Monday 29 September 2008

Autumn on Skye

I went to Skye at the weekend with old pal Kevin. He'd never been on the Cuillin or bivvyed out before and was in for a baptism of fire! Although it didnt rain, at first, the cloud was low down and the rock very wet. Many of the routes joining the peaks take weaknesses formed by basalt intrusions in the gabbro - and basalt is quite slippery when wet! Toss in some moderate gales and it made for great sport. We hit the ridge at Sgur Dubh an Da Bheinn and traversed Sgurr Alasdair (the squirrel statue is still on the top from a month ago), Sgurr Thearlaich, Sgurr Mhic Chonnich (by Hart's Ledge) and headed up to the Innaccessible Pinnacle. By this stage we hadnt seen further than 50m since we hit the ridge and the winds were blowing hard so we didnt climb the Inn Pin but crossed Sgurr Dearg and used the rest of the daylight to drop to Bealach da Bannachdich and to find a good bivvy site. We stayed dry under our tarp until the gales shredded it at 4am but got a good nights sleep anyway. Next morning we were quite satisfied with our efforts and dropped down from the Bealach in continued poor vis. to head to the Sligachan for a well earned pint!
Its definitely turned autumnal in the West of Scotland, the plants are turning orange, brown and gold, the air is that little cooler and the air has taken on that clearer quality it lacks in summer but gets from the northerly airstreams.

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