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cuillin ridge light

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 Mike Lates 20 Feb 2020

Just had my first enquiry quoting this utter heap of tosh. https://www.cicerone.co.uk/the-cuillin-ridge-light

Words fail me. Off to the pub

29
 bouldery bits 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

I like your rage and clear disdain for mediocrity.

Although, paying customers? 

1
 nwdave 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

He missed the Bidean Bypass.

What's he on about "out on the ridge for several days" If your taking that long to do a traverse you should be staying in a B&B and walking in and out each day. 

There are so many options with a Ridge Traverse but none of them are "Light". I hear of guides starting using the Dubhs Ridge for a quality start, some clients just want munros and climbs so arnt bothered about Gars Bhein. I've even had a guy who had done all the munros so wasnt bothered about doing the Pin or Am Bastier. 

I personally think the ridge is a personal thing and verr much depends on the weather and you and how you do it is up to you and it shouldnt be sold in a "Light" package deal!

1
In reply to nwdave:

> He missed the Bidean Bypass.

> What's he on about "out on the ridge for several days" If your taking that long to do a traverse you should be staying in a B&B and walking in and out each day. 

Why would anyone want to stay in a B&B when you could be enjoying a bivi on the ridge?

> There are so many options with a Ridge Traverse but none of them are "Light".

Well, this is certainly "lighter" than actually taking on the classic difficulties of the ridge.........

I was just relieved it wasn't something advocating some sort of ideological fast 'n light dogma!

1
 DaveHK 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

> Words fail me. 

Clearly.

1
In reply to Mike Lates:

There's also a slightly embarrassing thing with his English, when he says 'The CLR is a non-pragmatic approach to the Cuillin Ridge, starting on Gars-bheinn and finishing on Sgurr nan Gillean.'

He means 'non-dogmatic', surely? I.e Pragmatic.

4
 Mark Eddy 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

This new Cuillin guide is overdue will be welcomed by many. The scrambles guide I have for Skye (which until this, is the most recent) seems very dated. The author clearly has a good knowledge of the ridge and Skye. And  suggestions of by-passing the TD gap will, for many, be a relief.

Why is it 'tosh'? 

Hope you enjoyed the pub

2
In reply to Mark Eddy:

Mike is certainly being a bit harsh here, and bypassing the TD Gap is to my mind acceptable (but a bit sad, because it's a classic problem) because it doesn't bypass a summit. But his main point is correct. The Cuillin Ridge is basically a string of multiple summits, and if you walk round some of the more difficult ones like An Stac, Sgurr Mhic Coinnich, and Bidean Druim nam Ramh, I'm not quite sure how you can say you've 'done the ridge' and/or feel happy about it.

3
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I dunno. I walked round the TD Gap and I certainly felt like I’d done the ridge.

jcm

4
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Well, I agree with that. As I said in my book years ago, the neat thing about that bypass is the way it takes in Sgurr Alasdair and Sgurr Thearlaich without having to cover one's steps twice. The TD Gap is a nasty classic that can of course be done separately.

 drunken monkey 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

Whats your problem with it? Utter heap of tosh?

 wercat 21 Feb 2020
In reply to drunken monkey:

could it be irony?   He has been heard advocating the TD bypass in the passed time

I must admit I don't fancy hearing the phrase being shouted out by people I meet up there.

Post edited at 09:59
 Mike Lates 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mark Eddy:

Why is CRL tosh?

This is a fair question from anyone who hasn’t attempted or done a Ridge Traverse. I suspect that anyone who has succeeded will have a good idea why I’m offended at any version of the Traverse being described as “light”. (This is UKC however and no doubt some troll will say what a piece of cake it is.)

Perhaps, more accurately, I should have described CRL as commercialised tosh. Fundamentally it suggests that a Traverse can be made easier and accessible to a far greater number of aspirants with this revolutionary new approach. Well it doesn’t.

To understand my gripe it helps to know my rather unusual philosophy on my job as a guide. I do it for fun not money. For 26 years I’ve worked extremely hard not to bastardise my passion for climbing by selling my soul. As my client you are my climbing partner, so I want us to have a successful climb together. I would find it very hard to turn around to you and say “tough shit” if you booked on a Traverse course and you turn out to be totally out of your depth.

I spend a lot of time making Traverse aspirants aware of the scale, explaining what 4000m of vertical ascent means in technical terrain. My own website makes them very aware of how hard it is so 95% are incredibly well prepared by the time they contact me for vetting. Admin is the work side of my job and CRL is just going to lower the bar, leaving me trying to politely explain why I won’t take their booking.

I’m fortunate enough to have a strong team of guides that agree with my business model, backed up by a market who recognise a quality product.

If you’ve not seen it, please have a read of the free download I wrote in 2007; it might even seem a bit familiar ;-)  

http://skyeguides.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/2007_Ridge_Download.pdf

6
In reply to Mike Lates:

Surely it should be ‘lite’ not ‘light’

Have a light ale or a pint of miller lite for me while in the pub 

2
 Fruitbat 21 Feb 2020
In reply to wilkie14c:

Was thinking that, too. Surely the next 'thing' to 'market' is a NC500-Ridge Lite combo, loads there for punters to splash all over their Instagram and the like. Somebody get on it now before everyone's offering it...

 Basemetal 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

I basically see an article about someone doing what they want to in the hills. And they're doing it on the Cuillin Ridge. It doesn't strike me as different from any partial, selective or even failed attempt at the whole ridge and it's a refreshing balance to prescriptive goal orientation. Go do half the ridge if you want to, or just the best bits, or the worst. Quibbling about what you can call the experience isn't something I'd worry about.

