A hike in the footsteps of mountaineering royalty also takes in some of the Scottish Highlands’ finest views
Excitement rises from the get-go. Ahead, a clearcut path leads through ankle-high heather across a landscape bound on either side by the Red and Black Cuillin, two dark-frowning massifs with deeply scarred features and bones of rugged gabbro. Even half-hidden in mist on this overcast morning, they are to me the most beautiful mountain ranges in Britain.
Yet beyond these, almost coming into the light between the two, is Sgùrr na Strì, a far more modest 494-metre knuckle of coagulated rock that threatens to upstage them. Many say the view from its summit is the most spectacular in Scotland, and the shifting of shadows from the hilltop’s panorama, across the Black Cuillin to Loch Coruisk, the Small Isles and the Sea of the Hebrides, make it feel as if it is always in motion.