Foghorns, Fenceposts and Flying Ants on Glamaig
by skyeles » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:30 pm
Route description: Glamaig and the northern Red Hills
Corbetts included on this walk: Glamaig
Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Dearg Mhór (Sligachan)
Date walked: 19/07/20132 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).
We have been renting the same wee cottage in Sconser every year for the last 13 years, and every year I promise I'm going to climb Glamaig as it is literally in the back garden... and every year I never get round to it! This year however I finally got my act together...
Got up early and looked out the cottage window to see a fairly dense fog bank over the sound of Raasay, but blue skies above:
glamaig day 1 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
Dun Caan on Raasay was just peaking out above the fog.
glamaig day 2 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
Got my gear on and drove a half mile up the road and parked in the temporary car park that is being used while the new Raasay ferry terminal is being built. The air was very still and already at 8.00 the temperature was beginning to climb. It was going to be a hot day, so I had three litres of water in my rucsac which added quite a bit of unwelcome weight - but better to be hydrated than desperate for water later on.
My approach was from the east of the mountain, rather than the direct route from Sligachan, climbing up to the eastern peak of An Coileach before heading across the ridge to the main summit of Sgurr Mhairi.
glamaig day 3 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
The guidebooks say to follow the fenceposts to the summit and they got that spot on - there is a line of rusted posts all the way to the top, some with fence wire at the bottom but then deteriorating to battered and weathered posts higher up.
The lower slopes are at a pretty easy gradient, but this soon changes to a fairly relentless steep climb - not as bad as the route from Sligachan, but hard going nonetheless.
glamaig day 4 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
(Looking North to Ben Tiannavaig)
glamaig day 5 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
(Looking South to Belig, Garbh Bheinn and Blaven)
glamaig day 6 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
glamaig day 7 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
About two thirds of the way up there is a fairly steep scree slope which can be best climbed by using the grassy section to the left though there is a tricky wee bit right at the top where you have to rejoin the scree to move further up - this is pretty loose and unstable and the soil is badly eroded here.
glamaig day 8 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
All the way up there had been the accompanying sound of foghorns in the Sound of Raasay - I later found out this was because a yacht had become lost in the Sound and had no navigation aids. The fog was quite dense below me and the Raasay ferry had not moved out of Sconser all morning because of it.
glamaig day 9 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
glamaig day 10 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
Eventually, the mist did lift enough and the ferry managed to get away (the cottage I was staying in can be seen at the bottom left of this shot)
glamaig day 11 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
The upper slopes steepened a bit and the last section to the top of An Coileach involved quite a lot of puffing and blowing - made all the worse by the high temperatures. However, I finally gained this lower summit and the views west along the ridge to the main summit and to Beinn Dearg Mhor, with the Red Cuillin, Blaven and the Black Cuillin beyond, were fantastic.
glamaig day 12 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
glamaig day 13 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
By this point I was very glad of the extra water I had taken and I stood on the summit and glugged down a full litre bottle. However, I began to feel this crawling sensation on my head and when I ran my fingers through my hair I dislodged a whole squadron of flying ants! I looked around the ground at my feet and the place was swarming with them! So, nothing for it but to quickly pack up my water and head off along the ridge to the top.
The ridge to the main summit was surprisingly broad (not the impression you get from the road below), and looking back to An Coileach I could see the steep slopes I'd just come up.
glamaig day 14 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
The main summit of Sgurr Mhairi loomed ahead - a big, dome-shaped hulk from this perspective.
glamaig day 15 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
Fifteen minutes later and I was on the top of Sgurr Mhairi and looking at the magnificent views of the Black Cuillin and the big drip down to the Sligachan Hotel far below.
glamaig day 16 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
glamaig day 17 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
glamaig day 18 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
Looking across to Sgurr nan Gillean and the In Pin beyond.
glamaig day 19 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
I spent a few minutes having a well-deserved drink and a piece and jam and chatted to a young couple from the Czech Republic who had come up from Sligachan and who were having a great time touring Scotland in the great weather. I then had a good sit down and just took in those stunning views until it was time to retrace my steps and head back to An Caileach (and the flying ants!). Enjoyable and different views on the way back, looking down to Sconser and across to Raasay.
glamaig day 20 by marlesghillie, on Flickr
All in all it was a great morning out and I wish I had done Glamaig earlier on my previous holidays on Skye. Hopefully will do it again next year!
by davetherave » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:20 am
Thanks for posting Dave.
by bootsandpaddles » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:24 am
by The Rodmiester » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:29 am
by BlackPanther » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:49 am
Great photos - and the name Misty Isle seems appropriate!
by AnnieMacD » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:35 pm
Walkhighlands community forum is advert free
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?