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Friday, 15 May 2015

Glen Sligachan 8-5-2015

Friday May 8th was the last day of our week on the Isle of Skye and also the day we did our longest walk. It was also the best day weather wise with near wall to wall sunshine from the off. This walk was a straight there and back covering about 12 miles following a good easy path through the Glen to Druim Hain that has great panorama views of the Cuillins, Loch Coruisk, Loch na Creitheach and out to the Sea of Hebrides and in this fine weather it was a joy.
We started from the Sligachan Hotel and followed the path as it winds it's way up the Glen following the River Sligachan a short distance below the path. It has a real wild mountainous feel to it with the jagged peaks of the Black Cuillins on one side and the more rounded tops of the Red Cuillins on the other. The Black Cuillins still had patches of snow on them letting us know that winter still has a small grip on this part of the UK. There was also a Golden Eagle or two soaring about at different times of the day which gave the place  a real sence of wilderness.
Start from the Sligachan Hotel
I went to the summit of Sgurr Hain
Leaving the Hotel Sligachan behind
Patches of snow lingers on the Black Cuillins
Off through the Glen with the pointed summit of Sgurr Hain in the far distance
Looking back down the Glen
Following the good path
Golden Eagle keeping an eye on us
As well as watching the Eagles and listening to the Cuckoo's that seemed to follow us all day, we were also keeping an eye on some more adventurous mountaineers as they kept coming into view high up on the jagged peaks until they eventually topped out. What a view they must of had and also some adventure as they made there way across the edges. Pretty damn cool :-)
On top of the world
On top of the world
We made our way ever more into the Glen as the river went off to the right deep into the Black Cuillins where I guess that is where the source is, as we passed two small Lochs just before we came to a junction of two paths. We were to follow the one that headed up towards are intended target while the other path headed off towards Loch an Achan & Loch na Creitheach. Jills face at this point was a picture as she didn't realise that we were to go up, and up!! Not high or awkward, just unexpected, although I sort on knew as I had the map but didn't say too much, we could of took the other path but we were both glad we didn't. :-)
Heading off up towards Sgurr Hain
The other path went under Blabheinn to the two lochs
Looking back on our route while Jill looks down :-)
Kissing Rocks :-)
The hotel is down there somewhere
False summit's, don't you just love em! :-) Thinking we were getting to the plateau of Druim Hain, It gave us our first view of Loch na Creitheach as we took another rest before the last pull up.
Looking down on Loch na Creitheach
As we nearing the plateau of Druim Hain a couple of girls passed us and gave us the opportunity to get a photo without resorting to the selfie. We had a little chat and they were on a walking holiday and had done Ben Nevis but didn't make the summit due to the snow and also one walk that I had wanted to do but due to the bad weather didn't manage it, the Quairing.
A view of  Sgurr Nan Gillean where we watched the guys topped out earlier in the day. Looks an interesting way up the knife edge
On Druim Nain
We found a good place to sit out of the wind, not a strong wind but enough to feel a chill while sitting and admiring the views. I decided to go for a wander and took myself up to Sgurr Hain for some good summit views. A bit of a scramble that reminded me of Y Lliwedd of the Snowdon Horseshoe in Wales. Quite an easy scramble to the top but with dramatic drops into Loch na Creitheach below. Another good summit plateau with excellent views of the Cuillin ridgeline and beyond. A great day in fact to be out in the mountains.
Panoramic view of the Black Cuillins from Sgurr Hain
Panoramic views of the Red Cuillins from Sgurr Hain
On my way up Sgurr Hain
Admiring the views from the summit

Summit of Sgurr Hain
Summit view of Loch na Creitheach
View down to Jill and also way down the Glen to the Hotel
Summit view of Jill :-)
Summit view down to Loch Coruisk, the lower Loch

Perfect :-)
We hung about up here for a good 90 minutes or so just soaking up the views, solitude and the sun. Just a great quiet place to be although the Cuckoo was still breaking the silence. I was hoping the golden eagle would put a stop to it but I think he was enjoying the fine sunny weather as much as us to be too bothered with a snack :-)
We made our way down and it seemed to get warmer and warmer as the wind dropped and we ended up in tee shirts for most of the return leg. It also seemed a lot longer on the way back for some reason. We did stop a few times but the last hour just seemed to drag and the hotel seemed to never appear, always going away from us. As we took our time it ended up quite a long day, 9 hours walking, but well worth it. One great thing about the fine sunny day was that we had a great sunset to finish not only the day but a great week. Quite perfect really.
On the winding road back
Looking back on Sgurr Hain
Great wild camp spot
Nine hours later.................
Old road bridge of Sligachan
Sun goes down on another great day

Cheers :-)