Traversing the Rum Cuillin .. soon (ish)

I’ve got two big walking dates in my diary for this year (so far) and I’m just beginning to fact-find about the first of them – a trip to Rum (Rùm) and a traverse of the Rum Cuillin. This will be in early May and I can’t wait.

I’m excited for a few reasons, one is the obvious thing of getting out in to the wilds (including some camping and staying in a bothy) and of walking somewhere new  – but I’m also intrigued by this part of the world. Despite being conceived (as a person, not as an abstract construct) on nearby Lewis and despite having a Scottish mother, I haven’t ever been to the Scottish islands.

Shame on me. Hopefully this will be the first of a few excursions.

I think my mitigating excuse is that it’s a.bloody.long.way (even from Yorkshire) to the inner ‘small’ isles. And with family in Erskine and Perth, those locations have always been the destination for any trips north of the border  – and rightly so.
But this time it’s a straight run up to Mallaig and the ferry. Cousins, if you’re reading this .. I won’t be able to drop in by the looks of it, pah.
Island of Rum in Scotland and rocks vista
Photo courtesy of my son who was in Rum last year. I didn’t check with him, so Joe – I owe you a pint dude.

The other reason I’m excited is that one of my sons has been to Rum and his description of the island (despite the ticks) was captivating.. names like Trollaval are fantastic : Mountain Of The Trolls.

In my head that’s a mashing together of the spirit of some of the isolated parts of Iceland we both saw and my childhood (and recent film-based) Tolkien recollections.
And I saw Troll Hunter recently too, to add to my (probably inaccurate) imaginings of the strangeness of the place. Not sure if one will visit the bothy that I think we’re staying in .. but I’ll have my camera with me just in case. And not just Trolls but ghosts frequent the bothy too apparently .. even better 🙂

And judging by the photos I’ve seen from son Joe, on Flickr and on the blogs below, it looks to be a dramatic and beautiful place.

The second trip I’m planning and need to definitely, definitely get in shape for is the National 3 Peaks challenge which I’m sure everyone knows is 3 mountains in 24 hours. I’ll be doing that with and for a rough sleepers charity that I support called Simon on The Streets. More of that another time.

I checked with my GP and I got the all-clear on the 3 peaks. I’ve climbed some big hills (that’s not a metaphor, well, it is a bit) in the last 18 months so I should be okay but it’s always good to check in with the doc. My blood pressure has regulated to a good level in the last few months – thanks to the medication no doubt but also by really cutting out salt, reducing the ridiculous amounts of coffee I used to drink and watching the processed food intake. Salt – don’t do it kids, it’s a killer.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to both trips!

More on Rum from a couple of great blogs I follow:

http://backpackingbongos.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/a-wilderness-slackpack-on-the-isle-of-rum-pt1/

http://writesofway.com/2011/02/19/a-fleet-footed-rum-cuillin-recce/

10 thoughts on “Traversing the Rum Cuillin .. soon (ish)

  1. Sounds wonderful. Although we’ve been to the Highlands many times, we’ve never done any of the islands either. Current plan is for maybe summer 2013 (we’re off to Norway this summer). Are you planning on buying Pete Edwards book ‘Walking on Rum and the Small Isles’ then? We’ve also bought this book, ‘Wildlife Traveller: Scottish Islands’, which has a bit of info about Rum in. By the way, if you’re taking your dog, a word of caution. You may already know this but just in case you didn’t, dogs can get Lyme Disease from ticks. We didn’t realise until our chocolate lab was very poorly with it after our last trip to the Cairngorms. Apparently though, if you treat them with Frontline before you go (each treatment lasts a month), then they may still get the odd tick, but the ticks are killed before they can pass the disease on. Happy travels!

    • Hi Chrissie, I spotted that book and I’ll have a read I think, it looked a good primer.
      Not taking the dog, just a few humans on this trip. She doesn’t travel too well in any case, about an hour is the max no barf zone for her :-/

  2. Actually, I just noticed the Pete Edwards book isn’t due out till after the trip (Amazon says 15th June). Not sure if that is their distribution or the actual publishing date, I’ll check.

    • It’s strange because on Pete’s website it says Spring, but I’ve also just looked on the Cicerone site and it’s not mentioned at all in the ‘what’s coming soon’ section.

  3. Actually, I just noticed the Pete Edwards book isn’t due out till after the trip (Amazon says 15th June). Not sure if that is their distribution or the actual publishing date, I’ll check.

    • It’s strange because on Pete’s website it says Spring, but I’ve also just looked on the Cicerone site and it’s not mentioned at all in the ‘what’s coming soon’ section.

  4. Cheers Paul and I will have a good read later. I did a longish walk loosely pivoted around (but didn’t get up!) Pule Hill at the weekend. I think the Great Western miss a trick on the need to remove boots, even if you are going to then go and sit back outside again they insist on boots off.. in a pub surrounded by the moors. hmm..

  5. Cheers Paul and I will have a good read later. I did a longish walk loosely pivoted around (but didn’t get up!) Pule Hill at the weekend. I think the Great Western miss a trick on the need to remove boots, even if you are going to then go and sit back outside again they insist on boots off.. in a pub surrounded by the moors. hmm..

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