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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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