Skye's "Peak of the young men" - August 1995
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
That fine pinnacle, left-most of the Cuillin summits
visible from Sligachan, had been nagging for many
years. August 1995 saw the family on the island
once again, with (unusually for those parts) day
after day of warm sunshine - and the summits of
Cuillins, so often swathed in mist, revealed for all
to see. Its 3167' summit was climbed for the first
time in 1836. "Do you think we can do it?" I asked
my son. He took little convincing...
The walk starts as a traverse of usually boggy moorland, climbing
only gently for the first few miles, then steepening as one nears
the shapely peak. As the path steepens, so it becomes more and
more stony, until eventually it passes beneath the "Pinnacle Ridge"
and rises to the south-east ridge of the mountain. Here at last the
views, always good to the north, open up to the south as well.
Climbing steeply now, the last 100' or so require hands and feet
and a lot of care - a slip would be fatal, although the rock is
extremely "grippy". The day was hot, and we had paused
occasionally in the shade of some of the larger rocks on the way
up. "There should be a pleasant breeze on the top". There wasn't
- we arrived at the summit and sat there, with not a breath of
wind, taking in the extensive views in all directions. We could see
the whole of the fantastic Cuillin ridge, the mainland highlands in
the east, the far Western Isles of Lewis, Harris and the Uists out
across the sea - and just about the whole of the island of Skye,
below and all around us.
We sat for some time - no-one else came or went, save a few
buzzing flies. It seemed a great pity to have to leave - and the
first 100' of descent were the worst. At least when climbing we
could see where our feet were going! We arrived back at
Sligachan thirsty but very happy - it had been a great day!