walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century


Postby old danensian » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:43 pm

Munros included on this walk: Am Basteir, Bla Bheinn

Corbetts included on this walk: Glamaig

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Dearg Mhor (Sligachan)

Date walked: 21/07/2009

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Back on Skye for the first time in over 25 years - remembered when you sat on the ramp eating chips and working out how many trips the ferry would make before there was space for your car.
On the island for a week - hopefully that meant three or four days hill time.

Day 1 - Bla Bheinn - a much belated visit

Accompanied by a Skye-newcomer - filled full of ferocious tales about the fearsome Cuillin - needed to persuade him that Bla Bheinn would be a good intro and confidence booster - it paid back in bucketfulls - from the first glimpse on the road from Broadford, through the sudden panorama on getting to the top, to the appetite whetted for more.

Blaven-1.jpg
Bla Bheinn from Loch Cill Chriosd


Standard route followed from the shores of Slapin to the area by Fionna-choire - but shunned the right-hand turn in favour of the track heading to the col on the skyline of the ridge ahead.
Benefitted from constant view over to Rhum - better than being enclosed in stone filled gully and the danger of a newcomer being intimidated by increasing steepness and scrambling - leave that till later.

Blaven-2.jpg
Rhum from slopes above Fionna-choire


A bit more distance on the day - but progress up the easier angled slopes on the ridge saw us head up towards the top in a good time of just over two hours.
And what a reward - panoramas of calendar proportions - from the early 1970s Bla Bheinn was a view in the distance for the next decade or more - why did I wait so long to enjoy it at close quarters?

Blaven-3.jpg
Cuillin Ridge from summit



Red Cuillin was also spread out enticingly - guilt triggered about not having spent time on them as well - but more of that anon ....

Blaven-4.jpg
Red Cuillin from summit


Scrambled descent down the recommended route upwards resulted in a reassuring confidence booster.
"If I'd looked up at that to begin with, I wouldn't have done it" he remarked as we negotiated the steepest section - one up to experience over desk-bound horror stories and encouragement for future forays.

Blaven-6.jpg
Descent to Loch Slapin



Day 2 - Am Bastier - round two

Two attempts spanning thirty years - two knockbacks - such is life.
Failed to find the way round the Tooth in thick mist in the dim and distant past - cloud base now just touching the tops - so optimism filled hopes of a quick foray to settle the score.

Bastier-1.jpg
Cloud-topped Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Bastier from Sligachan


As I gained height up the path from the Sligachan - the cloud base lost it almost step for step
The Bastier Gorge looked menacing as I passed it on my right - now I could only hear the clink of gear as a couple of ropes started up Pinnacle Ridge as I contoured round to the south west below the cliffs

Bastier-2.jpg
Bastier Gorge from above


Finally found the scree slope coming down from the Bealach Bastier in still thickening mist and now rain - let's see how far things go.
A solo jaunt today after a long time away - discretion was always going to get the better part of valour at the nick on the final ridge, with little confidence in finding the traverse below it in these conditions.
So, off back down to fight another day after looking across those few tantalising metres just a little way from the top - or just an excuse to go back up.
Still, it's been a good day out - enthusiasm intact - inspired by the mere sense of the surroundings - and enjoyed the lighting effects as it felt like night and day in one view.

Bastier-3.jpg
Sligachan from Coire a Bhastier


Now, call me a purist or a pedant, but (contrary to coments on recent strings elsewhere on the Forum) despite getting so close, this experience epitomises why Am Bastier still doesn't get "the tick".

Day 3 - Glamaig - victim of neglect?

Bet we've all driven past it; camped below it; sunk a few pints / drams looking at the sun setting on it; dismissed it in the helter skelter rush to the jagged peaks - apart from those souls who derive pleasure in simply running up it.
Staying in Sconser, on her very slopes - seemed rude to ignore her again.

Away up the Allt Daraich after breakfast and a bog trot towards the Druim na Ruaige - one of those now you see it: now you don't kind of paths for while - but the line on the ridge ahead was clear enough.

Glamaig-1.jpg
Sligachan from Druim na Ruaige


Initial steep slopes - eased off nicely as distance and more height gained - watching clouds play their hide-and-seek games on the tops across Glen Sligachan.
Reached the top of Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach with a pleasant stroll across to the main top a few hundred metres to the east. Didn't mind having to retrace steps in a setting like this, especially with the views down to Loch Ainort and the cloud cover on Sgurr nan Gillean having become a fixture.

Glamaig-2.jpg
Cuillin Ridge from Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach


A clear route over to Beinn Dearg Mhor in the north east - give it a russet hue and it could almost be a Lakeland fell - but wider setting never lets that thought linger for long.
The final slope to the top steepeds enough to make you puff - but pleasantly so - it was good to reach the top knowing that there's more left in the tank for the remainder of the day.

Glamaig-3.jpg
Scalpay and Loch Ainort from Beinn Dearg Mhor


Bit of a path, bit of a scree run and the odd jarred knee and big toe - and it was down to the Bealach na Sgairde
The WH route summary suggested a cop out at this stage and heading back down to the Sligachan - Why? Having spent all this time and effort .....
OK, it was a slog, it was a grind, it was three up and two down at times. OK you could imagine a dozen better things to do with an hour of your time. Well, think about it for the next sixty minutes to take your mind of the hard work of the ascent. You're here now anyway.
The slope eased in the end - the summit cairn appeared - the hard work was over and worth it - well that's what I say now. The final leg stretched out to the north east - a gentle stroll to An Coileach - directly above the house we were staying in.

