#321 – Return to Coire Lagan in the Black Cuillins of Skye

Coire Lagan in the Black Cuillins of Skye

For the best viewing experience, left-click the images and maps to zoom in to a new window, then exit that window to go back – go on, it really does work!

First things first, apologies for the lack of posts over the last few weeks – a long trip to Scotland gave me loads of new ideas for blog posts, but those photos ain’t going to sort and edit themselves!

The last post I published (see post #320) was a goodbye to my long-time mountain buddy, Border Collie ‘Mist’, but as well as still being with me in spirit on my mountain trips, she’s also still there in cyberspace – I have a couple of posts in the pipeline featuring ‘Mist’, so be prepared to bump into her a few more times.

The Black Cuillins of Skye (in he centre of the map)

We often manage a couple of campervan trips to Scotland in a year, and 2022 was one of those years.  We were up on Skye by late April, with the weather OK and no midges (they were not due to appear for another six weeks or so).  The new van had been out on a few ‘shake down’ trips during March and early April, but if the van was new, ‘Mist’ was starting to show her age (14).

The Cuillins showing the route and Glenbrittle campsite

Closer view of the 2022 route shown in blue, with the 2017 variation in red
Coire Lagan in 2017, on a much finer day
Looking across to the massive, complex cliffs of Sron na Ciche (2017)
‘Mist’ on the path to Upper Coire Lagan (2017)
‘Mist’ and the author in Upper Coire Lagan (2017)

In May 2017 we had hiked up into Upper Coire Lagan on a fine and sunny day (see post #225).  The upper corrie gives a taste of the grandeur of the Cuillin Ridge without having to risk serious injury or worse, so it suited me missus just fine – the photos above give an indication of just how magnificent the mountain scenery is.

2022 – at Glenbrittle with new van ….
…. but an older dog (still out in front though!)
Looking back towards the campsite on the way up to Coire Lagan
A different destination to our 2017 trip this time ….
…. towards the big crags of Sron na Ciche

The new campervan made a comfortable base for the trip, and the old dog was up for a mountain day, despite her age and a touch of rheumatism.  The problem with Border Collies is that they will try to do whatever you ask of them, and I wasn’t about to ask ‘Mist’ to do a return trip to the high corrie.  Instead, we headed out towards the massive, complex cliffs of Sron na Ciche, to a place I knew from my early climbing and mountaineering days.

1972 – climbing group having a break at our 2022 picnic spot (the author second from the left – with hair!)
The lower part of the ‘Cioch Direct’ route
Cioch Direct – the author in the lead on this pitch
Further up the climb
The Cioch Slab
The Cioch – © John Wray

Back in the 1970’s, I climbed there several times with a bunch of mates, one of the best outings being ‘Cioch Direct’ followed by one of the routes up the Cioch Slab to the impressive rock feature of the Cioch itself.  Our ambitions on today’s trip were much more modest – there is a stream crossing below the cliff that would make a great spot for a picnic, where I could view the climbs, and ‘Mist’ and me missus could have a nice, undemanding day out in the mountains.

April 2022 – heading back, we decided to go round Loch an Fhir-bhallaich for a change of scene
Heading along by the loch towards Coire na Banachdich
Looking up towards Coire na Banachdich ….
…. but we’re heading the other way, down to the valley.

I sometimes take the picnic bit seriously, and on this occasion carried stove and brew kit.  Lunch being over, ‘Mist’ was still looking good, so rather than return by the outward route, we cut across around the small lake of Loch an Fhir-bhallaich for a change of scene.  I had never been that way before, nor had I ventured up into Coire na Banachdich, the corrie to the north of Coire Lagan.  We decided that Banachdich would have to wait for another time, as I didn’t want to give  ‘Mist’ too strenuous a day, so we continued heading down, with the impressive waterfall of Eas Mor (the ‘Big Waterfall’) as a backdrop.  It was time to head for home.

The waterfall of Eas Mor (Translates as ‘Big Waterfall, which it is!)

Eas Mor from a different angle
Then it’s time to head for home.

Text and images © Paul Shorrock, with the exception of the image of the Cioch © John Wray, which is taken from the Geograph Project and is reproduced under a creative Commons Licence.

About Paul Shorrock

I've been mucking about in the mountains for longer than I care to mention. I started out by walking my local hills, then went on to rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Still doing it, and still getting a buzz. I'm now sharing the fun, through my guided walking business (Hillcraft Guided Walking) and by writing routes for other publishers, mainly Walking World and Discovery Walking Guides. Just to make sure I keep really busy, I am also currently a member of my local mountain rescue team.
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3 Responses to #321 – Return to Coire Lagan in the Black Cuillins of Skye

  1. My problem is that I can’t just do ‘in the mountains’ but only ‘on the mountains’ which will be a problem when I get older!

    I had a tootle round Coire Banachdich and to Eas Mor one evening after our walking – it’s quite pleasant but not as spectacular as the other corries and, of course, there’s no loch…


    • I guess I’ve never been up in Banachdich for the reasons you say – not as interesting as the neighbouring corries. I’ll have a wander up there sometime.


      • if you go up from Glenbrittle ‘a track early’ instead of straight for Coire Lagan, you can just contour around the inside of the corrie (doesn’t take long and is pretty good walking terrain) and then go round the corner and into Lagan.

        Liked by 1 person

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