3
 DaveHK 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

> I basically see an article about someone doing what they want to in the hills. And they're doing it on the Cuillin Ridge. It doesn't strike me as different from any partial, selective or even failed attempt at the whole ridge and it's a refreshing balance to prescriptive goal orientation. Go do half the ridge if you want to, or just the best bits, or the worst. Quibbling about what you can call the experience isn't something I'd worry about.

This. 

Within very broad bounds (honesty, safety, responsibility) it doesn't much matter what you do in the hills or what you call it. If someone wants to offer a different guided route in the Cuillin then why should anyone care? Unless of course there's some other reason that isn't being mentioned?

Post edited at 13:38
In reply to DaveHK:

> Unless of course there's some other reason that isn't being mentioned?

To contrive a marketable commodity? 

2
 DaveHK 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> To contrive a marketable commodity? 

Or to identify a gap in the market?

In reply to Basemetal:

> It doesn't strike me as different from any partial, selective or even failed attempt at the whole ridge and it's a refreshing balance to prescriptive goal orientation.

It sounds like highly prescriptive goal orientation to me; tick the ridge Gars Bheinn to Gillean at any cost and here's how to do it.

5
 DaveHK 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It sounds like highly prescriptive goal orientation to me; tick the ridge Gars Bheinn to Gillean at any cost and here's how to do it.

That's not how it came across to me at all.

In reply to DaveHK:

> Or to identify a gap in the market?

By avoiding a gap in the ridge......

In reply to DaveHK:

> That's not how it came across to me at all.

Really? That's very much how it came across to me. The tick at the cost of all the best bits!

4
 DaveHK 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Really? That's very much how it came across to me. The tick at the cost of all the best bits!

You're a climber though, it's not intended for you. The whole tone of the piece seemed to be focused on the client and them getting what they wanted out of it. If someone wants a Cuillin experience but isn't a climber why is that a problem? 

1
 Basemetal 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It sounds like highly prescriptive goal orientation to me; tick the ridge Gars Bheinn to Gillean at any cost and here's how to do it.

... or rather "by any means", so  'here's another way you could do it',  lessening the prescriptive element. Oh, and you don't even have to tick anything.

In reply to DaveHK:

> You're a climber though, it's not intended for you. The whole tone of the piece seemed to be focused on the client and them getting what they wanted out of it. If someone wants a Cuillin experience but isn't a climber why is that a problem? 

I didn't say there was necessarily a problem, but it is undeniable that it is promoting a way of claiming a tick while avoiding a lot of the most challenging and finest sections of the ridge.

10
 Rob Parsons 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

I don't see any particular problem with this. I don't particularly 'approve' of any guiding - but who cares what I think?

It's supposed to be fun. If people enjoy it, then fine. It only becomes a potential problem (to me, anyway) if there are crowds of people at it - but those pressures and risks are there already anyway.

 DaveHK 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I didn't say there was necessarily a problem, but it is undeniable that it is promoting a way of claiming a tick while avoiding a lot of the most challenging and finest sections of the ridge.

You disagree with this because you think people will be claiming to have done the ridge when they haven't? Firstly, why should that bother you and secondly most folks are pretty honest about their achievements and I doubt many will be launching careers as 'lifestyle athletes' off the back of a guided traverse of the Cuillin!

Post edited at 14:20
1
In reply to DaveHK:

> You disagree with this because you think people will be claiming to have done the ridge when they haven't?

It really doesn't bother me what people claim!

My only concern is the whiff of "inventing" something  for the sake of its marketability - I'm always wary of creeping commercialism in the mountains.

8
In reply to Mike Lates:

I really don't get the problem with this. The wording makes clear that its  a'lite' version, ie not the full deal.  I think its actually quite descriptive and makes the easier options clear for those that would be deterred by the full thing. In some ways the wording infers an inferior version to the full thing, but gives people more choice. Whats wrong with that?

In reply to Mike Lates:

All those possible bypasses (plus Bidean) are already described in just about every guidebook. So nothing new, just an attention catching name. 

In reply to oldie:

> All those possible bypasses (plus Bidean) are already described in just about every guidebook. So nothing new, just an attention catching name. 

 And once something has a name it can be marketed.

2
 DaveHK 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

>  And once something has a name it can be marketed.

Like 'The Cuillin Ridge'?

2
In reply to DaveHK:

> Like 'The Cuillin Ridge'?

There is a difference between a traditional and purely descriptive name which has been around for as long as anyone can remember and a "catchy" naff one which has been invented for something which already existed and then publicised by a local guide. Even the acronym is being pushed!

Post edited at 16:35
2
 PaulJepson 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

If bringing something down to your level by doing an easier version of it annoys you then surely having someone be guided on it annoys you too? Being guided at all is bringing something down to your level. And anyone who strays a hair's breadth off the point of the ridge at any time?

There has always been a question of purity of ascent in climbing. If you can't be self-sufficient and do it un-guided, then why bother at all? To me that misses the whole point of this kind of undertaking. It's pitting you, your knowledge, skill, and fitness against an obstacle. Doesn't mean that people don't still want to be guided so they can be in that same position in relative safety. If they want to do the ridge and this is their only way, then more power to them.  

If someone is saying they've done the Cuillin Ridge to someone then they will either be speaking to a layman (who in which case couldn't care less and wouldn't understand any difference between a 'pure' traverse and a 'lite' traverse), or someone who knows what they are on about. The latter of which would find out very quickly that the main obstacles had been bypassed. 

 DaveHK 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> There is a difference between a traditional and purely descriptive name which has been around for as long as anyone can remember and a "catchy" naff one which has been invented for something which already existed and then publicised by a local guide. Even the acronym is being pushed!

So you can market a route (and lots of guides do this) as long as you didn't name it yourself?

Also, who's doing all this marketing / publicising? I googled it and all I got was the Cicerone piece, this thread and some links to the Cicerone guidebook. Hardly the NC500 is it?

Looks to me like it's just the name he's used to identify it in his book. 

