Sunday afternoon saw myself and Davie heading to Skye to fulfill as long term climbing ambition of mine- The Cuillin Ridge Traverse. This has the reputation as the best mountaineering route in the UK and I can agree wholeheartedly with this. There are various strategies and ways of doing this but we both were keen for a 1 day traverse. This has the bonus of not carting bivy kit along the ridge and if the weather window is small then chances of success are higher. The downside is that it is a LONG day! We didn't quite realise just how long it would be....
We were thinking about a couple of hours sleep on the beach at Glen Brittle but Scotland's loveable wee beasties (aka midges) put an end to that plan. We decided to walk into Coire a Ghrunda on Sunday evening and have a few hours rest before starting the ridge at first light. Not really preparing for a bivy at 700m a chilly, uncomfortable and sleepless 4 hours saw us welcoming daylight before heading onto the ridge for sunrise. We headed to the South end of the ridge without the packs and then back to start properly.
|Evening walk in|
|A not so good sleep!|
My traverse attempt almost came to an abrupt end when I pulled a large loose block off on the descent from Sgurr Dubh Mor. I managed to stay on by a couple of finger tips and kept my balance. A good wake up call early on which caused me to test every hold for the rest of the trip. Before we knew it we abbed into the TD gap to face the technical crux of the ridge. Very polished and strenuous rather than technical it was dispatched fairly quickly before carrying on to Sgurr Alasdair. It was nice to bump into a familiar face from the Fort, Blair, in the gap too.
With some relief we made it to the trig point here.
14 hours 35 mins end to end doesn't quite describe how long it felt! The walk off to Sligachan felt never ending with tired legs, burning finger tips and sore feet. I have a new level of understanding how clients can feel when coming off the Ben with sore feet and exhaustion as it was my turn this time! Back to Glen Brittle and a 10 hours sleep of champions (in the car!), a breakfast from Broadford and we both felt a bit more human. A big tick in the box for sure, but a day that I will remember for a lifetime.