992 m. |
Translation: Alexander's peak (after Sherriff Alexander Nicholson)
Pronuncation: skoor alastar
The climb up this hill proved to be a test of endurance under conditions of bad visibility, wind and rain. Let’s begin at the start, though. We set off one morning from Glen Brittle House and headed across the moor on the path that rises more or less gently towards Corrie Laggan. Once past the Eas Mor we reached the base of the clouds and were soon engulfed by the white and increasingly moist stuff. The path climbed steadily past Loch an Fhir-bhallaich, levelled off a bit and then we met the path coming up from the Glen Brittle Campsite.
We continued uphill, climbed up some scree-covered rock slabs and arrived at Loch Coire Laggan soon. Once at the outflow of the Loch we stuck to the south shore until we reached the point were the Great Stone Shoot ends among boulders. Due to the bad visibiity we were not 100% sure at first that we climbed the right scree slope but further up it became obvious that many other climbers had suffered on this ascent before. For suffer we did, too, since it was more or less a matter of two steps forward and one and a half backwards again. The scree was very steep, unstable and climbing it was extremely exhausting. But then we reached the part of the shoot were the walls of Sgurr Alasdair and Sgurr Thearlaich move togehter closer and the gap between the two summit was becoming visible further up. The wind picked up once we got close to the beallach. We sat in a sheltered spot and rested for a few moments. Then we tackled the final 30 or 40 metres of the summit ridge which was quite slippery under these wet and windy conditions. On the way up we met a group of Englishmen we already had talked to when we climbed Sgurr nan Eag.
At the summit we congratulated each other on having gained the highest point of the Cuillin and headed back home again straight away. The run down the Stone Shoot was fun and contrary to what the books say there still is ample loose scree at least on the lower sections of the run. This was fun. We were at the shore of the loch in no time and strolled back to our car in Glen Brittle. We were wet, exhausted and a little disappointed since we had seen nothing much of Corrie Lagan. But we had made Sgurr Alasdair under bad conditions and that at least gave us some satisfaction and confidence in our stamina and hill-walking abilities.
Max elevation: 991 m
Min elevation: 7 m
Total climbing: 1107 m
Total descent: -1125 m
Total time: 05:10:56
Description This is the highest of the Cuillin, a lofty pointed peak rising at the head of Coire Lagan and separated from its nearest neighbour, Sgurr Thearlaich, by a prominent gully whose screes reach down to the floor of Coire Lagan. This gully, the Great Stone Shoot, was once the most notorious scree in the Cuillin down which the fittest climbers could run in a few minutes from top to bottom, but now most of the scree has been swept to the foot of the gully, leaving an unpleasant surface of hard earth and boulders higher up. Sgurr Alasdair lies not on the main ridge, but a short distance off it at the start of the subsidiary ridge which goes over Sgurr Sgumain to Sron na Ciche. The routes to the peak up this ridge and along the main ridge all have some points of difficulty, and the only straightforward route is the Great Stone Shoot.The Glen Brittle approaches to Coire Lagan, either from the camp site or the climbers' hut, are the same as for Sgurr Mhic Choinnich, following paths which converge at the foot of the corrie and continue along the north side of the Allt Coire Lagan. Once past the lochan, head east towards the foot of the Great Stone Shoot. It is possible to avoid the scree and climb uphill on boulders until the narrow gully is entered. Clamber up the bed of the gully, being careful not to dislodge stones, and reach the Alasdair-Thearlaich col at the top. Turn right and scramble easily up the short rock ridge to the summit of Sgurr Alasdair.