Post edited at 17:21
1
In reply to DaveHK:

> So you can market a route (and lots of guides do this) as long as you didn't name it yourself?

Of course, but I just find naming something in this way, I suspect at least partly for the purpose of marketing it, whether it be by selling more books or by attracting clients, a little bit commercially cheeky.

> Also, who's doing all this marketing / publicising?

The book is written by another local guide. 

> Looks to me like it's just the name he's used to identify it in his book.

Yes, but one has to ask why he has not just`given a list of bypasses without bigging up the whole collection with a name.

By the way, I feel exactly the same way about "The Cape Wrath Trail" and other such routes which were always there for the walking by anyone with a map, but which appear to have been given a name in order to sell a book.

Post edited at 17:43
2
 Basemetal 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

The Danny McAskill Cuillin Ridge Cycle Path must really bake your noodle ?

In reply to Basemetal:

> The Danny McAskill Cuillin Ridge Cycle Path must really bake your noodle ?

If he had given it that name and written a book, it certainly would!

I did find the film, despite the obvious skill involved, somewhat posy and contrived.

3
 petemeads 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

If only we had chosen to call the Sligachan Horseshoe "Cuillin Ridge Heavy", CRH for short...

In reply to petemeads:

> If only we had chosen to call the Sligachan Horseshoe........

If people are really calling it that, then it is an abomination right up there with "The Ballachulish Horseshoe" and "The Ring of Steall". FFS........

5
 petemeads 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I believe Mike is OK with it...

 wercat 21 Feb 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

I interpreted Mike's annoyance as being in the "Marketing Package Name" and also the implication that the ridge can be made "Light" in any way.   Reading his post carefully it says nothing against avoinding hard bits in the interests of the party enjoying the experience in a way that suits theor abilities - in fact he seems to be positively in favour in the post.  Just not the selling of a 227g convenience pack experience or even the idea it can be reduced to be put on sale in such a package.

Post edited at 18:32
In reply to petemeads:

> I believe Mike is OK with it...

Oh well, it could be worse............. "The Slig Horseshoe"?

Much worse.

 Kevin Woods 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

The Horseshoe that's not a horseshoe

Post edited at 18:51
 petemeads 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Kevin Woods:

Yep. The line of the route is more like Male Genitalia in Plan View, Horseshoe was second choice...

Post edited at 18:55
1
In reply to petemeads:

> Yep. The line of the route is more like Male Genitalia in Plan View, Horseshoe was second choice...

The Genitalia Lite if you bypass the Bhasteir Tooth.

 Tobes 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

> Just had my first enquiry quoting this utter heap of tosh. https://www.cicerone.co.uk/the-cuillin-ridge-light

> Words fail me. Off to the pub

Crikey, getting work off the back of someone else’s promotional material - sounds terrible

1
 Basemetal 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Tobes:

Guess there isn't too much demand for the Greater Traverse, a la Bill Murray?

 Tobes 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

You’ll have to explain that one to me I’m afraid ; ) 

 Basemetal 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Tobes:

> You’ll have to explain that one to me I’m afraid ; ) 


GT = Cuillin Ridge +Blabhein & Clach Glas traverse together. Snappy title didn't have much of a commercial impact is all.

 Will Hunt 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

Regardless of anything else, a traverse without a direct ascent of An Stac is something of a tragedy. Still remains one of the best and most joyful climbs I've done. Anyone attempting a traverse should surely be capable of it?

 CathS 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

How about a Cuillin Ridge Ultra-Lite whereby you circumnavigate the whole lot via the road and boat?

 CathS 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

I suspect that many of the 'mere mortals' who try to buy the dream through Cuillin Ridge Light will discover that it's deceptively heavy...

In reply to CathS:

> I suspect that many of the 'mere mortals' who try to buy the dream through Cuillin Ridge Light will discover that it's deceptively heavy...

I think that is one of the points Mike was making!

1
 Rob Parsons 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I think that is one of the points Mike was making!


I'm not sure if that was one of his points. I hope he might clarify.

1
 Solaris 21 Feb 2020

I've just read the last para of Mike's pdf guide that he linked to and I think it offers a good sense of why people feel passionately about any (commercial) diminishment of the Ridge:

"In my humble opinion the Cuillin Ridge Traverse is a strong contender for the finest climb in the British Isles. I would like to see it given the respect that it deserves."

Post edited at 23:25
 Baz P 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

I wonder if all the ridge cheating pundits abseiled into the Gap or off the Pin and Tooth instead of climbing down or even done it in reverse to make sure you’ve covered all of it ?

2
 Skye Jonah 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

Been dreading this bollocks for a while,

Got some minerals to be putting this shite out,very surprised at cicerone,but I guess they'll take any mugs money.

Looking forward to dealing with the aftermath of another load of misGUIDEd

advice.(not) 

14
 Jamie B 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

Got some sympathy for you here Mike. Yes, people have been doing pragmatic variations and bypasses on the ridge since the beginning of time, and there's absolutely nowt wrong with that - if you get from one end to the other it kind of sounds like a traverse to me.

BUT... marketing it as a soft option when it is anything but would be wrong. Even missing out the climbs still leaves a shitload of scrambling, exposure, up-and-down and full-on endurance. I'd be very concerned if people were being sold that if they weren't ready for it, but I already have an inkling that they are.

5
 acer2012 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

I'm all for people getting out in the hills at the level that suits them; if some small bits make an amazing traverse too difficult then why not skip them out and enjoy the rest.

Having said that, it'd grind my gears if said people start dropping the 'light' and claiming the full traverse. Full kudos is reserved for the real deal! 

1
 drunken monkey 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Jamie B:

Adrian quite clearly describes the alternative routes.

It is a softer option as it removes some of the hardest climbing pitches and replaces them with easier (albeit still exposed scrambling) alternatives. That's the whole point.

