CORUISK, SKYE - SGURR NA STRI and MARSCO
On Friday morning, I set off on a Club trip to Coruisk.
Setting off from home at 5.00am allowed plenty of time to reach Elgol to catch the “Early bird” AquaXplore RIB to Coruisk.
View from Elgol:
Crossing by RIB was brilliant – a really fast boat
Aboard the AquaXplore RIB:
The crossing only took around 20 minutes, including a stop en-route to admire the seals.
Heading for Coruisk, aboard the RIB:
During the crossing, we got good views of our first intended hill – Sgurr na Stri.
Sgurr na Stri:
Was nice to get so close to the basking seals.
Sunbathing seals, near Coruisk:
Seals and Shag, near Coruisk:
After departing the RIB at the landing steps, we walked the hundred or so metres to the Coruisk Hut. After opening up the hut and leaving our provisions for the weekend, myself, Dave and Bob set out for Sgurr na Stri.
Unfortunately, the Cuillin were capped in cloud during most of the walk
I have only posted a few photos from this walk as the views weren’t as good as they could have been.
Was nice to get my first ever view of the Dubh Ridge - it looks steeper than I imagined it would be. I hope to do this route sometime in the future.
We ascended towards the monument and then up the ridge towards the twin tops of Sgurr na Stri.
Dubh Ridge and start of Druim nan Ramh ridge:
Myself and Bob visited the West-top first while Dave visited the East-top, then
myself and Bob visited the East-top while Dave visited the West-top
Optional scrambling to West-top of Sgurr na Stri:
Dave at East-top of Sgurr na Stri:
The views from the summit were still pretty-good despite the cloud but was this really the best view in Scotland?
To answer this, I’ll need to come back to find out.
View to Camusunary from summit of Sgurr na Stri:
Loch na Cuilce from summit of Sgurr na Stri:
Loch na Cuilce and Loch Coruisk from summit of Sgurr na Stri:
We returned to the Coruisk Hut via the same route and then spent the night in the hut.
Inside the Coruisk Hut:
Inside the Coruisk Hut:
The next day, myself, Bob, Cliff and Deirdre set off for Marsco. Elsie and Dave accompanied us as far as the bealach and Catriona accompanied us to the base of Marsco.
Hill: Marsco (from Coruisk)
Date: Saturday 4th June 2011
Company: Myself, Bob, Deirdre, Cliff
Time: 10 Hours
Click here to see a map of
the route undertaken
Saturday turned out to be a much nicer day than Friday
We set off from the Coruisk Hut towards the stepping stones across the Scavaig River.
Dave and Deirdre crossing the Stepping Stones:
Bob, Catriona and Cliff crossing the Stepping Stones:
After crossing the stepping stones, we followed the same route as per the day previous towards the bealach between Druim Hain and Sgurr Hain.
Start of Druim nan Ramh ridge from ascent towards bealach:
As we started our ascent, I noticed evidence of a large rockfall below Sgurr nan Eag. I couldn’t recall seeing it the day previous. I checked my camera for the photos I had taken the day previous and confirmed that this rockfall was not there yesterday. Myself and Bob heard what we thought was a strange aeroplane noise at 8:15 that morning, turns out it was this rockfall.
Chris had left before us on Saturday morning and witnessed the rockfall taking place.
Large rockfall below Sgurr nan Eag:
Photo by Chris of the rockfall taking place:
Looking back towards starting point:
As we ascended towards the bealach, I particularly enjoyed the view towards Sgurr na h-Uamha. It looks a fine pointy peak from the South.
Loch a’ Choire Riabhach with shapely Sgurr na h-Uamha in background:
The views across to the Cuillin were pretty-good and they were to get even better as the day went on.
Cuillin Ridge Stitched Panorama (CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER IMAGE):
On reaching the bealach, it was nice to get our first view of Marsco, which was still some way off.
