly winds picked up the next. Again, we managed stayed dry throughout. To reach both summits, we made our way up to An Dorus, before scrambling up to the summit of Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh first. From there, it was a case of returning to An Dorus and then heading up Sgurr a'Mhadaidh. Five Munros ticked off, six more to go this week.








Skye Munros Course – Day 1

With such a good weather forecast, Steve and I thought that we should capitalise on it, by tackling Sgurr Mhic Choinnich, The In Pinn and Sgurr na Banachdich for the first day of our four day Skye Munros Course.

We made steady progress up the An Stac Screes and from Bealach Lagan, made a return journey to the summit of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. Despite the sunshine, there was quite a chilly easterly breeze, which was particularly noticeable on the crest and Coruisk side of the ridge. We continued beneath An Stac, before tackling the In Pinn, which was surprisingly quiet. Following an ascent of the East Ridge and abseil descent of the West Ridge, we walked over the Sgurr na Banachdich, bagging the third Munro of the day.

We had a bit of graupel (snow) on the descent, but it clearly had been much wetter down at Glenbrittle Campsite.

We still have spaces on our final Skye Munros Course of the season, running 10-13 September 2019, so get in touch if you fancy tackling all the Munros on the main Cuillin Ridge.










The Cobbler, Aonach Eagach & Castle Ridge, Ben Nevis

Not all in one day by one team I hasten to add! This is what our teams have been up to over the past couple of days. I've been enjoying some ski touring in the Alps and en-route home, met Ruth in Arrochar, to bag the summit of The Cobbler, possibly the finest of all the Corbetts. The true summit is a finger of rock on the Central Peak and whilst the technicalities are short, it is quite tricky and exposed (and great fun, of course). The weather remained dry and fairly clear for much of the day, but on the summit, the winds were quite bitter and there was quite a bit of ice about. After bagging the summit, we descended the northern flanks of the hill.

Meanwhile, Josh was out guiding Iiona and Nicola over the Aonach Eagach. They too had a great time and made great progress over this brilliant ridge. We've got a few spaces left on our guided Aonach Eagach days, see below for more info.

Today, I was out with Chris, who is over from Hong Kong. He was eager to reach the summit of Ben Nevis via a technical route, so we decided to go for Castle Ridge, which was largely dry. That said, we did encounter a fair few sprinkles of snow, which was starting to lie and above 1300m, there was a good covering of fresh snow. The older patches were very firm, but avoidable on the steeper sections of the mountain path.

We have availability on the following upcoming Aonach Eagach trips (£99/person), all led by holders of the Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor qualification:

15th June 2019 -1 SPACE AVAILABLE
22nd June 2019 -1 SPACE AVAILABLE

For more info, visit: https://www.westcoast-mountainguides.co.uk/…/aonach-eagach…/