Sgurr Alasdair (5 June 2008)

Parked just outside Glenbrittle car park and set off along the track which starts behind the campsite toilets. After just over 0.5km we took the left-fork of the path, heading towards Coire Lagan.

Looking up into Coire Lagan from path:

We followed this easy path up into Coire Lagan.

View of Great Stone Chute from Coire Lagan:

Sgurr Mhic Choinnich from Coire Lagan:

Loch Coire Lagan:

After a quick stop, to put on helmets, we started the gruelling ascent of the Great Stone Chute.

Andy starting ascent of Great Stone Chute:

Andy ascending Great Stone Chute:

Relieved to see the top of the Great Stone Chute:

Andy and Colin near top of Great Stone Chute:

On reaching the top of the Great Stone Chute we stopped for around 15 minutes where we had to put on midge nets. We then set off up the short relatively South-East ridge scramble to the summit (Grade 2). There is one relatively exposed bit during the ascent where some may wish to straddle the ridge.

Ascent of Sgurr Alasdair from top of Great Stone Chute:

We stayed at the summit just long enough to get a few photos and to see the summit squirrel before returning to the top of the Great Stone Chute. (Who on earth took a squirrel up Sgurr Alasdair and why? )

Andy and Colin at summit of Sgurr Alasdair:

View down to Loch Coir’a’ Ghrunda from top of Great Stone Chute:

The descent down the chute was much quicker than the ascent (need to take care in upper section as there is very little scree left)

Had another break in Coire Lagan before returning back out to the car.

An Stac screes from Coire Lagan:

In Pin and An Stac from Coire Lagan (zoom x6):

Another nice day out.


Am Basteir & Bruach na Frithe

Another early morning start saw us depart from Sligachan Hotel heading for Coire a’Bhastier.

Sligachan Munros:

Crossing the Allt Dearg Mor:

Sligachan Munros from the Allt Dearg Beag:

During the walk in we got fine views of Am Bastier, our first intended Munro of the day.

Am Bastier:

Pinnacle Ridge:

Am Bastier (zoomed):

Bhastier Gorge:

We ascended scree just below the pinnacles of Pinnacle Ridge skirting round towards Bealach a’Bhastier.

Colin below Bealach a’ Bhastier:

Am Bastier from Bealach a’ Bhastier:

West Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean from Bealach a’ Bhastier:

Central Cuillin from Bealach a’ Bhastier:

After getting geared up for the ‘Bad Step’ abseil, Andy, Colin and Malcolm ascended the crest of Am Bastier.

Andy ascending Am Bastier:

On reaching the ‘Bad Step’, and selecting suitable anchors, we descended leaving the rope in place and completed the scramble to the summit of Am Bastier.

Malcolm getting lowered down the ‘Bad Step’ of Am Bastier:

Andy lowering Malcolm then Sultan down the Bad Step:

Andy, Malcolm and Colin at summit of Am Bastier:

On returning to the ‘Bad Step’ we climbed back up to retrieve the gear and continued the descent back via the ledges above the Lota Corrie to Bealach a’Bhastier.

Andy climbing ‘Bad Step’:

All five of us then skirted round below the North Wall of Am Bastier regaining the ridge at Bealach nan Lice.

Bhastier Tooth from Bealach nan Lice:

Climbers on the Bhastier Tooth:

From Bealach nan Lice we skirted Sgurr a’ Fionn Choire and followed the path to the summit of Bruach na Frithe.

View North from Bruach na Frithe:

Group photo at summit of Bruach na Frithe:

We then reversed the route back to Bealach nan Lice and followed the obvious footpath through the screes down into the grassy Fionn Choire and back out to Sligachan.

Descending from Bealach nan Lice:

Looking back up Fionn Choire:

Pinnacle Ridge (zoomed) from Allt Dearg Mor path:

A successful week thus far with another fine day spent on the Cuillin.

Beinn Dearg Mhor & Glamaig (3 June 2008)

Parked at Sligachan and set off walking along the right of way to Coruisk. After a few hundred metres, I left the right of way and followed the path alongside the Allt Daraich. This is a lovely stream with several waterfalls and pools.

Allt Daraich Waterfall:

Another Allt Daraich Waterfall:

Followed a good path up gentle slopes towards Sron na Bhealain en-route to Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach.

Ascent to Sron na Bhealain:

Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach from Sron a Bhealain:

Continued along the ridge to Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach and then onto the Graham Beinn Dearg Mhor.

Glamaig and Beinn Dearg Mhor:

From Beinn Dearg Mhor the ascent up Glamaig looked impossibly steep.

Steep ascent of Glamaig from Bealach na Sgairde:

The descent from Beinn Dearg Mhor to Bealach na Sgairde was very steep. I zig-zagged down the scree to the bealach and then began the laborious ascent up the steep scree of Glamaig.

Looking back from Glamaig to descent from Beinn Dearg Mhor:

Looking back from Glamaig to descent from Beinn Dearg Mhor:

Was very relieved to reach the summit of Glamaig.

View from summit of Glamaig:

I descended more very steep scree from the summit of Glamaig pretty much in the direction of the Sligachan Hotel.

Glamaig is possibly the steepest and most scree-covered hill I have ever climbed.

During the walk I was well impressed with the variety of plants and flowers. I took photos of several and have included photos below. If any of the flower identification is incorrect, please let me know.


Marsh Lousewort:

Common Bog Cotton:

Common Spotted Orchid:


Moss Campion:

Sea Campion:

Bla Bheinn (3 June 2008)

On what was supposed to be our day off in a hectic week of ‘bagging’ the Black Cuillin, Malcolm and I set off from the car park beside Loch Slapin at 10am heading for Bla Bheinn.

