I’m off to Skye in a couple of weeks. A long awaited return to one of my most favourite places anywhere in the UK. My brother and I have rented a small croft on the northern end of the island, on the Trotternish peninsular. We have no plans other than to relax, drink some whisky, burn some logs and generally disconnect from work and family and all the other trappings of our busy working lives.
My knee is feeling sufficiently healed for me to contemplate some walking – not walking walking, just bimbles with the dog and perhaps a couple of small ascents to trig points, or longer walks around areas we both want to explore a little more.
One area we will be visiting is the Quiraing, an incredibly beautiful and spectacular section of the Trotternish ridge which boasts dozens of rocky outcrops, weird-shaped hills and incredible buttresses galore. A quick search of ‘Quiraing’ in Google Images will show you what I mean. A stranger collection of photos would be hard to imagine.
I was browsing this list just the other day when one particular photo caught my gaze and made me stop and think. I imagine we’ve all done it when we’ve been out walking – spot a likely promontory on a hill or mountain and try to manoeuver ourselves into such a position that we can capture that ‘wow moment’, that ‘man on the edge’ picture. It’s often very difficult unless you’re walking with a companion, which I rarely am, so I don’t have many of these photos myself. The other problem is that the truly spectacular photos often need ropes and helmets and some considerable nerve; the first of which I don’t own and the second is generally in short supply!
The photo that jumped out at me seemed really quite achievable and the ‘wow factor’ was pretty high too, so I spoke to my brother and we now have at least one plan while we’re away. We’re going to try and recreate this photo – with me in the frame.
I can’t seem to track down the original photographer, so I can’t attribute the picture to its creator, it seems to appear on several sites, none of which appear to attribute it either. As best as I can tell, the subject is the southern end of the huge rocky outcrop called the Prison, located at NG 452689 on the popular Quiraing circular path. The photographer is located on the slightly higher northern end, looking down and across to the walker on the pinnacle. It seems a short scramble is needed to get up to the top, but nothing too technical I hope.
I took a picture of the Prison on my Skye Trail walk in 2012 and in order to provide my brother with an idea of what was required from him and his camera, I came up with this photo shoot plan.
It’s always good to have something to aim for!