Hills: Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh, Sgurr nan Coireachan, Garbh Chioch Mhor, Sgurr na Ciche and Ben Aden
Date: 26 & 27 May 2007
Company: Myself and Sheryl
Time: 18 hours walking

After several weeks of planning, Sheryl and I set out for Skye on Friday 25 May with the aim of undertaking a traverse of the Cuillin ridge. The weather was not however on our side. When our alarms went off at 2.45am, it was seriously chucking it down and had been for a couple of hours. We agreed that we didn't want to tackle the TD-gap in the wet so we grudgingly agreed to abandon Skye and instead drove back to the mainland to undertake Plan B, reaching Strathan at the end of Loch Arkaig.

After a quick re-organisation of rucksacks, removing our climbing gear and instead packing sleeping bags and thermarests, we set off walking at 9:00am from Strathan. We followed the land-rover track as far as the house at Glendessary before taking to the hillside. We ascended the pathless north-west ridge to the west of the Allt Coire Chicheanais eventually reaching the summit of the Corbett, Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

View from Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh to Sgurr nan Coireachan:

From the Corbett summit, we descended to the col and then ascended to the top of An Eag at 873m. From this top we continued on to reach the first Munro of the day, Sgurr nan Coireachan.

Sheryl on Sgurr nan Coireachan:

View from Sgurr nan Coireachan to Garbh Chioch Mhor and Sgurr na Ciche:

After a quick bite to eat, we continued along the ridge to Garbh Chioch Beag and then on to the summit of the second, Munro Garbh Chioch Mhor.

Garbh Cioch Mhor:

Again we descended by following the dry-stane dyke and then ascended a mix of scree and boulders onto the summit ridge of Sgurr na Ciche and then onto the summit itself.

Meall Bhuidhe from Sgurr na Ciche:

The Isles from Sgurr na Ciche:

View of Ben Aden from Sgurr na Ciche:

The next section was definitely the most interesting and exhilirating. After a wee break, we set out for Ben Aden, the route-finding for which can definitely be described as, "somewhat challenging". Lots of ups, downs, round crags, over crags and between crags. We eventually reached the summit of Ben Aden, a prize Corbett, to be rewarded with spectacular views.

View from Ben Aden:

View from Ben Aden:

Sgurr na Ciche from Ben Aden:

We then descended from Ben Aden without encountering too many difficulties, making for the River Carnach.

Looking back to Ben Aden from River Carnach:

Unfortunately, we stuck to the south-bank of the river when heading for Sourlies bothy, which was very wet underfoot. Knee-deep in places! On reflection the north-bank may have been drier. The walk round the beach and views at the end of Loch Nevis were incredible. After a long day on the hill, we reached the bothy around 10:00pm.

After a quick meal, consisting of pasta and midge (protein), we thought we had better go to sleep as everyone else in the bothy was already asleep. During the night, I was awoken by a squeaking noise, a mouse literally sitting two inches from my face! Later that night we were also awakened with the sound of mice inside someones rucksack. Thankfully not ours!

Sourlies bothy:

The following morning we set off back for Strathan, leaving Sourlies around 7:00am. The walk back out to Strathan is a really nice walk.

View at Finiskaig River:

Before reaching Upper Glendessary, we parted company as Sheryl set off to also bag Sgurr Mor (mad Kiwi).

A fantastic walk, with spectacular views and scenery which more than made up for missing out on the Cuillin Traverse. I was up Sgurr na Ciche just 18 months previous to this trip. It was another cracking day.

Atop Sgurr na Ciche (2005):

An epic, outstanding walk.