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Paps of Jura
by jmarkb » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:44 pm
Route description: The Paps of Jura
Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn an Oir
Grahams included on this walk: Beinn a'Chaolais, Beinn Shiantaidh
Date walked: 16/06/2013
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 1440m12 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Jura's not really somewhere you can just pop over to on whim, so we treated ourselves to a long weekend at the very pleasant and friendly Jura Hotel, giving us the choice of 2 days to do the Paps. Saturday morning was very wet, though it cleared up in the afternoon, and we had a drive up and down the island, a walk on the beach and a visit to some of the standing stones.
That left Sunday for the Paps, and a better weather forecast, though as we set out from the bridge over the Corran River, the cloud was well down on the tops. There's an obvious, if rather boggy, path which isn't on the OS maps, that cuts across the hillside on the south side of the river towards Loch an t-Siob. We crossed the river 100m below the loch and headed up grassy slopes towards Beinn Shiantaidh. As we reached the steeper ground we entered the clag. We followed a promising looking path heading off leftwards, hoping it might avoid some of the notorious boulders, but it doesn't! We turned back upwards towards the vague SE ridge, which merges into more complex ground and acres of quartzite blocks.
A few glimpses of sun through the clouds gave us some hope, but we arrived at the summit with no view. The west ridge is quite steep in places, with a wee easy scramble down a groove at mid height, then easier grassy ground towards the col. At last the cloud was begining to break up with a few shafts of sunlight.
Cloud trying to clear off Beinn Shiantaidh
A glimpse of sun of Beinn a' Chaolais
The way ahead lies well over to the left, where there's an obvious section of path. This leads to a grassy shelf which cuts across the face of Beinn an Oir, avoiding all the boulders. A steeper section, still grassy, took us onto the ridge where there are the remains of two small buildings (apparently a temporary camp for the surveys of Thomas Colby). A final 200m or so leads to the summit trig point. Despite having seen the summit from below, there was still no view.
On the south ridge, there is no escape from the stones and scree, it's a long way down, and it doesn't pay to hurry! On the plus side, the sun finally came out
Loch an t-Siob and Lowlandmans's Bay
From the col Beinn a'Chaolais looks a bit daunting: there's an obvious worn scree run, but by keeping a bit to the left we found we were able to avoid the worst of the stones. Once on the ridge there's a trace of a path, but it still felt like a long way to the top.
At last were were able to sit and take in the views.
Beinn an Oir and Beinn Shiantaidh
Islay Hills and the ferry in the Sound
The descent was thankfully fairly easy: back down to where we had joined the ridge and then straight on down a heathery rake. Suddenly the angle eases, and you are back onto very welcome soft grass all the way to Loch an t-Siob. We found a path on the south side, and picked up our outward route back to the bridge.
The steep south ridge of Beinn an Oir
Beinn Shiantaidh and Loch an t-Siob
Beinn a'Chaolais and Loch an t-Siob
A grand day out: tough going for such small hills, but a splendid round. Easily makes it into my Top 30 Munro-less walks (see http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19267&start=15#p197609 )!
by kev_russ » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:31 pm
by GillC » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:12 pm
by litljortindan » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:56 pm
by malky_c » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:01 am
by jmarkb » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:59 pm
It's a good place to see otters: try the shore north of Craighouse, we saw two in the space of 10 minutes.
by Bod » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:46 pm
by Johnny Corbett » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:10 pm
by ScottishLeaf » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:58 pm
Passed under them on the ferry to Islay in January and they looked awesome.
Great report and some nice pics.
.... Am away to start saving ferry fare!
by jmarkb » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:36 am
Hope you all make it over to Jura soon.....
by islayhawk » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:01 pm
- Hill Bagger
- Posts: 56
- Joined: Aug 7, 2010
by jmarkb » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:29 pm
islayhawk wrote:s the GPX file you have given us the route you took, or is it the route you planned to take.
It's the route we took: it's hand-drawn rather than downloaded from a GPS, but I think it's reasonably accurate! Hope you enjoy it.....