Monday, 1 May 2017

Cuillin Ridge An Dorus to Coir' a' Tairneilear

Walk Summary
Striding Edge, Sharpe Edge and Crib Goch. All classic ridge walks
Bidein Druim nan Ramh summit
and all within the aspirations of the capable hill walker. The difference with the An Dorus to Coir' a' Tairneilear section of the Cuillin Ridge is that it has one Munro and three difficult to access Corbett Tops of Munro, which I reckon are out of reach of the average hill walker unless you have someone in the party with mountaineering skills.

Iain Gallagher of Kendal Mountaineering Services was that man for us. Here is his blog report.
To start with  there is the initial 3¼ mile walk from Glen Brittle YH to gain the ridge at An Dorus, taking us 2½ hours. We then made a small diversion continuing the ascent to the right to bag Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh the first Munro of the day in an effort to make the next day a little easier (and one less summit for tomorrow after going up The Inaccessible Pinnacle), before returning to An Dorus and on to the second and final Munro of the day - Sgurr a'Mhadaidh.
Steve & Jon on An Caisteal summit final summit of day.
Sgurr Bairnich and Bruach na Frith behind
So that is the easy part of the day done. Ahead of us are three rarely visited Corbett Tops of Munro and probably the most challenging summit Bidein Druim nan Ramh North Top missing out on Corbett Top status by just 1m of prominence, but taking nearly 1 hour to cover the 0.06 miles from the parent summit of Bidein Druim nan Ramh. 
There is a 24 hour challenge called The Cuillin Round where these summits have to be completed without use of ropes to have any chance of completing the challenge, but that was not for us. So one roped up-climb 3 abseils down, including 2 off Bidein Druim nan Ramh and an exposed scramble to the abseil station and a final roped down climb in to the Tairneilear Gap made for probably one of the best days you are likely to have on the hill - if you have a good head for heights. For me the roped up parts were the most comfortable given that because we were roped up with secure belays the exposure and consequences of a slip were not so acute. The rest of the time there was still plenty of exposure requiring great care and focus of mind.
Tired legs walking out down Coire na Creiche
Having safely reached the Tairneilear Gap all that remained was the down walk back to the second vehicle parked at the Fairy Pools car park. Only 3 miles but taking 2½ hours. "All that remained..." is of course tongue in cheek because from the Tairneilear Gap is a scree descent from hell down Coir' a' Tairneilear and the final long walk down Coire na Creiche following the River Brittle passed The Fairy Pools.
A total of 8 miles in 11 hours with nearly 1500m of ascent all this with a near perfect blue sky, light winds and hot sun, leaving us knackered but exhilarated, hoping we had saved enough energy for tomorrows route up The Inaccessible Pinnacle.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 01 May 2017
Walkers - Steve Smith, Jon Glew, Iain Gallagher

Accommodation - Sligachan Bunkhouse
Start Point - Walker's car park near Shepherds Cottage (NT 11958 37441)
Start Time - 11:07
Finish Point Walker's car park near Shepherds Cottage (NT 11958 37441)
Finish Time- 18:04
Total Duration - 6hrs 57mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.45mph
Total Distance Walked - 10.07 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1070.21metres

Peaks visited
Munro (282)

Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh (41)
Sgurr a'Mhadaidh (17) (first visited May 2014)
Simm (2190S - 2533E,W &S)
Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh (94S - 426E,W & S)
Sgurr a'Mhadaidh (37S - 249E,W & S) (first visited May 2014)
Sgurr a'Mhadaidh Far East Top (95S - 427E,W & S)
Bidein Druim nan Ramh (96S - 428E,W & S)
An Caisteal (97S - 429E,W & S)
Munro Top (227)
Murdo (443)
Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh (53)
Sgurr a'Mhadaidh (25) (first visited May 2014)

Corbett (221)
Corbett Top of Munro (266)
Sgurr a'Mhadaidh Far East Top (8)
Bidein Druim nan Ramh (9)
An Caisteal (10)
Corbett Top of Corbett (186)
Graham (219)
Graham Top of Munro (193)
Graham Top of Corbett (373)
Graham Top of Graham (207)
Donald (89)
Donald Top (51)
New Donald (118)
Marilyn (1218S - 1556E,W&S))
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)
Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh (118S - 435E,W & S)
Bidein Druim nan Ramh (119S - 436E,W & S)
Highland Five (248)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
24th Calkin Rig, Grange Fell & Pikethaw Hill
25th Belling Hill, Rubers Law & Wisp Hill
26th Goseland Hill & Lamington Hill
27th Beinn Narnain and A'Chrois
28th Meall Mor & Glas Bheinn
29th Glas Bheinn Mhor & Beinn na Cro
30th Beinn na Seamraig & Ben Aslack
01st Cuillin Ridge An Dorus to Coir' a' Tairneilear
02nd Inaccessible Pinnacle & Sgurr na Banachdich
03rd Meall a' Mhaoil and Loch Ainort Peninsula TUMPs
04th Am Basteir & Bhasteir Tooth
05th Bla Bheinn [Blabheinn] [Blaven]
06th Sgurr Na Stri
07th Glamaig and the Beinn Deargs
08th Beinn nan Carn
09th Garbh-bheinn Marilyns less Marsco
11th Broadford Marilyns & Beinn Dearg Bheag
12th Sleat Penisinsular Marilyns
14th Sgurr an Airgid
16th Beinn na Sroine & Beinn Udlaidh
17th Meall Odhar & Beinn Chuirn from By The Way, Tyndrum

GPX can be downloaded from
More Photographs
Time for a breather on what is easier ground on way up An Caisteal
Click on photograph to view slide-show