If people ain't ready for it, then they aint read for the TD gap etc anyway.

Alternatively they could you'know pay one of you guys to guide them along it. 

In reply to DaveHK:

> You're a climber though, it's not intended for you.

This has been bothering me a bit since you posted it. So who is it intended for? Walkers? Scramblers? If so I think the distinction is even more unhelpful than usual in the context of the Cuillin and at the best of times it is a continuum; I would simply say that anyone venturing onto the ridge is a mountaineer who will make judgements of route choice according to experience and inclination.

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Really? That's very much how it came across to me. The tick at the cost of all the best bits!

I've 'climbed' Mont Blanc twice.
OK, they weren't via something like the Central Pillar of Freney or the Peutérey Integral, but I've still having it!

1
In reply to Ultradecrepidarian:

> I've 'climbed' Mont Blanc twice.

> OK, they weren't via something like the Central Pillar of Freney or the Peutérey Integral, but I've still having it!

Of course you are (and I'm having my ascents of the standard routes as well). But I wouldn't claim the Peuterey Integrale if I'd only done the Peuterey Lite ;-)

 Chirs 23 Feb 2020
In reply to acer2012:

> I'm all for people getting out in the hills at the level that suits them; if some small bits make an amazing traverse too difficult then why not skip them out and enjoy the rest.

> Having said that, it'd grind my gears if said people start dropping the 'light' and claiming the full traverse. Full kudos is reserved for the real deal! 

Given this 'Cuillin Ridge Light' title has only just been invented, I am perplexed how could it grind your gears if people started dropping the 'light'?

A route description of a Cuillin ridge traverse, bypassing the difficulties at the TD Gap, Basteir Tooth, etc was featured back in 1992 in Andrew Dempster's Classic Mountain Scrambles book. So the concept is not remotely new, and doubtless others would have completed such a traverse even before Dempster's guidebook.

Even people that include the TD Gap and Basteir Tooth will sometimes bypass other sections (e.g. An Stac, Bidein Druim nan Ramh, etc).

But at the end of the day, if people are honest about the route they took and the style of their traverse, do they really need to worry about what they call it?

 wercat 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Chirs:

as long as they're not giving Britain's most wonderful mountain environment a stupid name!   The old gods will take it out on abusers in the end.  There are plenty of horned things to be seen up there sitting on the ridge.

Post edited at 18:59
1
 C Witter 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

I can sympathise with the idea of wanting to operate within the 'spirit' of the challenge, and being annoyed by the commercialising language of a 'light' version (it's not Coca Cola). But, surely what Adrian describes is merely suiting the challenge to the client and the conditions, which is what any canny guide would seek to do - whether on the Cuillin or elsewhere? Surely it's not much different to how you might approach a day on the ridge if the weather suddenly turned worse or if your "experienced" client turned out, despite vetting, to be less fit that you'd hoped? 

Perhaps I'm missing something. 

 wercat 23 Feb 2020
In reply to C Witter:

the danger might be of selling it as a kind of lifestyle experience package, like the Honister Via Ferrata

1
In reply to Chirs:

> A route description of a Cuillin ridge traverse, bypassing the difficulties at the TD Gap, Basteir Tooth, etc was featured back in 1992 in Andrew Dempster's Classic Mountain Scrambles book. So the concept is not remotely new, and doubtless others would have completed such a traverse even before Dempster's guidebook. <

I think something like this "light" version was followed by the soloing writer of the Cuillin Ridge section in Wilson's Classic Rock (1980s?), he made it obvious when he was bypassing difficulties. As you say there are obviously a huge number of possible route variation combinations depending on ability, fitness, weather etc.

 acer2012 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Chirs:

Completely agree. It'd also grind my gears slightly if someone claimed the traverse without mentioning they'd missed the main difficulties; same thing.

I guess I find the 'Cullin Ridge Light' name slightly flippant/trivialising, but then again, it does highlight that it's not the real deal!

 Fredt 23 Feb 2020
In reply to acer2012

> I guess I find the 'Cullin Ridge Light' name slightly flippant/trivialising, but then again, it does highlight that it's not the real deal!

What would you call it?

In reply to Fredt:

> What would you call it?

Giving it a name at all is the issue (let alone a horrible one!).

2
 Basemetal 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Fredt:

"Hi, been along the Ridge?"

"Yeah. Bypassed the climbs though"

"Still enjoy it?"

" Sure did."

1
In reply to Basemetal:

> "Hi, been along the Ridge?"

> "Yeah. Bypassed the climbs though"

> "Still enjoy it?"

> " Sure did."

"........Cool. I might book a guide to bypass the climbs too!"

Post edited at 22:23
7
 Basemetal 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Might eliminate a few queues!

 Rob Parsons 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

> Why is CRL tosh? ...

> I’m fortunate enough to have a strong team of guides that agree with my business model, backed up by a market who recognise a quality product.

Returning to the fray here, if anything is 'tosh', it is the use of the phrases 'business model', 'market', and 'quality product' in relation to walking/scrambling/climbing in the hills.

Post edited at 09:51
 Le Sapeur 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

I've only done the entire traverse once. It was a long day out, about 15 hours from car to Slig. I didn't have a guide, just my regular climbing partner. I'm pretty sure I didn't miss out any of the proper bits of manly climbing. However if it turns out I had missed anything, well I couldn't care less. The ridge was quiet, we had no queues anywhere, the weather was perfect and the day was perfect. 

2
 Le Sapeur 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

> Perhaps, more accurately, I should have described CRL as commercialised tosh. Fundamentally it suggests that a Traverse can be made easier and accessible to a far greater number of aspirants with this revolutionary new approach. Well it doesn’t.

Am I missing something here? Cutting out the most difficult and time consuming parts of the ridge doesn't make it easier? How does that work?

