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Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac


Postby AnnieMacD » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:23 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Marsco

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ruadh Stac

Date walked: 20/09/2014

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 1015m

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Track_2014-09-20 Marsco and Ruadh Stac.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Again I forgot to set my GPS to Track On and just noticed when I got to the bealach between Druim Eadar Da Choire and Marsco, but the distance, time and elevation are correct.

In fairness to myself, I spent 1.25 hours on the top of Marsco and at least another 20 minutes eating my second lunch at the bealach. I also spent an hour on the summit of Ruadh Stac. I am a slow walker - but not THAT slow!

This has to be one of my favourite hill days so far. Now that I have been, I'm on a mission to promote Ruadh Stac as one of the best and easiest hills on Skye! It's right in the heart of the Red and Black Cuillin and you can see almost everything from it. I also think the route from Loch Ainort is preferable to the walk down Glen Sligachan - but then I'm not a big fan of constructed paths. And, I didn't know this at the time, but the Skye Biathlon was on. Yes, you guessed it, the running route is Sligachan to Camasunary and over to Kilmarie. It would have been hell on the path.

However, the Corrie of Dreams was magical and the only people I met all day was a lovely German couple on the top of Marsco who stayed all of five minutes as they didn't have warm clothes and they nearly froze to death.

I parked at the big lay-by at the head of Loch Ainort and headed off up by the lovely Allt Coire nam Bruadaran (Corrie of Dreams in English). At this point the tops were all in cloud but I had high hopes that they would clear by the time I got to them. (If you click on the photos, you will see them enlarged.)

Allt Coire nam Bruadaran just above the road. Marsco is on the right in cloud.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-1 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Marsco ahead with its top in the cloud. Ascent between the two wee burns to the left of centre.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-2 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

I was heading for the bealach between Druim Eadar Da Choire and the south-east ridge of Marsco. There is a deer path up by the burn but you're on your own to get up to the bealach. However, it's a very straightforward ascent on a SSW heading between two tributaries of the burn.

Halfway up to the bealach and looking back to Ciche na Beinne Dearg and Loch Ainort.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-3 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

A whole world opened up once at the bealach. Garbh-bheinn is on the left and Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn were looming with swirling clouds in and out of the sunlight - the clouds, that is, not the hills, which where were still enveloped. Upon seeing little Ruadh Stac straight ahead with a clear top, I decided to go there first so dropped straight down 100m to the floor of Am Fraoch-choire and up the other side to the bealach between Ruadh Stac and Garbh-bheinn.

Bla Bheinn ahead. Garbh-bheinn on the left.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-4 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Looking south to Ruadh Stac. Neither the descent or ascent were very steep.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-37 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Allt nam Fraoch-choire with Marsco on the right still covered in cloud. Straight ahead is the main Cuillin Ridge but all you can see is Sgurr na h-Uamha which is the very last peak on the ridge.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-5 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

At the next bealach was another 'wow' moment when you see Camasunary far below. The weather was very clear out to sea.

Loch na Creitheach and Camasunary - you may be able to pick out the black roof of the wee bothy next to the shore-line. The steep western slopes of Bla Bheinn are on the left and Sgurr na Stri is on the right. Out to sea, Rum is on the right, Eigg and Muck on the left and, I think, Coll in the distance.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-6 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Heading up to the summit of Ruadh Stac and the views just got better and better.

Across Glen Sligachan to Sgurr na h-Uamha and the lower slopes of Sgurr nan Gillean.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-7 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

North to the bealach between Marsco and Druim Eadar Da Choire. The slope down which I had come looks steep here but it really wasn't bad. The pointy hill is Beinn Dearg Mhor and Raasay is in the distance.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-8 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

As I climbed I could see the south end of the main ridge - Gars-bheinn at the end. In the centre Sgurr Hain is the smaller hill in front of Sgurr na Stri.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-9 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

When I got to the summit I dumped my bag and took loads of photos as the light was constantly changing. Here are a few.

Glen Sligachan with Harta Coire off to the left. The Glen Sligachan path was teeming with runners (well, relatively speaking).
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-10 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Marsco clearing nicely.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-11 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Wee summit cairn with Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn behind.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-12 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

My hoose in the distance on the mainland. Zoomed and cropped like crazy!
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-13 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

The sea-plane taking sightseers over Harta Coire.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-14 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Be still my heart! Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn emerging from the clouds.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-15 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

The long south ridge of Bla Bheinn. It's impossible to describe what a looming presence this hill was from my lowly perch.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-16 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

After far too long and a first lunch, I headed back down to the bealach between Garbh-bheinn and Ruadh Stac. Clach Glas is in your face the whole way.

Garbh-bheinn and Clach Glas.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-18 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Back at the bealach I noticed a narrow path off to the right and followed it all the way around the foot of Garbh-bheinn to the bealach between Marsco and Druim Eadar Da Choire. When I looked later on the map it pretty much followed a contour line all the way and I lost little or no height at all. (Clever deer!)

Back at the first bealach Ruadh Stac on the right and Garbh-bheinn on the left. You can't see the path around but believe me, it's there and avoids all difficulties.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-22 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

There is a line of fence posts up the south-east ridge of Marsco and you basically follow them all the way over the minor top and to the bealach. The ridge is fairly steep and rocky in places, but I found it straight-forward. There are quite a lot of sheep in this area so it was easy to get distracted by sheep paths going off in all directions. I took a few detours off to the left (west) for the views but the west side of Marsco is extremely steep so care is need to avoid slipping.