Marsco and Ruadh Stac:
As we started our descent towards Srath na Creitheach, I came up with the idea of undertaking a circuit – going back via Camusunary and the “Bad Step” instead of going back the same way. Bob and Deirdre were also up for this
Cuillin Ridge – from Bruach na Frithe to Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean:
During the descent, I got a great view of Pinnacle Ridge. Had a great day out on
this route in 2009 -
Zoom of Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean:
Looking back towards descent from bealach:
Cuillin Ridge – An Stac to Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean:
After walking a kilometre or so along the track towards Sligachan, we started our ascent of Marsco, initially alongside the Allt nam Fraoch-choire.
The Skye Scrambles book mentioned a walk up the South-East ridge. Instead of heading for the start of this ridge, once past a gorge, we ascended steep grass skirting diagonally to reach the South-East ridge at a height of around 500m.
The views during the ascent of Marsco were quite superb.
Garbh Bheinn, Clach Glas, Bla-Bheinn and Ruadh Stac:
Had a good look at Bla-Bheinn and Clach Glas during the ascent – it looks a scary traverse!
Zoom of Clach Glas :
Sgurr na Stri between Eigg and Rum:
Cuillin from steep slopes of Marsco:
We eventually reached a line of fence-posts which we followed towards the summit.
Following the fence posts up Marsco:
On reaching the ridge the views got even better! Instead of just seeing the Cuillin, we also got views across to Raasay, Torridon, Knoydart, the Skye Bridge, etc.
After such a steep knee-destroying ascent, it was nice to reach a gentle grassy section.
Ridge to summit of Marsco:
View from approach to summit of Marsco:
Looking back along Marsco’s ridge:
Final section of ridge to summit of Marsco:
There isn’t much room at the summit, so we traversed back a couple of hundred metres for a late-lunch stop.
Summit of Marsco:
Cuillin from summit of Marsco:
After our lunch stop, we descended via the same route towards the Allt nam Fraoch-choire.
We then started the long walk out to Camusunary. This was also a really nice walk with fine views of Ruadh Stac (Marilyn) and Bla-Bheinn.
Bla-Bheinn from Loch an Athain:
Approaching Loch na Creitheach:
Approaching Camusunary, with Eigg and Rum in background:
Looking back towards a now distant Marsco:
We stopped to drink the last of our water at Camusunary and then made our way over to the bothy for a look inside.
Having a rest at Camusunary:
Camusunary bothy is really nice – I now hope to stay here sometime.
Inside Camusunary bothy:
After the bothy, we set out along the track from Camusunary to Coruisk, via the “Bad Step”.
After crossing the river, which resulted in one wet foot, we followed the track.
Looking back to bothy across river:
The coastal walk is lovely and worth a walk, whether hillwalking or not.
Coastal path from Camasunary to Coruisk:
Coastal path from Camasunary to Coruisk:
Nice view from coastal path:
Cuillin from coastal path:
Eventually, a few hundred metres from Coruisk, we reached the “Bad Step”.
I wasn’t sure just how “Bad” this “Bad Step” was going to be. Would it be like the “Bad Step” on Am Bastier – which is a step only if you have 20 foot-long legs?
It didn’t turn out to be bad at all. Grade 1 or 2 scramble yes, but it is short with really good hand and foot holds.
Approaching the “Bad Step”:
Bob about to step round onto “Bad Step”:
Myself on the Bad Step (Photo by Bob):
Myself and Deirdre coming off the Bad Step (Photo by Bob):
After tackling the bad step we soon reached the stepping stones and then the Coruisk Hut where we spent another good night.
This morning we caught the Bella Jane boat our from Coruisk to Elgol.
Nice to get a cup of coffee and a piece of shortbread on board, but I much preferred the fast RIB
Looking back to Coruisk Hut from Bella Jane boat:
View from Bella Jane – Gars-bheinn to Sgurr na Stri:
View from Bella Jane – Sgurr na Stri to Bla-Bheinn:
This was my first visit to Coruisk. It will certainly not be my last Ė canít
wait to go back