Wednesday 21 September 2016

The Cuillin Ridge Traverse, May 7th - 14th, 2016. Trip report.

Well, May & June were just such busy months for us here at Kendal Mountaineering Services that there is a massive "hole" in our Blog Reports for that period. It did all get reported on our Facebook page though and we are trying to catch up on the blogging!

On Skye, we enjoyed the best weather since May 2008 enjoying wall to wall sunshine for the entire time we were there. We were down to three persons on this trip (left to right - Darren, Jim & Joanna) seen in Glen Brittle on the start of day one.
Read the report and see more photos from day one on Facebook here.

One day one, we managed to traverse from Sgurr Nan Eag, via Sgurr Dubh Mor to Sgurr Alasdair - so that was a considerable section of the Cuillin Ridge completed; and three Munro Summits bagged on our first day out.

We did continue on to Sgurr Thearlaich with the intention of carrying on to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich, but the rather large amount of snow on the north side of the ridge prevented us doing so. However, we reached the summit of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich on day two as well as the In Pinn seen in photo two and Sgurr Na Banachdich. So - another three Munro summits achieved; and another great day on the ridge on our second day out, but damn! it was hot! apparently the hottest May day in Glen Brittle since records began.

Read the Facebook report from day two and see more photos here.

Sadly, Darren had to leave us on the evening of the second day. It had been a very short second visit for him to Skye (he joined us on the May 2015 trip) but we do hope we will see him here again.

The next day, we chose to take a day off as the forecast was looking set to continue hot & sunny for the rest of the week. We had a lie in, then took a run into Portree for breakfast and then drove over the middle of the island back to Struan and on to Carbost.

That afternoon, Joanna took a walk around the Minginish coastline and Iain had a walk locally. Jim just relaxed at the cottage in the sun with a bottle of wine!

The following day - day three of our time on the Cuillin Ridge, we did the Coire a' Ghreadaidh Horseshoe and along the way, climbed Sgurr Thuilm and scrambled up the west ridge of Sgurr a' Mhadaidh - both firsts for Iain. The continuation over Sgurrs a Mhadaidh & a' Ghreadaidh was fantastic and relatively straightforward in the dry conditions - good news as this section is one of the ridge's trickiest sections!

Read a more in depth report and see more photos from this fantastic day out here.

On our final day of our Cuillin Ridge Traverse, we did the northern section of the ridge from the Sligachan Hotel - up the South East Ridge to the summit of Sgurr Nan Gillean (photo four), down the West Ridge and up on to Am Basteir. From here, we retraced our steps to the Bealach a' Basteir dropping down under Am Bastier and up again to reach the Bealach Nan Lice before taking the easy ridge up to the summit of Bruach Na Frithe.

We encountered a lot of snow on this part of the ridge in Coire a' Basteir and in Fionn Coire necessitating the use of an ice axe and winter skills techniques, but it was another truly fantastic day. Read the report from this great day here
There are no reports about our final day on Skye, but again, we took it easy. Joanna went off for another walk, Iain & Jim went off for a bit of a drive around Skye.

The first place we went to were the Fairy Pools in Coire Na Creiche. (photo five)

Coire Na Creiche is basically the head of Glen Brittle - the valley which bounds the west side of The Cuillin Ridge. Here, the River Brittle flows down through a small gorge in which there are a series of very pretty waterfalls; and pools. The pool in this photograph is of particular interest as in it there is a rock arch - partially submerged. No doubt this is a great place for a swim & the challenge would be to dive down & swim through that arch - Iain wasn't up for it today though!
We drove back to Carbost and then on to the A863 heading north towards Dunvegan.

Dunvegan itself doesn't really have a lot to offer tourists, but Dunvegan Castle is certainly worth a visit if you are in the area - the gardens are beautiful as of course is the rest of Skye at this time of year!

However, a drive over via Glendale to Neist Point (photo six) is well worth doing if you get this far. The drive over the mountain pass is scenic and Glendale is a surprisingly large community with a shop, community centre and several cafes. The walk to the lighthouse at Neist Point is breathtakingly beautiful..the views across The Minch to Beinn Mhor & Hecla on South Uist are just amazing and there is rock climbing galore here if you fancy it.

Skye is a bewitching place, an amazing landscape and the nearest that the UK has to an Alpine ridge in this country. If you've been once, you'll want to go back...for many reasons!

And we will continue to go for as long as we are able; and in doing so, take great pleasure in introducing our clients to all that this amazing island has to offer....

The dates of our next visit to Skye to traverse the Cuillin Ridge are as follows.

May 6th to 13th and May 13th to the 20th. Saturday to Saturday both weeks, seven nights self catering accommodation and four days of guiding on the Cuillins with Iain - an experienced Mountaineering Instructor with extensive knowledge of The Cuillin Ridge. The cost will remain at £450 per person for the week.

Contact us now to book your place on these amazing trips to Skye. We look forward to working with you.

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