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Report on Inaccessible Pinnacle
5 May 2011

Present :- Michael, his son Joe and daughter in law Nikki with the help from mountain guides Mike and Francis.

We left my house about 1pm for the 5 hour journey to Skye. The weather was good with plenty of sunshine but the forecast for Thursday, the day we planned to do the walk, was for rain and strong winds. Having planned this walk for some time we were cursing our luck and hoping that we would be able to get it done. The guide told us when we booked him that he wouldn't take us up if the weather wasn't suitable.

We arrived at the Skywalker bunkhouse at 6pm to be greeted by the owner who showed us around. We were impressed with what we saw and there would be no complaints about this place.

Next morning we awoke to grey skies and a strong east wind sending black clouds scurrying over the mountain tops, so it was with some tribulation that we drove to our meeting place in Glen Brittle. Arriving 20 minutes early we scanned the sky hoping for a wee bit of blue to appear. A party of three with a guide were just setting off when Mike and Francis arrived a wee bit late. After introductions Mike mentioned the weather but, said we would go ahead and he would decide if the 'in pin' was possible when we reached the ridge.

About 450 meters we came to a huge slab and Mike suggested we should be roped together to see if we could follow his instructions and act as a team, with no squeaky bums. After a bit we unroped and Mike informed us that we'd been o.k., but as the weather was rapidly getting worse, he would decide whether to do the 'pin' when we got there. By the time we arrived on the ridge the rain came on and the wind was gusting making it difficult at times to stay upright.

When the pinnicle came into view it was shrouded in mist and looked a bit scary. Mike told us to put on all the clothing we had with us as it would be very cold on top.
When arrived at the pinnicle the party that left in front of us were preparing to abseil down. Mike reroped us and told us that despite the cold to get a grip we would have to remove our gloves, also to concentrate 100% on what we were doing. Mike climbed about halfway, anchored himself, then shouted us to start climbing. I went first then Nikki, Joe with Francis at the rear. The wind and rain was relentness now, and the exposure was the worst I'd experienced. When we reached Mike he asked us how we were, we just nodded o.k. desperate to be getting on with it as half way up was not the place to be hanging around. He then scrambled on up to the top and anchored himself again. Finally and thankfully we all reached the top which was pretty crowded with five of us all trying to get some kind of shelter. Mike and Francis weren't long setting up the abseil and soon we were all down off the top, Mike being last received a big cheer.

Nothing much to report about the descent, we were all delighted to have managed to reach our goal. Mike told us some of the fun he'd had on previous walks and it was a happy group that arrived back at the cars. We felt that Mike and Francis had been very professional, and gave us lots of confidence, just the type you wan't to be on the hills with on such a day.

Thank you Mike and Francis for an unforgettable experience.

SGURR DEARG 986MTRS.
TIME ABOUT 6HRS.
SKYWALKER BUNKHOUSE PORTNALOAN.
EXCELLENT PUB 10 MINUTES WALK FROM BUNKHOUSE.

Michael Buchanan
 

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Photos: Michael Buchanan


Affiliated to:

Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Scottish Youth Hostels Association

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