The Storr and Hartaval. August 2008.

Date: Monday 25th August 2008
Distance: 11.6km
Ascent: 1140m

The Skye Trotternish – probably Scotland’s most unusual landscape. Massive east facing scarps, huge areas of slope failure and landslip, massive rock towers that…err..tower massively.

No list cocktail this time – just the grahams with water (it is Skye after all) 😉

Skye was treating us to one of those days – high winds, heavy rain and lots of cloud. Not one for clinging to the main ridge. Watched hen harriers out the window in the morning then headed for the Trotternish as the showers became intermittent.

Photographic conditions were poor for the hand-held photographer –need filters/clever processing to make good photos out of this. I’m also working from a laptop and what these look like depends on angle of the screen so hope they look OK.

Parked at the main car park NG 509 529. Along with Stac Pollaidh, the bottom half of the Storr is one of the busiest 2 Grahams in the country. Odd looks from plimsoll clad tourist as you kit up for the hills.

The path through the forest has been very well upgraded.

Break out of the forest below the Old Man of Storr.

Climb up more eroded tracks to the right of the Old Man, warning signs here and there suggesting you turn back.

The rock formations here are truly unusual.

The track then heads over to about NG 502 545 and you leave most of the tourists behind. A 3ft fence with barbed wire at this little col but at the bottom of the col the barbs have been stripped off.

Track runs round the shoulder and into a bowl like coire NE of Storr summit. We tracked round the path here that contours and then broke off up grassy (steep) slopes to reach the lip of the coire at NG494 548.

from there simple climb up to the summit.

This is exposed to the Atlantic and walking was impeded by strong gusts. Great views down into the sanctuary. Given the way a 50mph hand kept pushing me in the back while I was standing over a 200m sheer drop I took these pics on my knees and elbows.

From here simply make for bealach a chuirn. Down in the coire there were waterfalls being blown backwards.

Easy slopes up Hartaval to the summit. The cliff line of the Trotternish runs north to the Quiraing.

Sat down for lunch. I’d caught sight of an eagle appearing and disappearing further down the cliff line, thought it had gone. Re-appeared and landed on an outcrop about 600m further along…with 2 other eagles! One junior and 2 adults.

Got great views of these guys. One phenomenal stoop into the glen below. The juvenile and 1 adult flew right under us, within distance to hear junior. Too busy enjoying the sights to try and take a picture.

Tore ourselves away, an easy angled ascent to the bowl-like coire lip and then re-tracing steps from there.

Heavy showers tearing through. Back to the forest path.

Enjoyable walk despite the weather. Best eagle watching ever.

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