Monday, 19 September 2011

Skye Trail Day Two

Day 2 Blealach Uige to Bealach a'Chuim

Back on the Ridge line for start of walk.
We wake up a little late, but hey we on holiday and in the middle of no where.. So not many people around. Routine I get up first and then push pack away the sleep bags out of the way.  Jet boil goes on for the morning cuppa.  Breakfast is musli, which has been mixed in with dried milk. So not the best breakfast, but it will have to do. Than quick wash and we start packing our rucksacks for the day. Final thing down is the tent, which is now damp.

The Ridge. What we done so far.
Our aim today is walk back onto the edge and head for the Old Man of Storr. From there our campsite could be next to the forest on the right side as we come down. This depends on flat ground and a water supply.  We may even be camped in the forest. The main problem today will be finding the path down from the ridge to the Old Man. We are not sure if the path will be a scree run path. The maps are not showing the paths clear in around the Storr.
Mini storr

Looking back to the Quiraing in the distance

Beinn Edra 611m
So we set in swirling cloud and little damp in the air. Once on the ridge our first hill is Beinn Edra 611m. Second highest point on the ridge walk.  We started getting better weather now as the clouds break up. We can see our route head of us. This is going to take up and down on the undulating ridge. Small roller coaster walk for us.

Final Hills Coming up. But the weather starting Close in

So we carried on for another three hills where we had a short lunch break on Flasein 599m. This was only so we could get out of the wind. Which I measured at 20mph. Not strong but it was a cold wind at that. So we found shelter behind some rocks. Downside was the drop we were looking down. So we had to be careful not to knock anything over.

After lunch  we dropped down again and then up onto Creag a Lain 609m. On the descent from here there was a change in the weather for us. The cloud slowly rolled in as we headed up Baca Ruadh 639. Then it started to rain. It’s only a shower we thought and would blow over. No it carried on in a long heavy downpour where we had to for the full waterproofs.

With weather going down hill and the visible down to nearly zero we were on micro navigation. Trying to follow the edge with bits of paths that would move away from the ridge. Then would disappear and stop. So we were using bearings and the gps to pick our way along.  We also picked up two young German guys who asked if they could tag a long with us. I have the idea that they seen this walk and also been told about walking this ridge walk. Guidebooks sound good in good weather. But I could not see any map on them.

Hartaval was our next hill, which turned out to be a tough one to do in the rain. From the top we had to drop down to a col and then head up towards the Storr and try to go around the next spur to find the path down.  We arrived in the Bealach a Chuim col and it was at this point I thought it was best to stop. The time was around 615pm. Lashing down with rain and cloud down. My worry was we had to find the path down and once we done that find  a camping spot. This could well put 2Hours on our time. So we camped in the col as there was water supply and fairly flat ground . Two German guys went on. Took a bearing of my map and still not sure if they had a map.
Camp. Taken the next Day

So we set the tent up near the stream. We did try to go further down but we found we had a few cliffs near us to drop down.  We settled down to our mountain house meal. More layers on to keep warm. The rain still battering down on our tent. Main worry was it the first time the tent has been this high up. Would it hold up if the winds get stronger? At one point the clouds cleared and we could see the hill we need to climb the next day and soon it went back into the cloud.  At that point I switch the phone on, not expecting a signal as we were  so high up in the hills, but hey presto we had a signal. When we got the weather forecast the next day, which wasn’t too bad?

1 comment:

  1. Hello Helen and Colin

    First, congratulations, what a wonderful trail !

    We are a group of two young french people (20 years old) and we are living in Scotland for a year to study. We would like to walk the Skye trail in April but we don't know a lot about hiking. Could we discuss further about your experience by email. There is mine :

    Thank you very much