Day 1 Earlier on in the year, when myself and my friend Alison booked our week to climb the Cuillin, we thought we'd be pretty safe weather wise to go for a week in late August. How wrong we were! After the long drive to Skye on Saturday, we woke up early on the Sunday morning, excited and ready for day one of our challenge!! The sky was grey, and there had been torrential rain and strong winds the night before. Oh well, this was only day one, surely things were set to improve. We drove to Glen Brittle Hostel and met our guide, George Yeomans. A veritable mountain dude - has hiked all over the world, knows the Cuillin like the back of his hand, and is a member of the Skye Mountain Rescue Team...we were in safe hands. Our plan for our first day in the mountains was three Munros, Sgurr na Banachdich (965m), Sgurr a Greadaidh (975m) and Sgurr a Mhadaidh (918m). The climb to the first summit was a steady hike, just 2.5 hours in total. The first one was 'bagged', only a bit wet! Getting to the next two summits was a little more challenging, with the ropes being needed to get across some of the trickier parts. We got the next two summits with no problems, although unfortunately the heavy cloud meant we had zero views from the top. Three down, 9 to go!
Day 5 Today the plan was to do 2 Munros: Sgurr Mhic Choinnich (948m) and the Sgurr Dearg (the Inaccessible Pinnacle) (986m). The In Pinn, as it is known, is a rock climb up the one side, and an abseil off the other...we had all the gear and were raring to go. The weather again was pretty horrendous. We set off in the rain. Was quite a long steady climb to the ridge, and then a long traverse along it to get to the first summit. The rain was lashing down and the winds were easily reaching 40mph. Our guide decided that to attempt the In Pinn would be scary, not to mention dangerous. As he put it 'It's the type of conditions I go out to rescue people in!' We had to accept defeat as Mother Nature told to head back down the mountain. A shame...we weren't going to manage all 12 summits this trip.
Day 6 Our final day on the Cuillin, and we were to attempt the final three Munros up on the North end; Bruach na Frithe (958m), Am Basteir (934m) and Sgurr nan Gillean (964m). The sun was actually out (as were the midgies) as we set off, and we felt a glimmer of confidence that we would manage all three. The hike to the top of Bruach na Frithe took us around 2.5 hours. The last 100m or so took us along the ridge to the cairn. It was here that we realised that the mountain had been protecting us from the strong winds on our way up. Gusts of around 50mph were pounding down on us as we made the final effort to the cairn. In the picture, me and Alison are showing our pink t-shirts, which we'd been saving for a sunny day, this was the only show they got!It was to be too dangerous to go for the final two summits today. They, along with the In Pinn would have to wait for another day.