Cuillin ridge Diaries 2005; Sron na ciche climbing

Tuesday 31 May 2005
Caravan at Glen Brittle Campsite
Climbs, Sron na cich; Cioch Direct, Severe 150 m, Arrow Route, VDiff 60mm, Integrity, VS 75 m
We awake to beautiful blue sky and sunshine with the ominous presence of clouds forming far away over the Cuillins and we think it will rain again. So we go to Portree to outwit it. But all the time we are there the sun keeps on shining and it is roasting hot and we a re champing at the bit to be out on the hill. Instead of waiting for the next infrequent bus back, we get a taxi and whizz home to get ready for climbing. We walk fast up to Sron na Ciche but even so it is 3pm before we can start climbing. There is no-one behind us, but unfortunately there is a very slow couple seeming to invent the route as they go along, in front of us on the crag. We wait at least 30 minutes at the top of the first pitch. The climbing on Cioch direct is beautiful and varied, with great holds and great friction. The sun is just coming round the corner onto us as we start. On Arrow Route, the great slab, we pad up the diagonal fault lines with one hand. At the top the slow party go on the the Cioch, and we took photos of them on the top and carried on to do Integrity alone. No-one in front and no-one following. Fantastic. The climbing is great; almost vertical strenuous but loads of holds. Midges assault Jim at the top belay of which I am blissfully unaware, and a swarm of them issue forth from out of the long green mossy crack we scramble along to get to the very top of Sron na Ciche. By now it is 9 in the evening and sun is still out, gradually sinking as we descend the stone chute, which never gets any easier no matter how many times you do it. We return to our bags and make a swift descent to the caravan to eat and drink about midnight until gradually we slide below table level and have to go to bed.

Cioch Direct, Sron na Ciche

Cioch Direct, Sron na Ciche

Arrow route, Sron na Ciche

Arrow route, Sron na Ciche

Arrow Route, Sron na Ciche

Arrow Route, Sron na Ciche

Jim and The Cioch

Jim and The Cioch

Jim leading Integrity

Jim leading Integrity

On top of Sron na Ciche at 9pm

On top of Sron na Ciche at 9pm

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