This was a mountain I hate to say I had never climbed. I was always to busy when on Skye climbing, traversing the ridge and rock climbing. My first ascent was one of the most wildest call-outs I can recall. It was early December 1982 a wild winters night. I had just completed a 12 hour shift rations the planes at RAF Kinloss. The station was still on a war footing after the Falklands War. The Nimrod plane was doing huge flights to the South Atlantic it was very busy period.
The story has been written about in my blog in the past. It was a very hard call out in awful weather. Landing at Achnasheen to wait till another snow storm broke through. Then the helicopter nearly hit electricity wires trying to pick up the Skye Team. The engine was knackered but the pilot managed to drop us at Camusunary bothy. We were all glad to get off.
We met a good pal staying in the bothy with his mates Paul Rosher who thought a nuclear war had started. We crossed the river it was wild and straight up the hill. It was full of snow very tricky ground little buttresses and the rock ver loose after the crash. All the way up there was small pieces of wreckage and still burning in places. We followed my dog there was little searching done. This aircraft had a canopy that ejected the crew. We were praying this had occurred. Sadly it was not to be. We found the main wreckage near the summit. Sadly there was no lives to save. We had to stay with the crash site till about 1100 next day when we were replaced. It was an awful night before we had good bivy bags. We had no comms till the morning I wandered about all night trying to get contact with the dog as the troops tried to sleep. Having to wake them up as they were frozen. That’s was the best daylight I have ever seen as the sky lightened and the islands came into view. I have gone into that incident in other blogs in far more details. I spent a week with the USA investigation team chasing the short daylight locating wreckage.
Routes – unlike many of the high Cuillin, Sgurr na Stri is not technically difficult, making it a popular objective for walkers. That is not to say it is without challenge, nothing this good comes easy in life. Walking routes to Sgurr na Stri are long, either starting from Sligachan and following the river or starting from Elgol and traversing the coast to Camasunary Bay. There is the famous Bad Step to negotiate. The good news is that both approaches are magnificent. In summer there are a few boats that do the trip from Elgol.
The pilot in the left hand seat of the aircraft was Major (Lt Col. Selectee) Burnley L. (“Bob”) Rudiger Jr., aged 37, from Norfolk, Virginia. Major Rudiger was survived by a wife and two children who were then resident at Risby, Suffolk.
The weapons system operator in the right seat was 1st Lt. Steven J. Pitt, 28, from East Aurora, New York. Lt. Pitt was survived by a wife and two children, then resident at Icklingham, Suffolk.
You * The Strathaird estate was at the time owned by Ian Anderson otherwise more famous as the lead singer and flautist of the rock group Jethro Tull.”
Diminutive Sgùrr Na Strì may be reach 494 metres in height, but it’s proof that – when it comes to mountains – size doesn’t matter. Reaching it requires a long and quite rugged walk, but the rewards are immense. Many walkers reckon that the view from the summit – over Loch Coruisk, the Cuillin and the sea – is the finest in all Britain.
There are some rock climbs on the cliff and a couple of scrambled. They can add to a great day.