/ Greater cuillin ridge traverse

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bigrob - on 29 Nov 2016
Right the challenge has been set for next year...........

I've done the ridge before in 8 hours end to end and so have set my eyes on the greater traverse.

Hoping for a y info from anyone who has done it. Particularly best way of sgurr n Gillian and fastest route to top of blaven for. There.
Also any idea on logistics would be great as will probs only have one car??

Timing to start is an interesting issue as speaking to some one today, they suggested starting late, getting it the end of the main ridge and getting down of main ridge at dusk and then doing the valley across to blaven in the dark??

Any help appreciated, was planning for middle of next summer when there is max light!M

Cheers r
Michael Hood - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:

Do a complete circuit to address the one car issue - means even more miles of course.
BnB - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:

Surely, if you have the skills, strength and energy to do the greater traverse, then planning your route must feel a bit like cheating. Just wing it.
Gordon Stainforth - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:

Speak to Mike Lates.
colinakmc - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:
Murray and Hamilton( only slightly before my time) did it without reference to any car, they started from the campsite beside the youth hostel, but they pitched and provisioned a tent in Glen Sligachan both to grab a rest before the Blaven end, and also to return to crash out after completion. They also bivied on the ridge for a couple of hours after starting at 7pm or something like it, You might still find reading the relevant chapter in "mountaineering in Scotland".
Gordon Stainforth - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:
To enlarge on the last. When I supported Mike Lates in a rather minimal way on his Greater Traverse in 1991 we started and finished at the Coruisk Hut. The whole thing worked v well. We went up to the main ridge by soloing the Dubhs Ridge (superb) then traversed S. to Garsbheinn and bivvied there. At crack of dawn, Mike set off on the traverse, and I took his bivvy gear (and mine, plus cooker etc... v heavy sack) back to the Coruisk Hut. Not easy (the route was actually very steep, difficult and unobvious, and ended up with quite hard traversing above the sea – I mean quite technical climbing/bouldering with a very heavy sack) ... plus there was a heat wave. After an hour's rest at the Coruisk hut I went all the way round by Camasunary and up the S Ridge of Blaven under the blazing sun (it was very fiercely hot that day) and got to the summit only about 45 mins before Mike completed the whole greater traverse, finishing over Clach Glas. He had an understandably long rest on the top of Blaven, and then we had to get all the way back to the Coruisk hut. That was a v long day. We got to the hut at about 11 at night having done the Bad Step etc in the pitch dark. I've seldom been so knackered.
Post edited at 22:54
Robert Durran - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:

I've done it twice, but with a bivi. First time Glen Brittle, Gars Bheinn then ridge to Glen Sligachan, then next day traverse of Blaven to Camasunary and back to Sligachan and hitch to Glen Brittle. Second time we started at Sligachan and did Blaven to Coruisk, then to Gars Bheinn and bivi in Coire a'Ghrunnda. Next day ridge to Slgachan. This gave two days of pretty even length, and seemed logical with one car to start and finish at Sligachan. Other option would be to camp at Camasunary or Coruisk and do it in either direction from there in one or two days.
atrendall - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

Here is a slightly different way although I've only done it with a bivi;

Park at Elgol and get the "early bird" RIB across to Coruisk; if you ask nicely and conditions are favourable they can drop you on rocks beneath G Bheinn rather than at the more usual steps by the hut. A great approach. Traverse ridge and descend to Glen Slig then up to Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn where you can descend South Ridge and walk along coast path back to Elgol or out to the road at Kilmarie and hitch.

Done this multiple times and like it because of the circular nature with no hassle returning to car etc and with the beautiful approach by boat. Given that the boats aren't that early an alternative might be to get a late afternoon boat then bivi on ridge having got all the ascent out of the way. Leave bivi gear for later retrieval then blast off for a fantastic day. Good luck and I'm sure you'll love it whichever way you go.
speliox - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:
Round trip from Sligachan gives a great day. We did it back in mid 80's. Leaving Sligachan at 0200 should get you round in daylight (we wore big boots and didn't rush) and you might just make a pint! Long walk down the glen provides a nice 'loosener' prior to ascent via Coire Dubh and Clach Glas Blaven traverse. Descend to Camasunary and coast path to Coruisk then ascend the brilliant Dubh Ridge. Only if you're a puerile summit ticker would you head out and back to Garsbheinn as it spoils the 'flow' so just turn right and take the main Ridge back to Sligachan via Gillean. Technically not the Greater Traverse but certainly a Cuillin Grand Traverse, highly recommended!
Exile - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:
All I can remember:

We drove to the start of the Blaven traverse walk in, over CG and Blaven, along the coast and then the main ridge back to our tent at the Slig'. We then hitched back for the car in the morning. It took us 20hrs 40min road to road - starting at 4am and finishing at 12.40am the following morning. This was in August and we only needed to use torches for the last decent. (May gives you more day light, but we'd got rained off on our May attempt.) I wore an old pair of La Sportiva Trangos and carried a 20l running pack, my mate wore approach shoes and a 10l MTB bag, but carried the rope over his shoulder in classic coils. We took running waterproofs, a jumper, a harness, a head torch, a belay plate and crab' and 2.5l bladders each, and took a twin rope, very minimal rack, map and compass, snacks, energy powder and a bothy bag between us. We filled up our bladders between Blaven and the main ridge but were also lucky to be able to do it again on the main ridge (found a drip we filled up from - it had been raining heavily a few days before our traverse.) I can't remember exact route choices but we had both done the main ridge traverse twice before independently of each other, I had done the CG - Blaven traverse once and we'd had one aborted attempt where we did it as described above but finished down the great stone shoot. Long story short - it was hardly 'on sight' and we would have definitely been slower if we hadn't known where we were going quite so we'll.
Post edited at 16:26
bigrob - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to bigrob:

Cheers for all the heads up so far.

There is a lot of choices and what ifs!

As with my first attempt on the ridge planning is all great but the weather makes it all possible! First attempt on ridge was aborted due to getting blown of ridge!
Gordon Stainforth - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to speliox:

That sounds like a brilliant way of doing it.

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