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Size does not matter!

Size does not matter!

Postby chieftain41 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:00 am

Route description: Eaval (Eabhal), North Uist

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Eaval (North Uist)

Date walked: 28/07/2011

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 10.5 km

Ascent: 375m

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When I started out baggig Munros I didn't think small hills would appeal to me, how wrong could I be. In July I was on a family holiday in North Uist. I had taken my walking gear in the hope I might get a walk in but the Uists are pretty flat and full of lochs. The highest point is Beinn Mhor in the South at 620m but it was Eaval in the North seemed a good bet for a family walk standing at 347m. I told my wife that it was only 1/3 the height of a Munro so it should be managable. After studying the route on the map it it showed that there was quite a walk in so I thought it might be too much for my young children, so my wife and I decided to tackle it on our own, with Grandparents looking after the girls. This was my wife's first hillwalk and with Eaval being a small hill I thought it would be a good start for her hillwalking career, wrong, she hated every minute of it and didn't go to the summit. Although as the crow flies, from car park to the hill is a short distance, the walk in takes you around the shore of Loch Obasaraigh which has a lot of inlets and you seem to be walking for a long tme without seeming to get any closer to the base of Eaval. The path is narrow at times, wide enough to take one foot only. My poor wife kept on going over her ankle and if I heard " I hate this " once I must have heard it 100 times. With Eaval not seeming to get any closer as we walked, didn't help her mood. It took an hour and a half to get there, by that point my wife decided that she was not going to attempt the ascent but would stop for lunch instead leaving me to push on to the top. It took me 55 minutes to get to the top and back. Once back down we were faced with the same hour and a half walk back with more ankle twists and "I hate this " coming from my wife. Needless to say my wife has decided not to be joining me on future walks. Me I enjoyed this small hill, so size does not matter!
We parked the car at the end of the Loch Euphort road. at the side of the last house is a gate which is the start of the walk.
The path heads across the machair towards Loch Obasaraigh and the hill Burrabhal
Shortly you have to cross over the water using large stepping stones.
Eaval so close but still a long way off, with all the walking around the Loch.
The path heading towards Burrabhal, some people go over the top, but we stuck to the low path round it.
Eaval so close but yet so far still. maybe take a rowing boat next time.
Taking the low path around Burrabhal
Still more of the Loch to negotiate as we skirt round Burrabhal
Still goig round the loch with Eaval so close.
Finally the base of the hill comes in to view but still more Loch to negotiate.
Toeards the end of the Loch we crossed a couple of beaches!!
At last the end of the Loch.
Heading up Eaval on the heathery slopes.
Keep a wall of rock on your left hand side. Skye away in the distance.
At the end of the rock wall, the summit comes into view.
To get to the top you can go directly to the summit which involves a little scrambling or do what I did and stay to the left on heather to get to the top.
The Summit 25 minutes after setting out from the base.
Looking West, a lot of water.
Looking South to Benbecula and Beinn Mhor
Looking back down to Loch Obasaraigh and the long walk in.
We spent a week in North Uist and the weather couldn't have been better, it only rained once for an afternoon.The beaches were fantastic, went on for miles and were deserted. With the weather we had and the scenery, you could have been mistaken in thinking you were abroad. The following photo was taken on the same day as we went up Eaval.
Stunning beaches and weather. What a change from the morning mist and greyness. This Beach is at Solas.
DSCF0376 - Copy.JPG
Another Sunny day on the beach at Baile Mor near Paibeil North Uist
Last edited by chieftain41 on Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Size does not matter!

Postby Mountainlove » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:49 am

The landscape remind me about the saying...whats not land, is loch, whats not loch, is bog whats not bog is sea
Its looks beautiful up there and the wee hill looks great...you cant beat wee hills for a nice wee walk. The beach at Solas looks stunning!
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Re: Size does not matter!

Postby magicdin » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:15 pm

Yes Eabhal really is a wee gem - also climbed it this year,in fact only a fortnight before you - great wee half day :thumbup:
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Re: Size does not matter!

Postby dogplodder » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:45 pm

I've yet to get to the Uists - so thanks for sharing these pics to give a wee foretaste. :D
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Re: Size does not matter!

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:48 pm

Wonderful country! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Size does not matter!

Postby foggieclimber » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:44 pm

Great to see Eaval again - it's a great wee hill. The path leading to it isn't that great though :lol:
If you liked Eaval, I would strongly recommend nearby North Lee and South Lee, although these are mostly pathless.

Did you see St Kilda from the summit?

Ben Mhor along with Ben Corodale and Hecla on South Uist is also a great walk but a good bit longer and tougher.
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