Isle of Skye – The Preparation

13 Jul

The full length of the Cuillin Ridge viewed from near the summit of Bla Bheinn which lies to the east. The peak at the left (south) end is Ghars-bheinn and that on the right (with the snow patch) is Sgurr nan Gillian.

Well it’s only eight days to go now, until our trip to Skye, and I’m definitely feeling the nerves.  Gareth and I had a great weekend down on Dartmoor where I learnt about trad climbing; a bit about placing gear, a lot about making belay stances, that I love climbing on granite and that next time I’m going to lead Colonel’s Arete at The Dewerstone.

We’re looking at equipment that we need to take (and buy).  We are both looking at buying new approach shoes, Gareth bought some new slings for last weekend already, high energy food and drink, we’re looking at the route and at potential bypasses we could take if we’re running out of time.  We’ll be walking the length of the ridge shown in the photo above, which can be found, along with more Cuillin Ridge info at Needle Sports.  It’s going to be a long, long day and I hope I’m up to it.  Technically, I’m up to it.  Physically, ummmmm.  Next question.  Mentally?  I’m being reassured by Gareth that I’m stubborn enough, and if anyone should know, he should know (poor man!), but the walk along some of those ridges makes me feel I should pack an extra pair of pants, just in case.  I definitely find it hard to back down from a challenge, and I usually have more stamina than I realise, especially when doing something totally absorbing like walking or climbing.  With such dramatic scenery around me, I’ll need to make sure I keep my attention on the path ahead!  I guess the only thing to do is go in a fair weather window and see how far we get.  I have a sense of optimism.  Someone believes I’m likely to be able to complete the traverse, and that could be the encouragement I need.

EDIT:  This article from UKC is very useful to read and digest.  Everything I went through reflects this article! 

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