I'd rate this route as 1 out of 4, the wife would probably say 3, so lets compromise at 2 out of 4 then.
We actually started off from Glen Morrison and drove to Skye, weather looked good, Ive never seen the sun shine on Skye before so it would be a rare event for us. Maybe i was a little naive thinking mid march, out of season (lets face it lots of touristy stuff opens April - Oct, and it was also Sunday so even more stuff closed wouldn't it ? ), we arrived there at 10:00 and surprised to see car park full and lay-by filling up with cars, mini-busses and coachs. The Forrest has gone, cut down for replanting with native species, so you could see for miles in all directions. I never actually followed the route given, or bothered with GPS or even a map !. Just good sturdy mountain boots, waterproofs (as i know it can sometimes rain in highlands same way it does in Lake District), hat (hell, it was cold day) and gloves and off we went - along with all the other tourists.
It wasnt long before we encountered them, you know who I mean the tourists who've just got off a bus in flimsy canvas plimsols, afterall its only a short walk, nothing can go wrong can it ?. They dont appear to realise that its quite a rocky path, steep and you could easily trip, sprain or break an ankle and go tumbling down the fell-side (and theres no trees to break your fall now). Then there was a few rather large american tourists sat on stones gasping for air followed by the spanish ones who in broken English asked "where is the Old Man", i pointed it out as the big stone pinnacle directly in front of them. They then asked "which one ?" followed by which way do you go to get there ?. We carry on and veer off to the left to avoid as many people as possible and come back down a slightly different route only to encounter some Indian tourists struggling up and the person at the back was really struggling and looked quite distressed saying she couldnt do it, her friends response being to take photos of her and taunt her, with friends like that who needs enemies. A little later on a coastguard helicopter comes in directly in front of old man but i'd put my camera away. Hope it was just an exercise and not one of the ill-prepared people we'd passed.
In a way I kind of feel sorry for the people who live on Skye and have to put up with tourists me included, although i do try to keep as out of the way as possible and have as little impact as possible. I know people on Skye where trying to get funding for better facilities for tourists but that might just draw more in so dont know what the solution is as Its only going to get worse the same way it is here in the Lake District. The other issue is how many of those on the coaches spend money in local area, certainly not on a sunday when most shops are closed ?
From down the road, one of the best distance shots (i think)
starting off and looking up
looking back towards the south with a few nice clouds appearing
sun just coming out a little (had to paint out a few tourists and the wife who was stood in the way)
My advice would be to go out of season, ie Dec - Feb and just have crampons, ice axe and all the usual gear just in case OR get there at or just before sunrise when hopefully its much quieter.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.