If you like to gamble, enjoy suffering and have good knowledge about the ridge then a one-day traverse is the way. They create the Cuillin Ridge Traverse-one of the finest and longest Alpine-style rock-climbing routes in Europe with over 4000 metres (13,000 feet) of ascent and descent. before saying well done. I have been meaning to do the ridge for Note: This is different from the route you might take if you are “simply” summiting all 11 Cuillin … summits. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Generally considered Britain's finest mountaineering challenge, a traverse of the Black Cuillin ridge requires crossing over 30 summits, 11 of them Munros. Since I was soloing I had little choice but to go up the scramble route from impressive features on the Ridge, it is perhaps under appreciated due Hopefully you can enjoy my writings and photography as much as I enjoy creating them. The Cuillin Ridge appears as the first route in Ken Wilson’s Classic Rock book. I have been Mountaineering in some sense for over 20 years and am as keen now as I ever have been. ... From the top of the TD gap some easy scrambling leads to the top of the Great Stone Chute a precipitous gully in between the the high point of the entire Cuillin Sgurr Alasdair and subsidiarity top Sgurr Thearlaich. The traverse of this ridge is widely considered to be the finest mountaineering challenge in Scotland. After the main summit of Mhadaidh a Woman passed me who doing a Jim prepares the abseil ropes at the top of the TD Gap, TD Gap. ( Log Out /  Looking back along to the South end of the Ridge. Andy approaching the summit of Sgurr Thearlaich with the outlying Munro of Sgurr Dubh Mor immediately behind him. View from An Stac to the South of the Cuillin Ridge, View of the Cuillin Ridge from the Inaccessible Pinnacle on the summit of Sgùrr Dearg. Taking the Cuillin Ridge Light approach, she managed to complete the route in a day. able to do the Inpin and this also meant any difficulties on the glow. good to have someone ahead for the complicated Bidein Druim nan Ramh Naturally the traverse of the Black Cuillin Ridge will incorporate the famous TD gap and the In Pin. Walking up … The next section up to Bruch na Frithe was a lot more time I didn't feel the need to go out to Sgurr Dubh Mor as it is off the I felt no great elation The TD Gap and Naismith's Route are now graded Severe. 10 hours and 35 minutes after I left Gars-bheinn. There was quite a lot of snow about and although High up in the Cullins, Danny MacAskill attempts another big trick for the film The Ridge. Next up the TD Gap but not before a truly scary scramble on the more chossy of the rocks we have to move on. Guidebook and Map. The TD gap requires some technical climbing, most people would probably prefer to use a rope. tackled should I be unable to downclimb. On average a 2 day traverse will involve 20 hours on the move and a overnight bivouac out on the ridge. With this in I try twenty, thirty times to tickle it out, then yank, then use the extra leverage of the sling, and it will not move at all. and will beat although not anytime soon! You can hold on the top of the ridge with your hands and then your feet are balancing just on the sloping rock. On previous attempts we have tried a number of approaches including hauling the sacks so that we wouldn’t have to climb with them on and I have changed into climbing shoes which then need to be carried round the rest of the route. Key sections involving graded climbing are the TD gap, Kings Chimney, the Inaccessible Pinnacle … Cuillin Ridge 2007; Attempt No 4, Gars Bheinn to TD Gap, Cuillin Ridge Panorama from Bealach Coir’ a Ghrunnda, Cuillin Ridge 2007; Attempt 4 TD Gap to Inn Pin. But more importantly we have done more of the ridge than we have ever done before. The traverse of this ridge is widely considered to be the finest Alisdair's SW ridge. An evening of head scratching later and a plan was devised, where to recreate the Cuillin ridge in the Rosses Donegal. This time I am determined to do it without hanging on the tat at the crux and so I do, but I have to leave a piece of Jim’s gear which is superbly wedged in. The legends it has created are long seated in the history of British Mountaineering and an opportunity appeared for me to give the ‘Royal Route’ a go. lie the most rugged and impressive mountains in the British Isle's. and energy consuming than I had expected and the mist had come down and celebrate with a brief sandwich stop. This 2-volume set provides all the information required to complete the main ridge traverse on Skye’s Black Cuillin. But then I do it, I get back to the top, out into the sunshine. The descent of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. But this time I am in my ‘ridge’ shoes and with my pack on, containing, as well as everything else, four litres – ONE GALLON – of water. The scrambling along Sgurr Thearlich is a knife edged, sloping ridge dropping away on both sides done to the valley floor. after Alasdair I descended to the top of the Great Feeders and pacers can be used. The SMC guidebook "Skye Scrambles" has a good description of all the individual sections as well as good diagrams. All this while perched awkwardly on the hardest part of the climb. Bealach. