The last five days I have been working on Skye where conditions have been mixed to say the least. Careful route planning and lots of weather deciphering meant my clients got to tick Munro’s every day though, something they were very happy with. The last three days I was joined by Paul, Jon and Tom who I hadn’t seen since 2011 when I last took them to the Himalaya’s on a trek towards the Nangpa La. Dave also joined as the beat up to his MIA assessment dawns ever closer so it was good for him to hone some skills and more importantly get to know Skye a little better. Yesterday the forecast looked terrible with snow above 650m accompanied by strong winds made route decision a bit of a gamble. We chose right though and had a leisurely start toward the Inaccessible Pinnacle via its West Ridge. By the time we got there the skies were clearing and the winds were subsiding making for a really nice ascent with nobody else in sight. We extended our day by bagging Sgurr na Banachdich and descending the Gobhar Ridge.
Saturday was wet and wild, no picturesque photo’s today just head down and bracing into the wind and rain. We did manage to get to the top of Sgurr nan Eag at the Southern end of the Cuillin Ridge before quickly making our way back down to the shelter of the Coire Ghrunnda.
Friday on the other hand was a day of two halves. Torrential rain early doors followed by a very windy day high up on the ridge but drying out as the day went on. We started off on the East Ridge of Am Basteir before returning to our bags and ascending the West Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean. Both routes are excellent in their own right but combined with a wander round to Bruach na Frithe makes an excellent outing. Well done to Paul, Jon and Tom for getting out when things looked to be against us, even though they had high hopes of a ridge traverse they should be happy with their performance in some challenging conditions.
Prior to this I was working for Skye Guides and took Malcolm and Bill up the Inn Pin for Malcolm’s 60th Birthday followed by a day on the northern end tackling Gillean and Basteir. The guys did really well and enjoyed the exposure of ridge even though neither had done much technical scrambling previously. Two more great days on Skye, all we need now is for a little more dry weather to tackle a few up and coming Cuillin traverses!