8th-10th April 2016
Three reports on the recent Skye weekend meet:
Where to begin… it was another awesome trip to Skye
Arriving Friday evening we unpacked and settled in to dinner and the comfortable surroundings, awaiting the arrival of friends.
Saturday morning was wet and overcast, but by 10am it was lifting and the sun quickly burnt the cloud off to leave us bathed in the reflected blinding light as we climbed up the snow filled scree slopes of Sgurr na Banachdich on the Cuillin ridge. Having made the summit the sun continued to shine on and off, (mostly on) as we descended to the cars. After removing layers and dumping sacks it was off to the beach for yoga, exploration and the best of Skye. Back at base, and ….. sometime later (after Jim pulled his finger out) we tucked into a delicious curry feast followed by blind whiskey tasting with an iron twist.
Sunday was cloudless and the ridge of Bruach na Frithe called us in waves as the sunshine lifted us onwards. The challenge of the route slowed progress as it steepened and the snow filled the ledges and slopes in melting drifts. With growing exposure for some the ask was too great. For others the summit beckoned before the careful descent to the pub, drinks and a little rest.
A windy and wild night under canvas led to over sleeping and a late start before a trip to Portree and a picnic lunch on the beach in the sunshine. Then it was time to rendezvous and begin the journey home.
Another great trip filled with fun in the sun, hopefully to be repeated again soon!
A Skye trip is always filled with high expectations, and this was definitely the case again despite the grim changing forecast. Heading there early on Friday, Mhairi, Paul, Simon and I did a midway stop to bag a Munro duo on the west bank of Loch Trieg.
On Saturday the Skye fun begun with a not so early start, thinking the overcast skies and low clouds would cleared up later in the day. A party of 6 headed west to Glenbrittle to set off up Sgurr na Banachdich on the wester Cuillins. The weather was looking very grim, dark and rainy, and sitting at the car park I thought we might not make it very far given the snow conditions, however, the crowd was filled with optimism so up we went.
It all seemed fairly straight forward with moderate bogs and a gentle and gradual climb, and we were soon stripping off our raincoats down to our t-shirts within two hours. It was looking very promising from here on. Not long after, and having greeted a party of three coming down, we were at the top with an intermittent yet spectacular panoramic view of the Cuillin Hills and Coruisk Loch. The clouds were closing in again and the amount of snow at the top made us take the precaution to not explore any further along the ridge, so off we went down the same way and headed for the nearby beach, were a random hurl/yoga session took place, only long enough to make it in time for a delicious curry buffet courtesy of Jim and Sarah.
An even later start followed on Sunday. The fact that a big fraction of us were leaving on the day didn’t seem to stop us from trying to tackle yet another Cuillin Munro. I was very excited as I definitely wanted to be up on the ridge again and hopefully leave the island having done some scramble even if it was a very short one. Again six of us aimed for Bruach na Frithe, with another five following a while later. It took us good two hours walking on a flat path before we started ascending at all, and with an 11am start it was looking like a bit of a stretch for Justyna and I, who were aiming to be back for the 5pm ride. Having agreed to turn around at 02.30pm, and having achieved the first section of the shoulder at about 01.30pm I was a man on a mission, especially after having spotted a clear scrambly section up ahead! This was my golden chance! I gave the group my notice of going up ahead on my own for a while and off I went running as far as the snow started getting too deep to tread carefully. For good thirty minutes I walked and scrambled on fresh snow with no footprints anywhere. The mountain was all for myself! Rested for a while to check on how the rest were doing, at this point the scramble became more technical and the surface more slippery, but could only hardly see Simon a few minutes behind as a visual link between me and the rest of the party. He advised that they had decided to turn around but I could feel the top was just within reach, so I kept on going and by 02.10pm I was enjoying even better views of the Cuillins than the day before.
It was a brilliant weekend away in Isle of Skye. Lovely people, good weather, stunning views… A great start for my first meet with DMC and first time visiting Skye.
Pete M, Phelim and I left Dundee on Friday morning. On the way to Skye we took an advantage and stopped for a walk up Aonach Meadhoin at Glen Shiel just next to the Cluanie Inn.
Heading down, the weather changed for the worse and it did not look promising for the rest of the weekend… Surprise, surprise – it all turned around on Saturday, while group of 7 of us ( Jim, Sarah, Phelim, Pete S, Friederike, Franta and I ) were climbing Blabheinn. At the top of the mountain we were lucky to have sun, blue skies and spectacular views. Some even managed to get sun burn! By the time we returned, Torrin Outdoor Centre didn’t seem to be that lonely, grey and cold looking building in the distance any longer.
Everyone was looking forward to Saturday’s
4 curry feast by Jim & Sarah. The meal was superb; we even had a team song while having the curry. The dinner nicely fitted in with the Restaurant sign
Taste of India, which stands out just after crossing the Skye Bridge, it became a little inside joke. The evening continued with fun whisky tasting, creatively presented by Pete S. Somehow Irn-Bru ended up being the best collectively voted ‘whiskey’ of the night! In 2nd place was the Jura Elixir and 3rd Talisker Storm.
On the last day Friederike and I had our personal ‘tour guide’ – Pete M, who kindly took us to explore the Trotternish Peninsula followed by coffee in Portree at the Old Man of Storr and Cairidh Restaurant. We met the others at the Sligachan, where we came across locally made beers by Cuillin Brewery. It was a perfect way to end the weekend away.