Leac Easgadail – fine off-list walking. May 2015.

Date: Thursday 28th May 2015
Distance: 13.2km
Ascent: 750m

After a night at the Drinishader hostel drying out after a rather wet Wednesday we had a forecast for sunshine and showers.

Last year, while Hazel was nursing a back injury, I went over the Postman’s track from Urgha to Reinigeadal as part of a loop of Todun and Sgaoith Aird.

We decided to head up the track from Urgha and then out the ridge to Leac Easgadail, a nice viewpoint for loch Tairbeart and Scalpay.

Another breezy day – about 25mph, with short, sharp showers and a biting windchill.

The track is excellent quality and makes for quick progress to the high point.

Postman’s Track

Trolamul, about 400m and 40m climb to the north of the track, is a HuMP. We simply headed in the opposite direction across Beinn Tarsuinn and Beinn a Chaolais to Leac Easgadail. A gently undulating ridge.

The Shiants were visible to the NE.

Shiants through shower:

Rather brooding hills towards Clisham (which was clagged for most of the day).

Sgaoth Aird:

As progress is made eastward there’s a nice angle on Loch an Tairbeart.

Loch an Tairbeart:

To the north there is Loch Trolamaraig and the Reinigeadal hostel. We were looking carefully at this area as it looked a good candidate for a pitch site given a forecast for around 30mph northwesterlies into the evening.

Loch Trolamaraig:

As Leac Easgadail is reached there is a cracking view down to Scalpay and its bridge.

Scalpay:

Scalpay pano:

Link to larger pano:

Ducked behind a rock to sit out a particularly perky shower. Made for brooding views on and off.

Scalpay lighthouse and north tip of Skye:

Most of the week was punctuated by the sound of disapproving Golden Plovers.

Golden plover:

Had a chance to look at Pairc – rather hard to get into. Caiteseal would be rather hard to get into on foot. Overall probably too frustrating to walk so far over rough terrain to get to a summit that is less than 3km from a road and a hostel!

Reinigeadal and Caiteseal:

Within 10 minutes of rain it was sunny again (if rather cold).

Out to the Shiants:

Shower passing:

The Uig-Tarbert ferry was shuttling back and forth.

MV Hebrides:

Headed back from Leac Easgadail to Beinn a Chaolais before dropping down to the Molingeanais track.

A snipe erupted from the vegetation under my feet at one point – I had to stand still for a few minutes before I could work out where the nest was to avoid dtanding on it. Amazingly well concealed.

Snipe nest:

More perky weather pulsed on through.

Shower over Reinigeadal:

The cottages at Molingeanais are apparently available to rent. Rather secluded.

Molingeanais:

The path from Molingeanais back to the Postman’s track at the shore of Loch Trolamaraig was rather rough and crossed at least one stream which would be difficult in spate (Gill Gharbh).

Had lunch at the loch shore before heading back over the Postman’s track to Urgha. A cracking zigzag with fine views of the loch. The loch was hoaching with porpoises last august – may return again later this year.

Ascent from Loch Trolamaraig:

Shiant Isles:

Picked up a few supplies at tarbert and then drove round to Reinigeadal. Parked at NB 221 020 and camped at a flat area on the shore at NB 220 017. Initially high gusty winds dropped out into the evening and it proved an excellent pitch site with the added bonus of an otter swimming by in the morning.

Allak on shore of Loch Trolamaraig:

Double rainbow:

Sunset shower:

A cracking day – the Leac Easgadail ridge may not be on a list but it is well worth the effort.

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