Colin's Munros


Sgurr Dearg, The Inaccessible Pinnacle Sgurr MhicChoinnich & Sgurr Alasdair
17th May 2005 & 1st May 2007

Route Ascent 1430m = 4700'; 6.8 miles; ~9 hrs.

Just after starting the ascent of the In Pin. A bit higher on the In Pin ascent. Progress seen from the summit of Sgurr Dearg. The view from An Stac, showing rock between Sgurr Dearg and In Pin. The place for abseiling off the In Pin. The place for being lowered off the In Pin. Descending the In Pin. Half way down the In Pin In Pin base: ledges and then solid ground. The In Pin to study for holds.

Sgurr na Banachdich & Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh from Sgurr Dearg. The view towards Sgurr Alasdair from Sgurr Dearg. Sgurr MhicChoinnich from Sgurr Dearg. Looking back from Sgurr MhicChoinnich to An Stac and the In Pin. The An Stac screes.

The Cioch Then continue up just behind the crest. These 3 or 4 metres up a crack are the trickiest. From the Cioch cross over to this gully. The T-D Gap seen from below Sgurr Sgumain Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Thearlaich & the T-D Gap. Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn & Caisteal a'Garbh-choire from Sgurr Sgumain Sgurr Mhic Choinnich from Sgurr Sgumain. The SW ridge of Sgurr Alasdair. Sgurr Dearg, Sgurr na Banachdich & Sgurr Thormaid from Sgurr Alasdair. Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn, Gars-bheinn & Sgurr nan Eag from Sgurr Alasdair. Belig... & Bla Bheinn from Sgurr Alasdair. Sgurr Dubh Mor, Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn & Gars-bheinn from Sgurr Alasdair. The East ridge of the In Pin. Blaven Abseiling off the short end of the In Pin.

Map: By far the best map to use for the Cuillin is the 1:12500 scale Harvey’s Superwalker map, “Skye: The Cuillin”. The Ordnance Survey 1:25000 map suffers in clarity from too much heavy shading for cliffs and from too closely packed contours.
Route: The (anti-clockwise) round of Coire Lagan is one of the classic scrambles on Syke, and justifiably so. A great day out! It should take under 9 hours to do all the peaks without hurrying. Park at the Memorial Hut if possible or else at the road end by the camp site.
The “In Pin” is by far the most difficult Munro and the only one for which climbers would normally use a rope. The scrambling is technically quite straightforward, but the exposure is breath-taking. It is much more enjoyable after the first time when knowing what to expect, especially with the freedom to ascend at one’s own pace without rope. There is generally a one way system on the Pin: scramble up the long side, and abseil down the short side. So a rope, harness and hard hat are fairly essential. For those that need to know how much rope to take, the drop is about 15m and so a 35m length used double should be enough.
Sgurr Dearg and the Inaccessible Pinnacle can form the main part of a number of different walks. Sgurr MhicChoinnich is usually an easy addition to the day, with the An Stac screes giving an excellent and speedy descent into Coire Lagan.
The classic round of Loch Laggan starts with an ascent of the Cioch. The Cioch is no more demanding technically than the In Pin, possibly a little easier, but it has much less exposure than the In Pin and is probably much less subject to wind. The approach along a ledge from below and to the left is much easier in clear, dry conditions. It is in shade until evening, as also is most of the associated ascent of Sgurr Sgumain, so it is not often dry. However, the shady ascent is very useful on very hot days. The ascent from the Cioch to Sgurr Sgumain is relatively straightforward diagonally left up a gully, with one interesting point where one can climb through a hole under a large boulder. The gully also forms an easy ascent to Sgurr Sgumain from Corrie Laggan and does not need to include the Cioch.
From Sgurr Sgumain, the path north to the col with Sgurr Alasdair is slightly tricky to find. However, the ascent from the col to Sgurr Alasdair is normally done by first dropping down east off the ridge to avoid the Mauvais Pas and then scaling an easy chimney where paths join from lower down.
From the col between Sgurr Alasdair and Sgurr Thearlaich, it is possible to scramble directly up to Sgurr Thearlaich, the only difficulty being the first two or three moves. Alternatively, this scrambling can be avoided by dropping down the SE side a few yards until it is easy to cross onto Sgurr Thearlaich.
There are some choices of route down to Bealach Mhic Choinnich, but the best is not easy to find. Take time and back-track if things become difficult. There are no technical problems on the best route. Generally, one keeps to the crest of the ridge as far as the final nose which leads down to the col. At that point there is an easy and clear path going NNE round the right (east) side of the nose to the bealach. Don’t try to go westwards off the ridge.
From the bealach, the easier route up Sgurr Mhic Choinnich is via Collie’s Ledge, which rises slowly N under Sgurr Mhic Choinnich to the ridge and poses no difficulty. It starts with a two or three metre climb up the wall to the right before ascending diagonally leftwards up a short buttress and grove to the ledge. The ledge climbs quickly initially before flattening out and has a slight dip before reaching the ridge well above Bealach Lagan. An alternative which requires roping up is King’s Chimney, which is obvious once one reaches the Bealach Mhic Choinnich. Along with the TD gap, Naismith’s route on the Basteir Tooth, and the Inaccessible Pinnacle, this chimney is among the most challenging points of a traversal of the Cuillin ridge.
The last column in the route table below gives the route numbers and climbing grades from Parker's “Scrambles in Skye”.
Weather (1/5/07): A cloud-free summer day. Rather too hot to be called perfect walking weather, but the ascent was in shade.

