Two separate solo days on Skye in August 2020 gave me some of my best experiences yet. Starting with a camp at the Old Man of Storr & a spectacular sunrise, I knew a great weekend was in front of me.
I previously had a long day on the Saddle in Glen Shiel the day before with Kenny, so a day of relaxation & a boat trip started the weekend to see some local wildlife on the sound of Raasay.
That night I parked up at the Glen Brittle Memorial Hut for an early start the next day. Another beautiful day was beginning & I had the place to myself. I left the van at 7am, shortly after first breakfast and headed up the path towards the Eas Mor waterfall & on to Coire Lagan. A gentle pace had me at the base of the An Stac scree by 9am & on the ridge by 10am. The views were spectacular, what a day I had in front of me.
I scrambled up An Stac, stopping several times to take in the views all around. Looking back over to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich, the Great Stone Chute & Sgurr Alisdair, with the sun rising behind them.
Shortly after 11am, I’m at the top of An Stac and I see the In Pinn for the first time ever, not such a bad sight in front of me, I couldn’t wait to get on it.
An easy step off An Stac and onto the base of the In Pinn for 11:30.
A steady scramble up the Pinn ridge took no more than 10 minutes and I was able to sit on the pinnacle itself, basking in the sunshine, without another soul in sight. Soon enough my peace was disturbed with a guide and two clients, a Father and his Son, looking for their own moment on the Pinn. They took some pictures and dropped them to my phone via airdrop when I came down for a chat.
I sat and watched them have their turn whilst enjoying lunch & returned the favour, by taking some pictures for them, special memories for me and for them, caught on camera. An easy walk back down to the van and home in time for bed.
2 weeks later, I returned for another solo adventure, my 3rd experience on the ridge, having previously been on Sgurr Dubh Mor & Sgurr nan Eag with Kenny from Coruisk, during a club meet.
Today the conditions were not as good, but definitely still worth the trip. Actually, this was a spur of the moment trip, leaving home late afternoon on the Saturday, I drove up stopping for dinner at Eilean Donan Castle, then sleeping in the van at Glen Brittle.
Up early for breakfast in the van and set off around 7am. It was a colder morning than the previous weekend, meaning I was in the shade of some cloud cover for the walk into Coire Lagan. This time, I turned right for the Great Stone Chute, rather then the An Stac Scree. I actually found the An Stac Scree harder work than TGSC, maybe it was the conditions of the day, much cooler this day. Half way up TGSC the rain started so the jacket was on for the 2nd half of the scramble. Summit Sgurr Alisdair at 10:30am.
Today was a little busier, I meet a couple of young lads from the Stirling area & obviously, I now have them on social media, two good guys, looking for a club to join.
Scrambling onwards up onto Sgurr Thearlaich for some more spectacular views ( picture taken by Owen & forwarded on ).
Travelling along the Sgurr Thearlaich Ridge, I was awe of the scenery around me, misty clouds blowing in and out giving me windows of opportunities to see the way ahead & with the call of the Ravens filtering through, this made a completely different atmosphere from the previous trip which had all day sunshine. I spent some time at the end of the ridge, watching climbers on the Kings Chimney, eyeing up my planned route, along Collies Ledge, which was clearly visible, at 12noon.
Down climbed off Sgurr Thearlaich onto the Bealach Mhic Choinich & headed up to the base of the Kings Chimney ( one day, I will climb this ), and walked along Collies Ledge before climbing up onto the ridge once more to summit Sgurr Mhic Chonnich at around 13:15pm.
Keen to move on as the temperature was dropping, I moved along the ridge towards An Stac, down climbing Sgurr Mhic Choinnich before the rain came on. Looking back at the ridge.
Once at the top of the An Stac Scree, I took some time to have some food and water whilst watching the Ravens fly by, thinking how lucky I’ve been with the conditions, such another great day out and about.
As if these trips weren’t good enough, I was treated to a fly by & landing / training exercise by Mountain Rescue. They came into Coire Lagan as I was walking out, they dropped a smoke flare and flew out again, testing the wind conditions with the smoke. They flew back in and landed, maybe only a hundred meters away from me on one of the slabs, touching down only for a minute or so before flying off once again. The noise of the helicopter in the Corrie was amazing, almost as spine tingling as the cawing of the Ravens in the mist.
Another easy walk out from the Corrie, with a head full of memories and ideas for the next trip.
Looking forward to August 2021, Glen Brittle can’t come soon enough. My intention is to be on Skye the week before or the week after the meet, depending on conditions and spending a couple of days / nights on the ridge. A full traverse is the plan in mind.