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The Lost World - Quiraing

The Lost World - Quiraing


Postby Salahuddin » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:46 pm

Route description: Quiraing, hill circuit

Date walked: 10/07/2010

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 4 km

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Whilst up in and around Skye i read up about this place and knew their must be something special about it, the descriptions of weird, atmospheric and enticing beauty, to me was far to much temptation....

Dornie 2010 109.JPG
A quick snap of The Old Man Of Storr from the car on the drive up.


The walk was initially supposed to be a full circuit however the weather was bad, REAL bad (and this is Skye we are talking about) very windy, very wet and very little visibilty at the top. So instead we headed directly to the heart of the Quiraing and chose to return the same way missing out on the great views from above but still salvaging the day journey up to the north of Skye.

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Looking south from the Car Park


The distance was close to 4km and with lots of playtime in and around the 'Table' this also added time to our journey hence 3.5 hours.

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Views from the start


I felt the worst part was the drive up to Trotternish from Dornie (near Kyle of Lochalsh) it was a journey dotted with single lane roads that punished my cars suspension. However all this was well worth it once we got there.

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Views facing East


The car park was very quiet which was understandable considering the weather, looking out onto the cliff tops we felt perhaps walking along the ridge top would not be such a great idea especially as we were gps/mapless so we stuck to the well trodden direct path to the Quiraing.

SG1L0658.JPG
Nearing the Quiraing with our wooly guide


The first sign of life we came across were of the the 4-legged wooly variety and i could have swore the first sheep i came across gave me a look, then looked at where we were going, then looked at the sky, looked back at me and gave out a sarcastic baa....

The weather cleared a little and the walk out was classic hillwalking terrain, no real steep sections enroute however a couple of minor gullys to cross which were gushing water but i guess in better conditions they would be far easier to cross. One gully will pose problems to inexperienced scramblers especially in wet conditions and its about 1/3 of the way there. care should be taken as it is very slippery and involves taking your hands out your pockets. :)

The cloud lifted as we approached the wide 'gentle' scree slope just between The Prison and The Needle, again no real problems but the first thing that hits you is the geology of the place. strange monoliths rising from the ground that when saturated by water turn a fascinating dark grey/black shade.

Dornie 2010 131.JPG
At the section between The Prison and The Needle, nice and quiet one of the few benefits of bad weather and an early start.


At the top between The Prison and The Needle a small cairn greets you and just passed this on the left is a very eroded path up the scree slope which is very steep and loose especially in the wet. Do not let this put you off, the climb is quite short and WELL worth getting into the heart of the Quiraing and up to the table.

Dornie 2010 136.JPG
Trying to give you an idea of how big that needle is...


The top of the climb you will emerge to the left of the needle as your heading up (the south of it) then another very short climb into 'The lost world' I am sure i saw a pterodactyl flying past as we entered the unknown. 8)

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Moody conditions, Im pointing at the Pterodactyl that flew by....


Dornie 2010 142.JPG
Im telling you honey, i saw something!


Dornie 2010 166.JPG
"Get down theres nothing up there you fool!"(wife)


Easily one of the most memorable places i have been there are many paths that wind around the monoliths that you can explore each has great views at the end of them. One place you must get to is 'The Table' an obvious picnic spot.

SG1L0677.JPG
Views northeast from The Table.


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Spoilt for choice


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Giants pillars of rock give a claustrophobic feel to the place


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The place is littered with tracks leading to allsorts of funky locations


I wanted to stay and play all day but we had other places to be that evening, the elusive Pterodactyl will be found one day...

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Im sure the pointy rock on the left is the Pterodactyl's hideout...


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One day we shall meet again Mr Pterodactyl....


The route of return was simply retracing our steps. I was gutted not to be able to go around and up to the top but on the way back we passed a sheep who had took a wrong turn at the top and now lay motionless in a little sheep shaped crater. We took the sheeps demise as an omen and realised we probably did the right thing....

SG1L0727.JPG
A classic shot of what to expect in the Quiraing but obviously you have to see it for yourself to appreciate it fully.
Salahuddin
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Re: The Lost World - Quiraing

Postby trickeyja » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:22 am

A very interesting report on what looks to be a very unique mountain, thanks.
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Re: The Lost World - Quiraing

Postby Barnety2000 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:16 pm

Yes the Quiraing is certainly a geological paradise! It is easy to imagine that all sorts of prehistoric creatures live there. Shame about the weather though. If you climbed this on the 10 July then this was the day I was in the western Mamores and we had a dry day there until late on with little wind. Amazing how local mountain weather can be!
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Re: The Lost World - Quiraing

Postby Salahuddin » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:21 am

Yeah, we hired a lodge in nearby Dornie in order to explore a bit of Torridon/Applecross/Skye and Kintail over the course of 7 days but we had only 2 decent days of weather :(

I actually remember the week we went up and it was literally a batch of rain cloud above the region but most elsewhere was sunny with some showers :shock:

So all the walks we did up there this year were wet at some point or like the Quiraing throughout...Ive been to Skye now, 3 times in 3 years and every time the weather has been bad im sure im cursed. :lol:

legend has it that a large warm orange circle appears in the sky above the island once every 12 months and strange wonderful things start to happen the locals begin to shed there skin, The Black Cuillins turn Chalky White and vast plateaus of desert terrain grip the island...

I hope next year when im up there (gunning for the In-Pinn) the weather is better and i get to see these delights but to be honest i still love the place no matter the weather and everyone owes it to themselves to visit these areas at least once. 8)
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Re: The Lost World - Quiraing

Postby Barnety2000 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:15 pm

Yes, I believe Skye does get some of the worst weather. :( I went up there a few years ago in July and the first 2 days were quite wet (got soaked going up to the Old Man of Storr), and were due to head back after those 2 days but heard of better weather on the following monday, so we stayed a third day. And boy was it worth it. A glorious day, and to see the spiky Cuillin completely free of clouds was an experience! :D

Based on my experiences, I believe May is the best time of year to go climbing in the western Highlands- you can still be unlucky but there is normally a spell of 1-2 weeks of predominantly good weather. And there is still a pleasant amount of snow on the peaks! :D
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