What a great day for an introduction to scrambling in the Cuillin on Skye. I was with Pete, Al, Justin and Tim who have done a good amount of scrambling but nothing with ropes before today. We went into Coire a'Basteir and up to the ridge where the mist was just starting to form and swirl around the peaks.
We went up Am Basteir first making fast progress up the steady scrambling, looking at securing each other without a rope. We got the rope out for the bad step and worked out how to use Italian Hitches to make it safe for everyone as we climbed down. The view of Sgurr nan Gillean appearing out of the clouds when we were on top was excellent.
Back down for a go at the West Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean gave us the perfect opportunity to practice moving together with a rope for security, Alpine style. This is the perfect technique for the Teeth near the foot of the ridge. Higher up we just walked with the rope in our hands and went back to moving together at the top as we went through the window. We also went down the SE Ridge a very short way now I know how good it is!
Going back down the West Ridge gave us another great training opportunity, abseiling down the chimney at the bottom. By this time the rain had come in so we were grateful for dry rock on both climbs and we went down the coire underneath Pinnacle Ridge for the long walk back to Sligachan.