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Mealaisbhal, Lewis

Mealaisbhal, Lewis


Postby TIM_H » Thu May 05, 2011 6:51 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Mealaisbhal (Lewis)

Date walked: 30/06/2009

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 8.8 km

Ascent: 510m

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The day dawned sunny and cloudless, and from the B&B at Cradhlastadh, Mealaisbhal looked utterly tempting. After abit of botanising and a spot of lunch, we turned off the tarmac road just before entering into Islibhig at NA278994 and drove up a rocky track across the moorland. It's possible to park one car carefully at the gate at NB002278, but there's no more room for any more without blocking the track (unless you have a 4 x 4 which can be parked off-road). Head across the moorland on a bearing of approx. 70 degrees to the locally-named Valley of The Rocks (NB021282), below the north face of Mealaisbhal. These huge boulders merit some time for exploration. Once in the VOTR, we climbed up Brinneabhal (NB027288) which afforded wonderful views across Uig Sands to the north and wonderful perched boulders, some of which wobble entertainingly. After descending back to the VOTR, we broke across peaty lumpy ground to pick up prominent deer tracks which run along the south side of Loch Mor na Clibhe. Follow these tracks for eastwards until you pass underneath rounded granite slabs at NB031280. Although these look daunting, the best way now is straight up, taking whichever line you like. It is easier to the left, but a direct, spectacular and airy line is easily achieved by following the obvious edge above the gully of Polla Glas. The ground rises extremely steeply, but the rock is rough and very forgiving. This climb brings you out on broken grassy rocky ground on Mula Mac Sgiathain. From here it is a plod over granite boulders to the summit cairn of Mealaisbhal, about 1km to the south. Beware! Many of these boulders move, particularly in the steeper upper section below the summit, as my shredded knees will testify. The view is stunning from here, and has as much bare rock as anyone could ever hope for. We made the descent from the summit towards the SE and then broke around the western slopes in order to photo a few Geographs, but it can be done directly westwards in an hour back to the car. A better option would have been to continue onwards to Cracabhal and eventually Griomabhal but that's for another day.

This walk is one of the best "mini-days out" on the hills I have ever spent, and it is best done after the hills have dried out for a week or so. If Mealaisbhal was on the mainland, this route would be well-trodden. Let no-one ever tell you Marilyns are all dull grassy lumps.
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2009_06300233 Mealaisbal.JPG
Mealaisbhal north face from Brinneabhal
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TIM_H
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 7
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Re: Mealaisbhal, Lewis

Postby foggieclimber » Thu May 05, 2011 7:31 pm

Lots of great hills in the Western Isles. Haven't done Mealaisbhal yet but hope to in next year or so.

Wondering if the hill in the following photo, which I took earlier this week, is Mealaisbhal?

Photo is taken from Forsnabhal looking across Uig beach.
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Re: Mealaisbhal, Lewis

Postby TIM_H » Fri May 06, 2011 2:14 pm

Nice picture. Yes it is indeed Mealaisbhal, with the N-face looking towards you and Cracabhal beyond.
Tim
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TIM_H
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Posts: 7
Munros:177   Corbetts:29
Donalds:1
Hewitts:147
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 25, 2010

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