The walker's route onto the Cuillin Ridge - August 1997
Bruach na Frithe Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
The Cuillin Ridge, on the Isle of Skye, represents for many the most dramatic mountain scenery in the British Isles. Without a doubt, it is one of the least accessible. Several of its summits are beyond the reach of walkers; others (see Sgurr nan Gillean) are accessible only after some fairly hairy hand-and-foot scrambling. One, however, is relatively easy (if 3143', starting from sea level, and 10 miles round trip is what one calls "easy") - and that is Bruach na Frithe. Once again with my son in tow, eager for another day like than one two years previously, we headed for the hills.
We started from Sligachan with the classic view ahead - the three fine peaks of the northern end of the ridge. Left-most is Sgurr nan Gillean, the "hill of the young men", while centre-stage is Am Basteir ("the executioner") with its distinctive tooth hanging like an axe on its right flank. And on the right - no, not Bruach na Frithe, but Sgurr a Bhasteir, on a subsidiary ridge. Our objective is actually hidden from sight behind this latter peak, despite its greater height. The walk from the inn follows the Bealach a'Mhaim footpath to Glenbrittle, climbing gently to the summit of this path (the bealach...) then striking left into the Fhionn Choire. The mountains crowd in quickly in this stony hollow, as the path climbs steadily to reach the ridge between Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe, with very fine views across to Sgurr nan Gillean and the Basteir tooth. Finally, the ridge proper, with the truly (but not literally) stunning views of the main Cuillin Ridge, and the summit. Unlike our walk two years previously, when we were quite alone on the summit of Sgurr nan Gillean, there were other walkers and climbers present, enjoying the magnificent views on this clear August day. But Skye is not the English Lake District - and Bruach na Frithe is not Helvellyn - they were relatively few, and quiet. The scenery here tells its own tale - no need for noisy chatter!
Leaving Sligachan - cottage and Marsco "Classic view ahead" On the Sgurr a'Bhasteir ridge - view to the summit Offspring and Am Basteir We've reached the main ridge - view to Elgol and Sleat Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Basteir from the ridge Am Basteir and the tooth There's a man up there - climber on the tooth, magnified from the main picture above View down a gully to Glenbrittle The "Pinnacle Ridge" of Sgurr nan Gillean "stunning views of the main Cuillin Ridge" Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff