Skye Trail days 5-7

Upon meeting Phil and Dan Wednesday morning Dan had decided to sample the UK transport system and head south back to Portsmouth, we wish him well, but he may still be on a bus somewhere.  Myself and Phil then headed round Loch Sligachan with a cold and overcast day.  We then spent the rest of the morning heading north along the coast with views across to the Isle of Rassay where I used to work, heading to the town of Portree.  At Portree we had a break of fish and chips and then carried on north round the coast heading up onto the cliff tops heading towards Loch Leathan for our camp under the Old Man of Storr.  By this point the wind had picked up with the low pressure over the UK, but luckily we were missing the rain.  We made good progress covering about 25km over 9 hours.

Day 6, Thursday: Today was the toughest day on paper, and we turned out to be right.  With neither of us getting much sleep the night before due to the tent trying to leave us for most of the night, we headed off towards the Old Man of Storr with the cliffs behind covered in cloud and the wind unrelenting.

Once at the Old Man and on the Trotternish ridge that runs to the north of the island the theme of the day was focused around the wind.  For the next 7 hours we battled and I’m not sure who won.  With an average wind speed of about 40 mph with gusts up to about 50 mph it was very hard going.  At points we were using all our strength just to move forward let alone at any kind of pace.  But fortunately the wind was blowing us away from the cliff.  We struggled on going up and down the hills that make up the ridge with the wind strongest in the saddles in between being pushed round the hills, so crossing these flat sections should have been easy but we ended up just trying to stay upright.

So up and over the last hill and we reached the car park on the road heading to Staffin and with the wind easing and the sun now out we had a rest.  I think Phil was broken at this point.  But we still had 4 km to go.  So round Needle Rock and Table rock we went to camp at by Loch Langaig near Flodigarry, 25km and 10 hours.

Day 7 Friday: We got up after having a good nights sleep and headed along the road north on the final leg.  We cut off across the mor land following the coast with good views across to the Western isles with the sun shining.  A few hours later we were nearing Meall Tuath on top of the cliffs at the very north of Skye.  We had done it!  And more importantly Phil has raised over £3000.

All that was left now was a break in the bothy and a bus ride back to the car and then heading back to Fort William.  Over all we have covered over 150km, scrambled over the Clach Glas ridge and the Dubh Slabs and excluding the towns only saw 5 people on the trail, and one bad weather day, not bad for a week.

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