Date: Saturday-Sunday 12th-13th October 2013
Distance: 14.5km + 3km
Ascent: 900m +0m
It was fairly obvious for the whole week that Saturday night would suit a high camp – just the minor matter of where to be sorted. The ‘Gorms held the prospect of snow and a chance of inversion, while the NW had the prospect of untrammelled sunshine.
The front runner throughout was a visit to Raasay – Dun Caan has caught our eye for a while.
A long drive in the dark to arrive on Skye as dawn broke – the first ferry from Sconser is at 0825. Took the car across to allow us the chance to explore the island. The ferry gives rather nice views of Glamaig, Beinn Tianavaig and the Storr.
Drove the 10 miles or so north along the island – the road is fairly sporting – certainly not one where the driver can do any distracted ogling of the views.
Parked up at Arnish – space for several cars here – a friendly wave and greeting from the farmer on his ATV.
There’s a fairly good track from Arnish north to An Caol, it runs initially down around Loch Arnish.
We were making slow progress – it was quite difficult to turn our backs on the show and carry on. Eventually we did.
The track heads uphill under the 201m crag north towards Beinn na h-Iolaire.
Junctions are signposted, we followed the track heading for An Caol to NG 601 499 before turning N off track to the summit of Beinn na h-Iolaire.
This is a splendid viewpoint – with open views E to Applecross, N to Lewis and W to the Trotternish.
Spent a good 30 minutes drinking in the vistas.
Retracing our steps to the track we then carried on N to An Caol, shadowed by a couple of ravens.
With day lengths already shortening we decided to head back – wanted to be up Dun Caan a couple of hours before sunset.
Retraced our path back to Arnish – a very pleasant walk.
Back at the car we swapped over gear and rucksacks to our camping kit before driving south to the Dun Caan car park.
Arrived at the summit and got into our insulation and wandered around just enjoying the views.
With its long wings Skye makes up 180 degrees of the vista.
Sat in the tent door and watched it all before getting our heads down.
Got up at 0130 – after moonset. The starscape was not as stunning as Rum a fortnight before. Not sure if there was high cloud or whether the lights of Portree and Broadford were enough to blunt it. We spot and identify the lighthouses, our usual game on west coast summit camps.
The reverse colour show to the evening played out.
A 1000hr ferry meant we couldn’t loiter for hours but we enjoyed the first 40 minutes of the day on the summit.
The morning gave us our best distant views – Cruachan Dearg on Mull to the south and Foinaven to the north – more than 130km.
With a 5 hour drive ahead we decided to meander home via the Glen Elg ferry and a spot of lunch looking from the Arnisdale road to Skye, Rum and Eigg.
A rather untaxing effort – Dun Caan made a really sublime pitch site – one we’d do again.