Gla­maig Route 2

The con­i­cal cap­tain of Skye’s Red Hills

Trail (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Gla­maig and its neigh­bours form the Red Hills, or Red Cuillin, of Skye with their gran­ite slopes ap­pear­ing to shine red in the right con­di­tions. While they may be smaller than their darker, more fa­mous Cuillin neigh­bours, the Red Cuillin are def­i­nitely not with­out their own charms and chal­lenges.

Slap bang at the bot­tom of Gla­maig is the Sli­gachan Ho­tel, an in­sti­tu­tion of Skye and the moun­taineer­ing world more gen­er­ally. Since open­ing its doors in 1830, walk­ers and climbers have flocked to its bar, which lat­terly even has its own brew­ery. This def­i­nitely pro­vides an in­cen­tive to fin­ish the route quickly, but some seem to have taken this to ex­tremes.

In 1899, Hark­abir Thapa, a Gurka vis­it­ing Skye de­cided to run up and down the scree slopes of Gla­maig’s main peak, Sgurr Mhairi. He com­pleted the run in 75 min­utes but when lo­cal landowner McLeod of McLeod doubted him, he did it all over again, this time in just 55 min­utes and re­put­edly with­out shoes. Over a cen­tury later there is still an an­nual hill race in­spired by his en­deav­our. The 2018 win­ners Finlay Wild and Jill Stephen hold the cur­rent records of 44mins 22secs and 56mins 9secs. Although seems likely that they wore shoes!

For the rest of us, it’s worth tak­ing a bit more time. With its dis­tinc­tive con­i­cal peak, long airy ridges and spec­tac­u­lar scree slopes, Gla­maig is a wor­thy com­pan­ion to the pub at its foot. Plus, with its great van­tage point in Glen Sli­gachan, it is ar­guably the best view­point in Skye. Drink in the views then head down to drink in the beer!

Look­ing over to Beinn Dearg Mhor from Gla­maig, and east to the main­land moun­tains.

A High­land cow at the start of the route, with the Black Cuillin peaks of Sgurr nan Gil­lean and Am Basteir be­hind.

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