In reply to Le Sapeur:

> I've only done the entire traverse once. It was a long day out, about 15 hours from car to Slig.

"Slig".  Now that really does irritate me!

> I'm pretty sure I didn't miss out any of the proper bits of manly climbing. 

Probably best not to bring gender into this thread............

Post edited at 11:41
4
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Returning to the fray here, if anything is 'tosh', it is the use of the phrases 'business model', 'market', and 'quality product' in relation to walking/scrambling/climbing in the hills.

Well guiding is a business so it does involve selling something in a market. I don't think the terms bother me in this context. The authenticity of how it is actually done is what matters.

1
 Le Sapeur 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> "Slig".  Now that really does irritate me!

It's what most people on Skye call it. I used to live there and never ever heard the locals call it anything but 'The Slig'. I know the Hotel owner quite well and he calls it 'The Slig'. So  your irritation must continue.

 stevevans5 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

What is inauthentic about using a different name for a traverse that bypasses difficulties? 

 wercat 24 Feb 2020
In reply to stevevans5:

but that does not excuse a crap name devoid of charm or respect for the range

5
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> It's what most people on Skye call it. I used to live there and never ever heard the locals call it anything but 'The Slig'. I know the Hotel owner quite well and he calls it 'The Slig'. So  your irritation must continue.

I assure you that it will.

4
In reply to stevevans5:

> What is inauthentic about using a different name for a traverse that bypasses difficulties? 

It's crapness and the apparent commercial motivation for it.

6
 Offwidth 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Mike Lates:

From the article... sounds pretty heavy to me.

"Our traverse wasn’t typical. It was undertaken late in the year with very limited hours of daylight and forecast temperatures down to minus 7 when wind chilled was factored in. We planned for 3 days and were carrying a lot more than a typical summer traverse. However, it does go to show how the Cuillin Ridge Light allows a lot of people a reasonable shot at the ridge especially in more favourable conditions."

So I'm with you Mike. The ridge, even by the easiest technical line, is for fit and competant mountaineers.  It was a highlight in my climbing life,  the rock climbing was a 'dream come true' but some of the loose scrambling descents felt serious to me as a climber..... having to do this around not so competant clients being roped down such terrain and up the harder unavoidable scrambling bits with big rucksacks on their backs (and, if it catches on, groups like this getting in each others way), sounds like an accident waiting to happen. We simply shouldn't be encouraging "the everest problem" on this wonderful ridge.

To be clear, I have nothing against competant mountaineers bypassing sections of the ridge (which have been described for decades) or less competant mountaineers doing less serious sections in a day. 

Anyhow, welcome to an exclusive UKC club of those who have been mass disliked

5
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Am I missing something here? Cutting out the most difficult and time consuming parts of the ridge doesn't make it easier? How does that work? <

Actually I can see where that might be the case. If some difficulties are overcome quickly by having a toprope from a guide then some of the bypasses in the "light(CRL)" might just be longer. Good fitness is required whichever route one takes, doing this "light" route still won't be a stroll in the park.  Initial ascent (3000ft+) plus final descent must take the average climber at least 5-6 hours (not usually quoted in the time for the actual traverse).

Edit: My only attempt at the whole ridge ended at Bidein due to weather, and was roughly the same as this "light". I don't have the confidence to solo TD gap and would have taken the easier Lotta Corrie way for Am Bhasteir. If I ever get to complete it it would be by this route and I'd still be very satisfied, though I'd love to have done those classic climbing pitches.
Perhaps I shall try the famous "Ultralight(CUR)" route, which involves helicopters at each end, and means one can do the entire ridge and avoid the 'boring' bits and part of the effort.

Post edited at 17:35
 alan moore 24 Feb 2020
In reply to oldie:

>  this "light" version was followed by the soloing writer of the Cuillin Ridge section in Wilson's Classic Rock (1980s?), he made it obvious when he was bypassing difficulties. 

Didnt Tom Patey describe all the early attempts at the first winter traverse with avoiding tactics? Mostly doing it north to south so you could just abseil down the hard bits rather than having to climb them?

In reply to Robert Durran:

> It's crapness and the apparent commercial motivation for it.

It's possible I wasn't clear that I was referring to the name and not the route!

In reply to Le Sapeur:

Yes, it's always been called the Slig for as long as I can remember, from the first time I ever went there 45 years ago.

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Yes, it's always been called the Slig for as long as I can remember, from the first time I ever went there 45 years ago.

Maybe, but it is still as annoying as "The Coe" and "The Ben"!

6
In reply to Robert Durran:

"Cloggy"? "The Pass"? "The Corner"? "The Gates"? "CB"?

Do you really say things like "I am going to essay an ascension of Ben Nevis today?"

"The Coe" is particularly beautiful, because it just trips off the tongue so cleanly.

All these shorthand expressions are surely terms of affection used by people who really love the places. Just as we give nicknames to our friends.

Post edited at 21:13
2
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> "Cloggy"? "The Pass"? "The Corner"? "The Gates"? "CB"?

> Do you really say things like "I am going to essay an ascension of Ben Nevis today?"

I do sometimes slip into saying "The Ben", but hate myself for it.

> "The Coe" is particularly beautiful, because it just trips off the tongue so cleanly.

No, it's absolutely horrible.

> All these shorthand expressions are surely terms of affection used by people who really love the places. 

No, they are lazy, often cliquey and diminish the places with a lack of respect for their proper names. I loathe them all.

9
In reply to Robert Durran:

Wow, Robert, I would never have guessed you would be agin these! You must REALLY hate "The Blanc", pronounced (always by Brits) "The Blonk". And what about "The Agweels" ... I heard that a few times ...

OK, fierce challenge coming up: how do you refer to/pronounce Liathach?

Post edited at 21:29
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Wow, Robert, I would never have guessed you would be agin these! You must REALLY hate "The Blanc".

