Friday, 21 September 2012

Single Day Ridge Traverse

Today I was back up on Skye and had been asked to help get Paddy and Mark around the Cuillin Ridge in one day.  Paddy and Mark both have plenty on mountain marathons under their belts and are quite used to being on the go all day.  So we opted for an early start of 4.30 and were under way with head torches lighting the path.  We left from Glen Brittle camp-site and headed straight onto Sgurr nan Eag for sunrise.  We then made good progress onto Sgurr Dubh Mor and back onto the ridge proper.  It was quite wet under foot as it had rained quite a bit on the walk in so we avoided the TD Gap and arrived on top of Sgurr Alasdair.  Time was on our side at this point but unfortunately we kept hitting many points of dampness on the ridge which did take its toll after a while.  From Sgurr Alasdair we made our way onto Collies Ledge and then onto the summit of Sgurr MhicChoinnich before heading up to the Inn Pinn.  Unfortunately we got there 2 minutes after a team of 5 so we joined the queue and made a chilly ascent.  Fortunately it was Bruce Poll who was ahead so he let us past and helped set up the guys as I abseiled.  Thanks Bruce!  We then proceeded onto Sgurr nan Banachdaich.  Then our problem struck us...  Marks boot fell apart!  The sole of his boot came off and was causing some concerns.  After a wee repair we carried onto Sgurr a Ghreadaidh but unfortunately Mark wasn't happy to continue scrambling with a faulty boot.  We headed into An Dorus after doing a more substantial repair.  Mark waited here as Paddy and I nipped up Sgurr a Mhadaidh and back down to walk out with Mark.  It was a great day out despite not completing the full traverse and the lesson learnt from the experience is ... Don't wear 15 year old boots on the ridge! ;-)  Brilliant weather and looking forward to doing a full one day traverse in the future!  Today I was working for Mountain Motion.

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