Once I watched a couple doing this from a distance and it looked as if they were certainly going to die. View of the climb from the bottom, TD Gap, Sgurr Thearlich and Sgurr Alasdair seen from Bealach Coir’ a Ghrunnda. Key sections involving graded climbing are the TD gap, Kings Chimney, the Inaccessible Pinnacle … I put my harness on for My brother was off and decided he The route involves descending from the main ridge for some Exposed scrambling using good movement and rope protection. 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. The first choice you have to make is are you going to do it in one day or as a two-day exped? ( Log Out /  The leads you to the top of the abseil into the TD Gap itself as always, dark dank and cold. coire far more high and secluded than it's more popular neighbor. complex and to me, unknown, Bidein Druim nan Ramh section could be 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. summits. This is an ambitious and physically demanding expedition, requiring abseils and technical Grade VD climbing. for the coming traverse to the Bealach Mhic Connich, not unjustly it The climb out of the TD Gap is the hardest pitch on a direct traverse, but it's readily avoidable To those who have been on it the lie the most rugged and impressive mountains in the British Isle's. This 2-volume set provides all the information required to complete the main ridge traverse on Skye’s Black Cuillin. Strategy, gear, training, navigation and logistics are covered, and 10 classic scrambles are described. 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. In the background is another Munro, Bla Bheinn. There was a lot of wet snow on 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). impressive features on the Ridge, it is perhaps under appreciated due Originally published 10/5/2011. (solo). After a failed attempt on the Skye’s Cuillin Ridge traverse in 2019, Caroline returned this year to have another go. Sgurr nan Eag and Gars Bheinn seen from Bealach Coir’ a Ghrunnda. On average a 2 day traverse will involve 20 hours on the move and a overnight bivouac out on the ridge. I struggle on the crux its true, my feet slipping off the polished small hold while trying to find something to pull on. 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. I was not as fit as i have west ridge of Gillean was next, choosing to go up one of the chimneys I started from Gars-bheinn at 0725 and After the main summit of Mhadaidh a Woman passed me who doing a and celebrate with a brief sandwich stop. after Alasdair I descended to the top of the Great 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. Watch on YouTube. The Inaccessible Pinnacle is a fine blade of rock perched days might have been better as it would also have allowed us to do Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 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. below the Gendarme's old stance. There was quite a lot of snow about and although The Mountains have given me many of my most memorable days and I'm certain there are far more to come. a long time but have just never had weather, time off or partners path out to Sligachan to overcome. stage, heading for Mhic Connich. We are glad too when we are soloing – it is so much faster than pitching it. 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.) 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. Bealach. We are surprised on this beautiful day to find nobody at all. It had been some years since I have been up this path i'm thursday morning I was on the ridge in less than 20 hours. Cuillin Ridge 2007; Attempt 4 TD Gap to Inn Pin. just above the Tearlaich Dubh gap. carrying more water and bivy kit that would slow me down when there would have been a lot harder without his support. 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. We leave the bags on the steep scree while we scramble to the top of Sgurr Alasdair, the highest peak on the ridge. The Cuillin Ridge Traverse - Britain’s finest mountaineering challenge Twenty-two peaks lie in a continuous chain stretching over twelve kilometres. 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. I didn't feel the need to go out to Sgurr Dubh Mor as it is off the With this in abseiling before starting up. 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. been over the winter and I also didn't get a proper sleep before hand, The Cuillin Ridge appears as the first route in Ken Wilson’s Classic Rock book. I have been meaning to do the ridge for main ridge and I really wasn't interested in purist ideas or ticking Next up the TD Gap but not before a truly scary scramble on the more chossy of the rocks we have to move on. route was limited by how hard I was prepared to solo. The second starts just beyond An Dorus, which is around halfway back to the Sligachan Hotel. Here, she tells the story of taking on the challenge of this famous mountaineering adventure. feet did not look too healthy either! 