The romance began on a South Wales Mountaineering Club trip to Skye six years ago. Steve and Melinda Hill attempted to climb Cìoch Direct but became benighted and never reached the Cìoch (Scottish Gaelic for a woman’s breast). It is often said that Steve persuaded Mel to be his girlfriend by holding her hostage on a ledge until she agreed. They vowed to return to the Cìoch to complete their set of wedding photographs!
Steve and Melinda have never made it onto the Cìoch before, so the task of getting a wedding photograph was not to be taken lightly. To ensure the photograph was taken, the easiest and quickest route had been identified. The plan was to scramble up to the Terrace beneath Cìoch Slab and climb Slab Corner (Diff) in order to get onto the Cìoch. Wedding guest and friend Curon Wyn describes how the photograph was finally managed; "As there were five of us, a second route, Arrow Route (VDiff), would speed up our assent. Cherry would lead the Slab Corner with Andrew and Melinda with her dress in a rucksack, and I would lead Arrow Route with Steve with his suite in a rucksack. True to tradition, the groom should have been on the Cìoch before the bride. Given that Cherry lead Slab Corner as a single pitch, we weren’t to far behind on our 2 pitch route, but having not been on the Cìoch before, we didn’t realise that the terrace to the Cìoch was a narrow shoulder. Melinda needed some time to get ready anyway, so the groom led his way after changing into his suite to be the last to arrive, whilst I stayed near the top of Arrow Route as the advantage point for the photograph."
"We didn’t meet many climbers, although the ones we did see were all around the Cìoch whilst we were there. They must have known that something was about to happen! A climber above us nearly came off in astonishment when he noticed what was unravelling beneath him, whilst a lead climber coming up the Arrow Route after us shouted down to his second “there's a wedding on the Cìoch!”, who clearly didn’t believe him.
After some time consuming rearrangement of the support crew, and a collection of photos were taken, one could not resist an opportunity to utilise the pre-supplied toy swords for some additional photos before I made a quick visit to the Cìoch started our long way back to the cars."
Photos: Curon Wyn and Andrew Spink