I was in Skye for 4 days over a week ago staying at The Junior Mountaineering Club hut at Coruisk we had great weather and a superb time. Skye is famous for it rough rock Gabbro
( I used to ensure that the newer RAF Mountain Rescue Team members knew its name ) and it was nicknamed “Grab -rro” it is famous for its superb friction but so rough on the hands and body and its roughness makes your finger tips sore as you use your hands a lot on the steep and rough rock and ground.
The Cuillin Hills on Skye are well known by rock climbers – the coarse, crystalline rock provides excellent grip. These mountains are made of gabbro, a dark, coarse-grained igneous rock. The coarse grain size shows that the gabbro crystallised slowly, deep underground. It was probably intruded deep beneath a volcano that erupted around 50 million years ago.
The rocks have been cut into sharp ridges and mountain peaks, with deep U-shaped valleys now flooded by the sea, like the loch in the foreground. This scenery is typical of land that has been carved out by glaciers it is a wild place.
In fact your finger prints vanish with the abrasion and roughness of this volcanic rock and as is everywhere on the ridge there is no avoiding it. It as rough as a file on your fingers.
After 2 days my finger tips felt so raw that after the third it was sore to touch the rock at times. Now after a week away from Skye they have come back to normal “Skye fingers”no more! In the past after two days rock climbing on the ridge I used to get this regularly now it was another reminder of Skye days. The hard thing was washing as the water was so sore on your tender fingers.
Today’s top tip: A tip when Skye is to wear light gloves on the descents as I seen a few injuries to hands when slipping on the way down and wear a helmet especially if people are above you!
I was sent a copy of a new Munro book very kindly by a pal and I do enjoy reading and took it to Skye and read it every night in my tent. I had forgotten how enjoyable a book is to read by torchlight in a tent in a place do special. It reminded me of the big walks where I carried a book every day despite the weight and loved the break and freedom you got away from the grind in a good book. I also read a lot on expeditions in bad weather it was time to sit and wait for the weather to break. Happy days .
The book : Millennial Munros
I enjoyed this book and its tales, the hard graft to get a plan into action the worries costs, tome, planning,doubt and to break the record for the Munros at the time and then take 17 years to write about it? Now that is different and the self propelled method the swimming scary or what? This book makes you think all the time and the ending is different in many ways and is food for thought. Charlie is one of a bunch of hill runners who I have always admired they travel light and fast on the hills. They are a band of brothers and sisters who have few egos and I have often met them on the hills and marvelled at their grace. Few can appreciate the joy of the freedom they experience moving fast and light using fitness and stamina to take mountaineering to another level.
There are no “prima donas” here, few get the sponsorship or publicity they deserved yet they are a small band growing in numbers on the hills. They are a tight group and love their sport and these wild places and they have a unique camaraderie This book is an insight into a different world but you get the effort and sweat that such a tale tells.
“For those of us able to remember, there was a certain postman who used to run with Westerlands CCC and he did something that few of us who knew him thought he would manage. This is Charlie Campbell, who not only broke the record for the fastest time to complete all the Munros, but did it in a manner that has still not been repeated. Yes, there are new records, but, as far as I am aware, Charlie is the only one who did it self-propelled on land and water. Not only did he cycle between the mountains, he also swam between Mull and the mainland and at various other crossings he donned the necessaries and got swimming. And remembering the year of Charlie’s accomplishment (2000AD) I remember the weather as being generally awful that summer, but don’t dread, judge for yourself what it was like. Now, the point of this item is to bring to the attention of SHR members the fact that Charlie managed to beat the record of the time for conquering the Munros in 49 days. However, his biggest challenge was writing all about it, and that has now taken 17 years! But the good news is that he has at last published his account of his accomplishment and it is called: Millennial Munros – A Postman’s Round. This has been published in Scotland by a small publishing house in Glasgow called Ringwood Publishing. The account has maps and routes and he even mentions the weather along with a heap of other information for all the budding record breakers. And you might well recognize some of the names that are mentioned, of the people, as well as the hills, or even both… For £9.99 it’s a bargain (no I’m not getting a cut!). ISBN: 978-1- 901514-33-9”