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……
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!!).
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!
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.
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! 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?????
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 astro shots below...
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.
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….
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...