Early morning start at 0500 to miss the heat of an incredible Skye day. We were paplanningo climb Sgurr Dubh Mor and Sgur nan Eag by the classic Dubhs ridge. It was my pal Martins last Munros so it would be a special day.The ridge is a short walk from the hut and goes from sea – level to a Skye summit , it is a scramble with lots of interest and has an interesting abseil on it. We had an outstanding day the rock was hot to touch and once we got used to padding up the slabs and the exposure it was a joy to be out. There are a few steep steps on the slabs but this is incredible climbing on a day like we had. The gabbro is rough and the rock solid and at times you feel the exposure, but what views of the Loch and the massive Skye hills in all their glory. We were a group of old mates from RAF Mountain Rescue days it was grand to be out again and it was so carefree, stopping chatting looking at the views and enjoying the perfect of Skye days. These words keep coming keep coming back to me by W.H. Murray
“Apart from the initial trouble in climbing on to the ridge, one may proceed un-roped up broad acres of boiler plated slabs, whose rock is the roughest gabbro in all the Cuilins. In other words , it is so rough and reliable that only the grossest negligence could bring a man to harm.”
The climbing was great though I had done this climb many times this was the best I had ever been out in. I had been caught out in a thunderstorm in the past and this can be a wild place. It is also very remote if anything goes wrong and I had done a few call – outs with the local Skye team in the past. This is a wild mountain area but today it was perfect. It was so great to be back in Skye and there was no rush we could today drink it all in, it was really thirsty work and after going for about 3 hours the sun was fully out. The views off this side of the Cuillin are incredible and this was the day to enjoy. We had another night in the hut so we had no rush on the hills. We were soon at the end of the main scramble and had a big break on the ledge before the final climb. It was a great place to chill out there was a bit of grass and some shade, we could see a huge Cruise ship in the bay. The rock was looser here and we had split up a bit as we climbed the last section, we were pretty carefree in the sun and situation.. I was feeling the heat and took it easy Jugs had just given me an aspirin for my slight headache. My pals were about 20 feet above me and my step son and just starting of was Jugs on the ledge packing his bag. Out of the blue a stone fell from above missed me by inches and hit Jugs squarely on the head. I thought that was it for him only a few of us had helmets on, it was so hot, how daft we were! We were lucky Jugs was badly dazed and a bit battle-scarred but we got away with it. He wanted to continue and we managed to convince him to go down. We were lucky that the descent from a ramp was easy enough. The two Munro baggers after much discussion went on the complete their Munros and we had a slow descent of the hill. We were very lucky how stupid not wearing a helmet due to the heat. “A moments negligence could have lead to a lifetime of misery” We spent ages walking off it was pretty steep but Jugs is a hard as nails and we stopped regularly in the burns and pools to cool down and keep “Jugs” bandage wet. I was worried about concussion or worse but he is hard man and despite the now black eyes he was okay. We were soon down at the loch and at the bothy where the daily boats trips had brought in lots of visitors and there were plenty of yachts in the bay. He wanted to stay and we had an easy day in the river cooling off. The other two boys had a great day on the ridge and completed their Munro journey running out of water early in their day. It was an incredible day and we had a great night. Next day we left again in magnificent weather and Jugs went for a check at the local hospital. There is more on my blog 0n 21/03/ 2013.
Todays Tip – Always wear a helmet