Sgurr Alasdair : Scree heaven!

Fancy a gourmet meal of scrambling delights ?  Sgurr Alasdair delivers the perfect tasting menu, making it one of the best day’s scrambling in the Highlands!  For starters there is a beautiful loch nestled within a classic corrie, the main course is a scree slope to die for and pudding comes in the form of fantastic views covering the entire Cuillin ridge to the North – with an awesome vista of Scottish Islands to the South.

Start point is the small campsite at the end of the road at Glenbrittle.  The route follows a reasonable track heading directly towards an obvious corrie (Coire Lagan).  After a while you can leave the main path and climb up the huge, smooth rock slabs towards the corrie lip, all the time the amphitheatre of foreboding cliffs drawing in around you.

Once over the lip you find a perfect loch of bright greeny-blue water, sorrounded by what appears to be an impenetrable wall of steel grey rock.

The only way up from here is to attack the steep scree slope, aiming towards the gap between Sgurr Mhuic Coinnich and Sgurr Alasdair.  This is probably the longest scree slope we have every climbed, brick sized shards of grey rock, constantly shifting as you climb.  Sometimes feels more like 2 steps backwards for every one forward!  You have to make a couple of dog-legs about 1/2 way up, really just to find some rock that doesn’t believe it’s on a down-escalator.
Eventually though you do arrive, legs shaking, at the top of the ridge.  Turn to the right and scramble up a pretty steep and narrow rock spur to gain the summit of Sgurr Alasdair.  Hold on tight though – the top is pretty small and the drops fairly dramatic!

The top is also a great place to pick out key points on the Cuillin traverse – most notably the Innaccesible Pinnacle (the In Pin).  Directly opposite, this is the crux of the full traverse and requires a good lead, full harness and an abseil exit.

Our exit though is just as much fun!  Retrace your steps back to the top of the scree slope – and that 1,000′ of ascent, that probably took well over an hour, takes just minutes to run down.

Couple of health warnings first : you will fall over, several times. You will cut yourself on the rocks when you fall – maybe gloves would be useful ?  You will think you’re going to fall head first at times (you probably – or hopefully – will not).  You will start several good sized rock avalanches – so don’t go too close to the person below you.  And you will squeel most of the way down!  Enjoy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The route map :

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One thought on “Sgurr Alasdair : Scree heaven!

  1. Although the stone chute is the most common way for most people not doing a ridge traverse to ascend SG it’s false to say that the only way up is via the chute.
    There are several superior routes to the summit of Sgurr Alasdair from the Coire Lagan side alone. I agree that it’s the funnest way to come down though!

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