/ NEW ARTICLE: BMG Route Choice: A traverse of the Cuillin Ridge

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UKC Articles - on 25 Jun 2012
A traverse of the Cuillin Ridge  #2, 2 kbA traverse of the Cuillin Ridge on Skye is a classic expedition that many people aspire to.

What many people underestimate is just how big a challenge it is and how well it measures up to anything else in the world. It is truly world class.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4409

Mike Pescod - on 25 Jun 2012
Michael Gordon - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

The boat approach sounds nice but I imagine only for those who can be dropped off / have 2 cars at their disposal. For the rest Glen Brittle will be more convienient as it can be done with one car only (not too difficult to hitch back again from Sligachan).
mick.h on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Mike Pescod:

Your article has the TD Gap as HS? Has this been upgraded? My books have it as VD though on the occasions that I have done it, it did feel harder.
I'm talking n/bound, never tried to climb it going S.
Michael Gordon - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to mick.h:

Rightly or wrongly it's been upgraded for the new Skye guide, though only to Severe.
mick.h on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I wouldn't disagree with that. First time I did it in boots and a pack. Next time carried climbing shoes and hauled packs - worth the extra weight.
cas smerdon - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> The boat approach sounds nice but I imagine only for those who can be dropped off / have 2 cars at their disposal. For the rest Glen Brittle will be more convienient as it can be done with one car only (not too difficult to hitch back again from Sligachan).

Friends did it by leaving their tent at the Slig and driving to Elgol then their tent was there when they got back and they could get a good night's sleep before an easy walk back to the car.

We chose to walk from Sligachen to Coruisk first and went up the Dubh Slabs, then bivvied before starting the Ridge. Either way you can do a complete circuit without needing to hitch back.

3/4th June was a great weekend to do the Ridge. Love the pictures Mike.

Tom Last - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to mick.h:

Feels like HS at 6am! ;)
James Edwards - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Southern Man:
The T-D gap is a very difficult (no pun intended) route to grade. There was much discussion about its grade for the new guidebook. A lot of Vdiff leaders thought that it was much harder and some Extreme leaders have reported surprising difficulties in big boots and a pack on a traverse. That said however, it responds well to a confident full on assault and is well protected with a size 4 nut and size 7 profanity right at the (very short) crux.
Thus the resulting upgrade from vdiff. Many folk do bander about harder grades but i certainly don't think that it is VS. MS is a grade that isn't used much these days; indeed it was proposed in come circles that it should be phased out, but if the gravity forecast is high then it could be so.
James e
Michael Gordon - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to James Edwards:

I still think it's a v-diff.

Not bad in big boots at all - they jam in the crack perfectly!
Michael Gordon - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to cas smerdon:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
> [...]
>
> Friends did it by leaving their tent at the Slig and driving to Elgol then their tent was there when they got back and they could get a good night's sleep before an easy walk back to the car.
>
> We chose to walk from Sligachen to Coruisk first and went up the Dubh Slabs, then bivvied before starting the Ridge. Either way you can do a complete circuit without needing to hitch back.
>

Ah but then you have to walk a good bit further. Hitching is easier than walking!
cas smerdon - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to cas smerdon)
> [...]
>
> Ah but then you have to walk a good bit further. Hitching is easier than walking!

Only if you get a lift! We were walking back from Fairy Pools to Glen Brittle at midnight once and people drove past us.

Walking from Sligachen to Coruisk before or after the traverse is a pleasant way to prepare or wind down after The Ridge and you are not relying on anyone else. I would also say it is better to do over 2 days even though you have to carry bivvy gear and more water. You get a chance to really enjoy being up there and can take your time and stop for photos instead of rushing round in a day and missing the views.
Michael Gordon - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to cas smerdon:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
> [...]
>
> I would also say it is better to do over 2 days even though you have to carry bivvy gear and more water. You get a chance to really enjoy being up there and can take your time and stop for photos instead of rushing round in a day and missing the views.

I'd agree with you there. Being out on the ridge watching the sunset is pretty special.
Offwidth - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to James Edwards:

I climbed it in trainers onsight with frozen hands and one runner. I don't do that with HS climbs. It's about VD/HVD 4a unless you are short when you need to more awkwardly udge up to reach the rail. It's much harder with a sack as it forces you out of the secure cleft (take it off and pull it up). Now the direct to the window on Window Buttress was nearly HS... what grade is that given now?
Michael Gordon - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to Offwidth:

Yep. The fact that folk regularly do it in big boots with a heavy sack on suggests it can't be that bad. I'm willing to believe the 'diabolical in the wet' comment in the old guide though!
Gordon Stainforth - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon:

The big problem is that it's made of very shiny basalt and not nice rough gabbro. Making it a lot less secure in big boots and more strenuous to climb than it would otherwise be, and quite hard to grade. If it were gabbro it would be a standard V Diff. I thought it was almost as hard as Stonnis Crack at Black Rocks, but of course it's possible I missed a hold or something.
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> I thought it was almost as hard as Stonnis Crack at Black Rocks, but of course it's possible I missed a hold or something.

I thought it worth HS 4b, wide, awkward and slippery. That tallies pretty well with Stonnis Crack.



Chris
Offwidth - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I thought Stonnis Crack was not so far from VS 4c. The idea of climbing the crux of that in approach shoes with frozen hands and the only runner 2m below my feet makes me feel ill. I was grading HVD 4a in comparison with classic non-sandbag polished Rhyolite in Wales or the Lakes.
Simon Caldwell - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to Offwidth:
I agree with that for Stonnis Crack. I haven't done the TD yet but I know non-climbers who have, and wouldn't stand a chance of getting up Stonnis without support from the rope.
Gordon Stainforth - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to Offwidth:

Well, I'm glad to see that Chris C agrees with me.
Offwidth - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Chris isn't the first experienced climber I'd trust to give a consitent view on lower grades. He's too good and just not the same size as most of us.

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