MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Location: file:///C:/B869C637/Skye2007.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Nant Peris – January 2006

Skye – May/June 2007

 

 

Although sch= eduled to last a week, this meet was extended by a few days, with several members meeting up at the Invergarry campsite on the pr= evious Thursday. Friday saw a walk up Sgurr a’Mhaoraich in sunshine and showers – thi= s is a fairly straightforward Munro, with good views in all directions (especially= as it cleared just after we reached the top).

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Saturday was= the day we were due to reach Skye, but there was the small matter of the Five Sisters of Kintail to be tackled first. A car w= as left at the western end, conveniently placed next to a bridge across the ri= ver. The path up to the ridge below Sgurr nan S= painteach is somewhat boggy, but once on the ridge, the going and the views are brill= iant, as a path undulates between the various summits. Again, the weather was sunshine and showers, though this time the showers were of snow and nearby = Beinn Fhada got a real plastering. We carried on as far as Beinn Bhuidhe and then had a tricky rough descent to the Ri= ver Shiel. This was by now something like an 8-hour day, = but it looked like getting considerably longer because, although the car was only = 200 metres away, the middle of the bridge across the river turned out to be missing! However, by holding on to the remaining cables and placing our fee= t in some precarious holds formed by bent chicken wire, we managed to get across, despite the attentions of about 1 million midges which had gathered at this spot (hence no photos of the crossing). It was then a late trip over to Sligachan on Skye.

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On Sunday mo= rning, the weather looked good, so it was a case of tackling Am Basteir straight away. This was our number one target for the week, as several of us had narrowly failed to get to the top last year in bad weather. We got to t= he Bealach a’Bhasteir = and started up the knife-edge ridge. One look at the “Bad Step” tol= d us a rope was needed to negotiate this tricky scramble (about 5 metres in tota= l) safely. Jan fixed a bomb-proof belay and then asked for the rope. It was at this stage that we discovered the rope was still lying on the floor in the cottage. For a couple of minutes, it looked like we might be coming back yet again, but a brief reconnaissance revealed that the ledges to the left of t= he Bad Step were negotiable, though they’re very exposed and I wouldn= 217;t have wanted to do them in the wet weather of last year. A further scramble = led us to the top and lunch. After this brief break, it was back to scrambling = down again, and just as we approached the Bad Step an unrop= ed scrambler from another party lost his footing on it and fell about 2 metres, resulting in a compound fracture of one leg. He was lucky in several respec= ts, as a qualified mountain guide, a doctor, a medical kit, several mobile phon= es and a GPS were all at his side within 60 seconds. We called in Mountain Res= cue and had a grandstand view as the Stornaway Coas= tguard winched him off. However, the rescue took nearly 2 hours, leaving no time f= or Bruach na Frithe.

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Monday saw m= ore good weather and a walk/scramble up Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. The An Stac screes feature heavily in this – they’re murder to go up, but give an excellent scree run coming down. The scrambling= on the summit ridge is either delightful or tedious, according to your taste. A brief and unintentional foray onto Collie’s Ledge was made at one sta= ge before we realised our mistake.

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Tuesday dawn= ed wet, with a poor forecast. This gave an excellent excuse for an easy day, w= hich turned out to be no more than a short walk round the Old Man of Storr, ignoring various notices about falling rocks. Wednesday was even wetter, with just a few brief low-level expeditions carr= ied out.

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Thursday saw= a change for the better, so it was back up into the Cuil= lin again, this time to do Sgurr a’Mhadaidh and Sgurr a’Ghreadai= dh via the An Dorus col. We did Mhadaidh first and, as on Sgurr a&#= 8217;Mhaoraich, the clouds cleared just as we reached the top. The scramble up Ghreadaidh proved to be a minor epic of route-finding= , as nobody had brought a guide book and nobody could remember which side of = 220;The Imposter” we were meant to scramble (once= you find the correct route it’s easy).

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Friday saw m= ore good weather and a variety of activities, including climbing on Ampitheatre Arrete, scram= bling on Sgurr Alasdair and bike-riding on Raasay.

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All in all, = an excellent week, in which three members completed their “sets” of the Skye Munros, with a fourth member now havin= g only two to go.