Can you climb The Old Man of Storr?

When you stand next to The Old Man of Storr, you suddenly feel very little. However, it’s a great question to ask yourself whether you can climb it or not. There are two reasons which could prevent you from getting on top of it. So, can you climb the Old Man of Storr

You can only climb the Old Man of Storr with the appropriate equipment. There are no laws that prohibit the climb. However, you should be careful about the poor weather conditions of the area and about the form of the rock that makes it really hard to climb.

The slippy stones and the sharp angles of the rocks make the climb dangerous. Also, The Old Man of Storr is considered a sacred place by some locals. Just like Uluru in Australia, it is a sacred rock. Climbing it could offense the locals. Those reasons mean that I do not encourage you for the Old Man of Storr’s climbing. Instead, you can simply enjoy hiking in the area!

Climbing the Old Man of Storr

When people talk about climbing, they also sometimes talk about hiking. So I wanted to write a second paragraph on the hike up to the Old Man of Storr, in case your question was not about alpinism but just about hiking.

Hiking the Old Man of Storr is fairly easy. People should bring appropriate clothes in case of rain, wind, and even snow. Then, people should simply follow the right path, which will be described right now.

big rock emerging from the ground at day time
Look at the hiker next to The Old Man of Storr to represent yourself how huge this rock is. Picture from @hiasleitner.

How to get to The Old Man of Storr?

Get to The Old Man of Storr by car

Since there are no airports close to The Old Man of Storr, the best option for you is to take the car and drive to the car park. Here is how to do it.

itinerary from kyle of lochalsh to the storr
Google Maps itinerary from Kyle of Lochalsh to The Old Man of Storr car park.

I choose to start the itinerary at the entrance of the Isle of Skye to make it clearer. But you may be coming from somewhere else. Indeed, you could be staying in Plockton (which is a lovely village where I have been!) or elsewhere. If that’s the case, make sure to recalculate the itinerary by yourself.

Where to go when you are at the car park?

Once you are in the car park, you must walk. The hike is a bit strenuous and is usually misty. Google Maps’ time may be a little optimistic. Indeed, you will need more than one hour to get to The Old Man of Storr.

itinerary from old man of storr car park to the storr
Google Maps itinerary from Old Man of Storr car park to The Storr.

You will probably see other hikers on the path to get to The Old Man of Storr. If you feel unsure about the way to go, feel free to directly ask them. The path is overall well indicated so you should not encounter that situation.

How was The Old Man of Storr formed?

The history of The Old Man of Storr is subject to a lot of controversies. I wrote a full article about The Legends of The Old Man of Storr. However, we will here get deeper into the facts. Legends are great to hear, but we can also usually find scientific explanations behind every event. This is what we are going to do. So, how was The Old Man of Storr formed?

The Old Man of Storr was formed after several landslips. When the rest of the ground was moving because of the landslips, a particular mineral was able to differentiate itself from the others: the gyrolite. This specific ground under those specific geological movements created sharp rock formations, with altitude differences. Hence, there are cliffs in the middle of an island, and not close to the seashore.

Where can you climb on the Isle of Skye?

If you are disappointed by the fact you cannot climb The Old Man of Storr, there are still some options for you. The Isle of Skye is one of the best places to visit in the UK, and there are tons of rock formations to climb there. The Cuillin Hills of Skye are the most challenging mountain range of Scotland.

How much does it cost to climb the Black Cuillin?

If you want to climb with guides, which is the recommended thing to do. You could climb with Skye Guides. To have an idea of the prices, you will find below a table with all the data you need. Climbing in the most scenic mountain range is a great challenge, but you still have to choose one mountain to climb between all of the mountains of the range. The Black Cuillin is definitely a great challenge. With that table, you will know exactly how much does it cost to climb the Black Cuillin.

RATIO/NUMBER OF DAYS1-day2-day3-day4-day
That table was built thanks to the data found on Skye Guide. If you want to climb with them, feel free to directly contact them.

Hiking at The Old Man of Storr

If climbing is not your thing, hiking is still a great option on the Isle of Skye. Of course, you can hike around The Old Man of Storr, but after one hiking day, you will have probably seen it all. Don’t worry, there are tons of other scenic landscapes to see on the Isle of Skye and in Scotland. For example, if you are a mountain lover, you can get on top of the UK and go to Ben Nevis. If you prefer Scottish Lochs, you can head to the Loch Ness, or basically everywhere in Scotland (since there are Lochs almost every mile).

Scotland is such a unique country with unique people. So, it’s great to visit The Old Man of Storr, but you should not stop there and also visit other places around the country. The road trip format is the best to visit Scotland. Indeed, there are not a lot of airports, so the best is to land in Edinburgh or Glasgow, rent a car, and go on the road. I hope you will enjoy Scotland as much as I did!

sharp rock formation in a misty atmosphere
On that picture, we can really see the altitude difference caused by the landslips. Picture from @itstommysworld.

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