I took the advantage of my Mum being up with the car to take in some hills in the extraordinarily good weather, given the weather earlier in the week. On this walk we walked up the Northern Red Hills and Glamaig as per the description on this website.
As we prepared to set off from the carpark, we made the unhappy discovery that we had left our cheese rolls and co-op triangles along with 2 bottles of diet Irn bru on the counter in the shop - after a brief debate about who was to blame we set off through the gate and up the path from the carpark at Sligachan.
The first few hundred metres are on a lovely gravelled path, but this is soon left for a vague path through bog. We had hoped that the cold clear night would mean the ground would be frozen for the outward leg, but we were unlucky and both had wet feet by the time we reached the first climb of the morning. Even by the time we had reached the small top of Druim na Ruaige it felt like we were high up, and we were aware of a bitterly cold wind but this was more than compensated for by the beautiful blue sky and views of the surroundings. The walk along the ridge to Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach was pleasant, and it was almost a surprise to come to the top of the hill with a sudden drop in front of us. We walked along the aesthetically pleasing ridge to the summit and were able to enjoy views across Skye including the Black Cuillin, though they still had cloud hats on. Blaven and Garbh Bheinn, which had been our other potential hills for the day, were both still in cloud confirming that we had made a good choice of hill.
The climb up to Beinn Dearg Mhor did not take long and was not difficult despite its pointy conical appearance. Mum was slightly put off by the steep slope of Glamaig which looked vertical from where we sat eating our lunch (we still had some hot cross buns although we had no rolls!). The climb down Beinn Dearg Mhor was somewhat more hairy, and a bit unexpected by both of us. It is a very steep scree slope, worse than that of Glamaig. At one point I got a bit ahead and turned round to find Mum out of sight up the hill behind me. I called out her name to no reply and briefly panicked but only 2 steps to the right I found that I could see her only a little way off - the wind having presumably made my shouts inaudible.
Down on the bealach I convinced Mum to at least try going up Glamaig, and that we would have a low threshold of turning round. Looking back at Beinn Dearg Mhor it actually looked more vertical than the slopes we were now starting to climb, and we had managed to descend that although it was not particularly pleasant. In actual fact the ascent was fine, and we made good time in reaching the grassy summit. The ridge to An Coileach beckoned, but neither of us fancied the walk back to the car along the edge of the road so as the walk highland’s route suggested we headed back to the bealach and down the river valley. The descent was easier than that of Beinn Dearg Mhor and we were bathed in sunshine so were in no hurry. Mum was rather pleased to have gone up Glamaig and it gave both of us more confidence about what we could achieve. From the bealach we looked across to the cuillins which were finally free of cloud.
Near the bottom of the river valley we looked up to see an eagle soaring high above us, Mum had brought binoculars so we had good views. It was a bit of a trudge back to the car, but it was good to be in the sun and the views were spectacular.
Back at the car we decided the sunny afternoon was too good to waste, so we explored around the Old Man of Storr before heading back to Broadford. The busy path at the Old Man of Storr was a complete contrast to the earlier hills, which we had enjoyed completely on our own. All in all it was probably the best day I had enjoyed on Skye so far, with the winning combination of blue skies and good hills.
On enquiry at the co-op we were very pleased to be able to re-claim our rolls and Irn bru - for the next day’s exploits on Blaven.
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