On Saturday Nathan, Dunc and myself had the pleasure of guiding Russell and his party of friends on an ascent of the famous ‘Tourist Route’ of Sgurr nan Gillean. The first ascent of this route was made in 1836 by Prof. James Forbes & Duncan MacIntyre. Skye is considered to be where ‘guiding’ begun in Great Britain with many, many other famous ascents such as the Inaccessible Pinnacle, The Cioch and Collie’s Route. Many stories about this Golden Age were told and shared amongst us on the beautiful walk in to ‘Gillean from The Sligachan Hotel.
Norman, Jamie & John were assigned to Nathan as the dream team and Nathan did not let us down. Myself and Dunc, along with our clients were treated to another display of safe and slick ropework. In fact on the descent Dunc took a movie clip of it so he could bone up on technique.
Greig & Arthur roped up with Dunc to make an quick work of this iconic route. No sting in the tail for these guys, in fact the Tourist Route was quoted as being an Irish mountaineering technical term I have not heard before!
Russell, Alan & Graeme got the short straw and were sent up the hill with Jim and his new ‘scrambling gloves’ – see if you can spot them in the photo links later…
Surprisingly we appeared to have the whole mountain to ourselves and this was indeed the case on our ascent until we were joined by a couple on the summit. On the descent some of us encountered a solo scrambler dressed in the style of ‘Rambo’. To ensure that no stray walkers from the Basteir Gorge area joined us on the descent Jamie & Greig stripped off to have a dip in one of the turquoise pools beside the path.
The pace picked up after this spectacle and we are all soon down in ‘the Slig” sharing more laughs and planning more adventures in the mountains. We all look forward to guiding you again and would like to thank Russell for choosing nineonesix-guiding to arrange this visit to the Cuillins.
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Blog by Jim Sutherland nineonesix-guiding