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by litljortindan » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:30 am
Route description: Quiraing, hill circuit
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Meall na Suiramach
Date walked: 25/08/2013
Time taken: 3 hours
Distance: 3.75 km
Ascent: 283m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I had had a visit to Quiraing in mind for a while but was procrastinating. I reviewed the pictures of our trip in 2008 and thought it might not fit with what I wanted because of its shortness. I read someone on here note their rule borne of experience of not travelling too far for a short walk and I thought hmm, good point. I looked at the OS map and pondered the very short looking summit area. And yet it might it might indeed fit with what I wanted: sea views, dramatic scenery and a topography that might fit with an early morning walk. Maybe I could fit it in with a trip to the Outer Hebrides...
No less than three suitable weather windows came and went and then a couple of reports appeared here that got me thinking again. So, early to bed on Saturday night and up at 12.15am on Sunday morning! I felt fresh enough and set off aiming to get to Quiraing for sunrise. I hit a few fog patches and I am probably quite a slow driver so I actually arrived at the top of the Staffin/Uig road bang on sunrise c6.10am. That would be about five and a half hours of actual driving time, an hour over the AA Route Finder estimate.
This summer has been a bit odd for me in that my wife hasn't been feeling too well and this resulted in an agreement that I would try to be around when best suited her, hence I've been on a few walks where I've set off late evening aiming for an afternoon return the following day i.e. sunrise walks. Thus far, this has seen early morning ascents of Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh, Quinag and Ben Mor Coigach. The subtext would be that I've been trying to get video clips of my favourite hills. Anyhow, a long car trip to Quiraing was going to have to be solo and again I was thinking of sunrise. The weather forecast was looking promising with the cloud cover far enough east to make the prospect of an interesting sunrise at least a possibility.
So, 6.10am and I set off into a fine sunrise and muddled and puffed my way up the initial steep slope and was soon on the more horizontal muddy trough that contours to the start of Quiraing's or Meall na Suiramach's cliff top views. The wow factor was still there; I did not feel any disappointed questioning of why I had come all this way. I tried to trace my way along the edge of the cliffs, alternating between taking video clips and taking photos. Therein lies a minor dilemma -better to keep shooting video when a photo view announces itself or better to stop videoing, take a photo, and resume the video later? What struck me as I edged along was the frequency with which new and exciting views appeared along the way. The Quiraing is populated with a large number of interesting and photogenic pinnacles and almost every five metres produces a new vista. Hence the five hundred metres of viewing platform that is there feels as long as many a larger hill what with all the visual intensity. A paradise for the photographer I would think. Having said that, I personally find the views south of the Table from the north end of the escarpment somewhat less aesthetically pleasing than the rest. Am I alone in this view I wonder? I also, for the first time, got annoyed by the presence of a wind turbine -this one appearing in the background of the view to Sron Vourlin.
I abandonned my original plan of descending northwards and looping back on the cliff bottom path and decided just to double back the way I'd come. A close quarters visit to the pinnacles can wait for another day, when my wife is feeling more like a longer car trip perhaps. I did visit the Table in winter 1999 or thereabouts and suspect that the best views for me are form above.
So in retrospect the escarpment walk is short but the view comprises of so many different and dramatic prospects that I think this is truly a photographic or video giant of a hill. I worried that I would only find a few seconds of video to show for my eleven hour car journey but in fact I ended up with over half an hour of clips from this little hill. Long version of video below for anyone interested in seeing more of the nooks and crannies...
Would be interested to hear of anyone can identify the birds twittering in the background.
by ChrisW » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:17 pm
by litljortindan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:34 pm
ChrisW wrote:Wow, what a little beauty, I agree that it was worth the trip Sorry I can't help with identifying the birds but I did enjoy the video and loved the photos, when you are having the video/photo dilema....always go with the photo, though I may be letting my love of photography sway my decision
Yeah, I think you're right photos first but I think I need a better camera too. Well worth the trip.
by rockhopper » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:35 pm
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