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Heaven on Skye

Heaven on Skye

Postby wilkiemurray » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:23 pm

Route description: Sgurr na Stri

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

Date walked: 13/02/2016

Time taken: 24 hours

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Film of trip here :

As Wish Lists go, a wild camp on top of one of Scotland’s finest viewpoints has always been near the top for me. Skye is one of my favourite locations and the viewpoint from Sgurr na Stri was meant to be one of the best places to observe the majesty of the Cuillin.

Previously I had climbed to near Sgurr Hain from Elgol, and also made it to Druim Hain from Sligachan in years gone by, but I had yet to reach the summit of Sgurr na Stri… Years passed and this adventure remained stuck to the top of the Bucket List ….. until now. The stars had lined up perfectly……

1- A green light from the wife to have two days in the mountains…
2- Fitness almost back at 100% post knee surgery….
3- The urge to wild camp (it had been months since the last outing)…
4- Maybe most importantly- a strong easterly breeze….

Another long work week and I was sure to get an early night on Friday to ready me for an early morning start on the Saturday – wrong! 02.00am and I finally got to sleep for the alarm to wake me 3.5hrs later- maybe it was the excitement and trepidation of what lay ahead!

The next obstacle was the conditions- heavy snow greeted me north of Perth and care was required, past Pitlochry and things started to look up and fall into place….

Glen Shiel greeted me with white peaks and blue skies and these conditions remained until Kilmarie… Skye was stunning – all the peaks, Red and Black, had white hats on and the skies were providing them with a suitable crystal blue backdrop… The only fly in the ointment was the wind speeds were forecast to be gusting up to 45mph at Munro level (although I wasn’t headed that high I was still concerned about the gusts on top of the exposed Sgurr na Stri!!).

Blaven on Drive in :

ImageBlaven mono by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

I was walking by 11.30 and around mid-day I arrived at my first viewpoint – Am Mam! What a view! Sgurr na Stri had a White Cuillin backdrop which in turn had a dark cloud behind offering amazing contrast!

ImageCamasunary stri and cullin contrast (1 of 1) by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

The views were astounding and they only got better. I dropped down to Camasunary Bay (feels like a second home due to copies framed photos of this area at home!) and relaxed and spent time capturing still and film footage.

Bay and Stri:

ImageCamasunary Bay Skye by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

Rum and Scavaig:

Imageeigg and Rum from CAMASUNARY by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

The wind was slight down here and the sun was out, I could’ve stayed forever. However I had a mission to take this adventure off the Bucket List! The tide was out so I managed to cross the Abhainn Camas Fhiooairigh pretty easily. I then headed (slowly!) up the southern side of the corrie. I was feeling it now and the tiredness and big back pack were starting to take their toll! However the views that greeted me as I emerged at the Bealach soon had me forgetting about these woes!! Absolutely stunning – a white capped Black Cuillin Ridge was spread before me!

ImageSgurr nan Gillean by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

My work wasn’t done yet and I still had a rocky climb to get to the summit, but I had a spring in my step and reached the summit by 15.30. All I can say is the views were bloody brilliant at 11.30 and they only got better and better. The film and photos don’t do it justice, you just have to go and experience it.

I now had to find a pitch for the tent and I think the one I found maybe the best pitch I have ever had. Views not only to the Cuillin, but to Eigg and Rum and across Loch Scavaig. The other way and Blaven ad Marsco filled the horizon… is this the best view point in Britain?????

Pitch :

ImageWild Camping Skye Cuillin by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

After getting set up (took a while to get water! As everything was frozen and not enough snow t melt!) I relaxed and had tea. Darkness soon filled the sky and I spent my time taking pictures and trying to steady the tripod. I was sheltered but there was still a stiff breeze – not as bad as forecast though!

Some night shots:

Imageinto the night by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageStars above the Cuillin Ridge by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

I eventually turned in around 22.30 and slept ok – it was cold but I’ve been out in colder… Woke – excited – at 0615 and was soon out watching as the first glimpses of dawn appeared in the east. I watched a couple of climbers head torches make their way across the ridge, a winter traverse of the Cuillin Ridge- amazing. They kept me captivated for too long and I soon realised I needed to head to the summit for some sunrise shots. I dropped just off the top and found a nice location where I snapped away watching the sun rise and slowly eat the shadows on the Ridge.

Some Morning Shots:

ImageThe Cuillin Ridge and Loch Coruisk from Sgurr na Stri by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageRum by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageCuillin Ridge and Loch Coruisk by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageRum sunshine by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

It was a little breezy and I nearly lost all my footage as my tripod fell over in a gust whilst I was pre occupied. Luckily it didn’t end up in Loch Coruisk as that was the next stop had it slipped another 2cm!! A broken LCD screen and dented sun shade! Not too bothered as I thought I was saying good bye to my photos and film footage!!
Anyway the time finally came and I packed up and headed back the way I came. Left the summit about 0930 and returned to the car around 12.30 and a 4.5hr drive home…..

One less item on the Bucket List….
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:33 pm

Fantastic stuff :clap:

This is on my bucket list also, I had a sketchy plan to do it in March, but i'm getting a knee op early that month so may save my attempt for early autumn. Well done :D
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby jacob » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:59 pm

It's Skye in May for us, so I've been reading all Skye walkreports. And have been hoping for a new one every time I opened WH. Thank you, great, great photo's.
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby BobMcBob » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:08 pm

So jealous. Splendid photos, what a place to wake up.
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby ere1 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:43 pm

Hi Wilkiemurray! Breathtaking views ... :clap: Peter
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:42 pm

There are no words
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby kev_russ » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:49 pm

Superb. Was looking forward to this vid from your taster pics. Does not disappoint. :clap:
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby dooterbang » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:59 pm

Absolutely Awesome!!!!!

Looks like you've mastered the Drone :)

I think those two climbers may have been Findlay Wild and Co.

If this ain't on anyone's bucket list I'm sure it will be now :)

I have always had it in mind for a summer camp.

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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby Guinessman » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:09 pm


Those morning shots of the Cuillin are awesome. :clap:
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:15 pm

:D :D
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:17 pm

Absolutely beautiful. I'd love to visit Skye in perfect winter conditions like that. Just magic :D
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby katyhills » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:33 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:There are no words

Wot he said :D

Truly fantastic pix. What an experience. Way too scary for me at this time of year. I'd take my hat off to you if I was wearing one!
Every photo is stunning :D
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby Jaxter » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:44 pm

Wow, incredible :shock: :lol:

Dead jealous. Summit camp also on this years to-do list :D
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:09 am

Just wonderful.

Yes, I'm quite sure that SnS has the best views in the UK (have always thought so, actually, and this just proves the point again).
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Re: Heaven on Skye

Postby dogplodder » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:22 pm

Up to your usual standard of stunning photography! :D
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