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Scrambling on the Isle of Skye is a great treat, and well worth it if you have time to visit there.

The two main routes are Garbh-Bheinn North Ridge and NW Ridge of Bruach na Frithe.

  1. Garbh-Bheinn North Ridge
  2. NW Ridge of Bruach na Frithe

Garbh-Bheinn North Ridge

Garbh-Bheinn (808m) is one of the Cuillin Outliers and sits high above Loch Ainort.

Due to its pathless walk-in and the surplus of excellent mountains nearby it is relatively ignored, thus providing a good choice when a quiet day is wanted.
The walk-in begins at the bend in the main road at the head of Loch Ainort. A large layby offers parking space.
Start by making a way across boggy moorland, aiming for the 489m top of Druim Eadar Da Choire where views to the Cuillin begin to open out. From this small top descend a short way to where the North Ridge rears upwards as a sweep of dark gabbro and scree.

A path attempts to avoid difficulties but ignore this and head for the best looking rock. This is generally just to the left of the crest which gives easy scrambling with plenty of exposure into Coire na Seilg on the left.
Higher up the gradient relents before a final steep pull up to the summit ridge. Here, turn left and scramble along the narrow ridge over a few short walls and steps, quickly arriving on the wonderfully small summit.

The views from here are stunning, particularly across to Blaven and Clach Glas.
To descend either retrace the ascent or go down the North East Ridge. This is an obvious line dropping away in the direction of Belig. Follow its course with some grade 1 scrambling at the top (avoid to the right) along a narrow ridge. Further down avoid short walls and descend to the Bealach na Beiste. Vague paths cut north here across the marshy moor, but the river can also be followed. After some distance the road is reached by the start.


NW Ridge of Bruach na Frithe

This excellent narrow ridge takes a direct line to the summit of Bruach na Frithe; the only Black Cuillin summit with a trig point.

Most of the difficulties can be avoided but a good head for heights is needed. Note that the rock is basalt so is slippery in the wet. The route is also made significantly harder when under snow.

There are two possible approaches. The shortest (but still long) is from the forestry car park in Glen Brittle. Cross the road and follow the path to the lochan at the Bealach a Mhaim.
Here turn right and climb a steep scree slope to where the graident relaxes. Forge a way across pathless ground and then climb the steep scree slope to where the ridge begins proper.

The alternative approach from Sligachan also arrives here. Route finding on the scramble is easy. The first section is narrow and flat interspersed with a few easy steps.
Further up small buttresses begin to appear, blocking the ridge. These can mostly be climbed direct or avoided using ledges and paths to the right. For purity of line stick to the crest where possible, but beware of the cliffs on the left that drop away into Fionn Choire.

After quite a distance the ridge flattens again and suddenly ends at the summit. On a clear day the views of the Cuillin Ridge are spectacular. The easiest way down is to set off along the safe East Ridge. When the craggy top of Sgurr a Fionn Choire appears on the right turn left and take a path into Fionn Choire. This eventually leads back to the approach track. Turn left for Glen Brittle or right for Sligachan.


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