I’ve just had a few days climbing with some friends up in Skye. When we arrived, we were surprised at how much snow there was. There had been a recent fresh flurry of snow and it was looking good. So, for the beginning of our trip, our fingers were quite cold when climbing which was a stark contrast with the last few days when it was absolutely scorching.
On our first day there, my climbing partner Steve and I climbed up to the Cioch by a relatively easy route and then carried on to the top of Coir Lagan – a cold-fingers day but really good climbing. The following day we did Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr nan Gillean. Again, there was a lot more snow than we had initially hoped for but it was great to be back on big hills.
On the final day we took a boat into Loch Coruisk and we four stayed at the climbing hut – a beautiful, remote location with stunning views down the loch. The next day we did the Dubhs Ridge and then down the other side to where we were camping.
One of the things that always strikes me about Skye is that it is the only place in the UK in my experience where you can have a truly alpine climbing day. The climbing is fantastic with grades from easy to extreme but you do need to be a competent and confident climber. There is some easier walking or non-technical climbing but It would take too long to rope everything so sometimes you need the skills and confidence to move together and quickly.
So on this trip, we did three good climbing routes and then had the added bonus of seeing lots of seals and even an otter. We saw the otter just about half an hour walk from our camp where we sat very quietly for about an hour and it worked its way across the shoreline in front of us. The vast majority of people on the camp-site didn’t see it purely and simply because they didn’t look for it. Seeing otters is often a case of finding the right location and just sitting quietly, preferably without a dog because the smell or barking of a dog will scare away otters.
It was a good trip but now I am back in the Lakes preparing for a Jubilee Beacon on Catbells and hoping for dry, calm weather!