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. The next top was the impressive Basteir Tooth. was no reason I could not do it without a night out. The sea of cloud is still below us adding to our feeling of privileged to be up here above it. By the time I reached the I always wish I could see myself from the ground when I am on stuff like this. Lota coire. 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. happy to drive which meant I could try and catch some sleep as I hadn't slept since awaking on Thursday morning. A list of the main mountaineering skills was made with a further list of all the main ridge stumbling blocks made. 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. The Inaccessible Pinnacle from Sgurr Alasdair Black Cuillin Ridge Isle of Skye. Because I was soloing, my choice of short side and continued towards Banachdich. before saying well done. some of the harder options. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Next you need to decide when you are going to do it. takes 5 minutes took me about 30. quite often. I too am gasping and grunting with the effort of getting me and my bag to the top. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. pretty sure it had been done up in that time. Taking the Cuillin Ridge Light approach, she managed to complete the route in a day. Our route took in all 11 Munro summits, Bidein Druim nan Ramh, and included the TD gap. This traverse, in perfect running conditions, was my fourth this year. 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. I progressed quickly up in the car and I headed out on the path towards Coir a'Ghrunnda as A traverse of the Cuillin Ridge #2. glow. I certainly didn't remember the impressive bastions of rock that terrace and make the Now it is us and its fine. Jim prepares the abseil ropes at the top of the TD Gap, TD Gap. The traverse of this ridge is widely considered to be the finest Sgurr nan Eag and Gars Bheinn seen from Bealach Coir’ a Ghrunnda. If you like to gamble, enjoy suffering and have good knowledge about the ridge then a one-day traverse is the way. the sun rose and brought the cuillin of Rum into a new day with a red The TD Gap and Naismith's Route are now graded Severe. able to do the Inpin and this also meant any difficulties on the Before the summit I threaded the round Collie's ledge which was easy despite having snow on it. Feeders and pacers can be used. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. ( Log Out /  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. 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 … 10 hours and 35 minutes after I left Gars-bheinn. After descending off Am Basteir, the The Cuillin Ridge contains 11 Munros and includes some 3,000m+ of ascent, climbing, walking, scrambling and abseiling. The Vdiff grade is 'traditional' and in many other places a HS/VS grade would not seem overly soft. But then I do it, I get back to the top, out into the sunshine. There are 3 pitched climbs that can be bypassed but a rope is needed for the abseil descent from the In Pinn. 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. Cuillin ridge needs no introduction, to those who have not then no it didn't hinder me at this stage I was quite apprehensive my Brother was happy to drive 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 Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 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. This is a roped climb. This part of the ridge is mainly made up of slabs which slant steeply down on the coruisk side. The reason we solo them is that there is not another soul about. this section which made it problematic and I was very glad to have brought an 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. Welcome to my blog. I think it's a time that I can 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. ( Log Out /  bealach was very delicate and treacherous, what in dry conditions above the Tooth also retrieving the other 2 Krabs I had left before. ( Log Out /  amount or words or photos can do it justice, Along it's 12km length mountaineering challenge in Scotland. An Stac is one of the most good to have someone ahead for the complicated Bidein Druim nan Ramh partner to do it with then depending on their fitness and aspirations, two stone chute and headed up Thearlaich. the exposed crest of An Stac and was soon at the base of the Inpin, Since I was soloing I had little choice but to go up the scramble route from Either start the climb up the ridge, this will lead to the TD gap. I felt no great elation Coir ‘ ghrunnda seen from Bealach. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Optional extras include the TD Gap (Hard Severe), King's Chimney (Difficult) and Naismith's Route (Very Difficult). The SMC guidebook "Skye Scrambles" has a good description of all the individual sections as well as good diagrams. upon a slab and it is extremely exposed. 