Ben Nevis Ridges

The weekend has been amazing warm weather, ideal for being in the mountains. Dave has been out on Ben Nevis with Charmaine helping her prepare for a trip to the Alps this summer.

Day 1, the team headed for Tower Ridge for Charmaine’s first ascent of Ben Nevis and first views of the North Face. Tower was fairly quiet with 3 RAF MRT teams which the team passed, had lunch and passed again on the outside of the chimney after the eastern traverse. The team finished the day with a walk around the summit and a descent of the tourist path.

Day 2, up Castle Ridge and down Ledge Route was the objective, and it gave a tremendous day out with no one else on Castle and one other team who were sun bathing on Ledge Route.

Blacks peaks above a sea of white.

I think the inversion today was better than yesterday, from the central Cuillin we could see all the peaks above the cloud.

The objective for the day with Donald and Suzan was Sgurr a Ghreadaidh and Sgurr a Mhadaidh, Donald’s last of the Cuillin and Susan’s last on her second round.

To give a journey to the day we traversed under Eag Dubh and out to the ridge between Coire Ghreadaidh and Coire an Dorus, this brings you up to the short side of the wart.

After enjoying the views we swiftly made our way to An Dorus and up Mhadaidh, in decent we bypassed An Dorus adding to the journey.

MacKenzie’s Halo.

A truly wonderful day in the Cuillin. A muggy walk in and slog up the An Stac screes brought us unexpectedly out of the cloud.

We were treated with a giant brocken spectre being made by the summit of Sgùrr MhicChoinnich.

Fortunately we arrived at the In Pinn with no other teams climbing or at the base, which gave us time to enjoy the climb.

Ideal Cullin conditions.

The other week Dave was out with Steve and Janet for 4 days during some of the best weather you can get in the Cuillin. Neither Steve and Janet had been to the Cuillin or done many Scottish Hills, but they’re keen hikers and very fit, this combined with the great weather meant they achieved their objective of all 11 Munros in 4 days.

Day 1 the team opted for the Southern three, Sgurr nan Eag, Sgurr Dubh Mor and Sgurr Alisdair. Being one of the longer days on the Cuillin it gives the guide a great idea of fitness levels and expectations for the week ahead. Steve and Janet made swift work reaching the first summit in under 3 hours, they moved quickly over the scrambling to Dubh Mor and then on to Alisdair, we saw no one all day until Alisdair.

Day 2 after a successful first day the team headed to Coire Lagan to ascend the An Stac Screes and Summit Sgurr Mhic Choinnich in amazing dry conditions, a quick walk up to the In Pin and they arrived as one team was climbing and no teams were waiting, perfect! After a brilliant ascent of the Pinnacle the team finished the day with a third Munro Sgurr Bannachdich.

Day 3 6 Munros in the bag 5 to go and the team headed for the Northern 3. The team made very quick work of Sgurr nan Gillean enjoying the climb around the pinnacles and climb through the window. A short while later they were stood on top of Am Bastier and a quick chat about route options and the team were keen to go via the Tooth and Abseil Kings Cave Chimney. A short walk for the Chimney and the team were on Bruach na Frith and their 9th Cuillin Munro.

Day 4 and the team headed for the central 2 via An Dorus, despite 4 days on the hill fitness levels were good and they made it down with time to go to the Oyster Shed in Carbost.
This is a very busy summer but we do have 1 space currently on our Guided traverse of The Aonach Eagach on 31st July

Changeable conditions on the Cuillin.

On Friday and Saturday Dave was traversing the Cuillin with David and Natalie. Fortunately, there was weather window giving a dry and cloudy first day followed by a beautiful evening, the second day was a damp start which changed to warm sun.

The team had a brilliant experience seeing very few people along the way meant they were able to make good time on the first day, to Biving under Sgurr a Mhadaidh’s main summit. The second day’s damp conditions slowed the progress over the 4 tops of Mhadaidh at 5am after a 4am alarm but by the time the team reached Bruach na Frithe the rock had dried and they were able to move quickly over the last two peaks and reach the end.

A fine route on a fine day.

On Tuesday Dave was out with John who wanted to summit Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Bastier, having chatted experience levels they made the plan to climb Pinnacle Ridge onto Sgurr nan Gillean and descend the West Ridge before ascending Am Bastier.

