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Skye - Some Red Cuillin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:12 am
by weaselmaster
Day 1 – Skye – Beinn Dearg Mhor
Day 2 – Skye – Marsco

Day 3 & 4 – Skye – Trotternish Ridge
Day 5 – Harris – Uisgebhal Mhor
Day 6 – Harris – Oirebhal and Tiogra Mor
Day 7 – Harris/Lewis – Rest Day
Day 8 – South Uist – Beinn Mhor & Thecla
Day 9 – Skye – Glas Bheinn Mhor and Belig
Day 10 – Skye – Skye – Sgurr a’Bhasteir, Sgurr a’Fionn Choire, Bruath Na Frithe
Day 11 – Raasay – Dun Caan
Day 12 – Skye – Kylerhea Hills
Day 13 – Skye – Sgurr Beag
Day 14 – Skye – Sgurr nan Eag
Day 15 – Skye – Beinn Dearg Mhor & Beinn na Caillich
Day 16 – Skye – Sgurr nan each

Well this was our summer holiday 16. Still quaking a little from the memories of the same 2 weeks last year when we went to do the Sutherland Corbetts in what turned out to be a dreadful summer with 1 good day out of 16. I remember it being -10 at the top of Breabag in the icy wind. Gulp. Skye was the central character in our drama this year, supplemented by trips to Harris and South Uist. We had some Grahams to get done but also wanted to have a bit of fun on some of the other hills, without slavishly sticking to a schedule (well that was the script :wink: ). This had been meant to be our opportunity to do the cuillin Ridge traverse, before Allison's back went, so it was good to even be on this hallowed Isle of mountains under the circumstances.

We drove up to Skye after the Island had basked in a heatwave - the hottest place in the northern hemisphere or galaxy or something - anyway just our luck to have missed it, we thought. Heavy rain had been forecast for the evening and an unsettled period over the following 7-10 days...just typical :lol: We made Sligachan around 6.30pm, found a busy campsite, pitched on a hump near the river and slipped over to the Sligachan Hotel for our tea - absolutely jumping! rain started about 9 and continued overnight. we woke to wet grass, clouds down and puddles - happy holidays :lol:

Wet morning at the slig
ImageP1130037 by Al, on Flickr

Day 1 was reserved for something easy - the Beinn Deargs. Bad weather last year had led to us doing Glamaig without adding on these hills. I hoped we'd see something of them as we set off, but it didn't look very promising. We deliberately left it late before starting out in the hope the rain would diminish, and left on foot from the campsite after 10am. We turned off the main path through Gleann Sligachan through a gate and followed the Allt Dariach making for the start of the horseshoe and heading up Druim na Ruaige. Easy grassy slopes led on up to the first top, Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach (a simm). The clouds had lifted by this time giving a fine view of the pointy peak of Beinn Dearg Mhor. We also had atmospheric glimpses of Garbh Bheinn and Belig. As we walked back from Mheadhonach and along the ridge to Mhor the sky started to clear with blue patches showing through. Clag surrounded us at the summit however, and we nearly took the western shoulder rather than heading to Bealach na Sgairde. Correcting my mistake we managed a descent. Had conditions been clearer I'd have pressed on back to Glamaig, as we saw nothing last time, but clag persisted up there, so we simply descended down the Big Tongue and had a boggy walk back to the track. By this time we had more consistent sunshine and the mountains smiled for us. A tiny bird chased a cuckoo overhead.

ImageP1130040 by Al, on Flickr

Druim na Ruaige
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A pleasant sunny evening followed, allowing us to dry our kit. I spent some time taking pictures of the surrounding scenery, which - you have to admit - is not a bad place to look out on in the long light of early summer evenings.

ImageP1130057 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130058 by Al, on Flickr

It's no a bad campsite, is it?
ImageP1130059 by Al, on Flickr

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ImageP1130073 by Al, on Flickr

marscoo.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Our second day and we were sticking to local Red Cuillin. Marsco was our choice today. An intriguing hill that has a different face from each side. Once again there were morning clouds but they steadily cleared as the day grew. A pleasant walk down Gleann Sligachan, quite a few walkers making their way to Coruisk. We turned off to our left up the Allt na Measarroch, following an old fence line. Slow progress as the trail was boggy in places. We followed the river to the bealach with the Beinn Deargs, gaining some good views of Sgurr nan Gillean from a different angle in the process. We paused at the foot of Marsco to scope out the best route up. Having chosen, we went on for a bit then stopped for lunch - enjoying the warm sunshine.

ImageP1130077 by Al, on Flickr

Marsco side on - we ascended along the side of the central gully
ImageP1130083 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Dearg
ImageP1130085 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130088 by Al, on Flickr

The way was steep and we had to pick our path through boulderfields in places. Reaching the summit ridge the jaw gaped open at the fantastic views revealed of the Black Cuillin. We walked out to the northern cairn then backtracked and ascended to the surprisingly airy summit. Great views over to the Clach Glas ridge. We continued south over flat grassy ground - a fine place for a summit camp this would be. We walked to the southern extreme of the ridge then backtracked and followed an old fence line back down to the Mam a Phobuill. We returned back along the Allt na Measarroch, stopping to plunge our hot toes into the cool waters - heaven! As we walked back up Gleann Sligachan, the coastguard copter was doing manoeuvers from near the mountain rescue base. We prepared for an early start the following day on the Trotternish Ridge.

