Ever since I first saw Sidney Richard Percy’s rather romantic view of Loch Coruisk I have had a fascination with the place. So, in October 2011, my friend Leo Manning-Jones and I decided we’d spend a few days at the Loch, wild camping.
The raised area of rough grass, between the two rocky mounds, seen below in Percy’s painting, is where we made our camp.
Loch Coruisk. Sidney Richard Percy – 1874
Now there are really only 3 ways to access the Loch.. either by boat from Elgol, which relies on reasonably fine weather, a coastal walk from Elgol or a steady walk through Glen Sligachan. To then be able to spend a decent amount of time to explore this remote and sizeable area you really have no alternative but to wild camp (or you could book and stay in the Loch Coruisk Memorial Hut)
We chose to walk in from Glen Sligachan. A straight forward three hour walk found us at the cairn on Druim Hain just as the weather decided to take a turn for the worse. We had just enough time to descend to Loch Coruisk, find a solitary spot at the Southern end of the Loch that wasn’t already water logged, and make camp.
The next 16 hours were spent confined to our one man tents, as we experienced some of the worst camping conditions I can remember.. heavy (horizontal) rain, sleet, snow, hail and extremely powerful gusts of wind. I don’t ever recall being so pleased to be curled up in my RAB sleeping bag as the weather relentlessly pummelled the tents, on occasion making us appear like vacuum packed human beings as the tents were blown flat, only to pop back up moments later.. let me just say, it wasn’t a relaxing nights sleep.
The next morning we woke tired but excited. A break in the weather meant I was able to make a couple of pictures, but with worse weather on its way we decided to bail out a day early, which we later realised was a wise decision. So we had a tantalising 24 hours which gave us a taste for this beautifully remote and grand place, to which I will return soon.
To touch briefly on the technical side of things.. For this trip, lack of weight was important, so I took the ALPA 12 STC and a medium sized Carbon Gitzo with Acratech Ultimate Ball Head. I also took with me a single lens, the Schneider/ALPA Apo-Switar 5.6/36 mm.
You can just make out our camp in the top right hand corner of the picture below..
© Leo Manning-Jones – 2011
The morning after the storm had passed, I made this one picture that I was pleased with..
Snow flurry, Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye – 2011