Cuillin Ridge Diaries 2004; Snow on Sgurr nan Gillean

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Thurs 15 April 2004 Bunk House, Sligachan.
There were hoards of people coming to the bunkhouse with dripping wet gear last night. This morning we try to stay in bed till they’ve all gone. It is still raining and blowing madly with new snow brightening the top of Sgurr nan Gillean. We think we won’t get out today and sit about reading. About twelve the sky clears and blue patches appear so we hastily prepare ourselves for an outing – up Sgurr nan Gillian into the snow, with the idea of scrambling up the ridge to the top and down the other side. The walk is fine if a little cold and soggy, but as we start the scramble, it begins to snow and hail and the mist falls. All we can see, pressed up against the hostile rock is a great dripping chimney full of black mystery with snow on all the holds. So we wait to see what will happen. And finally decide to come down. It probably goes without saying, but for the record, it is always I who want to come down, and Jim who would carry on, in the snow, in the mist in the rain, when his hands are dropping off. He might concede later that retreating was a good idea, but at the time, never.

As we descend, the evening sun comes out on us, and back at Sligachan we go for a pint in the hotel before returning to the bunkhouse. The house is quiet tonight. We make a big meal together and sort gear out for tomorrow. The stars are out and there’s a big wind blowing through the cluster of trees around the cabin.

Sgurr nan Gillean in the snow

Sgurr nan Gillean in the snow

Cuillin ridge in snow

Cuillin ridge in snow

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Sgurr nan Gillean in Snow

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