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Route: Sgurr na Stri

Grahams: Marsco
Sub 2000s: Sgurr na Stri

Date walked: 11/07/2017

Time taken: 10.3 hours

Distance: 29.58km

Ascent: 1522m

Previous installment

Ever since I’d seen Wilkiemurray’s Video and more recently JP’s photos from Sgurr na Stri, I knew it was a place I had to visit. I drove the few miles back to Sligachan for a final weather check, before emptying the rest of my wallet into the Mountain Rescue box (their WiFi is fantastic!) and packing a lot of things into a big bag. Things looked good for my trip :thumbup:

I set off past the millions of tourists taking photos in the middle of the road :crazy: I crossed the bridge, passed through the gate and I was on my way. It was easy walking and despite having a heavy load I was making decent progress.

After a while I bumped into a guy coming the other way – Neil was a tour operator who was escaping for a bit of peace :lol: We had a chat before continuing.

I could see Marsco ahead and Sgurr na Stri itself hiding just behind Sgurr Hain

The Cuillin were still hiding but the forecast promised that it would clear and I naively trusted it :lol:

As I approached Marsco it looked seriously imposing :shock:

Looking back towards Sligachan

Eventually I met the Allt na Measarroch, and instead of crossing this I turned left on a faint path on the left hand side of the burn. As suggested, it was eroded and very boggy in places and there was plenty of bog-hopping required :shock:

Unfortunately it started raining :( I was a bit surprised as there was only a very small chance of rain…then remembered this was Skye and it’s own weather system :lol:

Waterproofs on I plodded on upwards; the path loosely followed the fenceposts and was largely a bit more solid underfoot although the rain was making everything very wet. Visibility had dropped significantly and it was a case of getting on with it :crazy:

I could see that the sky ahead was a wee bit brighter, and eventually the rain eased as I reached the source of the burn on the Mam a’ Phobuill. Apparently Bonnie Prince Charlie crossed this pass at night on his way from Portree to Elgol. Nae fleeing Princes to be seen on this occasion though, and the path continued to follow the fenceposts as they bent southwards.

Looking up at Marsco largely hiding in the clag

Initially the path was relatively flat from here as I traversed along the side of Marsco towards the foot of Coire nan Laoigh, but before long it started climbing steeply up the ridge on the East of the coire. My pace slowed and I was finding it quite tough with the extra weight. I noticed two people ahead of me and even at my slow pace I seemed to be catching them up…

Stopping for a photo break – looking back to Loch Ainort 8)

The final climb up to the ridge was extremely steep but finally I was there. The two people ahead of me had stopped for a food break and said that they hadn’t enjoyed the ascent very much. I wholeheartedly agreed; I’ve had some crazy ideas in my past and Sgurr na Stri via Marsco is definitely up there :lol:

There was still a fair amount of cloud swirling around but there were glimpses of clarity and things seemed to be clearing :D

Camasunary Bay, Sgurr na Stri and out to Rum

The ridge

It was a nice walk along the ridge of Marsco to the summit. I could see all the way back to Sligachan

Back along the ridge and the small cairn marking the summit

Summit pose

Beinn Dearg Mhor and Loch Ainort

Cuillin Ridge clearing

The Inn Pinn!

Sgurr na Stri and the Cuillin Ridge

Bla Bheinn

Out to sea and my route ahead!

Bla Bheinn, Sgurr na Stri and the Cuillin Ridge

The Ridge almost clear

I still had a long way to go, so returned down the ridge to where I had met the other couple – it seemed they hadn’t fancied the ridge and had returned the same way. I had grander ideas…. :idea:

Bla Bheinn

Cuillin Ridge and Marsco summit ridge

Beinn Dearg Mhor & Glamaig

Loch Ainort

Clear at last!

My route from here was a little less textbook…. :crazy: I had considered leaving my pack back at the Allt an Measarroch and returning for it, but it seemed such a long way round and it looked possible to get down the other end of Marsco. So I continued along the ridge, upwards for a short time before dropping off the end.

It was definitely possible but difficult; there were a lot of boulders, plenty of scrambling and it was difficult terrain with a large pack. It was slow going especially as the sun was throwing its full self at me and I was getting very warm 8)

I somehow managed to get down this

Ruadh Stac in the foreground with Sgurr na Stri behind

Finally down the steepest part, I traversed diagonally across difficult pathless and heathery terrain, aiming for the Glen Sligachan path. I eventually reached the Allt nam Fraoch Choire which I followed to the path, then cut across a bog to reach the Sgurr na Stri path which had just split off.

The difficult bit over, I was now able to enjoy the views of Sgurr nan Gillian and Pinnacle Ridge

It was easy from here…supposedly :lol: and I was able to walk easily along the path. Looking back, Marsco looked enormous :shock:

Garbh Bheinn, Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn

The path then climbed more steeply up to a bealach where there were lots of cairns. Ahead was Sgurr Hain which normally I’d have climbed just for the sake of it, but I was knackered. The path traversed around Sgurr Hain, dropped down and then also bypassed the 373 spot.