Another cool walk under and through the clouds made the morning approach nice, and as the team started the climb they weren’t sure if they were going to get above the cloud, but on top of 2nd Pinnacle the team emerged from the cloud to amazing views and a brockenspectra.

The team had planned to descend via the tooth but a lack of water and beginnings of exhaustion under the sun made for a change of plan and a descent back via the same route and into the coire.

Sublime conditions on the Cuillin.

Yesterday Dave was out with Campbell, Stuart and Mark for an ascent of the In Pin and a traverse of the ridge to Sgurr MhicChoinnich.

The walk in was cool under the low laying cloud, the team made quick work up the West Ridge of Sgurr Dearg over taking other teams and arriving at the Pin with a very short wait before getting on the climb. The climb was sublime high above sea of cloud and the team took their time to enjoy the rare conditions.

With Sgurr Dearg and the Pin busy the team opted to bypass the brown slabs to the An stac bypass for fear of accidental rock fall. The teams traverse of Sgurr MhicChoinnich was efficient and sociable meeting traverse teams and others. A brilliant day in the mountains.

Timing it right, on the Cuillin for a Summer solstice traverse.

Josh, Mehmet and Dave started their weeks with a perfect weather window for traversing the Cuillin Ridge. Monday and Tuesday was some of the best weather you could get for traveling efficiently on the Ridge, perfect visibility, cloud cover and dry rock.

Foreseeing the Ridge would be busy both teams set off early but staggered by 30min. A 6:30am-start paid off for Dave, Scott and Ian who had a clear run right to the Bivi, even at the In Pinn where one other team led by John Briggs who were on the summit let them past to abseil first. The team arrived at the Bivi at 4:30pm to relax as the cloud begin to clear and the warmth of the sun came through.

Josh with Stephen & James were being observed by Mehmet who was there to learn more about the Ridge and guide traverses in the future. They took similar routes to the other team bypassing the climbs and major bottlenecks but found the Ridge to be busy. That evening at the An Dorus Bivi there were 4 teams and 3 teams passed pushing on to Glac Mhor.

Day 2, both teams keen to get ahead and not be caught up in the Bottlenecks or caught in the afternoon rain had an early start. Dave, Scott, and Ian left the Bivi site at 5am, they made great time over Sgurr a Mhadaidh and managed to overtake 2 guided teams who had pushed on to Glac Mhor, this gave them a clear run over Bidein Druim nan Ramh and on to Summit Sgurr nan Gillean for 11:10am

Congratulations to Stephen, James, Scott and Ian for completing the Cuillin Ridge.

A sociable Aonach Eagach.

Dave was out on the Aonach Eagach today with Katrina, Alec and Janet. The weather was mixed but never poor, giving a cool ascent below the clouds and some views on the ridge.

The team made good progress along the ridge enjoying the scrambling and exposure, staying ahead of the masses until the pinnacles.
Smaller teams and recreational mountaineers passed whilst the team had lunch on the largest Pinnacle in this section.

Challenging conditions on Skye.

What a forecast for a 4 day Munro course, each day had rain showers and some high winds forecast but our team led by Tom, Josh and Dave achieved all 11 Munros easily.

Day 1. With this being the best day of the week with an improving forecast through day, we changed plans to ascend Sgùrr na Banachdaich followed by a swift climb of the Pin. Three teams, 11 individuals up the climb and safely lowered back onto Sgurr Dearg in just over 1 hour. We then moved onto a dry Sgùrr MhicChoinnich exactly as predicted.

Day 2. The worst weather of the week and the best option is always Sgurr a Mhadaidh and Sgurr a Ghreadaidh, the team made swift work of these two enjoying the scrambling along the ridge and were down for 2.30pm with wet underwear.

Day 3. Another poor forecast day with high winds and persistent drizzle. The team set off full of optimism towards the South end 3. The long walk in and high winds contributed to some of the team to chose not to do Dubh Mor and head straight for Alisdair.

Day 4. A forecast with a weather window made the team choose Bruach na Frithe first in the worst weather. Giving the team dry ascents of Am Bastier and Sgurr nan Gillean with views out to Elgol and North to Applecross.