1 Parking at Glen Brittle Camp Site     2   0 0.0 milesNG40932062 
2 E on path from behind the toilet block
to near the S end of Loch an Fhir-bhallaich
2822801.4 milesNG43112055#7 2W
3 Continue path E below Cioch
to bottom of Sgumain Stone Chute
5255252.2 milesNG44272038#7 2W
4 Ledge SW to below The Cioch
then up crack below E face to Cioch.
712710   #43 RII &
pp 62-65
5 Diagonally E up ledge to Eastern Gully, ascend
gully, crawl under large boulder blocking route,
& continue up gully to Sron na Ciche
8598652.65 milesNG44752036#43
6 N to col 841 2.75 milesNG44832044#42 3S
7 N to T Sgurr Sgumain 9479702.85 milesNG4484620674#39 2W
8 Descend E below the Mauvais Pas of
Sgurr Alasdair's SW ridge to a chimney
above the screes on its S face
~900 2.95 miles #40 3S
9 N up chimney to M Sgurr Alasdair 99310753.0 milesNG4500220784#38 RI
10 SE down SE ridge to col 955 3.05 miles #37 3S
11 Continue SE with slight loss of altitude
until it is easy to attain the S ridge of Sg. Th.,
then NNW to T Sgurr Thearlaich summit.
98411003.1 milesNG4507720784#32 RI
12 N to Bealach Mhic Choinnich.
There are some choices of route here,
but the best is not easy to find. Take time
and back-track if things become difficult.
892 3.25 miles #34 RII
13 Collie's Ledge rising slowly N to ridge, then
S up ridge to M Sgurr Mhic Choinnich.
(There are no route finding problems for this.)
94811953.6 milesNG4502121047#46 RII
14 NNW to Bealach Lagan 800 3.85 milesNG44792143#45 4S
15 NW up path south below An Stac then
WNW up ridge to M Inaccessible Pinnacle
98313854.1 milesNG4440421566#49 2W+
#50 RII
16 Abseil down W ridge & ascend W to Sgurr Dearg 97813954.12 milesNG4438321556#51 RIII
17 Either: return via An Stac Screes & Coire Lagan
Or: Initially S for 100yds, then 50 yds SW over
narrow ridge & W down ridge to Sron Dearg
80414304.5 milesNG43882141#47 3S
18 Ridge W nearly to Eas Mor waterfall 200 5.55 milesNG42202130#47
19 SW cross country to camp site toilet block
& parking or path W to road by Glenbrittle
House, then road S to parking.
    214306.8 milesNG40932062 

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