The Old Man of Storr : Sky Meets Sea Meets Mountain
The famous pinnacle, The Old Man of Storr, backdropped by the Scottish coastline

Skye’s beauty becomes immediately apparent as you begin the ascent towards the Old Man of Storr. Up close the weatherbeaten structures are an utterly unique sight and a geological marvel. Cast your gaze outwards and the immense Scottish coastline can be seen in the distance.

The Old Man of Storr marks the end of the walk for most, perhaps because most assume that such a stunning view could not be overcome by continuing up the mountain. However, venture onwards and you are rewarded with an exquisite encompassing vista of the entire eastern protrusion of Skye. You are actually able to turn and see the sea on either side of the peninsula. Great mountains reach up and punch the horizon in one direction, whilst behind you the sea stretches it’s legs out to touch the sky. It is breathtaking.

Rugged Isle of Skye ridges sloping into the sea

On the climb to The Storr (the mountain the Old Man of Storr draws its name from), we were accompanied by many a gnarly mountain sheep. One in particular caught our eye. His matted woolly dreads swung in the wind like trophies of past battles won - proof of his verteranship. Hollie, whilst motioning a route forward with a (particularly enthusiastic) thrust of her walking pole, fired the inner shaft sheep-ward. This sent the population scarpering in fear of the rocketing projectile. All but the battle-sheep that is, who tottered off cooly down the mountainside.

Sheer cliff faces dominate Skye's landscape

On The Storr's summit ridgeline, dramatic 90-degree rock faces presented themselves on the opposing cliffs. From then onwards the views crescendoed into an epic finale. A week's deluge of rain had swamped the land far below, drowning the fields which we had passed on the journey up. Temporary lakes had pooled, with no quick escape. Destined to soak into the earth's skin or dissolve and drift skybound.

Scott looks out onto a flooded Isle of Skye

        Words & Photography: Scott Norris (@radventuresofficial) | Additional Photography: Hollie Brennan (@sk8rwizard420) // summer 2014

Map and Directions

old-man-of-storr elevation chart

Directions For The Old Man Of Storr Walk

  1. The trailhead is located at the north of The Old Man Of Storr car park and leads upwards through a dead forest.

  2. After a gate and some warning signs keep right past The Old Man of Storr and Needle Rock.

  3. The path becomes less worn and meets a fence and stile. Cross the stile and follow the contours of the mountain, bending first eastwards before sweeping back round NE.

  4. After 1km or so you will start to reach the crest of the ridge where there are fewer rocks on the left hand slope. Switch back to the south here and climb the ridge to the summit of The Storr (the mountain, not to be confused with the geological feature, The Old Man).

  5. Descend west and then SW off of the summit, arching around the gully and continuing down the slope SE.

  6. The winding continues as the slope turns again to the right (WSW). Look out for the gully with the stream as this is the safest known point of descent down the rockface.

  7. At the bottom of the gully head SE. Before long, the road should come into sight. Aim for the parking place and pickup the road northwards to reach the starting car park.