Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Cuillin Ridge Traverse Trip. September 15th - 22nd 2012. Day three.

Day three of our guided Cuillin Ridge Traverse commenced on Thursday. After our day on the northern part of the Cuillin Ridge on Sunday and our day on the Southern end on Monday it was decided to take Tuesday & Wednesday as rest days.

The MWIS Forecast indicated that the weather would be better for Thursday & Friday. However, on Tuesday & Wednesday we didn't sit in the cottage & do nothing - you can read about that here.

Thursday morning found us climbing back into Coire Lagan to continue our guided Cuillin Ridge Traverse. Iain initially hoped that it would be dry enough to ascend to the Bealach Mhic Chionnich to traverse Harts Ledge, but whilst we started with cloud above the summits, we also had a constant drizzle which was wetting everything.

Photo one shows some of the team as we ascended the An Stac Screes towards the Bealach Coire Lagan with all thoughts of traversing Harts Ledge banished. Harts ledge consists of basalt which is particularly slippery in the wet and it just wouldn't have been safe.

Once again, the day improved. We had a wet & cloudy traverse to the summit of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich from the Bealach, but on the return trip the cloud lifted, the Cuillin Ridge appeared and the sun started to shine. Also, there was virtually no wind only a light breeze - everywhere started to dry out rapidly.

Members of the team had been wondering if an ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle would be a possibility today but now there was no doubt in Iains mind that we would all get to do it.

Photo three shows Martin & Les as they approach Iain at the very top of the In Pinn having done a two pitch moderate climb up the exposed arete - but on dry rock with only a light breeze.

To get down we would follow the ascent with a stacked abseil from the chain at the base of the Bolster Stone - a distance of only 20m on to the sloping summit of Sgurr Dearg.


Having completed a traverse of the In Pinn with Martin & Les, Iain then got to repeat the whole thing a second time with Carl & Zoe.

Photo three shows a fairly ecstatic team at the foot of the climb up the east ridge of the Inaccessible Pinnacle with part of the southern end of the Cuillin Ridge behind them.

From left to right we can see An Stac summit - only about 100m beyond the party. Right of this the rather dark summit is Sgurr Dubh Mor then Sgurr Mhic Choinnich (our first Munro of the day) and then Sgurr Thearlaich leading up to the notch at the head of the Great Stone Chute. Right of the Great Stone Chute is the summit of Sgurr Alasdair - at 993m the highest top on the Cuillin Ridge. Below Alasdair, the Great Stone Chute drops into Coire Lagan.

Our final photo from day three of our guided Cuillin Ridge Traverse Trip sees everyone at the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich - our third Munro of the day and final destination before we descended back to Glen Brittle.  

Behind the team we can see Loch Coruisk to the left and above them the whole of the Coire Lagan face is in Sunlight with Sgurr Dearg & the In Pinn to the right.                                                         

By now it was another one of those perfect afternoons. Again, we had started out in the wet and this had meant that we were unable to achieve our initial objective of a traverse of Harts Ledge. However, being able to do the In Pinn in perfect conditions more than made up for this and the team were very happy as we made the easy traverse from Sgurr Dearg to Sgurr na Banachdich - enjoying the afternoon sunlight and views which stretched as far west as St Kilda.

It only remained to descend via Coire an Eich to the Youth Hostel at Glen Brittle - an easy but long descent and the end to another fantastic day on The Cuillin Ridge - photos from which can be viewed here.

1 comment:

MARTIN RIDGWAY said...

Just want to say that if you are thinking of doing the Cuillin you should definately consider KMS. Iain is a fantastic guy, his knowledge of the Cuillin is amazing and he provided me and the rest of the party with a fabulous week in Skye including the 4 days on the Cuillin. I'd also just like to add he makes a bloody mean chilli too.