Rum Meet Day 2 – Bloodstone Hill and Orval. May 2014.

Date: Sunday 11th May 2014
Distance: 23km
Ascent: 1100m

Day 2 of the Rum Meet – the forecast suggested a clearing day so we had a relaxed breakfast before setting off mid-morning.

A nice forecast tempted us back to the west side of the island.

A brisk walk out the Kinloch Glen road saw us join the Monadh Mhiltich track after about 1 hour, a few SHillers around on the route out.

The track up to the Fionchra-Orval bealach is fairly good quality and the weather was clearing as we approached the bealach.

H at bealach:

Fionchra is a mere 60m ascent from here and worth the effort on a clear day. We carried on as the cloud was still coming and going. There are nice views to Canna and S. Uist from the bealach onwards here.

As always the Stevenson lighthouse on Oigh-sgeir catches our attention.

Oigh-Sgeir:

The Orval cliffs above the track are rather dramatic, more so wreathed in mist.

Misty cliffs of Orval:


The path is of good quality as you cross the head of Glen Guiridil.

Bloodstone Hill and Glen Guiridil:

Disturbing deer herds on the way we ascended Bloodstone Hill to its precipitous summit. About 3hrs and 10mins to the top.

The NW breeze was driving mist up and over the thousand feet cliff line. A nice spot for a camp if I say so myself.

Mist at Bloodstone Hill:


Sat and enjoyed the views in rather pleasant sunshine, joined by Greg and Mairi who had come over Orval.

Canna:

Air clarity remained good – could see S to the Treshnish Isles and the Ross of Mull.

Dutchman’s Cap Treshnish Isle:

There was interesting variable cloud coming and going, never lasting too long.

Orval from Bloodstone Hill:

A golden eagle briefly appeared over the sea cliffs of Sgorr Mhor and then disappeared.

We had been watching a heavy shower creeping our way so said our goodbyes to Greg and Mairi and headed across to Orval.

Dark weather towards Skye:

Orval and Fionchra:

Ascended via the easy N arm of Sron an t-Saighdeir (Greg and Mairi had chosen a rather more sporting descent to the west).

Our approaching shower closed in slowly but inevitably. Grabbed some photos before the shower hit.

Bloodstone Hill and Canna from Sron an t-Saighdeir:

Rum Cuillin from Sron an t-Sagheir:

Donned waterproofs for the walk from Sron an t-Saighdeir to Orval and then waited for the shower to pass, which it duly did in about 15 minutes.

The views opened back up to the west and the sun came back out.

We decided to head along the tops of the Orval cliffs to the Fionchra bealach rather than over to Ard Nev, partly for views, partly to recce the terrain for next time.

The cliff line is a splendid wander.

Bloodstone and Guiridil from Orval:

Orval:

Bloodstone, Guiridil and Canna:

There’s a nice view of the pinnacle from the cliff-line above.

Fionchra and Orval pinnacle:

Found a bit of a spring and a wee lochan at NM 336 996 – always nice to know where the water might be for camping. The newts liked it too.

Orval newts:

Took an unseemly amount of time descending to the Fionchra bealach – just the kind of enjoyable hands-in-pockets wandering we love.

Ard nev and the Rum Cuillin:

From just above the bealach we got a nice view straight up Glen Brittle to the Old Man of Storr.

Old Man of Storr:

From the bealach we turned our backs on the open sea view to head for the hostel.

Last view of Canna:

Spotted a Golden Eagle on the return – soaring above our heads.

Golden Eagle:

Back to the hostel for an evening with a fine bunch……and a very late night.
😀

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