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The Paps of Jura

The Paps of Jura

Postby dunrig » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:30 pm

Route description: The Paps of Jura

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn an Òir

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn a' Chaolais, Beinn Shiantaidh

Date walked: 12/09/2012

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I have wanted to walk the west coast of Jura for a while, reputedly the wildest coast in southern Hebrides, unfortunately mid- september is not the time to do it, the bracken is still green & tick ridden, shooting has started & ground sodden. I thought I would use this trip as a chance to climb Paps and see how the land lies for a longer spring walk.
Caught the bus from Glasgow to Kennacraig, ferry to Port Askaig, wee ferry to Faolin on Jura, was glad to see scheduled mini bus as it was pouring with rain, dropped me at Craighouse. Put the tent up on lawn in front of the hotel then retired to enjoy the relaxed ambiance of hotel bar for the rest of the evening. Enjoyed myself a bit too much as I struggled to get ready and catch early bus along road, although I had learned a couple of useful things- 3 bridges was best place to start as evans walk was really boggy at moment and as it was changeover day for shooting parties there would be no stalking on hills.
If this was better worse must be waist deep, eventually left track and headed down to Corran river having decided at that moment to walk anti-clockwise round Paps. Should have realised the river would be high with the overnight rain, struggled along bank looking for crossing, made mess of it losing the end section of my pole stuck in boulders under water. Ach was daft as I got higher saw large stepping stones a hundred yards further on where river flows out of Loch an t-Siob.
Went up SE corner of Beinn Shiantaidh & found a path that takes you round (loch)side of hill onto bouldery summit. Had a wee rest and enjoyed the expansive sea views (out of cloud) you always get from island hills.Thought about the Lord of the Isles that great gaelic seadom forfeiting their estates in 15c to the stuarts, even my half remembered sense of history adds depth & reasonance to the experience of hillwalking- must be great when you really know. Torridon always brings to mind mesolithic man, the Cuillin Sorley Maclean & his people on Rasaay, Rum the plague of rats that made life unbearable in 19c, irish monks in coracles arriving in middle ages on isands etc etc & the historically made injustice of land ownership - always with us in highlands.
Anyway took off steeply down Beinn Shiantaidh, somehow lost path and ended up downclimbing a few feet, am sure the fellrunners in annual race don't do this, sure enough when I looked back there was a grassy gully coming down from notch in crags that looked easier.
At the bealach the wind was howling, the weather was strangely changeable all day, light, dark, rain, sun again, very windy lower down less so on tops.
You can't miss path up Beinn an Oir, it takes you up a wide grassy diagonal rake then turns up by wee tor onto another bouldery top. Here I got great views along the west coast of Jura & out to Colonsay, the surf was up, I could see white specks on blue when sun shone through cloud. Coming off Beinn an Oir (where's that gold from?) there was a steep scree filled gully on right that looked likely but after last descent decided to stick with the path that winds indistinctly between crags& down scee runs eventually turning you out at side of the two lochans on bealach before Beinn Chaolais.
Another steep scree path takes you to the top where I was treated to a spectacularly changing sky from light to dark then sunshine again. The Sound of Islay, the island itself looked grand, as was view back to Paps & over loch to sea & mainland- all fine. Rode scree down, bliss for my knees not so good for hills, then tramped by fishermans hut, loch, bog, back to 3 bridges where first car that passed gave me a lift back to Craighouse.
Retired to the bar for another night, english ex-public schoolboys were out in force as shooting party changed over- it betrays my prejudice if I say that their braying voices always makes me cringe, seems to carry with it a sense of entitlement. As balance I pay homage to the eton educated George Orwell who lived & wrote down the road, as well remember having spent enjoyable days on hill with tory supporting ex public school boy.
Got bus ferry ferry (3 30pm) bus back to Glasgow next day. Saw lots deer, a few caterpillars, most memorably from ferry was gannets diving for fish. My advice would be don't underestimate Paps especially in bad weather steep ascents & descents, lots scree, take your wellies for walk in. If I was doing it again would start early and make it a linear walk from 3 bridges/evans walk over Paps to Feolin & catch bus (4 30pm) back craghouse.

Food eaten: venison pie, fish and chips both good

Drink taken:bellhaven best, deuchars i p a , some islay ales, jura 10 yr, 16yr, superstition, prophecy - oh dear

I'll be back for west coast next time more walking less eating & drinking.
-some photos wish I had a camera that could do the reality justice...
2 views from tent- what more could you want?
moody sky on walk in
still looking east
path up side of Beinn Shiantaidh
Loch Tarbet & west coast
looking back to Beinn Shiantaidh
still moody east coast
way off Beinn an Oir
lots of scree paths
back to 2 Paps from Beinn Chaolais
fuzzy islay lighthouse colonsay wind wipping sea up
ferry on Sound of Islay
west coast
3 summits
lots deer
jura ferry port askaig
leaving jura
leaving islay- i'll be back
Last edited by dunrig on Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: Jan 5, 2012

Re: The Paps of Jura

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:35 pm

Nice one, what a lovely pair of paps :D
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Re: The Paps of Jura

Postby mrssanta » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:36 pm

there are three of them Johnny. :lol:
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Re: The Paps of Jura

Postby lochlaggan » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:08 am

Thanks, interesting report and will get there one day!
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Re: The Paps of Jura

Postby edweirdo » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:39 pm

Having done that in August via Evans walk and Corra Bheinn (with my Whooping cough starting!) I would say your photos capture it quite nicely. One of Scotland's great days out.
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