Rubha Hunish to the Quiraing

Route: Skye Trail 1: Rubha Hunish to Flodigarry

Date walked: 16/08/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 11.5km

May 2012; we had survived 96 weary miles of the West Highland Way, battling midges, blisters and Brian’s snoring to arrive at Fort William for a well- earned celebration. It was Brian, Alan and Pete’s first taste of a long distance walk, Murray and I having done the Way and the Fife Coastal Path previously.

As the euphoria wore off and we returned to civilisation, well Fife, our thoughts turned to a further expedition for 2013. We quickly agreed on the Skye Trail, this was a very different beast – often pathless, un-waymarked and offering several alternative routes it looked to be a challenge befitting rugged mountain men like us.
The Route South.JPG
The Route South

After several high-powered planning meetings masquerading as nights in the pub, we decided on a two car approach to the logistics as there is no baggage transfer service like some of the busier routes and many of our party preferred travelling light. We also settled on our camping spots at Portree for three nights, Sligachan and a wild camp near Bla Bheinn, finishing up five days later in Broadford for a celebration at the local branch of Mrs Miggin’s Pie Shoppe.
Looking East.jpg
Looking East

Looking North.jpg
Looking North

The original plan for a wild camp at the start of the walk on Rubha Hunish was dropped as we realised that the non-Sherpas among us would have to carry their gear down a vertiginous cliff-side path to the headland. So a short prologue on the first night involving a walk out to the point was agreed on. As it turned out, the weather would literally have put a dampener on our plan. It’s an exposed spot and although there is a bothy housed in the former coastguard post, it wouldn’t have been big enough for five strapping lads and a dog.
The Headland at Rubha Hunish.jpg
The Headland at Rubha Hunish

The Lookout Bothy.jpg
The Lookout Bothy

Even Frankie the spaniel’s trusty nose was unable to sniff out the path to the lower part of the headland and given the wind and the slippery conditions underfoot, I’m not sure we would have attempted it. Frankie would have, but springers aren’t exactly renowned for their common sense.
This May be the Route to the Headland.jpg
This May be the Route to the Headland

A tactical withdrawal to the Duntulm Hotel seemed in order, after all we’d walked at least three miles and deserved some sustenance. A hearty meal and a couple of beers later it was time to head down to Portree to the lovely campsite at Torvaig.
Our Motley Crew in the Duntulm Hotel.jpg
Our Motley Crew in the Duntulm Hotel

Back up the road again the next morning, it was time for stage one proper. We followed the route described in Cameron McNeish’s book rather than the coastal path shown on Walk Highlands. Park off the main road, in a gravel layby opposite the timber-clad house with the turf roof as featured in T.V’s Grand Designs. Taking the tarmac road uphill past the farm the route then follows a track signposted for the Quiraing. At a metal field gate on the left a faint track leads to a wooden footbridge over the Kilmaluag River.

The boggy moorland was easily crossed due to the recent spell of dry weather, no gaiters required though Brian and Alan kept theirs on just in case. From a distance, the first ascent of the day looked steep, but the walk up Coire Mhic Eachainn to the summit was easily accomplished on our fresh legs. From the top, the spectacular views encompassed the Islands dotted in the Minch and before us the Trotternish Ridge undulating South towards the Storr.

The Walk Highlands route joins here from Floddigary, for the sake of clarity although we carried on along the ridge that day, I’ll describe it under stage two.

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The Quiraing to the Storr

Attachment(s) Date walked: 16/08/2013
Distance: 38km
Comments: 3
Views: 5533

Portree to Sligachan

Attachment(s) Date walked: 14/08/2013
Distance: 19km
Views: 2256

The Storr to Portree

Attachment(s) Date walked: 14/08/2013
Distance: 14km
Comments: 2
Views: 2979

Torrin to Broadford

Attachment(s) Date walked: 14/08/2013
Distance: 22km
Comments: 3
Views: 2833

Sligachan to Bla Bheinn

Attachment(s) Date walked: 14/08/2013
Distance: 26km
Comments: 3
Views: 5053

sair feet

User avatar
Activity: Munro compleatist
Pub: Clachaig Inn
Mountain: Aonach Eagach
Place: Glen Lyon
Member: Glenrothes Hillwalkers, Wemyss Wanderers
Ideal day out: A few summits, a ridge or two, a pint or two.
Munro rounds: 1

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 13
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 2
Hewitts: 5
Sub 2000: 10
Islands: 30
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way    Fife Coastal Path    Forth & Clyde and Union canal towpath    Great Glen Way    John Muir Way    Kintyre Way    Skye Trail    East Highland Way    Arran Coastal Way   

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Trips: 6
Distance: 130.5 km

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Last visited: Jun 23, 2021
Total posts: 17 | Search posts