Character building on the Cuillins

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Statistics

Area: Minginish and the Cuillin Hills

Munro’s: Inaccessible Pinnacle, Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh, Sgurr a’Mhadaidh, Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Dubh Mor, Sgurr na Banachdich, Sgurr nan Eag

Date walked: Around 18/05/2012

Time taken: 36 hours Over the week

Distance: 40 km Over the week

Ascent: 4000m Over the week

Introduction

This third week in May had been long anticipated after good friend Andrew Doggett had invited me to join his group for a week in the Skye Boat Lodge on the Island of Skye. I arrived up late on the Sunday night to be told from the guys and girls in the Hot Tub that a jump into the Loch Harport from the jetty was part of the initiation ceremony. Ok, so this was how it was going to be, fun and games from day one. I thought they might be joking until the girls climbed out and duly ran down and dived into the loch.

So after a few beers I followed. Feck me it was cold but with the hot tub steaming away there was instant recovery from the cold sea water. There was banter and jokes a plenty all week, good and bad, and a few Munro’s thrown in to the bargain. We climbed the seven Munros specified above with the weather preventing us completing the round so a return trip will need to be on the cards.

The group also bagged Blaven, making a total of 8 Munros, on Thursday (a Munro I had already bagged)

We had a mixed bag of weather during the week. The forecast had been terrible but we got sunshine most days with the odd four seasons in one day and it was clear then clagged in and then snowing when we climbed the Inn Pin. The Cuillin is the most amazing of all the Munro ranges. There is a walk in on most routes but then you enter this rocky landscape that involves and immense amount of hands on scrambling and in fact can be more physically demanding than your average Munros. That said it all adds to the excitement and gives a very different day.

It seems to take an age to travel any distance and every step is either up or down. Absolutely fantastic might I add.

The much vaunted In Pin was in my view not nearly as difficult as I was led to believe. However I can understand how others may find it scary due to the sheer sides and the fear of falling. We missed Sgurr Mhic Choinnich on the second day due to time running out and as we attempted the Northern three this morning (Friday) we had to sack it 50m below the summit due to the snow and ice which we had not anticipated. So it was an early finish and an early start to the festivities

Our guides for the week were Graham & Annie Paterson from Skye Hi.

They are a superb pair of guides and very sociable too. I just simply couldn’t praise them highly enough.

One of the most amazing aspects of the group was three individuals hadn’t done any Munros before or any other hills for that matter. Carl, Dora, and Mark were up here on their first Scottish hill walking trip and bagged all the Munro’s above. Awesome. What a team. It’s now Friday evening and we are coming to the end of an excellent weeks holiday with a top team of guys and girls.

Can’t wait for a repeat performance.

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