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Kylerhea hills circuit (Skye Solitude on a Sunny Saturday?!)

Kylerhea hills circuit (Skye Solitude on a Sunny Saturday?!)


Postby gld73 » Sun Apr 09, 2023 8:45 pm

Route description: Kylerhea hills circuit

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn na Caillich (Kylerhea), Sgùrr na Coinnich

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ben Aslak

Date walked: 08/04/2023

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1300m

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Great weather on the Saturday of the Easter weekend, and as I had to be in Broadford for work at 8am on Sunday anyway, I decided to head over to Skye a day early and get some hills done. Hostels were all fully booked though, so by the time I'd dug out my camping stuff for the first time this year and driven over to the west, it was early afternoon. From the traffic and the lack of accommodation I could tell I wasn't the only person hitting Skye for Easter (far from it!), so rather than aim for anything in the Red or Black Cuillins where I might struggle to get parking, I turned off down the single track Kylerhea road, hopeful that I'd avoid the crowds... Turned out I didn't just avoid crowds, I didn't see anyone else at all on these hills.

So a good choice of hills, but with hindsight, I should have just done the circuit as described in the WH walk description. Instead, I initially tried to shorten things as I thought my early afternoon start might be too late to guarantee finishing in daylight, so I set off from the near the transmitter thinking I'd do the 2 grahams/fionas out and back, then the sub2k out and back ... but conditions were great, I was enjoying the walk and I'd made good time, so after the 3rd hill (Ben Aslak), I descended down to Kylerhea after all, then had to walk all the way back up the road to the car. A longer walk with more ascent than if I'd just done the full circular walk in the first place..(!!).

(This is the approximate route I did, but my recommendation would be to do the full circuit properly rather than this hybrid of out-and-back and circular!)

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Summit of Sgurr na Coinnich

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Sgurr na Coinnich trig point, Cuillin background

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Lovely clear conditions on the Cuillin ridge, though probably windier than I'd like on the munros. Today's smaller hills will do me fine.

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As I headed down Sgurr na Coinnich, it looked like Beinn na Caillich ahead would be quite a tough, steep ascent, but it actually wasn't bad.

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Looking down to Kyle of Lochalsh as I made my way down to the bealach between the 2 hills

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View east from Beinn na Caillich's summit

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Skye Bridge looks tiny looking down on it (centre left)

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View of Sgurr na Coinnich from Beinn na Caillich

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Beinn Sgritheall

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Over to Glenelg

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I didn't retrace my route exactly as I took slightly easier ground on my back up and down Sgurr na Coinnich. Had a quick break for something to eat as I passed by my car, then headed up the track to the transmitter and onwards, passing this lochan (looking back over it to Sgurr na Coinnich here)

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Reaching the summit of Ben Aslak

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Cloud gathering over the Cuillin

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Still a beautiful evening though, views over to the Small Isles

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Summit view north to Sgurr na Coinnich

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S/SE to Beinn Sgritheall and Knoydart

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Such a lovely evening that I didn't want to just head back down the car, so I decided to head down the long ridge to Kylerhea after all. Passed another nice lochan near the top.

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The wide ridge curves down towards Kylerhea, still a lovely walk at this stage

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Still enjoying the view across Kyle Rhea. Didn't take photos on the next section down as I was firmly focused on the awful terrain rather than nice views!

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A huge relief to reach the flat grassy ground around some old remains of buildings

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Found the trodden path which took me to the footbridge over the Kylerhea river

Anyway, I enjoyed these hills more than I'd expected, the views were great in the good weather, there was nothing technically difficult, and steep looking ascents felt easier in practice than they'd looked on approach. 90% of the walk was fantastic. The only part I didn't enjoy (really, really didn't enjoy) was the last part of descending the ridge from Ben Aslak down to the flat ground by Kylerhea (where the WH route description says "As the ground becomes steeper the walking gets harder as the ground is boggy and covered in deep grass tussocks and bog myrtle that does its best to trip you up" ). It was horrible ankle twisting, shin bashing, feet swallowing terrain, and I was glad to make it through without anything worse than the aches, pains, grazes and bruises I got from it. That section aside, it was an excellent afternoon in the hills! :D
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All uphill from Kylerhea back to the car, but at least it was easy and the road extremely quiet (just passed by 2 cars). And I could always have posted myself home if I hadn't been able to walk any further.
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gld73
 
Posts: 899
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Location: Inverness

Re: Kylerhea hills circuit (Skye Solitude on a Sunny Saturda

Postby litljortindan » Sun Apr 09, 2023 9:49 pm

Looks as enjoyable as you describe, last part aside.
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litljortindan
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Re: Kylerhea hills circuit (Skye Solitude on a Sunny Saturda

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Apr 11, 2023 4:47 pm

IIRC the last time we were up these hills you were coming over in an ambulance (on duty). Nice to hrt them on a cracking day.
weaselmaster
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Posts: 2432
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Location: Greenock

Re: Kylerhea hills circuit (Skye Solitude on a Sunny Saturda

Postby gld73 » Tue Apr 11, 2023 9:10 pm

weaselmaster wrote:IIRC the last time we were up these hills you were coming over in an ambulance (on duty). Nice to hrt them on a cracking day.


Well remembered!
glenelg to kylereah ferry ambulance.jpg
Kyle of Lochalsh shifts are very different to my usual Inverness shifts....
User avatar
gld73
 
Posts: 899
Munros:178   Corbetts:76
Fionas:69   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:94   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:107   Islands:13
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
Location: Inverness

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