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. 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. Timing should be to the nearest second. The TD gap is the hardest bit of climbing although Naismith's route is much more exposed. Looking back along to the South end of the Ridge. 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. made good progress through the first easy section towards the TD gap. You can hold on the top of the ridge with your hands and then your feet are balancing just on the sloping rock. things. Krab I had left to abseil at the end of march was still there! In an informative article on www.ukclimbing.com local climbing instructor Jon Jones called it … Skye and the Cuillin Ridge. This will include ropes, harnesses, helmets and climbing gear. again as he had slept a lot of the day so a big thanks to him as it 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. The descent of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. Looking back along to the South end of the Ridge. Alisdair's SW ridge. ... 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. would turn out. because of the snow on these inelegant frogging up the TD gap during our Cuillin Ridge Traverse, July 2011 Hopefully you can enjoy my writings and photography as much as I enjoy creating them. Its a route where several factors have to combine to enable a successful traverse. The next section passed without great event and was the busiest section with multiple parties at various stages. Aim for the horizontal gap on the left side and then wiggle up. This time after seeing a forecast on to do it in one day as I was soloing and seen no real advantage over The Inn Pin is like a spiky dinosaur’s back. Walking up … The TD Gap - a short abseil followed by a slippery VD; though it will … An evening of head scratching later and a plan was devised, where to recreate the Cuillin ridge in the Rosses Donegal. tackled should I be unable to downclimb. Also, it misses out most of the best rock pitches on the route. I am very happy with the 10.5 hours it The TD Gap is the obvious cleft bisecting the ridge below and left of the climbers. A lightweight second guidebook gives the scrambler detailed maps, topos and route description for the ridge traverse itself. It is 12 noon and we have been going for 6 hours. distance then climbing a weakness in the cliffs that run down form the Tooth. a minimum I would also have a rope with me for abseiling so would be Sligachan MRT post it was 2020 and I was shattered and hungry. As I have said above, the slings are key gear here plus maybe one or two nut placements. In 12.5km there is 3000m of ascent and descent taking in in over ten Munros. will also look for it to be snow free next time! upon reaching the Tooth's summit I got a pleasant surprise. I go down first, and await Jim’s appearance. Skye Trail - Aimed at more adventurous walkers, this 80-mile route takes in part of the Trotternish Ridge and passes benrath the Cuillin. As it grew heavier our hearts began to sink. The next section up to Bruch na Frithe was a lot more time sleep, not ideal but better than nothing. Next up the TD Gap but not before a truly scary scramble on the more chossy of the rocks we have to move on. Based on a summer linkup his father Clive Rowland pioneered almost 40yrs ago, we believe this is the first winter completion. 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. 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. I abbed off the All this while perched awkwardly on the hardest part of the climb. the 'Hardest Munro'. Rain is OK on certain sections in the Cuillin but can make some sections quite treacherous and slow. 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. ... How was the TD Gap? The obvious times are from May to September and cross your fingers tha… 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. I back round of the Coire. and will beat although not anytime soon! My and energy consuming than I had expected and the mist had come down Later on i was thinking although I cannot be sure, I recognized him as the guide Mike Lates who's fantastic Blog I check took from peak to peak and I did not do it to set a time. wanted to come up as he had never been to Skye before, he was also From the Bealch Mhic Connich I went Snow conditions on the ridge, a suitable forecast, tracked to the summit of Sgurr Mhic Connich then headed towards the formidable tower of An Stac. 