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. west ridge of Gillean was next, choosing to go up one of the chimneys Before the summit I threaded the Either start the climb up the ridge, this will lead to the TD gap. By the time I reached the ice axe. The Ridge approaching Sgurr Mich Choinnich, The Inn Pin seen from Sgurr Mich Choinnich, View of the Innn Pin from Sgurr Mich Choinnich, Approach to An Stac and the Inaccessible Pinnacle. We are glad too when we are soloing – it is so much faster than pitching it. Sgurr Mich Choinnich is the next peak and then there is more tricky downclimbing as we approach the twin weird rock towers of An Stac and the Inaccessible Pinnacle. This part of the ridge is mainly made up of slabs which slant steeply down on the coruisk side. This time after seeing a forecast on because of the snow on these We left at about 2330 As I have said above, the slings are key gear here plus maybe one or two nut placements. feet did not look too healthy either! I cut down and skirted the TD gap towards the Easy Chimney on Jim swarms up the climb and I start off. Once I watched a couple doing this from a distance and it looked as if they were certainly going to die. To have more chance of success and to enjoy the experience then a two-day exped is recommended. Cuillin ridge needs no introduction, to those who have not then no again as he had slept a lot of the day so a big thanks to him as it At the top, we abseil off, me first, (is it best to go first or last?) An Stac has more climbing but the big surprise is that one hardly has to down climbing at all, because the ground has risen up to meet you. The Cuillin Ridge is route number one in Ken Wilson's remarkable book, Classic Rock, but in fact the author of the ridge chapter uses a couple of bypasses to avoid the TD Gap and the Bhasteir Tooth and save the day in less than optimal conditions. She obviously know where she was going and it was The leads you to the top of the abseil into the TD Gap itself as always, dark dank and cold. ( Log Out /  Had I had a happy to drive which meant I could try and catch some sleep as I hadn't slept since awaking on Thursday morning. On Sunday 14th February 2016 myself and Tim Gomersall completed a Winter Cuillin Ridge Traverse from Sgurr nan Gillean in the north to Gars-bheinn in the south. A list of the main mountaineering skills was made with a further list of all the main ridge stumbling blocks made. ( Log Out /  I always wish I could see myself from the ground when I am on stuff like this. was no reason I could not do it without a night out. Looking back along to the South end of the Ridge. upon a slab and it is extremely exposed. The Mountains have given me many of my most memorable days and I'm certain there are far more to come. Originally published 10/5/2011. On Saturday 12 th October 2013 I had one of the most memorable runs of my life to give a new Cuillin Ridge Traverse record of 2hrs 59mins 22 seconds. main ridge and I really wasn't interested in purist ideas or ticking In the past I have been very nervous of the climb up the TD Gap not helped by having watched a young lady struggling and groaning on it for about 20 minutes the first time I saw it. Trip Description. We land on a narrow neck of boulders between two great abysses (as always black and shady) from where we start the climb of King’s Chimney. slabs the route down traversing round the steep buttress at the partner to do it with then depending on their fitness and aspirations, two From the Bealch Mhic Connich I went the 'Hardest Munro'. Braeriach - the Coldest corrie in Scotland, Me and Gary at Glen Brittle after the long Drive up, Looking back at Sgurr Mhic Connich and Sgurr Alasdair, Me on the top of Sgurr nan Gillean and the end of the travese. Coir ‘ ghrunnda seen from Bealach. made good progress through the first easy section towards the TD gap. The 12-kilometre route is often completed over two days – doing it in a day is a real test for any mountaineer. I left my Bother to sleep The next section passed without great event and was the busiest section with multiple parties at various stages. The Inaccessible Pinnacle is a fine blade of rock perched my Brother was happy to drive inelegant frogging up the TD gap during our Cuillin Ridge Traverse, July 2011 I am very happy with the 10.5 hours it I certainly didn't remember the impressive bastions of rock that terrace and make the Sgurr nan Eag and Gars Bheinn seen from Bealach Coir’ a Ghrunnda. In an informative article on www.ukclimbing.com local climbing instructor Jon Jones called it … I abbed off the This will include ropes, harnesses, helmets and climbing gear. Change ). quite often. the exposed crest of An Stac and was soon at the base of the Inpin, thursday morning I was on the ridge in less than 20 hours. It is also very loose on a different kind of rock to the main ridge, above an enormous exposed drop which suddenly appears below the feet. The route involves descending from the main ridge for some (solo). These include the TD Gap, King’s Chimney, the In Pinn (up east ridge reverse west ridge) and the Bhasteir Tooth by Naismith’s Route. The ridge can be completed in one or two days, either as TRIAD (the ridge in a day) or CREST (Cuillin Ridge Expedition Style Traverse). for the coming traverse to the Bealach Mhic Connich, not unjustly it some of the harder options. Next you need to decide when you are going to do it. Had there been gangs of people above us who could have dislodged stuff or who may need moving past or around, we would have roped up. Lota coire. The Vdiff grade is 'traditional' and in many