Wild, Wet and Wonderful: Gill Scrambling in the Scottish Highlands

gill scrambling

Once a month the Torridon Activities Team spends a day training and improving its skills. This week Chris and I (Rich) decided to go Gill Scrambling which is similar to Gorge Scrambling but you do it in walking gear instead of wetsuits.

We picked our location, a scar running the west side of Sgurr Dubh which Chris had spotted a few months ago but had not had the opportunity to climb. We drove up the glen, parked at the Coire Dubh car park and set off towards the Ling Hut. As we ascended the path, we could see the gully looked narrower than we first thought.

Soon we encountered rock faces to be surmounted, pools to be climbed over and around, and at one place, we had a chockstone across the gully which was too high to be climbed. Out came the rope and climbing gear and we scaled the side of the gorge, an interesting experience as the rock had a good covering of grass and mud and a lack of gear placements.

Eventually, after Chris found a loose rock the size of his leg balanced on the route (he pushed it off so we could get up safely), we reached the top and dropped into the gully. Beyond this, we found another gully leading towards the summit and followed that.

This crack in the rock was about 6ft wide and the cliffs on either side were at least 20ft tall. It was spectacular!

We ate lunch and continued to the top. It was still early so we decided to drop down the second of the gullies which Chris had spotted. As we descended, we spotted a tributary running into the stream and after a couple of seconds we went for it. This turned out to be a good decision as the tributary had some great sections for waterfall-climbing.

As we dropped back down to the main stream, we came across a section where we needed to use a rope to get past another chockstone. And just below that there was a thigh-deep pool which we had to drop into.

Fortunately there was a stone on the edge that you could just balance on (had we lost balance then it would have been a long and wet walk back) and we got through with just a wet foot each. After that it was plain sailing back down to the footpath and the car. We had a great time and proved again it is fun to get wet on the hills.

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Dan & Rohaise are proud owners of The Torridon a family run and independent Hotel and resort. Passionate about food, service, provenance and promoting hospitality as an Industry of choice, especially for young people.

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