View of Bla Bheinn from the start of the walk.

After an hour, during which we had ½ an hour of drizzle (the only rain we had all week) we reached the upper corrie and had been joined by Kevin (Taf) from the Breacon area of welsh Wales. After crossing the grassy ‘Alp’, as it is called in the SMC Munros book, we took to a spur of rock and scree and headed up into the clag.

Heading up towards the South Top.

We reached the ridge and after a short walk, at 12noon, we reached a cairn which turned out to be the South Top, not our intended target I may add, but only a short scramble from the summit.
We had lunch here hoping it would clear, as signs were promising.

Lunchtime at the South Top.

On the South Top we were joined by Andrew, also from Wales. It failed to clear so the four of us headed off the top, taking a detour to the right down a short rocky gorge, then back up to the ridge and on to the busy main summit.

Malcolm at the summit looking like he is trying to push over the Trig pillar.

After another short break we headed down our interned ascent route back to the ‘Alp’. The view started to open up as we descended below the mist. After another short break we walked out to the car park in sunshine.

Heading down from summit.

Loch Fionna-choire, with An Stac to the left and a hazy Loch Slapin behind

Looking back up into the corrie on the walk out.

Back to the car at 2.45pm which gave us a shorter day with plenty of time to relax before our target of Am Bastier and Bruach na Frithe the next day.

Bla Bheinn still refusing to give us a clear view.

Inaccessible Pinnacle & Sgurr na Banachdich (2 June 2008)

After yesterday’s exertions on Sgurr a’Mhadaidh and Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh it was another early start from Glenbrittle with the In Pin being the main target of the day. The MWIS “negligible wind” statement was correct in that the midges were out to play.


A few hundred metres from the start we passed the Eas Mor waterfall tumbling into an impressive gorge.

Eas Mor waterfall above Glen Brittle Memorial Hut:

We followed the path alongside the Allt Coire na Banachdich up into the coire passing through low clouds en-route.

First sight of ridge through early morning mist:

Once on the ridge an easy ascent up zig-zagging scree led to the summit of Sgurr Dearg and intimidating views of the In Pin.

North Face of In Pin (large rockfall scar visible):

West Ridge of In Pin:

As we sat awaiting our turn, contemplating the climb ahead, the mists below dispersed leaving glorious views to the South.

Rum on the rocks:

Great Stone Chute from summit of Sgurr Dearg:

Profile of East Ridge of In Pin:

When our turn arrived Andy climbed the West Ridge, set up the belay and in turn top-roped Malcolm, Colin, Duncan and Alex to the summit.

Malcolm ascending West Ridge of In Pin:

Colin ascending West Ridge of In Pin:

Duncan ascending West Ridge of In Pin:

Alex ascending West Ridge of In Pin (Andy belaying):

Andy abseiling off In Pin:

After lunch and a short discussion it was agreed that we had sufficient available time to follow the ridge to Sgurr na Banachdich.

Sgurr na Banachdich:

After a short diversion to the Southern top we had to retrace our steps for several hundred metres to avoid a c.100m sheer drop. On reaching the summit we had a relaxed descent to Glenbrittle via Coire an Eich.

Group photo at Sgurr na Banachdich summit (In Pin in distance):

Easy descent via Coire an Eich:

Mandatory beer or two at the Slig:

A successful day. Five up the West Ridge of the In Pin and all back to Portree very happy bunnies.

Sgurr a’Mhadaidh & Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh (1 June 2008)

Parked beside Glenbrittle Youth Hostel where there is room for around ten cars. Set off just after 08:00 with the sun shining strongly over the ridge.

Waterfall on path above Glenbrittle Youth Hostel:

After 90 minutes the serious work began with the ascent of the scree to An Dorus and onto the ridge proper.

Ascent of scree below An Dorus (The Door):

Colin posing below An Dorus:

Once at ‘The Door’ a short 5m scramble led onto the slopes of Sgurr a’Mhadaidh.

Andy scrambling out of An Dorus onto Sgurr a’ Mhadaidh

The views Southwards opened up with most of the Southern Cuillin Munros visible.

Southern Cuillin from ascent of Sgurr a’Mhadaidh:

Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh from Sgurr a’Mhadaidh:

After 2hrs 50mins the summit of Sgurr a’Mhaidaidh was reached and an early lunch taken. A descent by reversing the outward route saw us back at An Dorus ready to scramble out the other side for the ascent of Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh.

At this point, as we watched in horror, a disaster almost occurred when an elderly gentleman taking an unusual route out of An Dorus towards Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh, peeled off the scramble and slid 10m down the scree towards the drop to Loch Coruisk.

With no more than cuts and bruises he got up and continued on up from An Dorus towards Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh. A little bit shaken by the experience we carried on up Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh and relieved ourselves of our rucksacks just after the Eag Dubh cleft.

Looking down the Eag Dubh cleft on Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh:

Alex ascending Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh:

Sgurr a’Mhadaidh from Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh:

Loch Coruisk from Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh:

The summit was reached just after midday.

Busy summit of Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh:

Put the hat on and smile for the camera:

The elderly gentleman, who had the accident climbing up Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh from An Dorus, was unable to down-climb back to An Dorus. We therefore offered to lower him back down on a rope, which was gratefully accepted. This made the effort of carrying the rope up there worthwhile.

The descent thereafter was thankfully incident free.

Back on the level with An Dorus above the scree:

A great day out.