Skye, Two Small Steps Towards the Cuillins

Two great walks on Skye, first a walk from Glen Brittle round to the lower, first tier of Coir’ a’ Ghrunnda which pretty much coincided with the snow line. The day started clear and dry but grayed over the course of our walk with the sun and cloud cover working together to cast interesting light on the crags above us and out on the sea around the islands of Canna and Rum. We also experienced an odd illusion of the higher, white portion of the Cuillin mountains above us appearing much smaller in scale yet at the same time closer to us than we knew them to be, almost within reach.

Coire Lagan

Coire Lagan

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Soay with Eigg (left) and Rum (right) behind

Soay with Eigg (centre) and Rum (right) behind

Coir' a' Ghrunnda

Coir’ a’ Ghrunnda

Soay and Rum

Soay, Eigg and Rum

Rubh an Dunain and Canna beyond

Rubh an Dunain and Canna beyond

Second walk was a wintry ascent of Bla Bheinn, my second by the same route. Icy paths from the start and we had our crampons on from the corrie floor. A very white scene in our immediate surroundings was countered by more colour in the sky and sea and in the various shades of brown on the ground below the snow line, stunning views in all directions with hills near and far showing a fairly consistent winter covering. The islands of Soay, Eigg, Muck and Rum and the sun’s changing light on and round them drew our attention out to the west but soon, on reaching a certain height, the landscape of the Red Cuillin off to the north and stretching beyond to the Storr became more of a focus. The best was kept right to the end when, on reaching the summit trig point, the jagged ridge of the Black Cuillin came in to view. If only we had longer to linger and take in the fine detail highlighted by the contrast of the snow and black rock.

Bla Bheinn (left) and Clach Glass (right)

Bla Bheinn (left) and Clach Glass (right)

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Red Cuillin

Red Cuillin

Black Cuillin

Black Cuillin

These two walks have re-ignited an interest in spending a lot of time in and around the hills of both the Red and Black Cuillin and are hopefully the start of a lot of wandering and scrambling in the area this year and beyond.

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