Monday, 16 May 2011

More Highlands and Islands

Monday evening of that week I took my kids for a walk to the top of their first Scottish peak, Am Mam from where I took this picture of the clouds gathering over the Cuillins.

Cuillin Ridge from Am Mam

Another clear evening and I decided to try and head up onto Sgurr Alasdair, this meant climbing the great stone chute. I thought I had left myself plenty of time before the light faded but I was wrong, completely underestimating the severity of the scree slope. I was quite disappointed when I realised I wasn't going to make it to the top, right about where I took this picture:

Looking out over Glenbrittle beach from the slopes of the Great Stone Chute.

I'm afraid to admit I did lose my bottle briefly up there (I'm not on about my water bottle). I had been scrambling up crags to try and stay off the loose scree but when I rounded a corner and saw that there was still a very steep section before reaching the col leading up to the summit, foremost in my mind was how steep the terrain had been and I still had to get back down! I strayed too far right at one point coming back down and everywhere was very loose and steep, I couldn't see the route back the ground just seemed to drop off a cliff. Realising my mistake I headed left and could finally see the whiter stones of the path. I was a little fed up by that point, I hadn't enjoyed myself at all and felt that I had put myself in unnecessary danger just trying to tick off a summit.

I was making so much noise crashing back down through the scree, there were a few people on the ridge opposite - I think they were climbing the Inaccessible Pinnacle - must have thought I was a right vandal kicking all the stones around.

Sgurr Dearg opposite, where some climbers were on the Inn Pinn.

A nice consolation on the way back down was the view of the sunset over Glenbrittle bay.

 The day after was a little cloudier and I wanted to get a proper run done which didn't involve my hands touching rock, so I went from the Sligachan Hotel up onto Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach (I'm copying this from the map, don't ask me to pronounce it). Notice the Beinn instead of Sgurr, so not too rough and rocky.
Glen Sligachan with Marsco in the foreground and the Cuillin Ridge.

Looking north(ish).Beinn Dearg Mhor on the left with Loch Ainort and the Isle of Scalpay.

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