The alarm went off at 5 am but I poked my head outside, saw the thick cloud and decided to head back to bed for a few hours. Eventually surfaced around 9, reckoned that the cloud was of the dry ish, thinish might eventually burn off type and so took a chance and decided to get up high onto the ridge. Walked up and through the cloud until eventually got onto the ridge and then things started to clear and I started to feel happy….
Up and onto Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn and the cloud began to thin out and to give better visibility. I decided against the TD gap solo and cut beneath it to gain the summit of Sgurr Alistair via the chimney on the south west side.
Summiting Sgurr Alisdair and the sun begins to properly appear
Up and onto Sgurr Thealaich and avoided the abseil to bealach Mhic Chonnich by scrambling down dry but reasonably exposed slabs on the Coire Lagan side. Sat in the Bealach in the sunshine looking up at Kings Chimney and decided that I wasn’t brave enough to solo it
Cut along harts ledge, back up to the summit of Sgurr Mhic Conniach and then back down down, down to the next Bealach, up the side of An Stac and then up to the inaccessible pinnacle on its summit. Going well and feeling strong and the I phone battery died around here somewhere. Too many videos!
This was the only place on the entire ridge that I saw people and there was a bit of a wait while I waited for people to get up and get down again. I probably spent about an hour and half waiting here but I had already decided that I wanted to camp high on the ridge that eveneing because I had the time to do it that way, so sitting around in the sunshine wasn’t too much of a hassle! One of the local guides even gave me his water so I didn’t have to come off down from the ridge to resupply – very grateful for that.
I’ve climbed the in pin many times and have guided it with many clients – effectively soling it every time. But, properly soloing it felt slightly different and I did get sweaty palms and was more aware of the massive void down to Loch Curuisk than I think I have ever been aware of before! Great fun and glad I waited to do this.
In the afternoon I journeyed over Sgurr nan Bannadich, Ghreadaidh and onto Mhadaidh. Blue skies and sunshine and aazing to be up there in those conditions. Lack of photos because I forgot the camera and the battery on the phone died and lack of sunglasses (left them in the car) left me squinting lots. This part of the ridge is very committing, constant scrambling, constant exposure to big drops and constant interest. Moving well and enjoying being out immensely but also becoming very aware that I am my own, and that no-one (not even Helen) really knows where I am. Don’t make any silly mistakes here Cluett! Up and over Mhadaidh where the ridge does a right angle, turn to the east, followed by a steep exposed moderate pitch of climbing in an exposed position and then a further 25 m or so pitch of diff climbing, again in an exposed position. Up and over and down to the bealch before bidian Drum na Ra and decided to camp at this bealach. Camping up high with absolutely plenty of time to spend enjoying the view and the evening sunshine. Stopped about 5.30 pm, sat around for a great time and in bed by 8pm. Brilliant evening in the sunshine with fantastic views everywhere – down to loch Corusik and across to Mull, over to the mainland, along the ridge and even across to the outer Hebrides. Pretty special evening.
After a bit of general laying around in the evening sun and enjoying the view, sleep came fairly quickly and I had a great night sleep – again with the feet in the rucksack and the waterproofs acting like some kind of extra blanket.