What Ancient Landslips Wrought
Photo Essay: Hiking the Storr
We crossed to Skye by ferry in fog and rain and drove to the house we’d rented in darkness. In the morning we filled the tank in Broadford and drove north toward the Storr, a rocky hill rising 2,359 feet on the Trotternish Peninsula. The original plan was to traverse Cuillin Ridge, but a weather pattern coming from Hurricane Gonzalo sent us wind gusts reaching 70 mph accompanied by pouring rain and hail, so the Storr seemed like a reasonable alternative. Its views are nothing to scoff at: it was the backdrop of the opening scene in Prometheus.
As we drove near we could see the cliffs and one high jagged rock pinnacle, the “Old Man” of Storr, rising in the distance, partially obscured by clouds. The weather turned for the worse as we started up the slope, and we were glad that we came prepared with foul-weather gear — tourists out for a walk in ponchos were pinned to the ground to prevent themselves from being tossed down the hillside by wind as hail pelted their backs. The weather reinforced the otherworldly landscape, and when the sun finally ripped a seam in the clouds we sat down at the top of the Storr and warmed ourselves like Highland sheep.