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Marsco - A great walk and a treat at the summit

Marsco - A great walk and a treat at the summit


Postby AlexSkye » Sun May 08, 2022 4:48 pm

Route description: Marsco from Sligachan

Fionas included on this walk: Marsco

Date walked: 29/04/2022

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14 km

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Every year we visit Skye, and Marsco is always on our list of things to do. For whatever reason, we always seemed to run out of time to do it, or other mountains took priority. This time, the weather was perfect all week, so we found the time to squeeze it in. I'm so glad that we did.

The weather was great again this morning. Very little wind and beautiful reflections on Loch Harport, as we set off to Sligachan.
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The route is one that will be familiar with anyone who has made the long (but well worth it) trek to Sgurr Na Stri. You follow the same path for a while, before turning off near the foot of Marsco.

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The next section was surprisingly hard going. The path is a little boggy for a while, and then it seems to get steeper and steeper. There's a rusty old fence that runs parallel to the path, all the way towards the top, so you can't really go too wrong. The hard going becomes worth it as Blaven begins to come into view.

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The final section of path is on very steep grass. It gave surprisingly good grip, but could be trickier on a wet day. Suddenly we reached the ridge line and the whole of the Cuillins came into view. In fact, there are views in all directions of the entire island.

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We made a short detour to the left, which gives great views of Blaven. Then we headed back to get to the summit. At first, I thought that there was a great big boulder or a large trig point to mark the summit. Then it moved! Annoyingly I didn't have my zoom lens to hand, but we could make out what looked like a Golden Eagle on the summit. (Didn't have the white tail of a sea eagle, but looks too big to be a Buzzard?). We sat and watched for 10 minutes. Quite a treat.

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We were now in the tricky position of not wanting to disturb the bird, but also wanting to make it to the summit! We crept a little closer and tried not to spook it. I think it was well aware of our presence, though. Eventually it took flight.

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Now it was just a short walk to the summit, which narrowed a bit more than we had expected. It's a good flat path all the way, so there's no real danger if you're careful. Even if you were concerned about the exposure, you could still get the great views without having to walk this final section. We were on the summit for almost an hour, having some lunch. We didn't see a single person until returning to Sligachan.

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Probably one of my favourite walks on Skye. Whilst it doesn't quite have the magic or the challenge of the munros, it still has to be one of the best viewpoints on the entire island. You can see so much! Definitely worth doing. It is still a tough walk in places, but without the scrambling or rocks that you'd get on the bigger peaks.
AlexSkye
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Re: Marsco - A great walk and a treat at the summit

Postby Anne C » Sun May 08, 2022 4:55 pm

What an experience with the Golden Eagle at the summit! :clap: So close - terrific.
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Re: Marsco - A great walk and a treat at the summit

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Sun May 08, 2022 7:49 pm

What a treat, and lovely photos even without the zoom! Don't think you'll ever forget that day. :D
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Re: Marsco - A great walk and a treat at the summit

Postby Milo12 » Sun May 08, 2022 8:49 pm

Ha, funny about the eagle. Was up there yesterday and saw the eagle sitting at the top as well. Didn't get a pic though, so well done on catching it in a photo. :clap:
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Re: Marsco - A great walk and a treat at the summit

Postby Owen b » Sun May 08, 2022 8:58 pm

Regarding the golden eagle at the summit, I had an almost identical experience at the very same spot when I climbed Marsco in May 2016. I reached the true summit from the south east, had a quick look round, and noticed a large bird of prey about 10-15 metres north of me, perched on an outcrop. It looked too big to be a buzzard, it had a distinctive slightly golden hue, but I think not big enough and without the distinctive wings or tail of a white tailed eagle. So I assume it was a golden eagle. It looked at me straight in the eyes and within a few seconds flew off majestically and swooped down north into Coire Dubh Measarroch. I didn't have a camera or even a smart phone, so I didn't get pictures. It was a fantastic moment, the closest I've ever been to an eagle outside of a zoo. I wonder if it was the same bird.
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Re: Marsco - A great walk and a treat at the summit

Postby AlexSkye » Mon May 09, 2022 10:44 am

Interesting to read how many others have seen the Eagle- and over so many years. Must be a regular spot that it uses. :)
AlexSkye
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Re: Marsco - A great walk and a treat at the summit

Postby gaffr » Tue May 10, 2022 9:10 am

Several fine images of Clach Glas framed between Garbh-bheinn and Blabheinn. :)

Our first visit to Cuillin was by the 'back door' from the Elgol road to reach, for a week, the Coruisk area to seek out some of the classic hill routes. After passing the fine South ridge of Blabheinn that just had to be ascended from Camasunary.
It was on the second visit, and after a camp near Sligachan, that we found the a way up the buttress to the top of Marsco with its very fine views and also the inviting Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean...it is also grand coming in by the front door to the Cuillin.
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