Skye Munros for Autism

Being a fervent Munro Bagger and a Freemason, I and my father James F. Hood (Past Master Lodge No.28) along with my friend Stuart Wallace decided it would be an idea to raise funds for charity whilst enjoying our outdoor pursuits. So on our third visit to the Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye we decided to do a sponsored Munro climb for the Provincial Grand Master's Appeal in aid of The National Autistic Society Scotland.

Still having five Skye Munros to bag, our target with the assistance of a well experienced mountain guide was to climb three Munros on Saturday 29th May and two Munros on Sunday 30th May. This expedition would see us undertake the climbing of an inaccessible pinnacle commonly known as the In Pin or the Pin. As in most parts of the Cuillin Ridge the use of a rope, helmet and harness are used but more so for climbing the Pin.

Having set off from Kirkintilloch on the afternoon of Friday 28th May we arrived in Skye about 7pm that evening, immediately put up the tents and delved into our dinner - a specially prepared lamb stew casserole prepared by my Mother!

Early the following Saturday morning we set off from Glen Brittle and managed to bag our three hills of the day, Sgurr a'Mhadaidh, Sgurr a'Gheadaidh, and Sgurr Na Banachdich. It was a full day of climbing, rounded off with a lovely pint before hitting the sack.

The next day we set off full of trepidation for what lay ahead of us. On reaching the summit of Sgurr Dearg we were faced with the full imposing structure of the In Pin. With our harness and helmets on, our guide Tony led us down to the foot of the Pin and after a short wait to accommodate other climbers we were ready to start our ascent. It took two full pitches of rope to reach the top, then we were over the summit boulders and lowered down the short side.

After the three of us were down, we then set off to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich (also known as MacKenzies Peak named after first Cuillin guide).

Having ditched our rucksacks, we ascended the fastest and most enduring route to the summit. Success - we had reached our target of five Munros over the two days.

On the Monday we made our stay short to Skye and said farewell.

We have been climbing Munros for the past three years and I consider the Cuillins of Skye to be the most exposed of them all and indeed the most enjoyable to tackle.

We had a brilliant time and no doubt would do it again.

Thanks to very generous sponsorship, our efforts raided the sum of 1,147 for the National Autistic Society Scotland.

Yours Fraternally
Martin F. Hood PM Lodge St John Kilwinning No.28 Kirkintilloch

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