Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Highlights from Skye so far

Since returning from fairhead  at the beginning of May, I have been living and working on Skye mostly mountaineering work in the Cuillin a mixture of day trips and overnight cuillin traverses as well as some great rock climbing day both coastal and in the Cuillin. Each day has been unique with fantastic keen clients and a massive variety of new and old options to explore on the Island. It is definately has to be up there as one of the best places to work.
Rubha Hunish
And a few good days off cragging.

Ian seconding Minch and tatties

Ian leading up the second pitch of Master of Morgana
The Cioche in style
These two chaps were a pleasure to be out with for three days, they were inspiring still so passionate about the mountains and keen to scramble and climb at the the age of 68. So we started with a trip up the cioche and arthur thompson route above to finish off. The crag was a bit damp but they managed well and we had many interesting chats about routes they had previously done on this crag in the 60's and how methods and gear had changed. 

Highlander retake... now they just need to go and watch the film to understand.

Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn
The matterhorn of the Cuillin, clach glas bla bheinn traverse has to be one of my favourite outtings in the Cuillin, plenty of interest both in route finding and climbing. We had the perfect weather so made the most of it.

Rod and Philip on the final pitch up onto Bla bheinn.
Pre traverse training at Neist Point
Joe had been to the Cuillin two years previously and definately got the Cuillin bug, so she was back for a traverse and got some good weather and climbing in too. We started at neist point for some training, climbing, abseiling, movement and generally having a good time getting to know one another without too much uphill walking to save ourselves for the traverse starting the next day.

Joe seconding Tatties at Destitution point

Joe on the Green lady, good to get on a stack.
Speedy start for the traverse
And so we set off for the south end of the ridge, a true traverse end to end. This is a great way to start, speeding towards the Cuillin in a rib with just the two of us, getting dropped off next to the seals and setting foot up the steep slopes to Garsbheinn with none-one around. We had gear stashed at Sgur a Ghreadaidh so with lighter packs we managed to get to all the summits and do pretty much all the interesting climbing sections such as the TD gap (some what damp) and the Kings Chimney. 

Joe making light work of the slightly damp and thrutch TD gap.

Joe pulling through on Kings Chimney on Sgur Mhichonnich
 Dinner and sunset on the Bivy, it can't really get much better.
Cioche West
Traverse complete, a fair bit of rain on the second day meant the camera didnt come out so much and we got our heads down to get to the end, but we still did all the peaks. Joe was super chuffed but still full on energy on finishing so we planned for yet another day in the hills to do a route on Sron na Ciche. 

Joe on the cioche west crux traverse.

The final knife edge arete of the cioche nose onto the cioche.
Sunshine at Elgol
Today I met Michael for the first of three days rock climbing in and around the Cuillin, he is keen to develop his indoor rock climbing to outside and do some multipitch routes. So we covered all the basics at elgol and got plenty of mileage under the belt including a couple of E1's which was a great start for him on his first day back on rock this summer. 

Michael throwing for the last holds against the pump on Angel of sharkness.


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