A young lady in white trainers and pink jacket emerged out of the mist as she descended the muddy path from the summit of Meall na Suiramach. We felt distinctly over-dressed and over-equipped in our full hillwalking gear among the end of season tourists seeking out famous film locations on Skye. Although we climbed past the Needle to the Table in the Quiraing we saw no sign of Macbeth, Snow White or the Huntsman. The photo above is looking south along the Trotternish Ridge to Cleat and Bioda Buidhe from the Quiraing path.
In truth, neither the visitors nor the midgies bothered us much on this weekend. On the Storr most visitors did not venture much beyond the Old Man, and on the Quiraing few folk ventured past the Prison. The lower slopes of the hills were no busier than Ben Lomond or Ben Nevis, and once past the main attractions we saw relatively few people.
After some grumbling about paying for parking, Saturday saw most of the party head up past the Old Man of Storr across Coire Scamadal to the Storr summit and then on to Hartaval for a short day. The completion of the new car parking, toilets and footpath should make significant and much needed improvements to the badly degraded route to the Old Man.
A visit to look for Sauropod footprints at An Corran at Staffin completed our afternoon. The evening entertainment was provided by a school of porpoises feeding in Poldorais – “The bay of the burying place” – below the hostel between Skye mainland and Eilean Flodigarry.
Sunday saw us approach the Quiraing from Loch Langaig rather than the usual parking place on the Staffin to Uig road. That approach, and a north to south traverse of Meall na Suiramach, kept us out of the crowd for a bit until our return via the main path from the car park through the Quiraing. Again the number of visitors did not detract greatly from the tottering cliffs and pinnacles. Most of the people we spoke to seemed to be from Europe or the United States – perhaps a reflection of the exchange rates. A really enjoyable meet was enhanced by the excellent Dun Flodigarry hostel.
Participants: John, Arthur, Michael, Robin, Wendell, Masoud, Rob (potential new member), Peter, Marion, Sarah, Jim.