Yes, almost as much as I hate people calling me Bob!

In reply to Robert Durran:

Well, I didn't make that AWFUL plebeian mistake, did I?

PS. I regret that my own name has no diminutive, so that people have called me Gordon all my life. The closest I got to a nickname was people calling me 'Gordo' ... and a few ruder things that only related very dimly to my name.

Post edited at 21:35
In reply to Gordon Stainforth

> OK, fiece challenge coming up: how do you refer to/pronounce Liathach?

With a sort of slurred G in the middle (as I was told when about 12 years old when I first climbed it). Is that ok? Happy to be corrected!

In reply to Robert Durran:

I had a fascinating evening years ago in the big pub in Kinlochewe when a local got me to say it literally hundreds of times, and I could never quite get the Gaelic sound right, because it's slightly guttural. The closest English pronunciation is LEER-ha, with the stress absolutely on the first syllable and the ha very gentle. The Gaelic is more like LEE-ack-ha, but done much more gently than it looks there. I'm enthusiastic about this because it's such a beautiful gentle name for such a massive, imperious mountain. I love the incongruity of it.

Lee-a-gar (as you are suggesting) is certainly a very acceptable/respectable English version ... but quite a lot different from the way they actually say it.

Post edited at 22:03
 Solaris 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I'm taking that as authoritative. Thank you! Worth all the argument just to get to this point of off topic clarity - especially after having failed to get clarity after asking in the same pub.

 alan moore 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> "Cloggy"? "The Pass"? "The Corner"? "The Gates"? "CB"?

I use Cloggy and The Pass but The Corner is a route on Cloggy and The Gates are pearly while CB is the worlds most famous mountaineer.

The Coe really stinks though; I've never heard anyone say that! Been to The Lakes and The Peak mind...

The Slig is just weird.

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

The worst are wilful mispronounciations and spellings such as Meggie, Buckle and the appalling Norries.

1
In reply to alan moore:

> I use Cloggy and The Pass.

I must admit, to my shame, that I have. I really must stop.

> The Coe really stinks though; I've never heard anyone say that!

Not even me ironically?

Been thinking about this and I think it's the cliqueiness that I find really offensive. "I'm a local so I call it "The slig"". "So do I because I'm a climber,not a common tourist". Same with "The Ben" and so on.

> Been to The Lakes and The Peak

I have tried to hold out by including "District" but have almost given up the battle

Post edited at 22:57
In reply to Robert Durran:

I really like 'Meggie' and 'Bookle' is good too. In fact wonderful

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

PS, Robert. Climbing is elitist. Like any of the great skills in life.

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I really like 'Meggie' and 'Bookle' is good too. In fact wonderful

No, they're so dreadful that I don't think I could ever bring myself to use them.

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> PS, Robert. Climbing is elitist. Like any of the great skills in life.

Yes, but it doesn't have to be cliquey too!

 DaveHK 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> The worst are wilful mispronounciations and spellings such as Meggie, Buckle and the appalling Norries.

I was beginning to worry that you might run out of things to be outraged by but it seems my fears were unfounded.  

Post edited at 23:08
 Le Sapeur 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Maybe, but it is still as annoying as "The Coe" and "The Ben"!

Why? It's a pub. Hotel and river also, but for the majority of climbers it's a pub.

You seem to be comparing hills and mountains with a pub that has for generations been known as the Slig.

In reply to Robert Durran:

The really embarrassing thing about 'The Peak', to the modern purists, is that that was what it was always called from early Celtic times. It was first called 'The Pec', and later recorded as such somewhere c. 100 BC, iirc. The district thing only came in with the national park, post second world war.

In reply to Robert Durran:

You're trying to explain very long-standing nicknames. Go fathom is all I can say. You won't manage it.

 Le Sapeur 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Been thinking about this and I think it's the cliqueiness that I find really offensive. "I'm a local so I call it "The slig"". "So do I because I'm a climber,not a common tourist". Same with "The Ben" and so on.

Absolute twaddle. How many Black Bulls are just called the Bull?  In Skye the Hebridean Hotel bar was always known as the Heb. Many pub names are shortened. That's offensive to you?

In reply to Le Sapeur:

I repeat: I don't think I've ever heard anyone say 'I'm going to do a route on Ben Nevis today', or 'I'm going to do a route on Clogwyn d'ur Arddu today.'

And, what about 'The Cromlech'? Since (climbing) time immemorial. Surely.

Post edited at 23:15
 Le Sapeur 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I repeat: I don't think I've ever heard anyone say 'I'm going to do a route on Ben Nevis today', or 'I'm going to do a route on Clogwyn d'ur Arddu today.'

Absolutely. 

Can I throw in an Inn Pinn?

Or is that an In Pin. 

Climbed Sgurr Dearg today!

Post edited at 23:18
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Yes, good one. I could I suppose put on a very old-fashioned, twee accent and say 'I think it would be jolly good fun to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle today.' 

In reply to Le Sapeur:

Ah, Sgurr Dearg - that's a whole different subject. Ever since I first told a local in about 1975 that I'd just climbed SKER DERG. The blank look he gave me was just wondrous. So I repeated it ... and then he gave me the proper pronunciation in Gaelic ... and I was almost covered in the spray.

 Le Sapeur 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Try telling a Skye local you have been to Dun-vay-gan. 

Dun-veg-in!

In reply to Le Sapeur:

Do you know, I think I made that very mistake just a few months ago, when I went back after many years.

In reply to Le Sapeur:

> You seem to be comparing hills and mountains with a pub that has for generations been known as the Slig.

I only heard it recently. I've always caled the place Sligachan and the establishment The Sligachan Hotel. Anyway "The Slig" is just ugly! I bet Norman Collie didn't call it "The Slig".

