vrijdag 10 september 2010

Friday May 7 : Sgurr na Banaichdich

Today we would try to reach the summit of Sgurr na Banachdaich, one of the easier Munros. That's familiar terrain for me but it will be Gillean's first Munro. The track starts directly opposite of the Youth Hostel and passes a waterfall very close to the edge of the little ravine. Just before the 2km mark, where two steppingstones are used to cross a little stream, the path forks. If you stick to the main path alongside the Allt a Choire Ghreadaidh you'll end up at An Dorus to scramble either Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh on your right or Sgurr a'Mhadaidh on your left. We followed the path into Coir' an Eich.
The slog up the nasty scree underneath An Diallaid was tiring but we managed to catch up with 4 other walkers who were so kind to take a picture from me and my son at An Diallaid. At that moment Gillean had never been at that altitude.
The views of Sgurr Thormaid and Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh were great.
We soon continued our now easier walk to Sgurr na Banachdaich. The summit was reached after 2 hours and 45 minutes. Congratulations to Gillean for summiting his first Munro at the age of 11. I was 36 when I bagged my first Munro (Ben Nevis).

His first Munro, Sgurr na Banachdaich

Ledges leading to Sgurr Dearg
A cold wind was blowing so we put on our jackets before having lunch. Three of the 4 walkers we met were continuing to Sgurr Dearg and I fancied joining them but Gillean didn't so we joined the fourth walker and baktracked to Choire an Eich.
At 15.30 we reached the waterfall near the YH and spent more than an hour playing with rocks and water.
A very satisfying day.

zondag 5 september 2010

Thursday May 6th : The Old Man of Storr and The Quiraing

From Glenbrittle YH it was a 45 minutes drive to the the parking near The Old Man of Storr. This day meant new territory for me. I had never been here before but had seen it several times from the summits of the Black Cuillin. Low clouds shrouded the rockformations of the Trotternish peninsula. We started walking and soon came out of the little forest underneath The Old Man. The man himself wasn't visible although we were right beneath the rock itself. Visibility was down to 20 yards, sometimes less. Quiet. And spooky.
My son and I soon went into the labyrinth behind the Old Man and Needle Rock, despite a sign saying not to proceed because of possible rockfall. We're Dutch so we proceeded.

Routefinding didn't proof difficult despite the mist and rockfall didn't occur. We enjoyed this mysterious world of strange formed rockformations in a silent white world. As we reached the southwestern end of the corrie, after some tricky bits of path, the clouds had risen and were slowly resolving. We walked along the edge of the forest back to the main path. Tourists were already gathering in the sunshine to take the obligatory photograph with The Old Man in the background. The carpark had completely filled up. Our next destination was to be The Quiraing.
We parked near the graveyard and walked upto The Prison and soon passed the Needle and The Table. We abanded the idea of climbing upto The Table, a large flattopped rock big enough to play a footballmatch. Too much loose scree would drain our energy in the by now warm afternoon.
We returned to our car via a path leading to the viewpoint and massive carpark at NG 440 679. The views towards Staffin and onwards to the mainland are indeed grand.