Tuesday 1 June 2010

OM Skye Meet, May 15th - 22nd 2010. Cuillin Ridge traverse, the final day.

Wednesday was a well earned rest day although no-one had a long lie in. It had been decided that a good cooked breakfast was the first thing on the agenda that day. Following this people chilled out and the weather was cloudy and at times, wet. We also had a visit from two long standing OM members & friends - the Ayrshire Tiger and his partner TBW (Elaina) who had driven a considerable distance from Loch Carron to join us.

The final day on the ridge was to prove, if anything, slightly wetter, but a lot warmer as we walked in from the Sligachan Inn to finish off the ridge.

In this first picture Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr Nan Gillean appears out of the mist as we make our way towards Coire A Bastier. This ridge, a classic grade 3 is a fantastic way to ascend Sgurr Nan Gillean and as well as top end scrambling, involves some abseiling too. Kendal Mountaineering Services offers ascents of Pinnacle Ridge along with other classic Cuillin scrambles and,of course, The Cuillin Ridge Traverse.

As we ascended towards the Bealach A Bastier, the weather did not improve much. It remained cloudy with a steady drizzle and once we reached the bealach we were met with a steadily increasing wind which caused Iain some concern.

However, soon after, it started to brighten up as we ascended Nicholson's Chimney and made our way up to the top of Sgurr Nan Gillean.

Just before reaching the summit the route passes through a gap under a wedged block and here Ellie "threads the eye of the needle".

On the summit there were no views so we didn't hang about and returned to the Bealach A Bastier with 1 roped downclimb - not usually done but Iain felt it necessary owing to the wet and then the mandatory stacked ab back down Nicholson's Chimney.

Back at the Bealach A Bastier the weather had improved to the point where the rocks were drying out and so we headed up on to the Summit of Am Bastier - the groups final Munro. This, although fairly exposed, is safe when its dry and involves just one short downclimb/climb just before the summit.

The third photo here shows Mike, Derek, Maria & Ellie on the Summit of Am Bastier and this marked the end of the traverse and the bagging of the Skye Munros that had also been amongst the groups objectives.

Unfortunately Kelvin did not make this final day - owing to the cooked breakfast of the previous day!

All that remained was to descend back to the bealach and then head to theSligachan Inn for that waiting pint of beer and so eager were we that some of us had two pints! The Cuillin Brewery Black Face ale went down particularly well, what a great beer!

During the walk back to the Sligachan Inn, the weather began to dry out and the views were to improve. There was an unusually large amount of snow lying up in the Cuillins this year - evidence of the hard winter we saw last time. Lets hope this next winter turns out to be just as good!

Kendal Mountaineering Services will be running its annual trip to the Cuillin ridge next May. As per usual, there will be a guided traverse of the Cuillin Ridge but also the option to do classic scrambles such as Pinnacle Ridge seen here.

We are also offering the same package this September - 11th - 18th 2010 - again, a guided Cuillin Ridge traverse and/or classic Cuillin Scrambles. The cost again is £350 per person and includes 7 nights of self catering accommodation. Contact us at info@kendalmountaineeringservices.co.uk to book your place.

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