Friday, 26 October 2012

24.10.2012 - Sgurr Dearg and The Inaccessible Pinnacle

Our latter of our two days on Skye saw us up early and head up the south west ridge of Sgurr Dearg which in its self is a grade 1/2 scramble and very enjoyable route. We arrived at the top of Sgurr Dearg to the spectacular sight that is the Inaccessible Pinnacle standing dominantly over the summit. With no time to waste, we headed to the bottom of the In Pin to start the climb. The In Pin is traditionally climbed in 2 pitches but with Andy expressing that he did not want to lead any of them, I lead the two pitches, in one long single pitch using a 60m rope.  The climbing on the east ridge of the In Pin is graded a three star Moderate, this easy grade does nothing to reflect the exposure on this climb. I personally climb at HVS standard and I was very glad of placing gear on this super exposed narrow fin of rock towering above the steep walls of Coire Lagan. A great anchor on the west side of the In Pin produces a confident 20m abseil back to its base.  From Sgurr Dearg we headed off towards An Stac, skirting it on the Coire Lagan side on some scree before reaching the Bealach Coire Lagan and onwards to topping out on Sgurr Mihc Connich! Another cracking day on Skye!

the In Pin as seen from Sgurr Dearg Beag

Looking back down the In Pin, to get an idea of how narrow this is please consider that the rope you can see has a diameter of 8.6mm!

Bomber abseil anchor on the west side of the In Pin summit 
Me abseiling off the In Pin

Andy en route to Sgurr Mhic Connich 

there's always time for a pose! 

The Inaccessible Pinnacle and Sgurr Dearg as seen from the Great Stone Chute of Sgurr Alasdair 

Coire Lagan

23.10.12 - Pinnacle Ridge, Sgurr nan Gillean

On Tuesday Andy and I headed up to Skye to take in a few legendary routes on the Black Cuillins, the first of which was to be Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr nan Gillean. Graded at Difficult, this was a truly spectacular route involving some classic Cuillin exposure on steep aspects with rewarding views all round. From the summit of Sgurr nan Gillean (which isnt much bigger in area than a pool table!) we descended along the ridge and soon found ourselves at the summit of Am Basteir and made our way on to the iconic Basteir tooth. After a short and moderately tricky, atmospheric abseil, we made good time up to our final Munro of the day, Bruach na Frithe and descended back to Sligachan from Sgurr a Bhasteir. A great all round mountaineering day out! 

Pinnacle Ridge, Sgurr nan Gillean

Andy on Abseil from the 3rd pinnacle, Pinnacle Ridge

Looking back to the 3rd Pinnacle from the Knights Peak

Andy about to abseil off the Basteir Tooth

Very atmospheric abseil off the Basteir Tooth

Am Basteir (left) and the Basteir Tooth (right)

Am Basteir 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

20.10.2012 - Ben Nevis via Mountain path

Today I was on Ben Nevis again guiding Victoria and Rajinder on the mountain path.  They both did very well and might even have enjoyed themselves and learned a thing or two! Well done guys!

Snow cover starting at the top of the zig zags and firm under foot by McLeans steep at the moment!

good amount of snow on the summit

Rajinder and Victoria sit proudly on the summit podium