The Storr – perhaps the best day of 2015. December 2015.

Date: Monday 14th December 2015
Distance: 10.5km
Ascent: 800m

A fine looking day in the offing. What to do is always tricky. A few options, but the chance of a wintry Trotternish revisit was too good to resist.

Started from the Old Man of Storr car park just around dawn. Another simple, short walk – taking the large, new path up to the Old Man, cutting on paths N to NG 500 545 to follow a path round the huge NE scalloped coire to access the NE ridge for a simple ascent to the summit. Returned the same way.

There’s a great view across to Torridon from this part of Skye. Especially nice at dawn in silhouette.

Beinn Alligin:

Cloud layers to the SE meant the sun took a while to get out of cloud. The Storr looked dramatic as always.

The Storr:

Lighthouses still flashing – Rona lighthouse sits in front of Beinn a Chaisgein Beag and Sail Mhor.

Rona lighthouse and Wester Ross hills:

The path takes you up to the area under the Old Man in about 20 minutes.

Under the Old Man:

The sun was making progress.

Dawn on the path:

Dawn caught the hills on the mainland first – clear views up to Assynt and beyond. A crèche of crows was milling around one of the points, backdropped by Quinag and Foinaven.

Creche of crows and Alpenglow on Quinag and Foinaven:

Paths wend round the amazing rock formations here. Rarely quiet as it’s a prime tourist location (and why not).
K and Rock pinnacle:

Took a few pictures.

The Old Man of Storr:


Microspikes on for the frozen ground we made our way up to the little ridge that gives access to the NE coire.

H enjoying the view:

Scottish geology at its best:

Turning your back on the awesome:

…..but it’s hard to resist.

Old Man of Storr and The Storr:

More Old Man of Storr:

The Storr:

There’s a path running round into the NE coire which then continues round on a contour to join the NE ridge at NG 493 550. Easy enough walking, although the fall-lines are rather eye-watering if in full winter conditions.

Happily it was just a wee dusting of snow for us.

Round the back:

Into the mist:

Out of the sun for a spell the eyes are drawn to great hills in sunshine to the east.

Beinn Alligin:

Crossing Coire Scaladal:

Rona and An Teallach:

Spotted a Golden eagle surveying the moor below. It sat around not shifting as we crossed the coire.

Golden Eagle:

From the NE ridge Hartaval and the Trotternish running north are dramatic.

Hartaval:

Mist was driving on from the east up the big scalloped coire.

Rona:

Arc effects in the mist:

The swirling mist was favouring the cliffline – the views west were clear. Great air clarity meant the Western Isles looked a short hop away.

Eabhal on N Uist:

The Trotternish with a bit of snow was a new look for us.

Cloud over Trotternish:

A short walk up to the summit. Last time it was grey, this time the low sun to the south made it challenging to take piccies.

South to Ben Dearg:

Raasay:

The Cuillin:

Swirling mist over the summit with sunshine meant a few fogbows and Brocken Spectres.

Brocken Spectre:

The rockscape below was inspiring.

Old Man and Coire Faoin:

Sat around for an hour drinking in the views. Quite stunning really.

Windmills, Tables and Uist:

Cuillin:

Fogbow:

K and Brocken:

Looking east:

Raasay:

Pointy bit happily not the summit:

Ben Dearg:

Sithean Bhealaich Chumhaing, Tianavaig and the Cuillin:

Cloud-coated southern Skye hills:

Big Daddy Cuillin:

A white one looking towards the Grey One:

We made a couple of starts to descend….but kept going back. Hard to leave really.

Eventually started down into the mist filling the NE coire.

Mist streaming on the Trotternish:

Quickly back round the coire in the mist, emerging back into the sun at the coire lip.

The Old Man of Storr:

5 Sisters:

Old Man and the southern Skye hills:

The mist was being lit along the line of the Storr – made for a rather atmospheric effect.

Sun playing with the mist on the Storr:


It’s just somewhere with a real WOW factor.

…and The Old Man again:

Looking south one of our alternative walks for the day – the Broadford Grahams – looked rather less impressive.

Cloud-coated southern Skye hills:

Back to the car for the hour’s drive back to Broadford. Stopped for a last pic of the Old Man.

The Storr from the drive south to Broadford:

A fine evening in the company of my parents was made even better by a rather impressive aurora.

Broadford aurora:

Great day – well up there with the best of 2015. Can’t recommend The Storr highly enough.

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