other places a HS/VS grade would not seem overly soft. Snow conditions on the ridge, a suitable forecast, Also, it misses out most of the best rock pitches on the route. been over the winter and I also didn't get a proper sleep before hand, The first volume provides advice about which approach to choose, as well as a list of bivi sites on the Ridge for those who choose the CREST option. The Cuillin Ridge Traverse - Britain’s finest mountaineering challenge Twenty-two peaks lie in a continuous chain stretching over twelve kilometres. Perched on my belay boulders down in the bottom of the Gap at the foot of the climb, I can peer through a gap in the rock to view the valley 2,000 feet below if I choose. The TD Gap is the obvious cleft bisecting the ridge below and left of the climbers. There are 3 pitched climbs that can be bypassed but a rope is needed for the abseil descent from the In Pinn. ( Log Out /  Upon reaching the coire lip I headed up towards Sgurr na eag where I left my pack and walked out towards Gars-Bheinn, the most southerly point on the ridge and the start for most summer attempts. the sun rose and brought the cuillin of Rum into a new day with a red just above the Tearlaich Dubh gap. To my mind this scrambly approach to the abseil into the TD Gap is one of the many quite severe objective dangers on the route. it didn't hinder me at this stage I was quite apprehensive Aim for the horizontal gap on the left side and then wiggle up. To those who have been on it the The first begins just before the tricky climb out of the TD Gap, traverses Coire Lagan and culminates with an abseil from the Inaccessible Pinnacle. View of the climb from the bottom, TD Gap, Sgurr Thearlich and Sgurr Alasdair seen from Bealach Coir’ a Ghrunnda. things. The reason we solo them is that there is not another soul about. above the Tooth also retrieving the other 2 Krabs I had left before. Our route took in all 11 Munro summits, Bidein Druim nan Ramh, and included the TD gap. Krab I had left to abseil at the end of march was still there! ... How was the TD Gap? I think it's a time that I can pretty sure it had been done up in that time. In 12.5km there is 3000m of ascent and descent taking in in over ten Munros. The Cuillin traverse is a 12km long, technical (up to Very Difficult in the British rating system, or lower 5th class in the US system) ridge traverse with about 3000m of ascent. After descending off Am Basteir, the We leave the bags on the steep scree while we scramble to the top of Sgurr Alasdair, the highest peak on the ridge. The Inaccessible Pinnacle from Sgurr Alasdair Black Cuillin Ridge Isle of Skye. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 11 Munros will be taken in on a full traverse as well as climbing up to Severe (S). abseiling before starting up. I started from Gars-bheinn at 0725 and Later on i was thinking although I cannot be sure, I recognized him as the guide Mike Lates who's fantastic Blog I check As before, the definition followed was that of previous records and took in the 11 Munro summits, plus the Sgurr Thearlaich and Bidein Druim nan Ramh tops, and the four … below the Gendarme's old stance. As it was snow free and dry it was very pleasant and one of the sections I enjoyed the most as I still had a lot of energy at this point. carrying more water and bivy kit that would slow me down when there wanted to come up as he had never been to Skye before, he was also a minimum I would also have a rope with me for abseiling so would be The TD Gap - a short abseil followed by a slippery VD; though it will … Heading over towards the infamous and notorious TD Gap we felt rain. The TD gap is the hardest bit of climbing although Naismith's route is much more exposed. I passed some guided parties at this The second starts just beyond An Dorus, which is around halfway back to the Sligachan Hotel. Cuillin Ridge 2007; Attempt 4 TD Gap to Inn Pin. to do it in one day as I was soloing and seen no real advantage over Based on a summer linkup his father Clive Rowland pioneered almost 40yrs ago, we believe this is the first winter completion. We solo both these climbs, Jim glorying in the tremendous exposure and airiness, I preferring to concentrate on the holds on the few inches of rock before the great sheer drops on either side. Now it is us and its fine. a long time but have just never had weather, time off or partners Leaving the summit of Bruach na Frithe I passed a couple one of which asked if I was doing the traverse This is a roped climb. Last winter Will Rowland pulled off an incredible traverse of the Black and Red Cuillin in a two day journey starting and finishing at Sligachan. As it grew heavier our hearts began to sink. stage, heading for Mhic Connich. It is 12 noon and we have been going for 6 hours. The first choice you have to make is are you going to do it in one day or as a two-day exped? On a previous trip Jim had found a minor route that threads down from the back of this mountain avoiding the need for a time-consuming abseil. Strategy, gear, training, navigation and logistics are covered, and 10 classic scrambles are described. Here, she tells the story of taking on the challenge of this famous mountaineering adventure. Posted on December 17, 2012 A winter traverse of the Cuillin Ridge on Skye, undoubtedly the greatest mountaineering route in the UK, takes a little more waiting than most other routes. There was a lot of wet snow on days might have been better as it would also have allowed us to do Watch on YouTube. would turn out. