An Cliseam – repetition pays off. August 2014.

Date: Monday 25th August 2014
Distance: 11km
Ascent: 1200m

An Teallach over Scalpay Bridge

Another perfect looking day on Harris. Hazel still being poorly mobile we decided to split up again.

We have a not insubstantial list of hills we’ve been in weather or by routes that failed to do justice to them. Fairly prominent on that list is An Cliseam….ascended by the tourist route in 2011 prior to catching a ferry to N Uist.

Hazel dropped me off at the bridge over the Abhainn Scaladail – NB 183 099. Set off up the path along the river – an attractive looking glen.

Sgurr Scaladail

Wended up the muddy path – only one pair of eyes looking for wildlife again.

Abhainn Scaladail hawker:

Highland darter:

The path is windy, rough and soupy – progress was not quick. But it does climb up into a splendid high coire under Clisham.

Up to the ridge from the high coire:

Lots of trout rising in these lochs.

Loch Mhisteam and Clisham:

From here headed NW to pick up the NE ridge of Mullach an Langa – easy terrain with short grass and occasional rocks. This ridge then broadens the views north to Lewis.

Loch Langabhat:

Up on summit and checked in with Hazel – she was edging slowly up Todun and could see me.

This summit is an eagle perch – a hare spine and eagle pellets speak of its good views.

The Clisham horseshoe from Mullach an Langa:

On cue a goldie rose up from Gleann Mhiabhaig and over the ridge.

Eagle in the distance:

The arresting part of the view was to the south though.

South to the beaches:

Uisgneabhal Mhor and the beaches:

Carried on along the ridge to Mulla Fo-tuath – the going remains very easy.


The gaze is always drawn to the south though. Must say I was rather gutted that Hazel was not seeing it too.


Got to the top of Mulla Fo-tuath the ridge going on begins to possess a bit more drama, without being difficult.

Sea view from Mulla Fo-tuath:

Clisham and Mulla Fo-dheas:

Mulla Fo-dheas from Mulla Fo-tuath:

Beaches from Mulla Fo-Tuath:

Pushed on – about a 100m ascent to the top of Mulla Fo-deas. In the lee of the hill it was hot work. Got to the top as a text from Hazel said she was starting down Todun – which had emerged in a gap to the right of Clisham.

Todun and on to Torridon:

Sat on this summit for a while – splendid eyrie. Watched a pair of ravens circling around and saw the odd person on Clisham.

The rather complex morphology of Sgaoth Aird:

South down Harris to Uist from Mulla Fo-dheas:

Sgaoth Aird and the spine of Skye

Skye and Rum:

North to Lewis:

As I was getting ready to leave spotted another eagle rising up from the south – it was spinning and stooping alternately. Soon headed off towards Uisgneabhal Mhor.

Golden Eagle:

The ridge then drops steeply down from this top. For the most part it’s easy but there was a short minor scramble needed (which I think can be bypassed).

Descent route from Mulla Fo-Deas:

A 200m rather hot slog to the summit of Clisham. The summit actually has a poorer angle on the beaches than the early part of the ridge. Does have nice views to the west though.

West from Clisham:

St Kilda and Boreray – somewhere to visit one day

South- east across Todun

The Uig-Tarbert ferry was on its way to Harris.

Over the sea fae Skye:

Didn’t spend much time here – Hazel had got down Todun and was going to meet me at the tourist route base. A quick trot down the 650m to the car.

Sgaoth Aird from Clisham descent:

As I was changing out of my boots we heard some ravens calling – always worth taking a look to see what they’re up to. 2 golden eagles were swooping around each other with the ravens on an intercept course – they picked on one of the goldies which promptly flew over the car and away.

Eagle and raven:

A cracking day and a very nice route. The sin of Clisham half atoned for – another return needed for Hazel.

Someone recommended patience for perfection on this hill – I’d say impatience and repetition can be just as effective. 😉

Drove round to Horgabost to watch a perfect sun to the horizon sunset.

Hebridean sunset:

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