Sgurr Alasdair and Sgurr MhicCoinnich

Saturday 5th July, Ian Jeffrey and I went for a trip out in the Cuillin. The weather looked great at Sligachan, where the Glamaig hill race was being held, but as we drove round into Glenbrittle the tops were in cloud. However it was not wet and there was alot of sunshine out to the west. A couple of hours and we were up on the first top – Sgurr Sgumain and here we got geared up for the direct ascent of the SW Ridge onto Sgurr Alasdair. The normal route is a scramble, however we were taking on the ‘mauvais pas’ or Bad Step. It is a really short pitch at the start and it leans out and down. After hooking my sling over a good spike I was happy to make the moves up and arrange a belay at an in-situ sling. Ian had cold hands and had to warm up before making the moves but we left a sling because it was too awkward to get out.
Onwards up the ridge and unfortunately the cloud was still down so no views, just incredible exposure with Coire Lagan down one side and Coire a Ghrunnda the other. There are many many narrow and shattered places on the ridge and some blocks are poised ready to fall. Anyway over the summit and onwards round the ridge to Sgurr Thearlaich, and descend to the foot of MhicCoinnich, still misty but a touch warmer now that we had been moving for 30 mins or so – shorts and a t-shirt beginning to feel like a bad choice.
We chose to climb direct to the summit of MhicCoinnich by King’s Chimney, again at V.Diff standard. This went fine and managed to take a few piccies of Ian. It was 4 O’Clock now so we packed up and meandered down the An Stac screes and arrived down seconds before the rain swept in off the loch!

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