Hebrides Day 6 – Taran Mor and Ceartabhal. June 2016

Date: Thursday 9th June 2016
Distance: 20km
Ascent: 1100m

A peaceful night – no surf noise or oystercatchers from our higher camp. Stuck my head out at 0430 to greet the sun….although it had only just set.

Dawn on Huiseabhal Beag:

Went back to sleep for a couple of hours.

After the snooze button:

Up at 0630 breakfast and a chance to appreciate our fine position.

Scarp and Scarp:

Huiseabhal Beag has some lovely views down to Traigh Mheilein and Scarp. All of the hills in this area are worth an ascent.

Traigh Mheilein from Huiseabhal Beag:

Once again Taran Mor catches the eye – looming over Loch Reasort.

Taran Mor over Loch Reasort:

A slim data signal managed to digest a weather forecast that looked fine for the day. Our options were a Clisham horseshoe or a trip to Taran Mor.

We swithered on our descent back to the car at Huisinis.

Huisinis South beach:

In the event we decided to seize the day and visit Taran Mor – with a cracking day on the cards.

Parked up again on the Loch Chliostair road at NB 055081. As earlier in the week we followed the road 500m to Loch Leosaid before taking the track up Gleann Leosaid to the bealach with Gleann Crabhadail.

Tiorga Mor again:

Busy midge eater:

Track to Loch Crabhadail:

Having started a little earlier than Monday the heat was a little less intense for the ascent to the bealach.

Loch a Ghlinne:

From the bealach we took a line skirting Ceartabhal on its west flank to its bealach with Sgianait.

Last night’s pitch from Ceartabhal:

Sgianait, Lag Mor and Mas Garbh provide a fine view of Loch Crabhadail and Huiseabhal Beag. The terrain is scoured rock – in essence this area and the Uig hills are similar geology, separated by Loch Reasort which extends several kilometres east. The terrain is great wandering country – very enjoyable.

View from Sgianait:

Mas Garbh:

Scarp and Huiseabhal Beag:

Much alarming by corvids and plovers heralded a rapid fly-past by an immature sea eagle heading towards Taran Mor.

Taran Mor:

We’d wondered if we might get down NE from Mas Garbh towards Taran Mor, but the allt we’d hoped to follow took a rather sharp drop over about 20m. Decided instead to skirt the crags by heading east to NB 048 136 before ascending Taran Mor up its SE flank.

Skirting the crag line:

A simple easy ascent to the summit.

Just over 300m tall and not even a Marilyn it’s just one of those points that catches the eye – a bit like the Stack of Glencoul I suppose.

It is a very fine viewpoint though. Took in the views across Aird Mor and Beag to the Uig hills of Lewis.

Across Aird Mor and Aird Beag to the Uig hills of Lewis:

Loch Reasort extends about 8km west separating Harris from Lewis.

Loch Reasort:

Sat around and enjoyed lunch with a view. Well worth the effort to visit I think.

Taran Mor pano:

Link to Larger.

Eventually set off to head back to the car via Ceartabhal. Disturbed a few plovers off nests on the way. Never see them before the parent starts up unexpectedly.

Golden Plover nest:

The heat had built substantially so we were now moving at a slow pace with a 400m ascent up Ceartabhal.

Tiorga Mor and Ceartabhal:

Taran Mor from Ceartabhal approach:

Another Plover nest:

Eventually reached the summit of Ceartabhal – also not a Marilyn. This summit is rather easier to reach than Taran Mor and actually has some really fine views both locally and south across the sea to Ceapabhal plus north to Lewis.

Would be easy to pitch on too….a large, flat, grassy summit.

Scarp from Ceartabhal:

South to southern Harris:

There were many, many crane flies around – they seemed to gather in the shade.

Crane flies in the shade:

Sat around for a while enjoying the sun – our slim data signal suggested it might be in hiding for a few days.

Eventually started back towards the car.

Across Leosabhal to Beinn Dubh, Taransay and Ceapabhal:

Dropping back down to the car:

Back at the car we drove back to Huisinis and found a pitch SW of the farm buildings on a smaller beach. A bit tired, and with the cloud starting to build, we ate tea and quickly got to sleep.

Cracking walk – great to get up to Taran Mor which has been drawing us in for a few years. Certainly found a few areas we’ll try to get back into.

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