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The Beauty of Skye (At the Fourth Attempt)

The Beauty of Skye (At the Fourth Attempt)

Postby jupe1407 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:56 pm

Route description: Bruach na Frithe

Munros included on this walk: Bruach na Frìthe

Date walked: 22/09/2014

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 12.9 km

Ascent: 959m

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Until the weekend, I had a 100% percent record of visits to Skye/crap weather/no hills. With it also being a long drive, I'd considered leaving the twelve munro summits here alone for a long time, possibly even my final twelve (if i ever get there).

However a combination of factors, ie my sister getting married at Eilean Donan Castle, and a frankly bizarre outbreak of good weather meant I folded like a cheap deckchair and opted for one of the few "easy" munros on the island on the Saturday.

We left Forfar at 9am on Friday for the long drive over, sensibly abandoning the ludicrous idea of a 4am start to get to my previously planned Friday hills of Gleouriach and Spidean Mialach. Three or four hours extra in the sack was a far better option, especially after wakening up to get the early Referendum results.

We took a leisurely drive over with a nice stop off at a Cafe in Roy Bridge (which appears to have since gone out of business :shock: It wasn't us, honest), then did the usual tourist thing, stopping off at the Commando Memorial:

Skye Sep 2014-2 (1 of 3).jpg
Commando Memorial

After a while there we headed up alongside Loch Lochy and into Laggan Locks for a wander about. The water here was mirror-like. There were a few midgies about but it must be late in their season as they weren't any bother.

Skye Sep 2014-2 (2 of 3).jpg
Loch Lochy Yacht

We then headed along the road, cutting off to Invergarry then the long drive up towards the almost redundant Glen Garry viewpoint. I love this stretch from Invergarry. Lochs Garry, Loyne and Cluanie are stunning. Passing Loch Cluanie and through Glen Shiel is simply awesome. I first drove through there over a year ago and the place has stayed with me. It's eerie, spectacular and awe-inspiring at the same time. Anne is a huge fan of Eilean Donan Castle, and seeing as my sis was getting married there the next day, we thought we'd get a few photos of it. Weather was a bit dull so I converted mine to monochrome.

Skye Sep 2014-2 (3 of 3).jpg
Eilean Donan Castle

Finally we arrived at our Accommodation, the superb Bijou Hideaway in Lower Breakish. It's only a couple of years old and the owners are friendly, helpful people (especially when providing a massive fry up for a chronic Sunday hangover).

Saturday arrived and I fancied a hill, armed with a good forecast, I chose Bruach na Frithe, whilst Anne wanted to spend the day at the Storr.

She dropped me off at the layby leading to Allt Dearg cottage. The route for BnF is almost foolproof, with an excellent path most of the way.

Skye Sep 2014-2 (1 of 14).jpg
The Start

On approaching the cottage, the path is signposted, and slowly meanders its way gently up towards the foot of Fionn Choire. There are a few waterfalls on the way up. It's a hugely enjoyable stroll. After 3.5km the path branches off to head up the slopes of Fionn Choire. The path is decent and progress is easily made. The views ahead were poor, with a 600m or so cloudbase, but not bad in the other direction :D

Skye Sep 2014-2 (3 of 14).jpg
Towards Portree

As height is gained into the Corrie, the path disappears from time to time. However plough on straight ahead and it's soon picked up again.

The going gets rockier and soon Bealach na Lice is reached. Am Basteir looms ahead, with Sgurr a'Basteir, Sgurr a'Fionn Choire and Bruach na Frithe forming an impressive surround.

Skye Sep 2014-2 (1 of 1).jpg
Bealach nan Lice

I was walking in pretty thick clag now and would have to hope for a bit of luck to get a clear view at the summit. There was the occasional micro-second of a glimpse of what lay around, and it looked good (briefly).

Skye Sep 2014-2 (5 of 14).jpg
Basteir Tooth

I traversed the path under Sgurr a'Fionn Choire and made my way to Bruach na Frithe fairly easily. I almost got the view i'd been hoping for :lol:

Skye Sep 2014-2 (6 of 14).jpg
Towards Basteir

Skye Sep 2014-2 (7 of 14).jpg
Bruach na Frithe Summit

I hung around at the summit for half an hour, hoping for the clag to blow through, but it wasn't happening so headed off down, taking a bit of a scree-surfing shortcut and easily meeting up with the main path below the bealach. As i descended i met a good few people on the way up and had a few chats.

Looking back, there was a fine view of Sgurr a'Basteir.

Skye Sep 2014-2 (8 of 14).jpg
Sgurr a'Basteir

I made pretty good time and realised i still had 2.5 hours to kill. I wandered down, taking it all in. The clag of course started lifting from the northern end. Pinnacle Ridge was now visible and looked like a toast rack and made for a dramatic view.

Skye Sep 2014-2 (10 of 14).jpg
Pinnacle Ridge now in view

As i got further down, good views opened out of Glamaig and the Red Cuillin.

Skye Sep 2014-2 (9 of 14).jpg
Glamaig et al

Time was still on my side so i spent a good amount of time at one of the more spectacular waterfalls.

Skye Sep 2014-2 (12 of 14).jpg
Long Exp waterfall

Skye Sep 2014-2 (13 of 14).jpg
Long Exp waterfall B&W

Finally it was time for pick up, with one final late afternoon-lit view of Marsco and Bla'Bheinn to be had. what a fantastic place. :D

Skye Sep 2014-2 (14 of 14).jpg
Marsco and Blaven

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There was then a slight rush home to get changed and drive through to Eilean Donan Castle for the wedding. A fabulous end to a wonderful day.

Sunday was met with a sore head and general feeling of "meh". Luckily an excellent fry-up provided by our hosts. After a conflab, we decided to head to Uig and faff around in the Fairy Glen. What a place!!

Skye Sep 2014-2 (1 of 4).jpg
Start of Fairy Glen

Skye Sep 2014-2 (2 of 4).jpg
View from Castle Ewen

Skye Sep 2014-2 (3 of 4).jpg
View from Castle Ewen_2

Skye Sep 2014-2 (4 of 4).jpg
Castle Ewen from the Roadside Lochan

What a fantastic wee place that was. We faffed around on the various mini-ridges and the "castle" for hours. Before heading back to the Hideaway. Thankfully my hangover was gone by now.

This was pretty much the last act of a truly awesome weekend.

Skye is amazing.

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Re: The Beauty of Skye (At the Fourth Attempt)

Postby Silverhill » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:54 pm

I’m glad your statistics of Skye have improved. But even if they hadn’t, what an amazing trip you had 8) . Stunning pictures, as always.
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Re: The Beauty of Skye (At the Fourth Attempt)

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:31 pm

great pics, JP.
Skye's just the best place with good weather
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Re: The Beauty of Skye (At the Fourth Attempt)

Postby AnnieMacD » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:21 am

Fabulous photos even if you missed the views from the summit. But then you'll get it again when you do the whole ridge walk 8)
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Re: The Beauty of Skye (At the Fourth Attempt)

Postby jepsonscotland » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:43 am

Great job, glad you got the weather at last. :D
A real photography master class, amazing! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: The Beauty of Skye (At the Fourth Attempt)

Postby dogplodder » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:00 am

As others have said - some awesome photos. Thanks for sharing them. :D
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