Sunday, 17 May 2009

Skye - right place, right time

Ron and I headed off to Skye last Sunday hoping that the weather was going to be good and it turned out to be fantastic for almost the whole week.

On Monday we took David and Alastair up to and onto the Inaccessible Pinnacle and luckily, we were ahead of the crowds. We had fun scrambling up and the abseil down off the short side provided more excitement! Amongst the crowds, I met up with friends, Mark and Grant who just happened to be along to watch the fun. We continued on along the ridge after the In Pin to Sgurr na Banachdich.

The weather was great again on Tuesday, blue skies and sunshine, so Ron and I went into Coire Lagan to Sron na Ciche and Shangri La.The first pitch was straightforward then the second started with some intricate moves up a little wall. A long corner followed which was quite sustained in the third pitch and as the guidebook said, deceptive in the next! A big grassy ledge provided a comfortable place for me to belay Ron on the final, strenuous corner. Overall the climbing was excellent although without rucksacks, it would certainly have been a bit easier! The evening sun stayed with us on our descent down the Sgumain Stone Shoot and we ambled down taking lots of time to look at routes for another visit.

Wednesday was a rather lazy day and apparently Skye was the warmest place in Britain so it was good to relax in the sun and plan for Thursday. It was also good to catch up with Chris and Chris and hear about their adventures on the Basteir Tooth and their plans for Sgurr na h-Uamha for the next day.

Back to Coire Lagan and Sron na Ciche for a day of classic routes - Cioch West, Slab Corner and Integrity. Years ago, I seconded Ron up Integrity and it has been a route I wanted to go back and lead and I got my wish. The climbing was tricky at the start but the climbing on the slab above was just perfect - lots of lovely pockety bits for hands and feet and a crack for protection wherever it was needed - and then the awkward bulge to get to the belay. It was better than I remembered!

On Friday morning the wind had picked up and the rain started to spatter on the tent so we packed up and drove back to Aviemore already planning more routes providing the weather is kind.

Loads more from Ron and photos and video from the Inaccessible Pinnacle too


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