Ben Cleat at Elgol – unbounded laziness. Saturday 3rd February 2018.

Date: Saturday 3rd February 2018
Distance: 4.2km
Ascent: 335m

A poor forecast for Saturday saw us heading NW towards sunshine. A rather unrelaxing drive dodging large potholes ensued.

Passing through Shiel Bridge we spotted the goat herd, complete with this year’s kids so we stopped for a look.

Heading onwards we were swithering about what to do….considered Raasay but were a bit tardy for the ferry so we headed on a slow jaunt out to Elgol, stopping in a few places to look for wildlife.

Decided on a very short walk up Ben Cleat, the small hill above Elgol with rather big views. We’d done a walk a few years back from Kilmarie over Beinn Leacach, Beinn Meabost and Ben Cleat, we reckoned Ben Cleat was the best viewpoint of the 3 and only a short walk from Elgol.

Parked in the upper car park and then walked back up the seriously steep road to take the signposted path to Camasunary at NG 519 138. Headed out onto the grazings.

Just out of Elgol:

A nice place for a wander – the Cuillin certainly provides a distracting view. Sgurr nan Eag looks amazing – fancy visiting it one of these days.

Sgurr nan Eag:

Once across the little burn about 700m out of Elgol we simply headed uphill.

Ascending Ben Cleat:

A shower was apparent upwind towards Sgurr na Stri – gave a nice wee rainbow.

Rainbow and Sgurr na Stri:

We were entertained to something I can’t remember seeing before….the wind was pushing the shower direct towards us with our backs to the sun, so the rainbow glided in our direction becoming ever larger then disappearing as the shower passed through our location.

An approaching rainbow:

Got a brisk dowsing from the shower as we headed up to the summit of Ben Cleat. Saw a solitary Golden Eagle wheeling around out past Beinn Meabost as we neared the summit.

Sat and enjoyed the vista for 40 minutes as we had lunch.

Sgurr an Eag from Ben Cleat:

I reckon we would enjoy a camp up here, well under an hour from the car with a stunning view of the Cuillin and the Small Isles. We could even see the Oigh Sgeir Lighthouse past Canna – something we’ve seen from many Western Seaboard high camps. Another of those “some day” plans.

Ben Cleat view:

Another shower was moving our way as we packed up to leave the summit. This one caught us a glancing blow on its way past.

Another shower and rainbow:

In descent we got a short view of an immature Sea Eagle which wheeled a few times then flew out of sight up Glen Scaladal.

Another shower emerged from the Cuillin in pursuit of us as we headed to Elgol.

Pursued back to Elgol:

We failed to outrun the pursuit and were treated to a soaking for the last 2 minutes.

A nice wee walk, and a decent day. Totally lazy of course, but good to get out and see some sights.


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