Hi Jeff..before I retired..I was a regular commuter between Glasgow and Skye.. By that I mean around once a week.. there and back ...winter included.
So if you want my advice .. do not decide until you are ready to go.
Our roads are very fickle in winter. Sometime the A82 Rannoch moor is closed to snow while Drumochter on the A9 is open ..other times its the other way around..it all depends where the snow falls..and no one.. not even Poly can predict where that will be
Dont be fooled into thinking there is a Gulf Stream influence on the Rannoch Moor (A82) It gets snow the same as the rest of Scotland..and is probably blocked by snow in Dec/Jan/Feb as often as the A9 at Drumochter. However ..neither are blocked as often as you may think ? ...but it does happen.
Rannoch Moor in January
I found the A84 going by Callander was the one closed the most.. but even when open.. its a slow drive so would be my last choice.
A84 at loch Lubnaig in January
The worst part of the A9 route is when you have passed the distillery at Dalwhinnie..the A889 section before Loch Laggan normally closes first. There is no mobile phone reception there either ..I know because I have been stuck here for a couple of hours and had urgent phone calls to make.
A889 section after Dalwhinnie in January
The above photos are only for illustration..at present the snow line is around 1500 feet.. all roads are clear with snow only on the hills...but that can change very quickly. I found if the Rannoch moor gets closed..it seems to be closed for longer than the A9. Even the worst bit on the A889 before reaching Loch Laggan is cleared pretty quickly ..or at least I found it was. But sometimes it does get that bad.. the snow gates but that also happens on the A82. Quite often..when one is closed the other way is passable. Which is why I say..dont decide until the day you travel.
Last week the A9 was very slow between Perth and Stirling..but mostly because of flooding rather than bridge traffic. Hopefully there wont be as much flooding when you go.
If no snow..which way did I go ?
It was mood dependant. The A82 is shorter in distance .. harder to drive due to bends and narrow bits..but very scenic. The A9 to Dalwhinnie..and across to Spean bridge..is longer but I found it was around half an hour quicker because with so much dual carriageway .. I kept my speed up..and it is easier to drive. From Dalwhinnie to Spean Bridge..its very scenic too.
Watch the average speed cameras if you go A9 now..but they donít monitor the dual carriageway sections..so you can still overtake on them without getting nabbed..unless you come across a van with a camera. The vans have been monitoring the Rannoch moor section of the A82 lately..so its a risk any way you go.
If there is no snow.. why not go by either the A82 and come back by the A9 ..or the other way round if you prefer..then you will know which suits you best .. for the next time. One is six..the other is half a dozen..in my experience anyhoo.
Skye is stunning any time of the year. You will however notice that at this time of year the daylight hours are noticeably shorter than even the central belt of Scotland. It is also very windy ..sometimes the locals wont drive from Broadford to Portree if the winds are very strong.. ..even though the road doesnít close. Sconsor is infamous for winds. I had a heavy van put on its side once going round into Sconser. It was reasonably calm then a gust of wind came howling out the Cuillin..it then hauled a waterspout high in the air as it hit the sea..heading for Raasay
A windy corner at Sconser
A rough sea at Elgol
Snows on Bla Bheinn ..Skye doesnít get as much snow as the mainland ..normally.
Sorry for the rambling post..but I was bored..and it is hopefully a little more entertaining than saying..go this way or go that way..especially as all the ways mentioned all will get you to Skye.
Im certain you will enjoy your visit there .. regardless the weather..hey I may even bump into you.. you should be easy to spot with the SIB. .. Enjoy your holiday.