Saturday, 19 March 2011

Skye, Kylerhea and Sgurr na Coinnich

Around half way from the Skye bridge to Broadford you will see a narrow single track road branch off to the left. It heads up over the hills to Kylerhea where there is still a small summer ferry crossing the Kyle Rhea sound to the mainland near Glenelg.

There is a short walk near Kylerhea that leads to an Otter Haven, an observation post overlooking the shore. You can often see otters swimming in the sea here. I saw the otters on several occasions but always found it a bit disappointing as the hut is so far from the water that binoculars are a must.

The trip to Kylerhea doesn’t disappoint as it winds its way up the hills then crests the Bealach Udal which offers great views over to Glenelg.

Looking back down the single track road towards the islands of Pabay, Scalpay, Longay and Raasay in the distance with its distinct peak of Dun Caan.

Looking towards Glenelg from the Bealach Udal. The steep slopes of Sgurr na Coinnich are on the left. I climbed to its summit twice during by stay on Skye. The first time was when the tops were shrouded in mist.

Looking over the Bealach Udal towards Ben Aslak from half way up Sgurr na Coinnich

Looking towards Glenelg from half way up Sgurr na Coinnich. The photo was taken just below cloud level. I climbed the rest of the way in a blanket of mist.

I didn’t have a map or compass with me as it was a spur of the moment walk, so followed my instinct. I hoped the north westerly wind wouldn’t change direction as I watched the way the cotton tuffs were blowing and kept the wind in my face to hopefully prevent me walking in a circle.

I made the summit but there was no views. I memorised the slopes and steep parts on the way up as there was no path to follow either. I returned safely too but I wouldn’t recommend others doing it without a compass or map. I should mention that I had studied the OS map closely and even surveyed the steep slope from the bealach the week before when the summit was clear, so knew what to expect and look out for.

Because I had missed out on the views because of the mist, I returned the next evening and it was completely different conditions. The views were superb.

This one is looking over Kyleakin and the Skye bridge towards the Kyles of Lochalsh on the mainland.

But the best view was undoubtedly looking towards the main Cuillin hills over on the west.

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