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An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up


Postby denfinella » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:41 am

Route description: The Sgurr of Eigg

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: An Sgurr (Eigg)

Date walked: 24/08/2016

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 400m

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I'd been looking at the logistics of a weekend on Eigg for a while. But entire free weekends for both of us are a rare event. Add in the requirement for good weather and availability of last-minute accommodation on a west coast island with a population of under 100, and perhaps it's no surprise the right ingredients never seemed to come together. But then I discovered there's a summer passenger ferry from Arisaig which, on certain days, allows a full day on the island - making a day trip much more feasible than with the CalMac sailing from Mallaig. That solved the accommodation problem... and three days off allowed a couple of days afterwards to explore Ardnamurchan.

An early start from Glasgow was a little painful as we'd driven up from London the day before. From the capital to picturesque Arisaig in 24 hours was quite a contrast. Onto a packed ferry under brilliant blue skies and with an exciting day in store:

1.jpg


The ferry was due to dock on Eigg at noon before coming back at 5pm. Five hours seemed enough both to climb An Sgurr and visit the caves on the south side of the island, although it was a bit tight. In the end we docked a little late, but with multiple harbour porpoises and dozens of seals seen from the boat, we weren't complaining.


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



Considering how full the boat had been, everyone spread out surprisingly quickly upon landing on Eigg. Climbing up from the coast immediately gave good views back over the long, new slipway:

2.jpg


Most of the walk to the summit is straightforward with very few steep sections. The first stretch of track climbs gently through trees. After rounding a corner and heading into the open, there's a fantastic view of An Sgurr ahead.

3.jpg


The track passes the houses in the picture above before the summit path forks off to the right. The heather was flowering but the bracken was starting to go brown, giving a lovely mix of colours.

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Good views across to the north-east side of Eigg:

6.jpg


The path reaches the base of An Sgurr's cliffs without ever becoming steep, with only a couple of short boggy patches to watch out for.

7.jpg


The path passes underneath the north side of An Sgurr. It was hot in the sunshine, but the cliffs are so sheer that the path was in the shade even at lunchtime in August! We stopped to have lunch in the cool air, although after we'd been there for 10 minutes or so, a few midges started sniffing around signalling an abrupt end to lunch. A little further on, a break in the cliffs allows an easy ascent onto a low point on the main ridge.

View over a scattering of lochs from the ascent route:

8.jpg


The top of An Sgurr is hardly a "ridge" at all, but it's made interesting by all the exposed pitchstone. There a couple of odd steep bits where you might need to use the odd hand, but otherwise it's easy going to the summit.

Muck:

9.jpg


Rum - still cloud covered!

10.jpg


Along the ridge towards the summit:

11.jpg


Even at the summit there's no feeling of exposure at all unless you continue just beyond the trig point to where the ground drops away. Not a bad viewpoint, although the number of people at the top (presumably people staying on the island - they hadn't come from the ferry!) detracted just a little.

12.jpg


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Back down by the same route, leaving us plenty of time (in the end) to head to the caves. As the An Sgurr: more straightforward but just as special as we'd hoped for.

16.jpg


Caves report here.
Last edited by denfinella on Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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denfinella
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby Jaxter » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:03 pm

I saw this hill from the mainland a few weeks who and thought it looked awesome. I worked out and added it straight to the "things to do when knee is better" list. Your report only pushes it higher up the list! What a cracking wee hill :D
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby dogplodder » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:27 pm

We were there on a good day in May - but your photos with the purple heather and golden bracken are superb and even better than we got! :D
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby John Doh » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:12 pm

Fantastic pictures :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby litljortindan » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:28 pm

What vibrant colours, this has got me thinking of Eigg too especially with that Arisaig ferry providing another option for getting there.
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby rockhopper » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:48 pm

Magic - what a great day for it ! - cheers :)
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby denfinella » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:00 pm

Jaxter wrote:I saw this hill from the mainland a few weeks who and thought it looked awesome. I worked out and added it straight to the "things to do when knee is better" list. Your report only pushes it higher up the list! What a cracking wee hill :D


Thanks Jaxter - hope you get a good day for it when you do manage to go.

dogplodder wrote:We were there on a good day in May - but your photos with the purple heather and golden bracken are superb and even better than we got! :D


Thanks dogplodder - yes, we got a good day for it!

John Doh wrote:Fantastic pictures :clap: :clap: :clap:


Thank you!

litljortindan wrote:What vibrant colours, this has got me thinking of Eigg too especially with that Arisaig ferry providing another option for getting there.


Yes - Arisaig ferry does seem to be the only way to visit for a single day. The boat only runs over the summer and the timetabling means it only works a couple of days a week. Also, book in advance - they ran out of spaces for people who just turned up on the day.

rockhopper wrote:Magic - what a great day for it ! - cheers :)


We were very lucky!
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby malky_c » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:37 pm

Lovely 8) . Great colours as well. Definitely want to sornd some time on Eigg, with going up An Sgurr being a priority. We stopped in on the way back from Rum at the beginning of August and it was tempting to grab my stuff and get off the ferry :lol: .

I think you can use the Calmac service for a day trip on Mondays, with a similar amount of time on the island.
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby Sunset tripper » Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:37 pm

You got some really good pictures there. Eigg is one of my favourite islands and the Sgurr is a great hill. We got the ferry from Mallaig a few years back in fairly rough weather it was touch and go if the ferry was going to sail I think.
It was quite entertaining watching the cars on the ferry waiting for the waves to subside momentarily and then making a break for it.
This picture doesn't really show how rough it was. :D
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby denfinella » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:44 pm

malky_c wrote:Lovely 8) . Great colours as well. Definitely want to sornd some time on Eigg, with going up An Sgurr being a priority. We stopped in on the way back from Rum at the beginning of August and it was tempting to grab my stuff and get off the ferry :lol: .

I think you can use the Calmac service for a day trip on Mondays, with a similar amount of time on the island.


I've checked the timetable and you're quite right - hadn't noticed the Monday possibility. Haven't got to Rum (or any of the other Small Isles for that matter) yet - on my to-do list!

Sunset tripper wrote:You got some really good pictures there. Eigg is one of my favourite islands and the Sgurr is a great hill. We got the ferry from Mallaig a few years back in fairly rough weather it was touch and go if the ferry was going to sail I think.
It was quite entertaining watching the cars on the ferry waiting for the waves to subside momentarily and then making a break for it.
This picture doesn't really show how rough it was. :D


:shock: That looks very dodgy! And was that even with the new pier?
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Re: An Sgurr - Eigg sunny side up

Postby Neal Robertson » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:42 pm

We're bringing dogs, were there sheep around?
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