Hills: Sgurr na Banachdich and Sgurr na Banachdich Central Top
Date: Friday 1st September 2023
Company: Myself and Ann-Marie
Distance: 12km, Ascent: 1000m
Time: 6Hrs 50Mins (4Hrs 50Mins moving)

Despite having ascended Sgurr na Banachdich six times previously, mostly on foul weather days as an easy ridge option, I had not previously ascended its Central Top which is a Munro Top. I therefore set off early this morning with a view to ascending its Central Top and also potentially traversing the ridge from Sgurr na Banachdich out to Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh and Sgurr a' Mhadaidh via Sgurr Thormaid.

The forecast was good as was the early morning weather.

Early morning view from above Glenbrittle Youth Hostel:

The ascent via Coir' an Eich is arguably the easiest way onto the ridge with no scrambling required. You do however have to ascend scree.

Ascent towards Coir' an Eich:

Ann-Marie ascending towards Coir' an Eich:

Having ascended and descended this way numerous times previously, usually in mist and low cloud, it was great today to get views.

An Diallaid:

Sgurr na Banachdich:

Always nice to see Rum, a fantastic island with a great ridge.


Sgurr nan Gobhar ridge in background:

We initially visited the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich before descending a little and traversing below the ridge via the route which links Sgurr Dearg and Sgurr na Banachdich.

Southern Cuillin from the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich:

On reaching the col between Sgurr na Banachdich's South Top and Central Top. We stopped to put on our harnesses and get the rope out. Having not ascended this top previously, I wasn't sure how easy it was, or otherwise, albeit I knew it was a Grade 2 scramble. Despite having a rope, I would essentially be soloing as Ann-Marie didn't have a belay device. It was my intention to scramble up, set up anchors and then belay Ann-Marie up thus providing her with the security of a rope. For descent, Ann-Marie would go first descending to stances used during the ascent.

Before commencing the ascent we spent some time chatting with a nice guy who recognised me from Twitter. Respect to Ricardo who had just soloed the In Pin.

Ann-Marie commencing ascent of Sgurr na Banachdich Central Top:

The scrambling was mostly straightforward. Definitely Grade 2.

Southern Cuillin:

Ann-Marie ascending Sgurr na Banachdich Central Top:

Myself below summit of Sgurr na Banachdich Central Top:

It was great to reach the summit.

Ridge from Sgurr Thormaid to Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh and its South Top:

While at the summit of the Central Top I took really bad cramp in my foot and it just would not stop cramping. Descending was not fun with foot cramp and it was still painful by the time I reached the col. I was not prepared to extend the day further given my foot pain, so we returned to Sgurr na Banachdich before descending again via Coir' an Eich.

It was great to meet Henry at the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich:

Henry at the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich:

Red Cuillin, Bla Bheinn and Loch Coruisk:

Looking East:

Descent via Coir' an Eich:

The waterfall and pool above the hostel looked as inviting as usual but on this occasion I resisted the temptation for a dip.

Waterfall above the Youth Hostel:

Hopefully on my eighth ascent of Sgurr na Banachdich, I will manage to also ascend Sgurr Thormaid .