Tuesday, 21 April 2015

An t-Eilean Sgitheanach

I made the mistake of visiting the Ghrunnda* Boulders near Coire Lagan (Sron Na Ciche) on the Isle of Skye.

I should have gone to Carn Liath instead, on the northern part of the island, but the pictures and vids of Coire Lagan that I found online made it such an irresistible venue.

In fairness, the surrounding landscape is worth the walk-in (about 30 mn), for climbers, boulderers and hill walkers alike:

But the rock is a very coarse gabbro, much rougher than that of the White Bog in the Irish Cooley Mountains for instance.

I climbed some of the classics at the Venom boulder. Snake Attack (6c) and its sit-start Bite me (7a+) is definitely the best line there - in the 'accessible' grades, that is. Bass Line Venom (6c/7a) is good too but its sit start had my skin well tenderised.

Working my way up Bite me

The lines of the 'It's Over' boulders, however, were even sharper. Let's just say that compared to it, your average granite is as smooth as my daughter's bottom (who's less than a year old, I'm no perv).

Thunderhead (7b/c), Howling Gael (6b) and the 'Wings' (6c and 6b+) in particular are skin shredders. I eventually split two finger tips. In such conditions, it was hard to enjoy the rest of the trip.

That's a pity because I found a lot of rocks around the Island (and not everything is as rough as the gabbro of Coire Lagan):

*By the way, it seems that 'Ghrunnda' (with a 'h') is the lenited orthography and would therefore probably require to be preceded by a particular Gaelic word. Used on its own in English, we should probably drop that 'h'.

1 comment:

Dave Flanagan said...

Rougher than the Cooleys - yikes!