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The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na Stri

The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na Stri


Postby Lenore » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:53 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Sgurr na Stri

Date walked: 19/07/2013

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 900m

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Since my first munro ascent a year ago, I've been dreaming of camping high up catching sunset and sunrise. I've seen some stunning photo's on this site and on Talk Highlands; as magical as the hills are on a good day, night fall and dawn must be even better! I've done quite a few early morning walks here in the Netherlands, walking out before dawn to catch the earliest light on camera. Could I find a way to do the same on the hills?

I regularly walk and camp alone, but have done only a few munro's, so the search was on for a hill with minimum difficulty and maximum reward :lol: Last April I read malky_c's stellar report on his summit camp on Sgurr na Stri on Skye (http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=30175), and after re-reading, checking the map, and reading this report another half dozen times I felt confident that I could amend this route to make it within my capabilities. Skye it would be then!!

I set out from Broadford (took the bus towards Elgol) at 7.30, with no hope of 'beating the heat' as this morning was already uncomfortably hot. The first stage, Kilmarie - Camasunary, was straightforward and uneventful. Soon I was looking down into Camasunary bay with Sgurr na Stri and a glimpse of the Cuillin behind:

Image
DSC08882 by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Low tide being the best time to cross the river behind the bothy, and the day's walk only going to the top of Sgurr na Stri, I had a lot of time to take a break and wander around the beach. Had lunch on the shaded porch of Camasunary bothy, waving at the occasional walker passing by towards the path to Loch Coruisk via the bad step. (a route I'm much too scared to take!)

The bothy at Camasunary bay:

Image
DSC08898 by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Done eating and lazing about I walked a bit upstream so I could cross the river flowing into the bay with dry feet and then spent some time staring up and checking for the best route. WH user DonnyW said to go up just left of Sgurr Hain and though pathless, the going would not be easy enough on a dry day.

I went up near the back of the coire and ended up just left of the rocky bump in between the two hills on this picture as that got me up on the bealach a bit closer to the summit:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

I must confess this was the part of the route I was most worried about. I was carrying a backpack of about 17kg as I was on Skye for two weeks, and it must have been nearing 30 degrees. Technically, it turned out easier than I thought and it was easy to find a good route up. The hill was bone dry, so no slipping about on boggy ground. It was hot, though!! In the end I was walking 10 minutes, then stopping 5, etc. I took it easy, drank a lot of water, and made slow but steady progress. Once up on the bealach I found a fresh stream coming down Sgurr na Stri, and sat in it for about half an hour :lol: I didn't move until I had thoroughly cooled down and drank my fill.

Then it was an easy trek up the hill over big slabs of rock. I scouted a good spot for my tent about 5 - 10 minutes below the summit, dumped all the gear and just sat soaking in the view. Wow! I had walked around Loch Coruisk the day before (coming on the Bella Jane from Elgol), but up here was something different alright!

Gazing down (now all covered up as I was starting to get sunburned):

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

The sun was scorching, so I quickly pitched the tent and then walked up to the summit where I lay in the only shade I could find: the massive summit cairn! some good views towards the mainland from here but with the heat it was too hazy for my camera to pick out much but fuzzy hills. As the sun was slowly setting I went back to the tent. And what a spot! Not only the Cuillin and Loch Coruisk:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Also Eigg and Rum:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Marsco (I would climb this a few days later), Blaven:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

And as I ate a late dinner, the sun dipped behind the Cuillin and night approached:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

In Pinn?:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

And as the moon rose,

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

I could just make out the Storr in the distance:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

It was one of the most intense evenings I've had. The views were all I could have hoped for. The solitude as welcome as it was difficult. I don't think I've ever been more aware of being so utterly alone. Nor so aware that I would probably never camp in such an enchanted spot again. I was reluctant to go to bed, but a week's walking got the better of me. Needless to say I didn't sleep much as every time I turned around I had those hills to gaze at.

It never fully got dark with that big moon and so little time between sunset and sunrise. Before I knew it the first signs of sunrise were upon me:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

The Cuillin ridge turned red:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

My tent and the ridge:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

A few individual hills:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Towards Glen Sligachan and the Trotternish ridge in back:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Playing with the pano setting on my camera:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

And then the sun broke the crest of Blaven:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

Absolutely no wind and no ripple on the water; Loch Coruisk seemed like quick silver. So different from the night before!

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

As soon as the sun was up it started to get very hot up there, so I packed up my gear, cooked breakfast, and was off the hill towards Glen Sligachan at about 8. I had originally planned to camp another night near the foot of Marsco, but the lack of wind made me think it would be a buggy nightmare down there. There had been enough midges up on Sgurr na Stri to annoy me! The thought of such an anti-climactic night (for how could it be anything like the night before?!) and the insane heat made me walk on through the glen to the 'safety' of Sligachan bunkhouse (and showers!!!). One last look:

Image
Cuillin from Sgurr na Stri by Eleonora F, on Flickr

I've gone a bit overboard with the photo's on the this report, but I couldn't help myself! :D What a trip. I can stop camping now. Done :lol:


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Lenore
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby foggieclimber » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:08 pm

Fantastic photos from one of the best viewpoints in Scotland. Must have been great camping up there.
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby dooterbang » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:19 pm

I think this would also constitute as being "stellar" :wink:

Don't think I would've slept much either with all that beauty.

Stunning photos.

Well done.
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby blueyed » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:02 pm

wow. amazing photos, especially the sunrise ones! well done!
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:37 pm

Fantastic ..so glad you got to do this mountain in good weather and get those stunning views ..one of my favourite mountains :) :clap: :D
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:42 pm

Stunning, must be one of the best views in Scotland. :D
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:44 pm

I cannot believe it, this is so spooky!, I'm checking out a lot of hills routes just now as I'm heading over to Skye in a couple of weeks for the Summer Meet of WH, and I have just read malkys report, and the first report after reading it, I see yours! I bet that made up for the dissapoinment of the Trotternish ridge being in clag! Some wonderful photographs and what a wild camp setting, very envious of you. Who needs munros when you get walks like that, marvellous :D
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby malky_c » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:22 pm

Yes - another one of these 8) :D . Brilliant report, and looks like you got twice as much sun action as I did (my sunset was nothing special). Probably one of my favourite hills now.
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby mrssanta » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:52 pm

oh my oh my I gotta do that one day! :lol:
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby litljortindan » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:55 pm

Superb. I have a lot of nice memories of this hill and of Camasunary.

81050012v2.jpg
from a visit in 2004


Our trip there on a hot May day in 2011:
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:01 pm

Sgurr na Stri must have some of the best views anywhere in the world,I need to sample them before my time is up.
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:22 pm

Pure Magic Lenore, what a trip out, I so must climb this hill one day :clap:
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby Silverhill » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:28 pm

Stunning Lenore! You picked a good day for that!! :D
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby rockhopper » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:54 pm

Magic :thumbup: No wonder you were so chuffed with yourself.

Can remember being up on Sgurr a’Mhadaidh a few days after this looking down the loch to Sgurr na Stri thinking how good a site it would make for a camp - hope I get as good conditions as you if and when I do make it - cheers :)
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Re: The stuff that dreams are made of - high camp Sgurr na S

Postby Collaciotach » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:02 pm

Superb photographs and a craicing spot to camp looking over na h eileanan beaga .... my home islands :D
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