Friday, 1 June 2012

Scorching on Skye

Second weekend in a row, racking up about 1200 miles total. But it's a miraculous slice of spring / summer / searing sunshine, so it's worth it. This time I assumed that the North East facing sea-cliffs of Trotternish would be a great escape from the sun. This was partly right, apart from Staffin being a great escape from any form of breeze and thus a haven for midges as well as sweaty shade-seekers. So we went swimming off the slipway and for an excellent cafe lunch in the Granary Restaurant in Portree instead and I had a nap and slogged up to the Old Man Of Storr which is the most bizarre and Alien landscape in the UK and Staffin stays on the wishlist along with further days at Neist and Elgol.

This rest day was sandwiched between some highly rewarding crack climbing at: Kilt Rock, which contains one of the 3 so-called "essential" bits of climbing I was belligerently determined to avoid in Scotland, Grey Panther (along with the over-hyped Reiff, which I have been to and enjoyed despite it being obviously inferior to Caithness, Sheigra, Ardmair, Gairloch, Gruinard etc, and Etive Slabs which still have no appeal). In it's defence Grey Panther did look very good when I abseiled down (apart from the shocking amount of crack-avoidance going on, looking at the chalk), so I did Edge Of Beyond and Skyeman instead. Rubha Hunish, the most Northerly point in Skye (Neist is the most Westerly, the Easterly and Southerly don't have any promoted climbing), where I did the intimidating but utterly excellent Whispering Crack, which took some determination to get on but a lot of pleasure once on it, and finally:

An Sgudan (sp!) boulders beneath the Cuillin, where after an epic slog in in my underpants (I now have burnt thighs with a pantline), I flashed the 10m 8m tape-up tapeless hard-as-nails pretty easy 7a V4+ mega-classic Pump Up The Jam. In the end there was very little climbing per day but it was great enough to be worthwhile. I'm feeling a bit less punterly, my elbow feels good in the heat, and I'm taking advantage of the weather.


Sarah Clough said...

Did you look at / stay in the bothy on Hunish point? It is awesome.
You may even find the rollmat I accidentally left there a year ago.

Fiend said...

Nah Phil likes a bit of luxury for him and his wife, we stayed at the Dun Flodigarry hostel which was pretty damn nice in itself.