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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Cool on the Ridge!

The forecast sounded good and sunny for the west coast so at 6.00 am from Speyside, Don, Gerry and I headed off to the Cuillin Ridge on Skye to climb Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Bhasteir.
There's was a surprising amount of low level snow on the western hills but fortunately much less on Skye.
The peaks were initially in the cloud as we hiked from Sligachan at 08.15. They had more fresh snow on them than expected, though no areas of old icy winter snow remained, as far as I could see.
During the afternoon the cloud lifted with spells of watery sunshine. Later we had some stunning views while heading up from Am Basteir on to the west ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean.

A bit wintry on the north side of the ridge and especially so in the chimney (understatement!) but fortunately easily cleared by advanced kicking and punching techniques!

The snow was mainly avoidable once on the west ridge crest, where we practised our alpine rope-work on the delightful mainly dry rock. Back down via the never ending tourist route, for 5.00 pm, a fish supper and the drive back to Inverness.

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