This week I have been working for Skye Guides again. Monday and Tuesday were spent with Rebecca and Matt who are both relatively new to climbing but both very keen to start climbing ‘properly’ outside. With the forecast against us it was down to some detailed weather deciphering to make sure we stayed out of the heaviest downpours but also find crags that were accessible and less intimidating than the many seas cliffs Skye is renown for. We spent Monday climbing on Somonara area at Neist which is a crag set well back from the sea so is non-tidal but has all the atmosphere of climbing above the water. Between showers we climbed Keeping the BOFs Happy (D), Trailer Park twin cracks (S,4a), Call International Sheep Rescue (HS,4b) and Dont Leave Dad in the Rain (S,4b) before we went back and set up a rope to assist Rebecca lead Keeping the BOFs Happy. This was to be her first outdoor lead, one which she climbed well and will hopefully stay with her as she climbs more over the coming years.
Tuesday looked even wetter so we made best of the impending weather and went out to Suisnish Pillar, a crag I hadnt been to before but sounded like it ticked all the boxes – long routes at amenable grades, non-tidal and accessible via a path rather than abseil. The crag was also made up of a very rough Diorite which dried incredibly quickly meaning we didn’t have to wait for the routes to dry out we could just get on with climbing in the rain! We climbed Left Edge (D), Right Edge (VD) and Afternoon Tea (VD) aswell as covering an abseil approach for Rebecca and Matt’s future climbing trips to more demanding seas cliffs.
Yesterday was this weeks final day on Skye. I met up with Stewart who over the years had ticked off almost all of the ridge and wanted to finish the final hurdle: Naismiths Route on the Basteir Tooth. Again the South Westerly winds were making everything pretty wet but I was optimistic and so we went for ‘a look’ to see what we could do. We approached via Sgurr a Bhasteir and its NE Ridge which is a pleasant grade 1 scramble, with elevation came more and more rain, some of it heavy. I could tell Stewart wasn’t feeling as enthused as me but I thought Naismith’s would go if he was up for an adventure. As we approached the tooth Stewart quite valiantly decided it looked a little tough in the wet. We carried on down under Am Basteirs South Face and joined the Lota Corrie Route (M) which goes much more easily when wet and windy. We had a short bite and some celebratory photos on the Tooth itself before abseiling down Kings Cave for the grand finale.