Friday 1 October 2010

OM Skye meet, September 2010. Day four, 17th September.

Friday, our final day on the ridge, found us down to three people. Jo had decided to take the day off, so the rest of us returned via Coir An Eich to Sgurr Na Banachdich doing it in a mega-fast 1 hour & 45 minutes from the youth Hostel.

Up to this point, the weather had again been looking promising, a dry start, good views, then the cloud rolled in and the wind got up.

Iain was a little concerned as the knife edge of Sgurr A Greadhaidh is no place to be in bad weather, but whilst we had cloud for a while (as seen in this first shot on the Greadhaidh arete) once again, it cleared out.

And by the time we had descended to An Dorus via The Wart, we were again in warm sunshine and the views were once again, great. Here - in shot two, Chris gets the support of a rope as he back climbs down into the notch in the ridge that is An Dorus. Below, Sean looks on; and in the background is the Cuillin outlier of Sgurr Thuilm.

Sgurr Thuilm is a good peak in it's own right - being a most imposing looking peak right opposite as you descend in to the head of Glen Brittle. The ridge connecting it to Sgurr Mhadaidh (the west ridge) is a great grade 3 scramble too.

An Dorus is considered to be at the mid point of the Cuillin Ridge traverse and is often used as an place to leave or join the ridge. An Dorus is a basalt dyke as are many of the gaps or notches cutting through the Cuillin Ridge. Another famous one is the Thearlaich Dubh Gap and there are many others causing would be ridge traversers problems - such as the three splitting Bidean Druim Nan Ramh into three separate summits and the last "sting in the tail" beyond An Caisteal on the way to Sgurr Na Bhairnich!

Usually its Iain taking all of the shots of other people enjoying themselves on their outings with him, but here Sean snapped Iain (red jacket) as he brings Ray to the head of the climb on the second summit of Sgurr Mhadaidh.

Sgurr Mhadaidh has 4 summits and somewhere between each one there are sections where a rope has to be used - unless of course you know about the sneaky little route on to the 3rd summit from the gap between it & the 4th! Again - that's where hiring a well qualified guide with good local knowledge such as Iain can help you get a long way in a day on a Cuillin Ridge traverse!

The final summit of the day. Sgurr Mhadaidh, 1st top. Now all of the difficulties are behind us, Iain can put the rope away and we can all pack up our helmets & harnesses and enjoy the easy descent to the Bealach Na Glaic Moire and from there back to the car at the head of Glen Brittle via Coire A Mhadaidh & Coire Na Creich.

Behind Sean, Chris & Ray - left to right are Sgurr Dearg & the In Pin, Sgurr Greadhaidh with its top just in cloud and Sgurr Mhadaidh's main summit.

Whilst not completing the ridge in it's entirety, Iain had managed to get his party on to every Munro on the ridge
and everyone was delighted with what they had achieved during their four days on the ridge making it, from Iain's point of view, another success.

We had had every type of weather imaginable thrown at us during this week
- sometimes all of it on the same day! We had worked well together on the ridge and gotten on well together at all other times, drunk lots of beer, eaten some great meals and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company whilst having an amazing time. This is what the OM Skye meets are famous for.

Iain will be organising the next OM Skye meet for next May in March and following that there will be another one scheduled for September. If you want to come to Skye with me watch out for the thread on OM or to book your own Cuillin ridge traverse contact us or check out the Kendal Mountaineering Services website viewing the Cuillin Ridge traverse page. If you want to see the rest of our pics from this week on Skye you can view them here.

We look forward to working with you.



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