Gentians on Skye – The Inaccessible Pinnacle

Day 4 on The Isle of Skye saw a few intrepid souls climb back up onto the Cuillin Ridge to bag Sgurr MhicChoinnich and Sgurr Dearg and its infamous ‘Inaccessible Pinnacle’.

The weather wasn’t great in the morning but the forecast was for dry sunny weather later in the day so we headed up Coire Lagan to the little tarn beneath the Coireachan Ruadha Crags. From there it is a very steep climb up boulders and loose scree on to the bealach proper.

Turning right we scrambled south across very rocky and spiky terrain to the summit Sgurr MhicChoinnich for lunch.

After retracing our steps back to the bealach we continued up to the base of the Inaccessible Pinnacle – arriving about 3pm.

Since the afternoon had turned into a lovely day and, it being May Bank Holiday week, there had been a steady stream of enthusiastic Munro baggers queueing to take their turn on the UK’s most infamous peak. Apparently, some had had to wait a couple of hours.

Our relatively late arrival though meant there were only and few people in front of us and by the time we had donned our harnesses and John had sorted the rope we were good to go.

I am not a rock climber and had only occasionally ‘had a go’ before so the climb up the south ridge of the pinnacle was pretty daunting – and the rucksack and walking boots didn’t help. At one point I was totally flummoxed by a 2 m high lump of rock offering no way round, no hand holds or clues how to get up it. With John up above belaying my safety rope and Stuart right behind me I somehow managed to scramble up though still not exactly sure how.

The ridge soon started to to level out and we reached the top without any further difficulties. Here John anchored me and Stuart to a very solid looking lump of rock while he sorted the abseil rope.

This moment was very, very special since we could relax having done the hard bit and drink in the stunning scenery.

It is truly glorious.

All good things come to an end though so, with the rope set, Stuart abseiled down first, then me and finally John.

After a short celebratory man-hug, we descended back to Glen Brittle via Coire na Banachdich which was far from easy until we managed to locate the correct path.

We arrived back at the bunkhouse about 8pm, tired and exhausted but thrilled to have had such a successful day in such a stunning location. A drink may have been taken.

NB. I’d like to thank Stuart for all his encouragement and John for his patient guidance helping me to climb this iconic peak. His calm reassurance was very comforting and I felt I was in safe hands at all times. Thanks guys.

NB. Click on each picture to see a larger version.

If you think this looks like fun – come and join us.

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