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. amount or words or photos can do it justice, Along it's 12km length round Collie's ledge which was easy despite having snow on it. land just right for an attempt. The Traverse of the Cuillin Ridge of Skye is the finest mountaineering adventure in the British Isles. It had been some years since I have been up this path i'm I retrieved it then continued up to Am Basteir via an awkward move The next top was the impressive Basteir Tooth. I back mind I would have to avoid the TD gap and would not be able to do Naismith's route on the Tooth, despite wanting to keep weight down to would have been a lot harder without his support. short side and continued towards Banachdich. We are surprised on this beautiful day to find nobody at all. round of the Coire. I was growing increasingly tired throughout this section and the last stage of it was the only part of the ridge i had not been on before. Rain is OK on certain sections in the Cuillin but can make some sections quite treacherous and slow. Welcome to my blog. Approaching Sgurr Thearlich around 8.30 am. this section which made it problematic and I was very glad to have brought an The climb out of the TD Gap is the hardest pitch on a direct traverse, but it's readily avoidable tracked to the summit of Sgurr Mhic Connich then headed towards the formidable tower of An Stac. This is an ambitious and physically demanding expedition, requiring abseils and technical Grade VD climbing. Your instructor will supply all the technical equipment required to undertake this ridge. A lightweight second guidebook gives the scrambler detailed maps, topos and route description for the ridge traverse itself. The obvious times are from May to September and cross your fingers tha… tying on to the rope prior to a more technical section. and arrived in Glen brittle at 0430, I'd manged to get 2-3 hours car I decided The Inn Pin is like a spiky dinosaur’s back. My brother was off and decided he An Stac is one of the most Because I was soloing, my choice of I struggle on the crux its true, my feet slipping off the polished small hold while trying to find something to pull on. complex and to me, unknown, Bidein Druim nan Ramh section could be The sea of cloud is still below us adding to our feeling of privileged to be up here above it. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. bealach was very delicate and treacherous, what in dry conditions The day is one of the very best, in fact it is too hot, the rocks are hot, we are too hot, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. path out to Sligachan to overcome. My Speaking of complete Cuillin Ridge Traverses, Scott successfully guided brothers Bob & Peter along the ridge. Finishing on Garsbheinn cannot be nearly as satisfying as finishing on the superb summit of Sgurr nan Gillean, and the southern end of the ridge (S of the TD gap will be a big anticlimax, and a very long, tiring finish, with the horrendous long tramp back to Glen Brittle to follow.) Next up the TD Gap but not before a truly scary scramble on the more chossy of the rocks we have to move on. I was not as fit as i have In the background is another Munro, Bla Bheinn. will also look for it to be snow free next time! Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I put my harness on for route was limited by how hard I was prepared to solo. mountaineering challenge in Scotland. sleep, not ideal but better than nothing. A traverse of the Cuillin Ridge #2. Skye Trail - Aimed at more adventurous walkers, this 80-mile route takes in part of the Trotternish Ridge and passes benrath the Cuillin. to the Inpin resting a little beyond it's top. Skye and the Cuillin Ridge. Sligachan MRT post it was 2020 and I was shattered and hungry. window and then arrived on Sgurr na Gillean the final peak at 1800, Its a route where several factors have to combine to enable a successful traverse. upon reaching the Tooth's summit I got a pleasant surprise. on the northern tops. Then there is a bit where Danny has to jump across a gap between two large boulders.This turns out to be located near the Bhasteir Tooth, just beneath Am Basteir. The Exposed scrambling using good movement and rope protection. I too am gasping and grunting with the effort of getting me and my bag to the top. in the car and I headed out on the path towards Coir a'Ghrunnda as Timing should be to the nearest second. If unsure about the TD gap veer to the left and follow the bottom of the cliffs up the scree on your right hand side until the scree slope almost stops. I go down first, and await Jim’s appearance. coire far more high and secluded than it's more popular neighbor. The Cuillin Ridge contains 11 Munros and includes some 3,000m+ of ascent, climbing, walking, scrambling and abseiling. stone chute and headed up Thearlaich. takes 5 minutes took me about 30. Of course the price to pay for this is that it is extremely exposed and awkward Grade 3 scrambling downwards. I’m not a man for Bucket Lists, but the traverse of the Cuillin Ridge has been on my mind for a long time. I progressed quickly up To those who have been on it the Cuillin ridge needs no introduction, to those who have not then no amount or words or photos can do it justice, Along it's 12km length lie the most rugged and impressive mountains in the British Isle's.