Mountain Motion winter conditions and blog

Skye ridge guiding, waiting for the weather window!

May 24, 2015

Pretty frustrating at the moment with Skye work and skye ridge traverses being difficult to fit in with our poor May weather. It has been one of the worst May's so far that I can remember for Skye, and I have done nearly 100 traverses over the past 15 years!

Cold and constant westerlies give little chance for a traverse. At the least, a two day skye ridge traverse needs one dry day and night. You can either walk in with poor weather and it improves, or have a good first day, get two thirds done, a dry night and then an early short second day. A few friends have been forced to try one day traverses due to the lack of settled weather.

Once the rock gets wet the speed can slow to a crawl and make it difficult to complete the traverses.

After postponing one traverse last week we sneaked a good one in this weekend. It was pretty cold though with ice on the bivi bags in the morning! (Only a month till mid-summer!). Its fairly serious sleeping out in such cold conditions, and folk need good clothing and equipment.

We had a wetish first day with a dry afternoon and evening. A beautiful if cold morning on the second day quickly gave way to cloud and cold windy drizzle, followed by heavy rain in the afternoon. Its interesting because, the synoptics always looked like it would rain around 2-3pm yet Geoff at MWIS had kept insisting it would not come in until the evening.

Scrambling up An Stac heading for the inaccessible pinnacle on the fist day.

Skye ridge traverse on An Stac

Heading Traversing over Thormaid.

On a Skye ridge scrambling traverse

A beautiful start to the second day, Ghreadaidh's amazing ridge at 6:30 in the morning.

On Ghreadaidh, Skye cuillin ridge traverse


Category: Summer 2015