Sunday, June 21, 2009

Skye; The Cuillins: The Inaccessible Pinnacle (Sgurr Dearg) (164) and Sgurr Choinnich (217)

Walk date: 14/06/09
My Munro #'s: 175 and 176

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Skoor jerrak - red peak - 986m
Skoor veechk chunyeech - Mackenzie's peak (named after John Mackenzie the first Skye guide) - 948m

Duration - 09:00-17:00
Weather - perfect! Warm with light winds, cloud at times but never enclosing. Rain seen but never experienced.
Team - with guided group
Other hikers: a few but relatively quiet

GPS wasn't always appropriate in the guided group so
most of the week was recorded in the old world of paper!

Paul P and George Skye Trip 2009 - Day 1 (Sunday)

Wow! Within two hours of meeting our guide for the week and booting up, we were stood under the impressive Inaccessible Pinnacle (or In Pin as we must refer to it now..) contemplating taking it on this revered peak as the very first Munro of the week! With potentially bad weather for the rest of our time on Skye, our guide George Yeomans decided we should tackle the big one first. In case the weather turned that very afternoon we approached it direct from Glenbrittle rising up on the Dearg ridge.

Dumping the bags and arranging ourselves into three pairs, Paul and I formed the middle group and stood patiently for our guide to take the first pair all the way to the top on two 35m ropes. Paul and I then climbed up the one still tied at the halfway point while also bringing up the second (which had been dropped back down) so that it could also be anchored there allowing Steve and Andrew to use it on their climb. Got that? This is why we booked a guide!

Paul started off in our pair and the going was just like any average scrambling, except for the slight difference of severe drops being close on both sides! Only one move just below the half way point, which required a long stretch with just the left leg being of any use, gave anyone concern (and for a brief moment I mean concern!) and soon enough we were safe at the halfway point.

The rest of the way was even easier although there was a thin flat section to stroll across where the exposure was impressive! Other than that it was a fine seat at the top while waiting to abseil!

After we were all down and had lunch, we descended the tricky slabs on the way past An Stac toward Sgurr Mhic Choinnich, dropped our bags and enjoyed fine scrambling up to our second peak of the day. Our return was back to our bags and then a fun, huge, scree-slope to the lochan before a 'normal' path out! A truly great and memorable day made all the better by having cloud-free great views for almost all of the day. A sudden downpour on Banachdich which left us untouched also led to impressive waterfalls off its slopes as we made our way back into the calm of Glenbrittle.

The night we turn up, grand views of the Cuillins:
Fine scrambling on the Dearg ridge:
The glenbrittle bay looking good in the sun:

Time for a rest:

Looking out to Run:

Choinnich, Alasdair and the Great Stone Shoot:
Approaching the In Pin:
There she blows:

We're going up that?

Two 'hikers' taking it on without ropes:

The safer method:

Sizing it up before we start:

Our guide takes up the rope:

Jeff and Enid making a start:

Yours truly on the awkward step:

The guide has seen it all before:

Halfway smiles from Paul:

And much relief from myself:

Our guide arranging things at the top:

Having a seat before the abseil:

C'mon! That the most ominous Munro in the bag!

Paul getting on with his abseil:
Jeff follows suit:

Taking it all in:

Moving on down steep slabs past An Stac:

One last look back up at the In Pin:

An Stac can thankfully be walked-around:

Choinnich looking good:

Impressive 'paths' around here:

The In Pin and An Stac from below:

Break time on the fine peak of Choinnich:

No press!

A natural arch on Choinnich:

Great fun descending the An Stac screes!
That's a lot of scree! Down in Coire Lagan:

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