Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Eigg and Summiting the Sgurr

To reach the summit of the Sgurr is not as daunting a task as it may first appear. Although the vertical rock cliffs as seen from the eastern approach look un-climbable, there is a weakness in the northern flank that entails little more than a walk up a steep heather clad slope. I continued walking past the nose of the Sgurr for approx half a mile until I came to this line of assent. This photo gives a rough idea of the terrain at this point.

I then reached a small bealach in the main ridge which gave me my first view of the Island of Muck

A very short scramble up the bealach wall got me onto the main ridge when you then head back along towards the eastern end which is the highest point of the Sgurr. I watched another squall come across the sea from Muck. It was heading straight for me.

The path to the eastern end weaves its way around the south flank of the ridge and I had to be carefull as it was wet and muddy. Although there is no exposure on the ridge a slip could mean a roll of fifty yards before disappearing over the vertical edge.

I had to take shelter once again as the squall deposited its rain load on the ridge. When it abated, I looked at my watch and saw it was two hours since I had landed. The summit trig point was just ahead so I continued on my way.

A view looking back along the ridge from the way I had come, just as the squall started to clear.

Looking to the east and over to where the mainland would have been if the cloud was clear.

Looking towards the north and the Bay of Laig. Although I waited around fifteen minutes on the summit, I didn’t once catch a glimpse of the mountains of Rhum, but I was pleased to have made the top of the Sgurr of Eigg.

I was back at the harbour within an hour which meant the walk took me three hours including a couple of brief stops to let the showers pass. Im not the fastest walker in the world so having four hours between boats is plenty time for any reasonably fit walker to get to the top and back.

On the return boat trip I sat at the back of the boat while everyone else sat under cover. I knew from experience that the boat running with the wind and tide would not be as wet as crossing while it was fighting wind against tide. The cloud now hid the Sgurr from view completely. I was glad I saw some of the views when I did.

Back at the campsite at Arisaig, I caught my first glimpse of the sun since I landed on Eigg. It wasn’t the best of sunsets but it gave a nice warm glow to end my day.


blueskyscotland said...

Well done getting to the top.It does feel fairly exposed crossing that ridge in a wind even though you can,t really see the drop you know its there below you.Eigg is a special
place,more so I,d imagine exploring it on your own.

Donny Wilcox said...

Hi Bob.. you are right.. Eigg is a very inspirational place and it certainly changed me.

I think I found my true self on the walk to the Sgurr..

I just hope the exposure of no income doesn't get me now :-D