In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Can I throw in an Inn Pinn?

Hate that too. Seriously!

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I repeat: I don't think I've ever heard anyone say 'I'm going to do a route on Ben Nevis today'.

Well it's what I would say.

 Basemetal 25 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Yes, good one. I could I suppose put on a very old-fashioned, twee accent and say 'I think it would be jolly good fun to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle today.' 

Everybody knows it rhymes with Pineapple, don't they?

Unlike Coire an t-Sneachda, which doesn't...

In reply to DaveHK:

> I was beginning to worry that you might run out of things to be outraged by but it seems my fears were unfounded.  

Just remembered "The Gorms". Surely nobody is going to defend that abomination.

2
 wercat 25 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

We refer to Cross Fell as Piz Pennina, particularly when it has snow cover, and occasionally to the "Kirchstein" pass as nicknames.

 wercat 25 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

"Ah, Sgurr Dearg - that's a whole different subject. Ever since I first told a local in about 1975 that I'd just climbed SKER DERG. The blank look he gave me was just wondrous. So I repeated it ... and then he gave me the proper pronunciation in Gaelic ... and I was almost covered in the spray."

that's reminds me of the reputed american visitor to the Applecross inn, a story still told on many a night in the 80s who surveyed the array of bottles of whisky behind the bar and came out with "Say, I think I'll have a Tea Bag ...."

(Té Bheag or the Little Lady)

Post edited at 08:51
In reply to wercat:

I'm guessing that that might be pronounced something like TerVECK or TayVeck??

 wercat 26 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

the locals told me it was (excuse my phonetics) "Cheh veyck" though the ending with some people sounded like a hard G.

I think the little lady referrred to a boat on the label

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I think the answer is here - Sorley McLean in the Munro Show. Right at the start of the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A23jCYAqlA&list=PLSPOq0H8YuOUnLvLhJ2-te1zbiTdWwKkM&index=32&t=0s

Post edited at 09:11
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Strange, because the old guy telling me how to pronounce it had lived at Kinlochewe, virtually below Liathach, all his life, and the 'g' sound was much softer than that. In fact the way he said it was a lot gentler - and more 'musical' - than the way Sorley does it (or rather did it). (BTW, I got to know Sorley when I was doing my Cuillin book. He was very helpful, particularly on Cuillin pronunciations.)

In reply to Robert Durran:

> Just remembered "The Gorms". Surely nobody is going to defend that abomination.

While I find it a bit annoying I can understand people saying "The Gorms " or "Slig" because they are abbreviations. However, I can't understand "The Coe" as it is just as easy to say "Glen Coe."

I have to confess to using "Cheesecake" for Bidein a' Choire Sheasgaich because it is difficult to pronounce. At least, I find it difficult to pronounce. However, I'm not proud of this.

I could never bring myself to say "The Aggie" although I'm not sure about my pronunciation of "Aonach Eagach."

Wish I could join in the discussion about the Cuillin ridge light/lite but that is for hairier chested men than me.

In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> I think the answer is here - Sorley McLean in the Munro Show. Right at the start of the video.

The second version with the G sound is pretty much how I aspire to pronounce it. I was taught this by someone brought up in Poolewe.

In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

> While I find it a bit annoying I can understand people saying "The Gorms " or "Slig" because they are abbreviations. However, I can't understand "The Coe" as it is just as easy to say "Glen Coe."

I've been thinking about "The Coe". I think someone pointed out that we can talk about the River Coe as "The Coe" (as with all rivers), but we never talk about "The Glen Coe", so it is not just deeply irritating but, in my opinion, plain wrong.

> I have to confess to using "Cheesecake" for Bidein a' Choire Sheasgaich because it is difficult to pronounce. At least, I find it difficult to pronounce. However, I'm not proud of this.

Nor you should be. It's awful.

> Wish I could join in the discussion about the Cuillin ridge light/lite but that is for hairier chested men than me.

You don't need to have a hairy chest to spot possible signs of creeping commercialism.

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Nor you should be. It's awful.

Thank you for your kind words.

> You don't need to have a hairy chest to spot possible signs of creeping commercialism.

I wasn't referring to the commercialism aspect of the thread. I was merely pointing out that I knew little about the topography of the ridge or about the climbing/ scrambling details.

I have actually been on parts of the ridge with a guide. It convinced me that if any aspect of hill walking / scrambling is beyond my abilities then I should leave it alone rather than hiring a guide to make up for my deficiencies.

No doubt you'll be able to find fault[s] with the above but I've got a lot more to worry about than your opinions.

In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

> No doubt you'll be able to find fault[s] with the above but I've got a lot more to worry about than your opinions.

Sorry I bothered you with a reply.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> Sorry I bothered you with a reply.

Apology accepted.

 Basemetal 26 Feb 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Strange, because the old guy telling me how to pronounce it had lived at Kinlochewe, virtually below Liathach, all his life, and the 'g' sound was much softer than that. In fact the way he said it was a lot gentler - and more 'musical' - than the way Sorley does it (or rather did it). (BTW, I got to know Sorley when I was doing my Cuillin book. He was very helpful, particularly on Cuillin pronunciations.)

It's worth pointing out that Gaelic pronunciations vary regionally as much as English does. And not a few Gaelic speakers don't know how to say strange words. I've taught in Fort William where there's local and Ardnamurchan accents and these can be quite different from Skye, the Western Isles and the weird Aberdeenshire ones. SCE Gaelic teaching has brought a quasi-RP for Gaelic into the picture as well. (We used to present native speakers for the learner's O Grade exam just so they'd get one good pass it they were otherwise unlikely to).

I've got to admit, I'm against the rampant pseudo Gaelicisation of place names and road signs and such things as Entrance &Exit on my local Homebase doors. I'm sure it will have caused confusion and loss, more than it helped anybody. Let it die quietly, please, or at least take its rightful place as a cultural curiosity with 60,000 speakers. No-one I know studies quantum mechanics in Gaelic.

