walkhighlands

Read other users walk reports for the long distance trails - and add your own.

NB. This board is for reports on multi-day long distance routes - reports on simply long walks should be added to the standard boards.

Serena and Anna on a lovely walk...

Serena and Anna on a lovely walk...


Postby annaannsnastaitean » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:37 pm

Route description: Skye Trail

Date walked: 12/04/2016

Time taken: 6 days

Distance: 128 km

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Blanket advice, because I know that's why people read these trip reports:
-Print out the explicit walking instructions given on this site for at least day 1, 4, 5, and 6. They serve as a fantastic supplement to a proper map and compass
-You know how everyone says not to attempt Trotternish unless conditions are good? You should probably listen to that (see below).
-If you don't know what a bog looks like, google it now. If you aren't okay with wading into at least one, this probably isn't the trail for you
-We started off fairly worried about finding drinking water, food supplies, etc. Don't be worried. Especially compared to backpacking elsewhere (USA) finding essential goods is easy!
-I don't know if I'm allowed to endorse this, but hitchhiking was so useful for us. If you miss a bus, stick out that thumb (but be safe about it).


Day 1: Rubha Hunish to Flodigarry:
This is a day I was very glad we had written instructions, as well as a map! It helps to be able to look for landmarks like phone boxes and stiles. Beautiful views on Rubha Hunish, definitely take the time to wander down there-- the highlight of the day, besides the sunshine! Nice wild camping right across the road from the Flodigarry Hotel, which is a great place to refill water bottles and grab tea/scones/a pint/ all of the above

Day 2: Flodigarry to the Storr
When we woke up, conditions were not ideal. We decided to just stroll to the ridge top in the lovely hail and snow and then head back down and hitch into Portree. However, after walking through the lovely, if barely visible Quiraing, the snow lifted! The hail stopped! Not a cloud in the Skye! And what's more-- the snow was so light on the ridgeline, there was no need for crampons! So despite knowing that potentially, conditions could get worse (we had checked the weather in Portree several days ago, and knew on and off rain was predicted) we decided to have a go. What a glorious view, an amazing ridgeline. We were ecstatic, having so much fun. And then, about 14 miles in, I spotted a storm cloud. We increased our speed to no avail-- it soon caught up, and I had the very character-building experience of navigating down near Storr in zero visibility blizzard using a compass to ensure we didn't perish, which is inadvisable. But her, here we are, still alive, with lots of increased character. But, in all seriousness-- this ridge is beautiful. Do it. But only in good weather. We were so emotionally exhausted, we hitched a ride back to Portree and collapsed in the Independent Hostel there.

Day 3: Portree to Portree
Got up, physically and emotionally exhausted. Had a long chat with some people who had done the hike from Storr to Portree and fallen neck-deep in a bog. Having fallen knee deep into a bog while on this trail, and having no desire to repeat or increase the experience, Serena and I decided to forgo the boggy section and just hike from Portree up the sea cliffs, and along the sea cliffs until bogs seemed to approach near Storr. Call us cheaters, if you will, but it was a lovely day with only a bit of hail and the same mileage. Amazing views from the Portree section of the trail.

Day 4: Portree to Sligachan
Honestly trying to remember much from this day, but we went through much of this hike with the Sligachan Hotel on the brain, as everyone we met hiking was raving about the place (for good reason, YUM). Some neat history, some nice views. Pretty decent weather, on and off rain. Pitched a tent in the campsite there, and then traded it out for the bunkhouse in the increasing winds and pouring rain.

Day 5: Sligachan to Elgol:
I really enjoyed this section of the hike (favorite?), through a lovely valley with the famous Cuillins on either side (read Mountaineering in Scotland by WH Murray, geek out, repeat). It is beautiful, and very easy path finding. The Blue Shed tea house was an amazing stop near the end of our hike-- great wild camping (definitely favorite camping spot) a little past Elgol.

Day 6: Elgol to Broadford:
Here we deviated again from the Skye trail plan, as Serena found a brilliant shortcut: a fire road that cuts out the end of the peninsula with Torrin, leading to a very long (20ish miles) but worthwhile hike-- you also miss much of the road hiking to get into Torrin, instead sticking to some beautiful views in the hills. Got into Broadford in time to eat some pizza and catch the bus to Fort William, and our next adventure-- the West Highland Way!
annaannsnastaitean
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Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 29, 2016

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