Looking back, the ridge was looking splendid and I could hardly wait for The View :D :D

I met some very tame deer

Sgurr na Stri ahead (that wasn’t actually the summit as it turned out :lol: )

I followed a combination of paths and my nose and eventually found myself with a choice – pointy top or flat top? Thinking that the flat top would be a better camp spot, I made my way up to the pointy top first. The views were not disappointing. I could see down to Camasunary and out to sea. I could easily have been on a tropical island 8) 8)

Getting the camera out I was annoyed that it was playing silly buggers….turned it on and off again…nothing :-x Figuring it would need a charge, I made my way over to the actual summit, marked by a large cairn and with some relatively flat ground where I could pitch my tent.

I plugged in the camera and pitched the tent (not the easiest task as it was pretty windy :lol: ) while I was waiting. Sadly the camera was still not working :-x :cry: :thumbdown: I was absolutely gutted….I had hiked for miles and miles with all that weight, the conditions were perfect and I couldn’t take a photo of the most beautiful place on earth :cry:

I managed to get hold of a friend who got me a number for Sony….who were completely unhelpful. A more technically minded friend worked out how I could do a reset, but that didn’t work either. I was camera-less. Resisting the urge to launch the damn thing into Loch Coruisk, I realised I’d have to settle for rubbish camera phone. So the photos from this point onwards are….rubbish :(

Almost certainly the best view in the world – Loch Coruisk and the Cuillin Ridge


Bla Bheinn and Garbh Bheinn

Not a bad camp spot

I sat and enjoyed chilling in a fantastic spot, found a good book and did a bit of sunbathing although it was tricky to find anywhere sheltered from the wind. After a while I decided it was dinner time. As I was waiting for my water to boil, I heard “Hello?!” A man out running seemed as surprised to see me as I was to see him :lol: He applauded my camp spot before running off. Whichever direction he’d come from he had a long way back :shock:

Dinner sorted, I sat down to enjoy what the evening would bring.



The sun began its descent behind the Cuillin ridge. There were bits of cloud hanging around which actually added to the spectacle :thumbup:


Red Rum (sure that was a horse? :lol: )


Garbh Bheinn and Bla Bheinn



Once the sun had set the temperature dropped significantly. I tried running around and then decided I would try to get some sleep. I snuggled myself into my sleeping bag, zipping up my tent on probably my best ever camp spot.

Despite the wind I actually slept pretty well; I guess it had been a pretty tough day :lol: I awoke the next morning to the sun shining on the tent and I was extremely warm – a nice change as I’d brought my lighter sleeping bag to save weight and it had taken me a while to get toasty :thumbup:

Poking my head out the door I was greeted by an excellent view :D 8) I gave the camera yet another try, but it was definitely buggered :(

My boots were still slightly damp from the day before so pulled on my flip flops (one of the best additions to my trecking kit list :idea: ) and had a wander around the summit.







Inn Pinn just visible

Showing off my trendy flip flops – I did have a chuckle to myself as I realised I needed to be careful. I would never live down having to call out MR because I broke my ankle in flip flops :lol:

I got a good brew on and sat and enjoyed the views. I didn’t really want to leave but was aware that I was going to run out of water (and food!) at some point. Slowly I started packing my things up and eventually was ready to go… I still lingered a while before deciding I might as well get going. It was going to be a long walk back anyway! I would certainly be returning to this place :thumbup: 8)

Some deer rolling around in the water

Bla Bheinn and Garbh Bheinn

After a while I started meeting people – one guy, Gordon, was heading for the Loch Coruisk circuit but we had a long chat. He was a very interesting person and told me that the two lochans in this photo is the watershed – the other side runs towards Sligachan and this side towards Camasunary. Knowledge eh :D

Bla Bheinn

Sgurr nan Gillian

It was a long walk back along Glen Sligachan – far longer than it had seemed on the way out, but at least I didn’t have to go back over Marsco :lol:

Eventually I reached the point where I’d joined the path. As I walked beneath Marsco I could see the impressive Fiaclan Dearg – a huge granite crag that provides the only rock climbing in the Red Cuillin.

It was very very warm and I was tired. I had naively thought that the path was flat all the way back – how wrong I was :lol:

A funny looking rock

Looking back to the impressive front of Marsco

Sgurr nan Gillian

As I approached Sligachan I began to meet lots of people; plenty of trainers and jeans and kids on their phones :roll: Disappointingly I also collected more rubbish than I had of my own :(


Crazy piles of stones :shock:

Finally back at the car I was super relieved to take my pack and my boots off and sit in the sun. I made myself some sandwiches and planned my next move… 8)

Sgurr na Stri is definitely a special place. As disappointed as I was that my camera wasn’t able to capture it, I didn’t regret going. And it’s the perfect excuse to go back again :D :thumbup:

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User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Musician, adrenaline junkie and baker
Interests: Walking, running, skiing, playing good music with good people, baking cakes and snuggling.
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Star Wars Cantina
Mountain: Beinn a Ghlo
Place: Up a good mountain
Gear: Rab jacket

Munros: 168
Corbetts: 23
Grahams: 20
Donalds: 29
Wainwrights: 32
Hewitts: 27
Sub 2000: 12

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Trips: 33
Distance: 656 km
Ascent: 42612m
Munros: 39
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 16
Donalds: 26
Sub2000s: 8


Trips: 46
Distance: 756.5 km
Ascent: 51428m
Munros: 100
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 4
Sub2000s: 2


Trips: 12
Distance: 203.15 km
Ascent: 12086m
Munros: 27

Joined: Aug 08, 2011
Last visited: Jul 22, 2017
Total posts: 763 | Search posts

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