Hill: Sgurr na Banachdich
Date: Friday 6th October 2017
Company: Myself and Heavy
Distance: 8.75km, Ascent: 900m
Time: 4Hrs 40Mins

At lunchtime yesterday, I set off for Skye to attend the Moray Mountaineering Club meet at Glenbrittle. After circa five hours of driving, I arrived on Skye and stopped in Broadford for some excellent fish and chips. I then made my way down to Elgol with a view to hopefully seeing the sun set. Alas, there was no visible sunset but the views were still "no bad".

Room with a view, at Elgol: 

It would have been nice to stay the night in this idyllic spot, however, the "No Overnight Parking" signs put me off so I made my way to Sconser to park-up for the evening. I posted on my club's Facebook Group to see if anyone else would be walking today in the Cuillin. My friend Heavy, replied advising "possibly". It was therefore a really pleasant surprise to find Heavy this morning in Glenbrittle.

Given the forecast had changed, with bad weather now due to come in at lunchtime instead of later in the day, we opted for a short walk to the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

It was nice to catch-up during the walk as it had been a couple of months since I last saw Heavy.

View towards Coire a' Ghreadaidh and Coire an Eich:

As we had both been off the hills for circa one month we set off up the hill at a nice, easy pace.

View towards Coire a' Ghreadaidh and Coire an Eich:

I last ascended Sgurr na Banachdich in 2008 in a week of perfect blue sky - very rare on Skye! My last venture onto the ridge was in 2009, so getting up and onto the Cuillin was LONG overdue.

Ascent towards Coire an Eich:

Looking back towards Glenbrittle:

While it was good to geologise during the ascent, admiring the volcanic gabbros and basalts, the screes were a bit of a pain.

Heading up into Coire an Eich:


During the ascent it was nice to spot MacLeod's Tables which I ascended on my trip to Skye just a couple of months previous.

MacLeod's Tables:

Sgurr nan Gobhar ridge:

On reaching the top of An Diallaid, we stopped for a short break to have a drink, a bite to eat and to take some photos.

At the top of An Diallaid:

As we progressed up the final couple of hundred metres, the cloud began to roll in which unfortunately would result in no views from the summit.

Cloud rolling in:

Heavy and the Sgurr nan Gobhar ridge:

Loch Brittle:

Looking back during ascent:

On reaching the summit we met a former warden of the Glenbrittle Hut who I had spoken with the year previous on staying at the hut. We both recognised each other.

No views from the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich:

Tom at the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich:

View along the Sgurr nan Gobhar ridge in descent:

While it was tempting to ascend a couple of nearby Munro Tops that I had not done previously, we opted instead to just return back the way we had came. A weather front was coming in and Heavy had had a very early start to get here.

Heavy checking out the steep drop:


Heavy with Sgurr Thuilm in background:

Dark Cuillin:

Looking back at Coire an Eich descent:

Looking back:

During the final fifteen minutes walk back out to the car it started to rain. As per the radar forecast, the cloud has since lowered to around 500m. So much for MWIS forecast suggesting 80% cloud free Munros.

Looking back:

Looking back:

Waterfall above Youth Hostel:

It was great to get back out onto the Cuillin especially in the company of Heavy. Hopefully the weather for the remainder of the weekend won't be as bad as forecast.