M190 | 965 m. | 3166 ft.
Translation: Perhaps from banachdag, a milkmaid
Pronuncation: skoor na banachteech

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 … 😉

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Description Sgurr na Banachdich is one of the central peaks of the Cuillin, well seen from the climbers' hut in Glen Brittle standing at the head of Coire na Banachdich. The crest of the mountain rises north from the Bealach Coire na Banachdich over two lower tops to the summit, and a short distance further north is another lower top, Sgurr Thormaid. The west face of the mountain overlooking Glen Brittle is steep and rocky for much of its extent, and the path leading up to the Bealach Coire na Banachdich, which is one of the easiest crossings of the Main Ridge from Glen Brittle to Loch Coruisk, should be followed carefully to avoid unexpected difficulties.The route to Sgurr na Banachdich starts near the climbers' hut in Glen Brittle up grassy slopes beside the Allt Coire na Banachdich and follows the path on the south side of this stream to the slabby cliffs at the head of the corrie. Keep to the right of these rocks up an easy open gully until a traverse left is possible followed by a direct ascent to the bealach. Continue north along the main ridge which becomes much narrower as two tops are crossed to reach the summit. An alternative route for the descent is down the north-west ridge to reach easy ground in Coir' an Eich which gives a pleasant way down to the lower part of Coire a' Ghreadaidh.