Looking back down to Druim Eadar Da Choire with Belig and Garbh-bheinn behind.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-23 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Looking back to the minor top of Marsco with the two people I was to meet later. The ascent/descent path from Glen Sligachan is on the left up to this bealach.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-24 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

At the summit looking north to the north minor top and Sligachan Hotel.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-25 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

View south.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-26 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

East to Loch Ainort and the mainland - my house is dead centre!
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-27 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Glen Sligachan, Harta Coire and the main ridge.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-28 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Harta Coire and Sgurr nan Gillean finally clear.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-29 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

The summit ridge is quite narrow and there are a couple of cairns but it's difficult to linger here. However, there is a low stone shelter a few metres to the north of the summit where the ridge widens out.

Summit cairn and Sgurr nan Gillean.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-30 by anniesmountains, on Flickrickr

Back along the ridge with Garbh-bheinn, Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn. Ruadh Stac is lower right.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-31 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

It was quite windy and very cold on the top. So after spending ages taking in the views I headed back to the south bealach and found a sheltered spot to have my second lunch.

The narrow ridge
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-32 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Heading back in late afternoon sun.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-33 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Beinn Deargs (Mheadhonach and Mhor) with Glamaig in the cloud behind.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-34 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

To get down I initially took the path into Coire nan Laogh but then decided to take a direct line west down to Allt Mam a'Phobuill. This was very steep but I stayed on the deer tracks and it was much quicker than going all the way around to Mam a'Phobuill itself.

This was much steeper than it looks. The dark splotch in the foreground is deer poo - happy days!
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-35 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

It was then just a matter of following Allt Coire nam Bruadaran all the way down to the road.

Lovely Marsco and the Allt Corrie of Dreams.
ImageMarsco and Ruadh Stac-36 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

One of my best hill days EVER!
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AnnieMacD
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby clivegrif » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:27 pm

What a great report! Especially love photos 28 & 29.

Will definitely have to go back to Skye - its such a wonderful place.
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby dogplodder » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:09 pm

Loved that - what a day you got! :thumbup:
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby ancancha » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:00 pm

lovely photos, the colours came out really clearly, what camera are you using?
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:42 pm

clivegrif wrote:What a great report! Especially love photos 28 & 29.

Will definitely have to go back to Skye - its such a wonderful place.
Thanks, Clive. I got a great day for it!

dogplodder wrote:Loved that - what a day you got! :thumbup:
Yes indeed, but I wasn't sure when I started off that it would clear up.

ancancha wrote:lovely photos, the colours came out really clearly, what camera are you using?
Thanks. I use a Canon 6D with 24-70mm lens. It's quite heave and I lug it everywhere :lol:
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby ancancha » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:21 pm

ancancha wrote:lovely photos, the colours came out really clearly, what camera are you using?
Thanks. I use a Canon 6D with 24-70mm lens. It's quite heave and I lug it everywhere :lol:[/quote]

8) quite expensive as well :!: I've got a 650D with 18-55 lens which I've really enjoyed learning how to use, but would never dream of taking it with on a mini adventure even at half the cost :lol:
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby Silverhill » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:30 pm

Ah, after Meall na Teanga & Co and you’re back on Skye and back in your element! Amazing pictures 8) . I like your campaign for Ruadh Stac :D.
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby AnnieMacD » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:16 am

ancancha wrote: 8) quite expensive as well :!: I've got a 650D with 18-55 lens which I've really enjoyed learning how to use, but would never dream of taking it with on a mini adventure even at half the cost :lol:

Ah, you haven't read my Belig report then? See here: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=42457 :roll:
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby AnnieMacD » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:18 am

Silverhill wrote:Ah, after Meall na Teanga & Co and you’re back on Skye and back in your element! Amazing pictures 8) . I like your campaign for Ruadh Stac :D.

Thanks. Yes, I'm back on home territory. Are you going to join my campaign? :lol:
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby ancancha » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:08 am

AnnieMacD wrote:
ancancha wrote: 8) quite expensive as well :!: I've got a 650D with 18-55 lens which I've really enjoyed learning how to use, but would never dream of taking it with on a mini adventure even at half the cost :lol:

Ah, you haven't read my Belig report then? See here: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=42457 :roll:


Opps :!: I just use a canon IXUS which pops into the belt pockets of the Osprey pack. Was thinking about getting a G17 to do the same thing.
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:28 am

Amazing how the cloud "plays games" with mountain tops :D Well captured - shows that a day with clouds can be just as good as blue sky conditions...
I loved Marsco, too, though it was quite a while ago when we climbed it. The summit is a cracking viewpoint and I'd love to do it again. Maybe using your approach, for a change (we climbed it the traditional way, from Sligachan).
We had a good look at the western face of Ruadh Stac when we walked past it on the way to Sgurr na Stri and this side looks climbable, too, though a bit steep. I'm keeping this sub'2 in mind for my next Skye holidays :D
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby malky_c » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:56 pm

I was pretty impressed by these two as well - some of the best views I've had on Skye :) . Great atmospheric conditions - quite different from when I was up them.
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:35 pm

Fantastic report and pics Annie, Ruadh Stac looks a great little hill, being as Bla Bhienn is my favourite ever mountain it would be great to get such a close up view of its crags. Well done for lugging a Canon 6D up the hills, I got sick of carrying my 400D up hills and bought a Canon M series, far lighter!
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Re: Corrie of Dreams - Marsco and Ruadh Stac

Postby rockhopper » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:57 pm

Wonderful set of photos, Annie - you really make the most of the conditions and colours :thumbup: Hope to return here some time - this whets the appetite - cheers :)
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