Glen Brittle, Skye (May 2023)

Fri 5 – Sun 7 May 2023

Following the footsteps… 30 or 170million years on….

Never a doubt that Skye meet would be full, or that most folk would add a day or two either end. For me that meant retracing my route to Glenelg and the Broch’s on Friday in pursuit of hills unbagged, followed by a nostalgic trip on the Kylerhea ferry – the back door to Skye. Glad to arrive in Glenbrittle in daylight so you could see the potholes… BMC Hut, no phone signal and nothing much changed since – just over 30 years ago in fact – there in the log book, me and 3 mates from Uni, April 1993. If it wasn’t for the Fairy Glen theme park (don’t get me started!) you could swear nothing had changed.

Definitely unchanged is the Cuillin weather – given half a cloud, it will rain for sure. Several groups set off, some trying to beat (?) the possible rain and wet. Five of us up Coire a Ghrunnda, then it began. Determined to at least manage Sgurr Alasdair, an objective lesson in managing wet and slippy rock, navigating by memory and intuition. Repulsed by the initial step up Sgurr Thearlaich, we agreed that a sensible escape down the Great Stone Shoot was best… but wait… the cloud is parting and a first decision awaits. Still wet but we reascend to Bealach Mhic Choinnich, serendipitously missing one of the more awkward Basalt sections of ridge. Collies Ledge and the ridge beyond still damp but drying, slowly. To the An Stac screes and Inn Pinn fever takes over (at 5.30pm)… “maybe we’ll just go and have a look.…” Free of crowds and stones being dislodged from above, the way up is smooth and then finally we’re there! late return to the Hut but a classic Cuillin day in every sense.

Sunday to the Storr – last visited when there was still a forest and few tourists, and then with the tide being out went in search of Dinosaur footprints near Staffin. Unmistakeable once you find them, a connection to the distant past, 170m years in fact, and much older than most of the scenery on this most dramatic of Islands. We’ll be back….

  • Report by Iain