Glamaig-6.jpg
An Coileach - eastern end of Glamaig


The uninterupted island views were fantastic - the wake of the ferry plying its trade across to Rasaay tracing its route - bet they'll never manage a bridge over that stretch of water.

Glamaig-7.jpg
Rasaay from An Coileach
User avatar
old danensian
 
Posts: 405
Munros:282   Corbetts:58
Donalds:9
Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:150   
Joined: Jul 6, 2009
Location: Ayrshire

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Alan S » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:06 pm

some cracking pics there 8)
im heading to skye in september for a family holiday and im hoping to squeeze in a few walks but not just munros so thanks for that :thumbup:
User avatar
Alan S
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1455
Munros:202   Corbetts:4
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Nov 10, 2008
Location: Stirlingshire

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:36 pm

Brilliant photos - you can see my croft in one of them!
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 6759
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Paul Webster » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:42 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:you can see my croft in one of them!


Torrin, Bracadale, Luib, or on Raasay? :twisted:

Great report there, some stunning pics, thanks for sharing.
User avatar
Paul Webster
Site Admin
Walker
 
Posts: 5184
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:64   Donalds:39
Sub 2000:113   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:134   
Joined: Jan 6, 2007
Location: Nr Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Freewheelin » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:21 am

Looks like you had a week to remember Old Danensian!

Come on Caberfeidh, 'fess up :angel:

[Paul, how many members do you think you could persuade to visit Caberfeidh for a wee cuppa - all at the same time?]
:twisted: :twisted:
Freewheelin
 
Posts: 307
Munros:184   Corbetts:32
Grahams:7   Donalds:21
Joined: Jan 23, 2009
Location: Motherwell

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:15 pm

Aaargh! I'm being cyber-stalked! They'll be raking through my garbage next...
Come near my place and I'll set the dogs on you!
I keep waking up naked in the wolf enclosure.jpg
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 6759
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Michelle » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:43 pm

Glad you were able to make it back to Skye for a visit Old Danesian, try not to leave it so long next time OK? :D

In May I took the same route as you did up Blaven, that little ridge pulled me on straight ahead and I had to go up for a look. We had beautiful weather, I too was with a Skye newcomer & what a great intro to the isle it made!

Image
User avatar
Michelle
Wanderer
 
Posts: 208
Munros:25   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Jan 21, 2009
Location: Washington DC

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby HighlandSC » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:59 am

Do you think attempting Blaven as your second munro is crazy? My mate wants to do it after we do Ben Wyvis!!
User avatar
HighlandSC
 
Posts: 2179
Munros:33   Corbetts:4
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:13   
Joined: Jul 12, 2009
Location: USA (formerly Inverness)

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Michelle » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:30 pm

It was my 2nd munro attempt- Bidean was my 1st, and I found both very enjoyable. I had prior experience on my local hills, but they aren't much compared to the average Scottish hill, in my opinion. When it comes down to it, though, it all depends on your own personal comfort level. It is a great hill, but do make sure you can use your map & compass, and research the route beforehand etc etc. I would not have wanted to do Blaven as my 2nd hill in any sort of unhappy weather, so I got lucky there. 8)

But no, it's not a crazy idea!
User avatar
Michelle
Wanderer
 
Posts: 208
Munros:25   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Jan 21, 2009
Location: Washington DC

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby HighlandSC » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:20 pm

Thanks Michelle, that kinda confirms what I thought. I know it's one of the more challenging hills. By the time we come to do it we'll have done Ben Wyvis and will have also been on a 2 day course (1 instructor + me and a mate) learning navigation and everything.

So do you actually live in Washington DC? You talk as if you've lived and walked in Scotland for a long time, or at least are very knowledgable about it!
User avatar
HighlandSC
 
Posts: 2179
Munros:33   Corbetts:4
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:13   
Joined: Jul 12, 2009
Location: USA (formerly Inverness)

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Michelle » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:09 pm

Knowledgable? Fooled ya, eh? :lol:

Just kidding. Yes I'm from DC, but I spend more time in Scotland than I imagine my employer cares for! I try to get over there for a few weeks, maybe every 8 months or so.
User avatar
Michelle
Wanderer
 
Posts: 208
Munros:25   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Jan 21, 2009
Location: Washington DC

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby MonkeysMonacle » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:54 pm

Skye,great fun and ferocious midges.As part of a Munro round Skye has to be the most demanding and most fun of all the Ranges.
I'm sure there must be a decent 'Boozer" somewhere on the Island.Although if there is it has certainly eluded myself.
User avatar
MonkeysMonacle
 
Posts: 61
Munros:282   Corbetts:6
Grahams:4   Donalds:3
Joined: Jul 23, 2009

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Caberfeidh » Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:07 pm

MonkeysMonacle wrote:I'm sure there must be a decent 'Boozer" somewhere on the Island


We've just been having a thing about that. See previous topic on best hill pub!I reckon the Old Inn at Carbost is good, but I've only spent an evening sessh. there once, and that's a bit of a blur for some reason. I know the food's good. The Slig has fine ales and food, but lacks atmos., I think. The Izzles in Portree is too small. For a big island it has a dearth of pubs.
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 6759
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Paul Webster » Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:09 pm

Stein Inn is a good Skye pub too - in Waternish.
User avatar
Paul Webster
Site Admin
Walker
 
Posts: 5184
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:64   Donalds:39
Sub 2000:113   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:134   
Joined: Jan 6, 2007
Location: Nr Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Skye - three days out after a quarter of a century

Postby Caberfeidh » Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:13 pm

Did the Stein feature in the vote? We're going to have to start all that again...
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 6759
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests