Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The Skye Clean up

The flog straight up to the main Ridge

The weather forecast lied, said it was going to tip it down overnight then clear up and stay fine for several days. As a believer I travelled up to the CC hut in Roybridge in pouring rain smug in the notion that it would all turn out fine in the morning.

Arriving at 02.00 hrs, nobody at home as usual, I set the alarm for 06.00 and woke to the pitter patter of heavy rain I was not so smug anymore. My plan had been to visit the Glen Affric area that involved a couple of nights under canvas. So I walked up to the main square in Roybridge where I can get a mobile signal, The weather forecast was now rain all day in Northern Scotland.
Mooch round Fort Bill in the rain, really not smug now, set the alarm for 04.30 and wake to thick mist. On a whim I abandoned the plan Affric and drove to Skye,  the mist starts to rise as I approach the Sligachan.

Have been avoiding the Skye Munros cos of the midges, don't fancy camping here so I park at the Glen Brittle SYHA on spec. Got the only male bed in the place, unlike the CC hut the place is rammed.

Had done several of the Skye Munros on previous climbing trips so the plan to mop up the remaining eight involved an odd combinations of walks.

I flogged straight up to the main Ridge from The SYHA at a col known as the An Dorus gap. There is something very special about those Skye hills once you hit the ridge.
'Twenty peaks of naked rock shimmering in the heat haze: a horseshoe of light grey spikes linked by a six mile ridge of gabbro and shattered basalt. I wander along a knife edge ridge above a quilt of sunlit seas as distant isles dance beneath my toes'
I quickly tick off Sgurr a' Mhadaidh (918m) and Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh (973m) that straddle the gap then set off along the main ridge Sgurr na Banachdich (965m).
The weather is now set perfect if not a little on the warm side, I start to encounter Skye ridgers coming towards me, am quite shocked cos they all seem to be overheating BUT still wearing climbing helmets and carrying heavy full strength ropes.

The closer I get to the In Pin I encounter more helmeted punters its like health and safety gone mad!!!!!

Thankfully I have already done Sgurr Dearg (986m) so did not have to join the extensive queue to the summit so I slide past it onto Sgurr Mhic Choinnich (948m)

All that was left now was the painfull stone chute descent and the thought of a depressing night in the SYHA.

  Scrambling up toSgurr a' Mhadaidh (918m)

Twenty peaks of naked rock shimmering in the heat haze

 More pinnacles than you can shake a stick at.

Health and safety gone mad

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