Arnaval, Isle of Skye. – Section 17B.
Height – 369 metres. Map – OS Landranger 32.
Climbed – 16 June 2010. Time taken – 4 hours.
Distance – 9 kilometres. Height climbed – 440 metres.
Trip Report Details:
The weather forecast for Skye was for low cloud most of the day so I was looking for a hill without too much height and as I was staying at the Skyewalker Hostel, at Portnalong this Sub 2000 Marilyn meant I didn’t need to use my car.
I left the Hostel and walked west along the B8009 for around 300 metres to the signposted route for Portnalong Cemetery. I followed the cemetery road to its end where a cottage was located. Just before this cottage a vehicle track took me to a small forest where I climbed over the gate, entered the forest, and walked along the vehicle track which suddenly came to an end. I therefore had to clamber over a barbed wire fence and follow the edge of the forest to the bridge over the Ardtreck Burn. Obviously if I was following this route again I now know to avoid the forest.
Once across the bridge I followed the fence line until it turned left where I commenced the ascent of Cnoc na Coille-beithe and on towards Arnaval crossing a mixture of vegetation including some boggy sections. It was an easy gradient and I soon arrived at the summit cairn of Arnaval, with low cloud swirling around.
I sat here for around forty minutes as I kept thinking the cloud was going to lift but it never cleared sufficiently for me to get any views. While seated there a hawk type bird briefly landed around 30 metres away but on spotting me quickly flew off.
Rather than just return by the ascent route I decided to head for the rocky knoll, Dirivallan, which in the cloud necessitated me using the abundance of lochans to navigate my way there, avoiding the Arnaval Crags.
Once lower down I was out of the cloud and could see the route ahead. I climbed Dirivallan, which is a lump of magma, where I had views of Fiskavaig Bay and the Island of Oronsay. I descended to the crofts at Fiskavaig, finding a skylark’s nest before passing through a fenced off area which was overgrown and made for awkward walking. On reaching the road it was a short walk back to the hostel as the sun tried to break through. However the cloud never lifted off of Arnaval that day.
Photos taken on walk.