Loch Coruisk

Route: Loch Coruisk circuit (access by boat)

Date walked: 02/05/2024

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 7km

Ascent: 20m

rocktogo aboe.JPG
rockto ross.JPG
i boat.JPG
Route: Loch Coruisk circuit (access by boat)
Time taken: 4 hours
Distance: 4.5 miles
Date walked: 2/05/24
OS map Landranger 32 (South Skye)
I don’t think I could have picked a better day for the trip to the Cullins. I took the 9am sailing on the Bella Jane from Elgol (50p toilets at top of hill) which was fun with the spray and description of the islands we could see. The sky was blue, a white tailed sea eagle flew over us and I was happy to be in Scotland.
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Just as we arrived we were lucky enough to watch a hiker negotiate the infamous “Bad step”. He seemed to make it with ease but we were told a lady had fallen into the sea the previous week (and we heard, rescued!)
On arrival at the landing stage at our destination, the outlet of Scavaig River from Loch Coruisk I just followed everyone else who seemed to know where they were going. However I would describe it as: keep the Memorial Hut (which I believe has bunk beds for accommodation to your left and rocks with pale vertical wide colouration (
rock navileft.JPG
) on your left. There are some stone steps (which could be natural or not!) to go down to know you are on the right route. Head for the river and the so called “stepping stones” marked on the OS map. In fact this is a series of stones with a large gabbro slab/hump and then more smaller stones.
I saw it being easily negotiated by younger people – I just needed a bit of extra balance with my stick and also sitting across one pointed rock and scrambling a bit! A lady I met later said she would just take off her boots and wade across (with a small poodle!) There is then a good path on the east side of the river but don’t get too complacent! At one point when meeting with a large gabbro boulder (photo)
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it is necessary to go above it to get further up to the path.
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Then the path become relatively easy to follow with small beaches ideal for picnics (photo)

There is an upper route with the path going northeast upwards towards Glen Sligachan. To take the path round the loch to avoid walking up and then down I chose to walk nearer the shore crossing Allt a' Choire Riabhach just below some striking rocks (photo)
There are plenty of pebble beaches for a rest or a picnic! Then you can follow the loch side and here is where I stopped making written notes as I needed every hand and my wits about me to traverse the north side which felt like an assault course. The path was not easy to follow all the way and as I had been warned, very boggy but I did not expect to have to scramble, do bits on hands and knees or bottom shuffle across big rocks. Although the surrounding Cullins are magnificent I just had to keep my eyes down but I did see a frog and butterwort. There were only a handful of walkers going right round the loch. There appeared to be no other wildlife apart from a cuckoo and a few small birds and lots of heather.
On reaching the head of the loch then you need to negotiate the stream and the description on the walkhighland website mentioned crossing before a rocky outcrop – I missed this instruction completely and crossed further west getting wet feet and boots as I’d run out of patience and needed to make sure I got the boat back!!
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The geology is so interesting and there was a stretch of iron rich rock. (
). As mentioned on the website, the blackish rocks are Gabbro. All of Skye is volcanic and the gabbro is rough due to the coarse-grained crystals and is beloved of climbers due to the excellent grip. It is known as black granite in the building industry: specifically, gabbro is a phaneritic, mafic, igneous rock meaning that the grains (or crystals) that make up the rock are large and easily distinguished from each other. The website warned of areas covered with slimy moss which actually was slime and algae that caused my downfall. As I did slip and had a bruise the size of a grapefruit and a bit of whiplash and bruised wrist. (my own fault for not heeding the warning.)
The route back to the start then covers a lot of gabbro slabs and the path interweaves with them and it’s a bit of “pick your own route”. However more like a walk in the park compared to the north side. Still, you still need to watch for slime, moss and bog.
At the end you once again reach the river Scavaig which has a lovely aspect tumbling down to the sea.

I really needed my stick and good balance as this was one of the most technical routes I remember taking. All in all it was 4.5 miles and took me 4 hours walking at 1.1 miles per hour!! There was just time to enjoy my picnic and have a paddle before the boat came back to pick us up. It needed a good weather day to make it spectacular for scenery if not 100% enjoyable as there was scant wildlife. There was, however, an unexpected twist as on spotting a white billowing “something” way up on the mountain saw a bride, groom, dog and photographer.
I never found out if they were a real bridal party or just a photo shoot. The hot chocolate on board the boat going back was very welcome.

I would suggest downloading OS maps on a phone as on the paper OS map I used, the Loch was right on the crease and it was very difficult to open out properly.

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Activity: Rambler
Mountain: helm crag
Place: argyll
Gear: boots
Ideal day out: bit of everything

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Trips: 1
Distance: 7 km
Ascent: 20m

Joined: May 10, 2024
Last visited: May 28, 2024
Total posts: 1 | Search posts