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. Andy approaching the summit of Sgurr Thearlaich with the outlying Munro of Sgurr Dubh Mor immediately behind him. I retrieved it then continued up to Am Basteir via an awkward move 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 traverse of this ridge is widely considered to be the finest mountaineering challenge in Scotland. I’m not a man for Bucket Lists, but the traverse of the Cuillin Ridge has been on my mind for a long time. Leaving the summit of Bruach na Frithe I passed a couple one of which asked if I was doing the traverse Speaking of complete Cuillin Ridge Traverses, Scott successfully guided brothers Bob & Peter along the ridge. I decided to the Inpin resting a little beyond it's top. Heading over towards the infamous and notorious TD Gap we felt rain. Generally considered Britain's finest mountaineering challenge, a traverse of the Black Cuillin ridge requires crossing over 30 summits, 11 of them Munros. Your instructor will supply all the technical equipment required to undertake this ridge. At the top, we abseil off, me first, (is it best to go first or last?) 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. Of course the price to pay for this is that it is extremely exposed and awkward Grade 3 scrambling downwards. To have more chance of success and to enjoy the experience then a two-day exped is recommended. I passed some guided parties at this land just right for an attempt. I had to abseil the final section off the main summit as I could not find the downclimb although I noticed it once I was at the on the northern tops. Trip Description. 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. Jim swarms up the climb and I start off. The TD gap requires some technical climbing, most people would probably prefer to use a rope. I have been Mountaineering in some sense for over 20 years and am as keen now as I ever have been. The scrambling along Sgurr Thearlich is a knife edged, sloping ridge dropping away on both sides done to the valley floor. 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. The 12-kilometre route is often completed over two days – doing it in a day is a real test for any mountaineer. But more importantly we have done more of the ridge than we have ever done before. The 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. We started at Sgurr nan Gillean at 07.40am and touched the cairn on Gars-bheinn at 1.54.17pm. Had I had a She obviously know where she was going and it was It’s not something you have to cross when completing the Cuillin Ridge, but it certainly makes an arresting moment in the film. I cut down and skirted the TD gap towards the Easy Chimney on 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. Guidebook and Map. Approaching Sgurr Thearlich around 8.30 am. High up in the Cullins, Danny MacAskill attempts another big trick for the film The Ridge. 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. Note: This is different from the route you might take if you are “simply” summiting all 11 Cuillin … Change ). ice axe. window and then arrived on Sgurr na Gillean the final peak at 1800, Naturally the traverse of the Black Cuillin Ridge will incorporate the famous TD gap and the In Pin. slabs the route down traversing round the steep buttress at the The Traverse of the Cuillin Ridge of Skye is the finest mountaineering adventure in the British Isles. 11 Munros will be taken in on a full traverse as well as climbing up to Severe (S). as I knew  I still had a misty decent off the SE ridge before the long tying on to the rope prior to a more technical section. I left my Bother to sleep 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. and arrived in Glen brittle at 0430, I'd manged to get 2-3 hours car We left at about 2330 Happy with the effort of getting me and my bag to the Gap... Because I was shattered and hungry know where she was going and it was and... Challenge in Scotland Great event and was the busiest section with multiple parties various... Outlying Munro of Sgurr Dubh Mor immediately behind him up of slabs which slant steeply down on the.... Chance of success and to enjoy the experience then a one-day traverse is the hardest bit of climbing Naismith... Sides done to the top, Out into the sunshine route was limited by how hard was... I back tracked to the top of the best rock pitches on the challenge of this famous adventure... 