Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Monday, 20 August 2012

Skye calling

It's a sure sign of withdrawal symptoms when this little verse keeps going round in my head. It refers of course to the Dubh Ridge, the "best easy climb in Skye", Maylard and Solly being past presidents of the SMC.

'Said Maylard to Solly one day in Glen Brittle,
   All serious climbing, I vote, is a bore;
Just for once, I Dubh Beag you'll agree to do little,
   And, as less we can't do, let's go straight to Dubh Mor.

'So now when they seek but a day's relaxation,
    With no thought in the world but of viewing the views,
And regarding the mountains in mute adoration,
    They call it not "climbing", but "doing The Dubhs"

Lynne on the coastal path to Loch Coruisk and the start of the Dubh Ridge

 For years a good friend has wanted to climb the Dubh Ridge with us but distance, weather, injury and just getting our act together to be on Skye at the same time have proved much greater obstacles than the climb itself could ever be. I often encouraged him to go it alone in our absence but, despite many other escapades on the Main Ridge involving much harder climbing, he maintained he wasn't a climber and his various visits to Coruisk never included as much as a skirmish with this enticing sweep of gabbro slabs. The continuation from Sgurr Dubh Beag to Sgurr Dubh Mor is a little problematic and involves (usually) a rather hairy abseil, but the atmosphere of the climbing on the slabs themselves is perfectly captured by the above ditty. If you read this Tom then "Jan will meet us at Glen Brittle so we can do the complete traverse", would be a the ideal response. Just click 'comments'! In any event we'll be off soon.


  1. Wow, now that's a traverse i have never completed also.
    Hope you have a great time.
    We will be doing a traverse of Gairloch Chippy on Saturday. With a sharp abseil off a bottle of Holts

  2. Yes the full traverse would be a great Alan and I've always delayed doing it in the hope that said friend's wife would pick us up at Glen Brittle. If we can't arrange this on our next trip I have a very long alternative for next June which will involve a bivvy on the Ridge. That might be even more fun!

    Enjoy Gairloch Chippy. I think you'll probably need more than one bottle of Humdinger to ensure the abseil is safe - quite a few more I reckon.

  3. Have a great time Gibson (you must have cut your hedge and mown your lawns!) - I hope you find good insect free conditions. (The only climbing I've ever done was on Skye - it's quite easy for you to imagine where - just a week after a knee op, and without enough rope for a safe abseil. Great fun climbing back down through the crowds!)

  4. Thanks Martin. Just a family birthday celebration to come and (now) a visit to the dentist will delay our departure somewhat - end of month probably. Lawns (grass) and hedges are the least of it. I can imagine exactly where you were and coming down as others ascended no doubt made for some interest. I hope they followed correct etiquette and 'gave way'!

    Funny you should mention your knee op. Last time I climbed it I had a dodgy knee which needed surgery a few weeks later. It was also the wettest, wildest day I've had in the Cuillin and all because the friend mentioned in the post, plus another, were on their second Munro round and were desperate to get it out of the way. The things we do for friends eh?!

  5. Haha Gibson, I was with two experienced climbers. Some of those ascending looked as if they had just visited an outdoor shop to buy their climbing gear. They had created a huge queue. We climbed past them whilst they dithered, moving as fast as my knee would allow, as Ian and Sue had their hands full enough with me, let alone a heap of fallen dominos!