To the summit
ImageP1130093 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130094 by Al, on Flickr

Clach Glas/Bla Bheinn
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beliggbm.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

We now turn to Day 9 - just back from the Loch Maddy ferry we drove down to Sligachan again. The site was mobbed. Bank Holiday weekend I guess. We managed to find a place to pitch then decided to set off and get some hills in. Allison still had Belig to do - I'd combined it with Garbh Bheinn back at Eastertime. I was keen to try a different route to the standard one and thought combining it with Glas Bheinn Mhor would be a pleasant change to the boggy trail up from Loch Ainort. And it would grab us a Marilyn en route :lol: We parked at the old road at Luib and set off - a gentle stroll up an easy grassy slope, then following an old wall running along the crest of Glas Bheinn Mhor. The sky was quite hazy with some cloud sitting on the main ridge but it was a fab day to be out. At the summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor the whole Cuillin Ridge opened up before us. Then down to the bealach with Belig. We had decided to go up to the 637 spot height which involved easy scrambling and short sections of scree. On the grassy ridge to the summit it was a simple matter to get to the cairn. A most enjoyable ascent.

Way up Glas Bheinn Mhor
ImageDSC00689 by Al, on Flickr

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Summit Glas Bheinn Mhor
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To Belig summit
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ImageDSC00714 by Al, on Flickr

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Descent was chosen to be back to the bealach with Glas Bheinn Mhor then down the hillside east to Strath Mor. Heather covered slopes made for reasonable progress - every so often the way would be impeded by the slash of a stream coming down the hillside. Picked up a cracking stag's skull with antlers intact - I'm having that I thought and attached it to my rucksack, causing several near misses by poking Allison when I turned round :lol: Down in the glen we followed the track back out to Luib and spent the evening gazing out at the vista in front of us - Gillean, Glamaig and all.

ImageDSC00719 by Al, on Flickr

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ImageDSC00722 by Al, on Flickr

calli.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Day 15, our penultimate day of holiday, was spent climbing the Beinn na Caillich horseshoe. Again - I'd done these hills from Old Corry back in April and was keen to try a different approach. My " Walks on Skye" book suggested an approach from Strollamus which was slightly longer but avaoided the steep scree descent off Beinn Dearg Mhor and had less elevation in total. Seemed reasonable. We parked up at the start of the old road and walked by the farm through an avenue of beech trees. We came to the old bridge and set off up the right hand bank of the Allt Strollamus. We passed a group of young people who looked like they were out for a bit of navigation practice up these hills- I reckoned the instructor was **** off to find other folk going ahead to give the youngsters a line...

ImageDSC00907 by Al, on Flickr

We follwed the river up into Coire Garbh then took a grassy runnel up Creagan Dubh to the 535 point. From there it was easy going to the summit of Beinn Dearg Mhor, where we stopped for a sandwich, enjoying good views of Bla Bheinn and the ridge. From here it was very easy to see the demarcation between the Red and Black Cuillin. It grew hotter and humid, hazier out to sea so that Rum was almost disappearing. Dropping down the ridge to Beinn na Caillich we saw the youths making their way to the top of Dearg. We reached the huge cairn on Caillich - said to contain the body of a Norweigan princess and her pot of gold - there are really a few too many stones to move to find her though. We continued down the N shoulder, scree and boulders at an easy gradient. Back to the river then following our ascent path back to the car. Another fine day out. We drove to the Co-Op in Broadford for some provisions for our tea and then back to the campsite for our final night of holiday

ImageDSC00908 by Al, on Flickr

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The Red...and the Black
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Descent route
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Re: Skye - Some Red Cuillin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:49 am
by BlackPanther
You were so lucky with weather this year :D I think it makes up for last summer's misery...

Some of my favourite Skye hills here. I like your approach to Beinn na Caillich (we did the classic route from the south).

Re: Skye - Some Red Cuillin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:35 pm
by Alteknacker
Good to see you had some good weather after last year. Skye has to be the finest place on the planet when the weather gods are kindly minded.

I was on Bla Beinn and the Cuillin Ridge around the bank holiday, and it was certainly brilliant weather then. Nice to see the pics of Belig and that area - we must have been on it at more or less the same time!!!

Re: Skye - Some Red Cuillin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:13 pm
by Collaciotach
Ah wondered where u'd got too :wink:

Nice trip :clap: :clap:

Re: Skye - Some Red Cuillin

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:31 am
by weaselmaster
Alteknacker wrote:Good to see you had some good weather after last year. Skye has to be the finest place on the planet when the weather gods are kindly minded.

I was on Bla Beinn and the Cuillin Ridge around the bank holiday, and it was certainly brilliant weather then. Nice to see the pics of Belig and that area - we must have been on it at more or less the same time!!!

yeah - I read your report and felt like a complete wimp - we went up Sgurr nan Each on the last day of the trip and looked at the traverse, but no way I'm doing that without a bit of assistance :lol:

There seemed quite a few WHers were up in Skye over that time from the trip reports- not that we met any others

Re: Skye - Some Red Cuillin

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:08 pm
by Huff_n_Puff
Brilliant photos, looks like a really great trip. :D