Tuesday 1 June 2010

OM Skye Meet. May 15th - 22nd 2010. Cuillin Ridge traverse, day two. Inaccessible Pinnacle to An Dorus.

Monday the 17th dawned fine although the Cuillin Ridge was shrouded with mist as it often is first thing. However, optimism dictated that it would clear and it did - but not whilst we were all traversing the Inaccessible Pinnacle!

Iain started off by belaying Maria & Mike up this via the moderate climb at the eastern end of this airy and exposed arete. Some would say not having a view of the exposure is a good thing - exposed it is and getting polished too. Maria had climbed the In Pin before and Mike was confident so up they went and quickly down too via the now familiar "stacked ab".

The first photo shows Derek, Ellie & Kelvin (in that order) approaching Iain at the end of the second pitch at the summit of the In Pin (also the true summit of Sgurr Dearg) before descending via a stacked ab down the considerably shorter west face. Being the hardest thind either Derek or Ellie had done in the mountains before, this was a tremendous achievement for them both. Neither were sure whether or not they could do it beforehand and they both felt it was either now or never. Iain's view was "in that case - its now!" Congratulations to them both!

Taken en route to Sgurr Na Banachdich the cloud started to lift in photo 2 and from here the views just got better & better- just as well given that this picture was taken at about 2:30pm and we still had Sgurr's Na Banachdich, Thormaid and A' Greadhaidh to go before arriving at our next departure point from the ridge.

The view beyond the group to the left is down, into Coire Uisge and Loch Coruisk. Bla Bheinn is poking through the mist on the right and Sgurr Dearg has once again disappeared into the mist right behind the group.

In photo 3 taken from Sgurr A Greadhaidh, a view out east looks over Coire Uisge, Loch Coruisk and Bla Bheinn.

Sgurr Na Banachdich is traversed fairly easily on its west side before descending to climb back up on to Sgurr Thormaid. Beyond Thormaid one can traverse around either side of a rocky fin to reach the Bealach A Greadhaidh without traversing it.

The crest of Greadhaidh rises to a narrow airy arete before a slight drop and then climb up on to the main summit. The next point to aim for is An Dorus - a fissure cleaving the ridge between Sgurr A Greadhaidh and Sgurr A Mhadhaidh. Another rock fin (The Wart) is encountered on the descent best turned on its left side before one arrives at the Eag Dubh (another deep fissure cleaving the ridge). Easy scrambling then leads down to An Dorus where a tricky down climb is best roped.

The final photo of day two shows the party descending from An Dorus which is the gap in the ridge behind to the left on the skyline above.

The party had descended the skyline from the summit of Sgurr A Greadhaidh which is up to the right. The black slit of the Eag Dubh can be seen to the right of An Dorus - this is not a descent route from the ridge!

Having almost negotiated the long scree slope coming down from An Dorus, the rest of the route down Coire A Greadhaidh and out to the the Youth Hostel at Glen Brittle was relatively easy going.

Another long day, another 3 munros and and 7 ascents of the Inaccessable Pinnacle (Iain had to do it twice!) another great achievement for all concerned!

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