Skye Hillwalking

13.06.14 – Bruach Na Frithe

Bla Bheinn main

14.06.14 – Bla Bheinn

So finally I have been able to take some semi decent photographs of some hillwalking I’ve done this year, as previously mentioned all the way back in my exercise details!

It hasn’t been for the lack of trying! I’ve been out on our local hills at Ben Lomond but from the photographs I took I might have just as well uploaded a grey picture. The weather really hasn’t been great!

Right, so just this last weekend I headed off to Skye with some of the guys from work. I drove up there last Thursday, a distance of 220 miles, leaving our house in Glasgow at 8.15am and my first stop was for coffee and breakfast (naturally, this is primarily a food blog after all!) at Crafts and Things in Glencoe. You’ve just got to sample their lorne sausage breakfast rolls!

After a stop for some food provisions in Fort William for the Thursday and Friday nights dinners and my lunches I finally reached Glen Brittle youth hostel, Skye at around 3pm.

Glen Brittle Youth Hostel

The group all met up at the hostel and after a chick pea tagine (coming soon to the blog!!) which I prepared for myself, we settled in for an evening of wine drinking and re-telling of previous hillwalking expeditions and adventures that we had been on.

The rain absolutely thrashed it down that night. I was in a dormitory with 9 other guys and usually it would have been someone snoring that kept the rest of us awake! Not this time, it was the rain coming down onto the corrugated roof. All I could think of was “great no photographs again”. I knew we would still go out and walk up the hill and get soaked in the meantime but I so wanted just some pictures for the blog to add another area of conversation and healthy living!

We drove to the Sligachan Hotel where we parked our cars on the Friday and we started walking at about 10.50am. First up the Glen brittle walking path that leads to the youth hostel and then up the shoulder, the scree scramble, the jagged ridge and over the boulders where you have to be really careful and especially as its wet underfoot, and we finally summited Bruach Na Frithe at about 2pm.

Of course if goes without saying that on the way down the weather improved, the clouds began to part and there was actually some blue sky and some sun. Guess who had left his camera in the car… (so this is not my photo!)

Bruach Na Frithe

As we were a bit later down from the summit to our cars than we had planned we skipped our original plan of having a quick pint of Guinness in the Sligachan and headed off to our new youth hostel at Broadford.

Broadford Youth Hostel

Some of the guys went out that night for a few pints and to catch up on the proceedings of the World Cup while I enjoyed some wine and banter with a colleague from the group.

The weather was looking so much better on the Saturday. We had ourselves parked in the car park at the foot of Bla Bheinn at about 10.30am and were off pretty quick to make the best of the day.

Bla Bheinn1

The sun streamed down on us, actually giving us a healthy glow and even a slight touch of sunburn to my bald head!

Bla Bheinn2

So it was an amazing hike up the hill. Quite a bit steeper and with more rock climbing than the previous day.

Bla Bheinn3

We had a few chimneys to climb up and some precarious rock cliffs to deal with but we actually hadn’t realised we had deviated slightly from the path and could have avoided this. There was us with all our ordnance survey maps and even GPS technology too! It just shows you how careful you have to be!

Bla Bheinn4

It was about 1.15pm when we reached the summit of Bla Bheinn which was shrouded in cloud, lifting ever so slightly every now and then.

Bla Bheinn Summit View

We had our lunch, passed around the flask of Red Stag to celebrate and laid about enjoying what was quite a heat!

Bla Bheinn Summit Lunch

We came across the path that we should have come up on when we commenced on our descent downwards. It was a path made up of lots of scree and loose boulders so going down was a careful pace for me, although a couple of the other guys were very quick making it down in just under 2 hours. I was down for about 3.15pm and the last of the guys arrived about 4.00pm.

Bla Bheinn Carpark

We celebrated our successful weekend of adding another 2 out of the 282 Munro’s you can “bag” by having tea and cake at The Blue Shed Café! If you ever get to Skye I recommend a trip there to sample their home baking even if you aren’t walking!

Blue Shed Cafe

It was an amazing weekend away. I drove back home from Skye on the Sunday 15th, quite early so I could get back home soon, via another coffee and breakfast stop at Crafts and Things. A bacon and egg roll this time! 🙂

I absolutely love hill walking. I’ve done it in all different types of weather and I’ve done it in the extremes of winter with full winter climbing gear on and hard hats and ropes and all of the proper kit. Mostly though I just want to have a day out with a good bunch of people that you can chat to whilst walking. I’m not into doing anything overly dangerous and I’m more of a social climber for the fitness and fun side of it rather than trying to claim all of the 282 Munro’s. Although I must have done about 100 of them myself since I took up this hobby at university 26 years ago.

Incidentally did you know that hillwalking at a fairly moderate pace, with a back pack on can burn on average about 400 calories per hour? So if I count the hours I was hillwalking over those 2 days, which was about 10 hours and multiply that by 400, then I burnt roughly 4000 calories. That’s nearly 2 whole days that I burned, of my daily recommended intake of calories!

So again, and not to bore you, but just to emphasise, if you follow a healthy, active lifestyle and eat healthily for at least 80% of the time you really CAN have your cake and eat it. Because you have earned it, and you deserve it!

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