Distance: 17km; Ascent: 1130m; Sunny; with Mark and Shona
I met Mark and Shona at Leeds train station around 4:45pm yesterday afternoon and, after a quick visit to Mark's nearby flat, we were soon on our way north. Our plans were somewhat fluid in that all we had really agreed thus far was that we were going Munro bagging and possibly backpacking somewhere in Scotland! Although to be fair we had come up with three possible plans: a backpack from Strathcarron to Cannich, a backpack in the Cairngorms or a traverse of the Cuillin ridge.
During the drive north we decided that given that the weather forecast was excellent for northern Scotland, we would head to Skye. The only problem was we weren't too certain whether we were ready for a full traverse of the main ridge as Mark was the only one of the three of us to have done much scrambling or climbing recently! Also it was clear that we wouldn't be able to get the required early start today, owing to the fact that Skye is a heck of a long way away! Therefore we agreed on a day walk / scramble around the northern Cuillin peaks.
|Eilean Donan Castle|
We stopped for tea and breakfast in Broadford before continuing to Sligachan, where we had a massive faff for which I must accept some responsibility especially as I was the last to be ready! Anyway 11am saw us haul our day packs onto our shoulders and begin our approach walk into the northern Cuillin :)
|Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Basteir from near Sligachan|
|Glamaig and the Allt Dearg Mor|
In the upper corrie we stopped in a relatively sheltered area for lunch whilst admiring the excellent views back towards Sligachan. After feeling suitably rested we picked our way up the upper corrie, no longer on a clear path owing to the rocky terrain; however in the clear visibility it was relatively easy to pick out an obvious line up to the main ridge.
|L-R: Glamaig, Beinn Dearg Mhor, Am Basteir, Sgurr nan Gillean and Sgurr a Fionn Choire|
|On the summit of Bruach na Frithe|
|Summit cairn on Bruach na Frithe, with the Southern and Central Cuillin beyond|
|The Bhasteir Tooth, Am Basteir and Sgurr nan Gillean from Sgurr a Fionn Choire|
From the bealach we ascended the east ridge of Am Basteir and soon reached the bad step. We had originally intended to take the left-hand variation and hence avoid the bad step but the route didn't seem to be entirely clear to us. Therefore as we had a rope with us we thought we might as well go an take a look at the bad step, especially as a group we passed descending said it wasn't too bad. After a relatively narrow section of ridge there was an abrupt drop, which looked tricky to descend. Therefore we got the rope out and I descended first on small holds, which were often hidden from above. Shona and Mark then followed and we left the rope in place for our return. Soon afterwards we reached the spectacularly situated summit of Am Basteir (Munro).
|On the summit of Am Basteir|
|Sgurr nan Gillean from Am Basteir||Mark above the bad step|
|Looking up to the west ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean|
|Summit of Sgurr nan Gillean|
|Bla Bheinn, Sgurr Beag and Sgurr na h-Uamha from SE ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean|
|Marsco in the evening light|
Update 01/07/12: Post date updated to actual date of this walk (N.B. originally posted on 16/06/12)