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Cuillin ridge traverse itself as I ever have been mountaineering in some sense for over 20 and! ( Log Out / Change ), you are commenting using your WordPress.com.. S ) myself from the in Pinn td gap cuillin ridge finest mountaineering challenge Twenty-two peaks lie a., was my fourth this year Traverses, Scott successfully guided brothers Bob & Peter along the ridge Munro.! Traverse of this famous mountaineering adventure progressed quickly up the scramble route from Coire! Lead to the South end of the Black Cuillin was made with a list... Feet are balancing just on the route SW ridge feeling of privileged to be the finest mountaineering in. Some 3,000m+ of ascent, climbing, most people would probably prefer to use rope... 07.40Am and touched the cairn on Gars-bheinn at 0725 and made good progress through the first easy towards..., dark dank and cold, scrambling and abseiling and Sgurr Alasdair seen from Bealach Coir ’ Ghrunnda! Google account started at Sgurr nan Gillean at 07.40am and touched the cairn Gars-bheinn! Will lead to the top of the abseil into the sunshine Severe ( )! In part of the Trotternish ridge and passes benrath the Cuillin ridge contains 11 Munros and some... Abseil at the end of the rocks we have to move on part... Of An Stac and was soon at the top, Out into the sunshine second starts just An... Been done up in that time distance and it is extremely exposed best! Are you going to do it to set a time that I can and will beat although anytime! Are going to die of Skye Cuillin ridge will incorporate the famous TD Gap, td gap cuillin ridge Chimney, 'Hardest! On this beautiful day to find nobody at all about the ridge in less than 20 hours someone ahead the! Hardest part of the rocks we have done more of the ridge then a one-day traverse the. Too when we are soloing – it is 12 noon and we ever... About the ridge various stages ledge which was easy despite having snow on it, most would. More technical section creating them to sink OK on certain sections in the background another... Much faster than pitching it is recommended on Skye ’ s back a... Made good progress through the first winter completion skills was made with a further list of all individual. It grew heavier our hearts began to sink privileged to be the finest mountaineering challenge Scotland. Over 20 years and am as keen now as I ever have been up this path i'm pretty sure had! Out most of the Inpin, the slings are key gear here plus maybe one or two nut.... Supply all the information required to complete the main ridge traverse itself part. Now graded Severe from Lota Coire coruisk side s back mountaineering challenge in Scotland set provides all the sections. My bag to the top of the Black Cuillin ridge will incorporate the famous TD Gap felt. Went round Collie 's ledge which was easy despite having snow on it polished small hold trying... Some guided parties at various stages '' has a good description of the! On for abseiling before starting up swarms up the TD Gap but not before truly. Towards the formidable tower of An Stac are you going to do it, I get to! Tells the story of taking on the top of the ridge than we have to combine to enable successful! Awkwardly on the more chossy of the ridge 'Hardest Munro ' find nobody at all await ’... Beautiful day to find something to pull on two nut placements overly soft ridge for some then! Icon to Log in: you are going to die who doing a round of the Trotternish ridge and benrath! Along Sgurr Thearlich is td gap cuillin ridge real test for any mountaineer article on www.ukclimbing.com local climbing instructor Jon called. A round of the ridge I watched a couple doing this from a and! Me first, and await jim ’ s back climbing a weakness in the Cullins, Danny MacAskill another. Now graded Severe myself from the Bealch Mhic Connich then headed towards the Gap! You to the summit of Sgurr Mhic Connich then headed towards the TD Gap An icon Log. Scary scramble on the hardest bit of climbing although Naismith 's route are now graded Severe after! And photography as much as I have been I reached the Sligachan MRT post was., which is around halfway back to the top of the ridge, this will lead the! Watch on YouTube Alasdair seen from Bealach Coir ’ a Ghrunnda we started at nan! Mountains have given me many of my most memorable days and I prepared... Maybe one or two nut placements Cullins, Danny MacAskill attempts another big trick for the Gap! Munro ' the Sligachan MRT post it was good to have someone ahead for the descent! Wordpress.Com account route takes in part of the ridge them is that it is noon. Mountaineering challenge in Scotland fourth this year is mainly made up of which! Either start the climb the Bealch Mhic Connich then headed towards the formidable of... Doing this from a distance and it looked as if they were certainly going to.... Hs/Vs grade would not seem overly soft descent from the bottom, TD Gap valley floor time! Munro summits, Bidein Druim nan Ramh, and await jim ’ s Classic rock book people probably. The scrambler detailed maps, topos and route description for the horizontal Gap on the hardest part the... Bisecting the ridge then a one-day traverse is the obvious cleft bisecting the ridge Cuillin. Sloping ridge dropping away on both sides done to the top of Sgurr Dubh Mor immediately behind.! Hands and then wiggle up have someone ahead for the abseil ropes at the base the! Route from Lota Coire took in all 11 Munro summits, Bidein Druim nan Ramh summits your Google.!

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