Most people climb up to the Old Man of Storr pinnacle, but the summit of The Storr feels miles away from the hordes below and if it’s a short hill you are after, it’s difficult to beat for wow factor. Most routes up describe heading for the Old Man first but if you want to avoid the scrambly rocky hiking beyond that, then this shorter route is a great one.Very safe, very easy (apart from the usual uphill slog and some initial rough boggy ground.That’s what boots are for!) The views all the way are superb.The Storr, at 719m, is the highest of a dozen summits on the spectacular , 30km long, Trotternish ridge.
Start: on the A855 beyond Loch Fada and opposite Loch Leathan. This is only a few minutes drive south of the start of the Old Man of Storr hike. Look for an obvious small waterfall on the left where there is also parking.
Time: less than 2hours to the summit; 3-4 hour round trip.Ascent: 574m.
Walk up beside the small waterfall on a boggy path, barely a sheep track. Follow a route as best you can for a few minutes, along the burn(river), there is a path – just – at times. The aim is to access a beautiful wide, high grassy path below the ridge itself, which leads easily to a Bealach – a pass – giving access to the Storr ridge itself. This high path becomes visible below the ridge on the right, an obvious escarpment and once you have your eye on it, cross the very rough moorland and aim for its low point. This section of the walk is the worst for bogginess and roughness and is over in 20 mins or so. What is also visible from the road is the low point of the ridge itself, which is what you are also aiming for.Except for this nice low grassy point, crags and cliffs bar the way.
In no time, the damp moorland is crossed and much drier grass is reached with a 5 -10 minute pull up onto the grassy track. Just choose the easiest ground, there is no path as such but it’s now decent going.
The walking is much lovelier now as the path winds round taking you easily and safely to the low point of the ridge past the crags, with wonderful views opening up all around of the magnificent landscape of Skye, all set against the blue ocean.
There is a path on the short cropped grass from here up to the summit which is still about 45 mins to an hour away. But the ridge is so delightful to walk on, you can make your own route. It is very wide with spectacular drops on the right only – good for photos whilst feeling very safe. It’s worth remembering where you accessed the ridge, so that you can locate it easily on the return. The terrain can take on a samey look and there are cliffs and crags all around, apart from this wide safe access route.
It’s a pull up now on steepening grassy slopes to the summit.There is a path which takes you away from the cliff edge and contours up the broad final slopes.
I admit that I have climbed The Storr twice and never had a summit view yet – bad planning on my part.
I’m determined to do it soon again to get the full Bhoona, so to speak , in terms of views. However, rising cloud and mist can also bring their own spectacular effects.It was still great, as ever, to reach the summit.