973 m. |
Translation: Peak of torment, anxiety
Pronuncation: skoor a ghraytee
The first day of hiking on Skye in 2007 saw Frank and me tackling the three Munros of Corrie a’Ghreadaidh. From the Youth Hostel in Glen Brittle we walked up the path into the corrie, just as Mike and me had done four and a half years earlier (life’s ticking away, pal).
After a mile or so we located the junction with the return path coming out of Corrie an Eich. We continued on the main path, however, later crossed the Allt a’ Choire Ghreadaidh and climbed into the upper corrie. From the flat section of this magnificent arena we watched a group of hikers tackling the northwest ridge of Sgurr a’Mhadaidh – certainly an entertainig scramble. For us, however, it was up the stone shoot and rocky terrain to the An Dorus col. From the col we climbed up to the summit of Sgurr a’Mhadaidh in five minutes. Instead of enjoying the views we put on our protective plastic as it started to rain. Sleat was beating down on us. Luckily this was only a short shower.
The clouds and fog stayed with us for the rest of the day, though. Blimey! So it was back to an Dorus – the last few metres being quite slippery after the shower. Then we climbed the entertaining north ridge of Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh, passed the deep cleft and The Wart and touched the summit cairn(-let) of our second Munro of the day. No views but also no wind. You have to be content with what The Cuillins give you :-). The continuation along the southwest ridge was an exceptionally interesting climb – at least for hikers like us. Constant handwork, some minor difficulties and loads of fun. Then the ridge widened, the fun was over and we soon we passed the three teeth of Sgurr Thormaid and climbed to the summit of this hill. A little pause.
On we went down the southwestern side of Sgurr Thormaid and then the final steep slope beside the cliffs of Sgurr na Banachdich had to climbed before we reached the third Munro. We took a long break there and enjoyed short 15 second intervals of sunshine and the occasional views down into Coir Uisg. After 20 minutes we were joined by a group of friendly walkers having come up to the summit by Coire na Banachdich. We said goodbye and hiked down the easy western shoulder of Sgurr na Banachdich. Then we found the path into Corrie an Eich and made good progress down the hill. Soon the grassy terrain of lower Corrie a’Ghreadaidh and the path back to Glen Brittle was reached. We strolled back to our car and enjoyed our feeling of achievement! From the Glen we watched a group of walkers clambering down the west end of An Diallaid. That looked precarious, indeed. Very beautiful mountains, demanding scrambles and a lot of fun! What a stupendous day in The Cuillins – Forget the views! Maybe next time … ,-)
Max elevation: 978 m
Min elevation: 17 m
Total climbing: 1259 m
Total descent: -1258 m
Total time: 07:34:12
2002 Having driven over from Glen Shiel we spent the night before the climb of Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh in Carbost which extended a welcome of thousands of midges to us. The evening at the Inn in Carbost was nice, though. We drove from Carbost to Glen Brittle and first took a look at Sgurr Alasdair and the Great Stone Shoot from the end of the public road before returning to the Glenbrittle Youth Hostel from where we climbed up Coire a’ Ghreadaidh in sunshine under a mostly clear sky. The path was excellent and after some easy walking we reached the stone shoot at the foot of the gully leading up to An Dorus between Sgurr a’Mhadaidh and Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh. The weather had threatened to turn worse for some time and we climbed up the stone shoot with the clouds dropping lower and lower. Finally we reached the col but no views of Loch Corruisk – thank you. Mike decided to turn back here and wait at the foot of the stone shoot. I continued the rocky ridge up to Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh finding the – probably – easiest way up together with two other climbers, a father and his son. We outflanked the stone tower on the ridge (called The Wart by Storer) on the right-hand side and reached the knife edge part of the ridge with the summit cairn. By then the thick clouds had started to release some drizzle that soon turned into moderate to medium strength rain. I decided to return to the col as quickly as conditions permitted. The first part of the return with stone tower and the impressive Eag Dubh cleft were still easy but I had some route finding problems on the lower part of the ridge leading to An Dorus. After some scrambling I made it to ledges four metres above the col only to find that in the rain I could not climb down the way I had come up. The stone had turned slippery. So after some minutes of searching I found a grassy spot two metres above the col onto which I manouvered myself with some difficulty. I dropped my rucksack, suspended my body on my arms and jumped to safety. Not very professional but the only safe way off the ridge that I found. Relieved I walked down the stone shoot into Coire a’Ghreadaidh where 5 minutes past the end of the shoot I stumbled into Mike who had patrolled that area in the thick mist. After consulting the map we walked along the right bank of the Allt a’Coire a’Ghreadaidh soon picking up the path we had used for the ascent. A rainy day, some danger thrills for me, a well-earned Munro and no views of Loch Coruisk, again. We changed clothes at the car and drove off north to the Aultguish Inn for another day in the North-West Highlands in the Fannichs.
Description These two peaks stand close to each other at the head of Coire a' Ghreadaidh. Sgurr a' Mhadaidh is a four-topped peak, the highest point being where a prominent spur jutting out from the Main Ridge leads north-west to Sgurr Thuilm. It is separated from Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh by An Dorus, a narrow, steep-sided gap in the Main Ridge. The crest of these two peaks is narrow and exposed, giving some very good scrambling and two or three quite awkward pitches. The Loch Coruisk side is wild and remote, and the buttresses there give some of the longest climbs in the Cuillin. On the Coire a' Ghreadaidh side, however, the cliffs are less high and the narrow scree gully which leads from the corrie up to An Dorus gives a relatively easy route to both peaks.The approach to the two peaks goes along the path from the youth hostel in Glen Brittle up Coire a' Ghreadaidh to its head. From there two routes are possible to Sgurr a' Mhadaidh. The better one goes up to the col between it and Sgurr Thuilm and up the north-west ridge of Sgurr a' Mhadaidh, but there is some quite difficult and exposed scrambling. The easier route goes up the scree gully of An Dorus to the Main Ridge and along it to the peak. Return to An Dorus and climb the ridge without difficulty across another little gap, the Eag Dubh, to the summit of Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh. Unless you want to embark on a traverse of the lower South Top and the ridge beyond, it is best to return to An Dorus and descend from there by the scree gully to Coire a' Ghreadaidh.