Hills: Sgurr Dearg and Sgurr na Banachdich
Date: Saturday 4th September 2021
Company: Myself, Tracey and Jake (for entire walk), Dan, Sheena and Kelly (as far as Sgurr na Banachdich), Pieter, Alastair, Graeme, Carol and Adele (as far as Sgurr Dearg).

On Saturday morning, I had no plan whatsoever. I therefore tagged along with a number of other Moray Mountaineering Club members who were setting off to initially ascend Sgurr Dearg with different objectives in mind thereafter. While several of the group were planning to ascend the In Pin, I was not interested in a third ascent. Having previously led the East ridge and West ridge, I didn't fancy seconding an ascent. From the Glen Brittle Memorial Hut we set off up the path I had ascended the day previous for Sgurr Mhic Choinnich.

Eas Mor waterfall:

Having ascended Sgurr Dearg three times previously via a route up Coire Banachdich, I was a little surprised when we walked past the start of this track continuing on to ascend Sgurr Dearg via it's SW flank. The ascent via the SW flank was definitely more interesting and enjoyable with more hands-on than the ascent via the coire.

With Alastair leading the pack we were proceeding uphill at what felt like army pace. I was therefore glad to stop above the initial scrambling section to have a drink, take off my fleece and put my poles away.

Ascending Sgurr Dearg ridge:

Brief stop to catch our breaths:

Beyond the initial easy scrambling the mid-section of the ridge is simply a walk as far as Sgurr Dearg Beag.

Easy mid-section:

View towards Glenbrittle camp site:

The upper ridge, which includes Sgurr Dearg Beag, is initially stony and then rocky with some good Grade 1 scrambling.

Ascending Sgurr Dearg ridge:

Approaching upper section of ridge:

Looking back:

More sustained scrambling in upper section:

I was a little surprised when the In Pin came into view as we had reached the summit quite quickly due to the pace of ascent.

In Pin appearing in the mist:

We parted company from Alastair, Carol, Graeme, Adele and Pieter at the summit of Sgurr Dearg as Alastair was to lead the In Pin twice firstly taking up Carol and Graeme and then on the second ascent taking up Pieter. Had the weather been better we would all have liked to sit and watch the climbers ascending the In Pin however it was bloomin' freezing at the summit so the rest of us were keen to keep moving. We suspected we would be waiting for 1.5 - 2 hours there.

Checking out the In Pin:

Climber on In Pin East Ridge:

In Pin West Ridge:

From Sgurr Dearg, we made our way down steeply towards the col between Sgurr Dearg and Sgurr na Banachdich.

Commencing descent from Sgurr Dearg:

Looking across to ascent ridge:

Descent from Sgurr Dearg:

I had a sore back during the descent so I stopped to take a strong painkiller. At this point I also made up my mind that I would be progressing along the ridge only as far as Sgurr na Banachdich before descending easily via Coire an Eich.

Looking back up Sgurr Dearg:

Ridge leading to Sgurr na Banachdich:

We progressed towards Sgurr na Banachdich skirting below the South Top which has a precipitous drop at its northern end. Soon thereafter we reached the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich.

At the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich:

At the summit we parted company with Dan, Sheena and Kelly who continued on as far as An Dorus, with Dan also asending Sgurr Mhadaidh, while Tracey, Jake and I commenced our descent from the ridge.

Having ascended Sgurr na Banachdich four times previously I was now on familiar territory.

Commencing descent:

Looking back towards summit of Sgurr na Banachdich:

Descent from Sgurr na Banachdich towards Coire an Eich:

Descent via Coire an Eich:

On reaching the beautiful pools during the final walk out, myself and Tracey ventured down for a brief swim. The water was freezing but at the same time exhilirating. When I came out I felt completely refreshed and was keen to go in again.

Nice pool:

Time for a swim:

As we approached the Youth Hostel we found the nicest pool of all but alas we had already had our swim higher up in a pool not visible from the track. We had no chance of being seen while everyone walking past would see you if swimming in the nicest pool in the next photo.

Nicest of the pools but less exclusive:

On reaching the Youth Hostel we then walked a short distance back along the road to reach the hut and my van.

Back at van looking towards section of ridge walked:

A nice day out with a really enjoyable dip.