Cuillin Ridge Diaries 2007
Friday 15 June.
We are staying at Coruisk for this trip. One does not just arrive at Coruisk, especially if there is no car involved. So firstly there was the absolutely normal 12 hour bus ride to Sligachan. Then we got buses to Elgol, little country buses, sometimes with nobody on them. Logistics dictate that we stay in a bed and breakfast in Elgol, the night before we cross the water to Coruisk, which is lovely and makes good food and there are Belgians to talk to out in the yard before dinner.
Several weeks in advance of our stay we negotiated our tenure of the Coruisk Hut from the warden The hut is owned by the Junior Mountaineering Club of Scotland (Glasgow Section). We are sent a key in an envelope and instructions on how to turn on the water and the gas which is outside at some distance from the hut and contained within a large tank having heavy metal doors lifted laboriously by a rope.
Coruisk Memorial Hut is situated on Skye at the head of Loch Scavaig, close to where the River Scavaig flows the few hundred metres from Loch Coruisk to the Sea. It is about 100m from a new landing stage in Loch na Cuilce (off Loch Scavaig) The building is self contained and sleeps 9 people in bunks within the main room. Sleeping bags are required although there are a number of blankets. Power is supplied by bottled gas that serves the cookers, lights and new stove. Both the flush toilet and the kitchen sink are served by a water pipe running from a nearby burn. All pots, pans, crockery, cutlery, etc. are also provided.
In the morning after being cosseted for the last time in comfy beds, we go down to the pier at Elgol, by a very steep road descending to the small and pretty harbour and get kitted out in flotation jackets ready for the crossing by high speed launch.
If you don’t take the boat you have to walk in from the nearest road which is 6 miles away at Kilmarie. But it is no easy walk, there is a difficult scramble up over the notorious ‘bad step’ to negotiate, and also the stepping stones across the mouth of Loch Scavaig.
The Climbing Hut in Coruisk is isolated, being the only building for many miles, and the next nearest habitation is probably across the water in Elgol .
As the launch nears the land at Coruisk, we pass low rocks projecting from the sea upon which seals are basking in the sun. Excited, we scan the approaching rocky terrain for signs of our new home and finally see it standing alone amongst the grey hostile mountains coming down to meet the sea.
It is a tiny white building and quite primitive inside. The thing I notice most as soon as we walk in is the mouse droppings and nibblings. They have been everywhere and nibbled everything.