Post edited at 13:14
4
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:A

I see the nicknames/ abbreviations as a mark of affection. It's also got that thing of being a slightly elitist code for 'those in the know'. Cloggy is perhaps the premier example. And who can possibly object to that?

In reply to Basemetal:

Yes, that's very interesting. A classic example in my case was when I couldn't understand anything - not one single word - of what some local working behind the bar at 'the Slig' (oops, sorry) was saying, because his accent was so strong, yet soft at the same time, and I asked a guy from Glasgow, who happened to be sitting next to me, how much he had understood. And he said, 'Not a thing!'

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I see the nicknames/ abbreviations as a mark of affection. It's also got that thing of being a slightly elitist code for 'those in the know'. Cloggy is perhaps the premier example. And who can possibly object to that?

I can, I have done so and I shall continue to do so ;-)

3
 wercat 26 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

[dons norfolk jacket and hitches Bergans rucsack on to shoulder]

 sreapadair 29 Feb 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

That is a shocking attitude.  Why should Gaelic be allowed to die out?  It’s a language we speak every day at home and at work.  Cultural diversity is as important as biodiversity. 

1
 Kevin Woods 29 Feb 2020
In reply to Basemetal

> I've got to admit, I'm against the rampant pseudo Gaelicisation of place names and road signs and such things as Entrance &Exit on my local Homebase doors. I'm sure it will have caused confusion and loss, more than it helped anybody. Let it die quietly, please, or at least take its rightful place as a cultural curiosity with 60,000 speakers. No-one I know studies quantum mechanics in Gaelic.

I have go with Sreapdair on that one. How about the all-pervasive anglicisation of Gaelic names; perhaps that doesn't matter so much to you. 

 Basemetal 29 Feb 2020
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> In reply to Basemetal

> I have go with Sreapdair on that one. How about the all-pervasive anglicisation of Gaelic names; perhaps that doesn't matter so much to you. 

Not  so much, really. At 60 I've never met a monoglot Gael my own age or younger, do they exist?

Complaints about Anglicisation will always come with the territory - Gaelic orthography is itself pretty much an Anglophone invention using a reduced Roman alphabet to deliver a non-Latin language with non-English sounds. 

I'm not anti Gaelic (believe it or not) but I'm anti-Resurrectionist as far as say, Aberdeenshire is concerned. We're not even good at it over here. And don't get me started on "Doric"... 

If a language works it lives and good luck to it. If it doesn't, call me a linguistic Darwinist.

 Joak 29 Feb 2020
In reply to sreapadair:

Twenty years ago I regularly attended Gaelic night school classes (central belt) then had to give them up due to working shifts. Since retiring two years ago I've been very fortunate in finding a weekly Gaelic night school class two miles down the road. My interest in the language during the intervening years never wained. The addition of Scottish Gaelic in the (free) "Duolingo" online courses is proving to be VERY popular.       

 Pero 01 Mar 2020
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> I have go with Sreapdair on that one. How about the all-pervasive anglicisation of Gaelic names; perhaps that doesn't matter so much to you. 

It's the other way round, surely?  The rampant Gaelicisation of English names.  For example:

Motherwell is now also "Tobar na Màthar".  I doubt there is anyone in Motherwell who calls it that.

Post edited at 20:21
1
 Basemetal 02 Mar 2020
In reply to sreapadair:

> That is a shocking attitude.  Why should Gaelic be allowed to die out?  It’s a language we speak every day at home and at work.  Cultural diversity is as important as biodiversity. 

Why shouldn't it? But only if it does...and even 'dead' languages can still exist and be useful, like Latin, Koine, etc. Not having native speakers who aren't also fluent in a more global language isn't  a promising situation for it. Only 500 Canadians (Nova Scotia) registered as speaking Gaelic in the 2011 census. So good luck to hobby Gaelic, but please keep it off road signs in the south and east where it was never spoken.

Oddly, Ive just found a David Mitchell video that just about perfectly presents the view I'm expressing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvlQXPNwrqo&

1
 Kevin Woods 02 Mar 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

I'm all for each to their own opinion, but to say it was not spoken south and east is also incorrect. 

 Basemetal 02 Mar 2020
In reply to Kevin Woods:

I stand corrected, though Lowland Scots weren't Gaels nor the Lowlands part of the Gàidhealtachd ( and the Highland boundary lies north of Aberdeen in the east).

 wercat 02 Mar 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

which fact puzzles me when I see the Gaelic road signs at the English Border.  Really it should be spelt out in the old language of Rheged.

 Basemetal 02 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

Good point ( though I expect we'd all whinge about that if they tried it, Gaels included... ).

 Lankyman 02 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

> which fact puzzles me when I see the Gaelic road signs at the English Border.  Really it should be spelt out in the old language of Rheged.


The Scots were relative jonny-cum-latelys as they only started arriving in Argyll towards the end of the Roman period in Britain 400 - 500 AD. They came over the short hop from Ulster bringing their Gaelic language with them. The folks they met were speaking languages similar to Old Welsh and included the Picts, natives of Strathclyde and probably Rheged/Cumbria. A bit later the Angles arrived, pushing north into what is now Scotland (Edinburgh is an Anglian name), Irish Gaelic speakers (from Ireland) were also settling in Galloway and then the Norse turned up settling along the west coast and Ireland (they later moved across from Dublin into southern Scotland and northern England. The Danes were also invading England and then those damned Normans (one-time Norsemen but now Frenchified) got in on the act (Robert Bruce was Norman French by descent). Really, the road signs ought to be in about five different languages, although you'd have a job putting them in Pictish? And runes and Ogham script would be quite hard for modern users to cope with.

Post edited at 14:21

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