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A week in the Uig hills - Part 2

A week in the Uig hills - Part 2


Postby petelynn » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:11 am

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

Date walked: 03/06/2015

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 960m

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Another reasonable days weather between gales and rain enabled me to complete the western group of the Uig hills. Today Mealaisbhal and Cracabhal

meal1.jpg
Mealaisbhal (right) and Cracabhal from Uig



2015-06-03 16_30_19.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I parked at the north end of Breanais and walked up the old peat road until it petered out then headed across the boggy ground towards the N end of Mealaisbhal skirting loch Sanndabhlat.

meal2.jpg
Mealaisbhal from start of Walk


meal3.jpg
Bog bean in pool


meal4.jpg
Northwest over Loch Sanndabhlat


A steady climb over grass and rock slabs led to the increasingly bouldery minor top at 460m with great views.

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Mainly blocky boulders higher up


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Mealaisbhal summit from minor top


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Tahabhal across Loch Raonasgail


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Suaineabhal and Tarain (right)


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Uig sands and Gallan head from minor top


meal10.jpg
View NE - Gt Bernera behind Suaineabhal


Then just a matter of picking a way through the boulders up to the summit of Mealaisbhal. The view to the SE now showed the route over to Cracabhal and the Harris hills beyond.

meal11.jpg
Mealaisbhal summit


meal12.jpg
SE from summit


Cloud came down in a brief shower as I descended to the col between Mealaisbhal and Cracabhal. The words in Richard Barrett's 'Walking in Harris and Lewis' formed a debate in my head as I made my way down to the col. 'Ascending the steeper rock on the north face of Cracabhal looks more difficult than it actually is but if you're inexperienced and lack confidence in moving on steeper ground ...'. The thought of a detour and never knowing whether it was easier than it looked meant I finally resolved to go straight up.

meal13.jpg
Cracabhal N ridge


And it was easier than it looked. The grassy bits, sodden and slippery with peat were worse than the rocky bits. I wouldn't have wanted to come down this way and there was no space to stop for photos. But twenty minutes later I was up and a bit relieved, a bit pleased with myself. Then it was on to Laibheal a Tuath and back to the road by a similar route to the Grimobhal walk.

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Back to Cracabhal from Laibheal a Tuath


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Harris hills from Laibheal a Tuath


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Mealaisbhal from Laibheal a Tuath


On my way down I saw a couple of mountain hares, one still in the process of moulting its white winter coat, a couple of red grouse, noisy greenshank and grey plover and, rarest of all a person. This turned out to be a lady from Essex just moved to Breanais and hoping to convert a stone barn to a hostel.

I didn't get to climb anymore of the Uig hills in my weeks stormy weather but I'll post a final report on a couple of low level walks.
petelynn
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 43
Munros:8   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:32
Wainwrights:11   
Joined: Jun 23, 2012
Location: Wells-next-the-Sea

Re: A week in the Uig hills - Part 2

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:23 pm

Wow! Looks really wild and remote - one to do on one's own, definitely. I'd no idea that Harris had hills .... 8) :oops:
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Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2735
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:205
Wainwrights:78   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: A week in the Uig hills - Part 2

Postby petelynn » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:06 am

Yes, these hills definitely have an edge of the world feeling to them and are too remote and not high enough to be much walked. From here in Norfolk it took 36 hours to get there. The solitude you get from walking alone here is real - but there is no help at hand and almost never a mobile signal so I was well aware of the need to be careful. I now prefer to walk without the help of paths - at least it removes the anxiety of losing the path!
petelynn
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 43
Munros:8   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:32
Wainwrights:11   
Joined: Jun 23, 2012
Location: Wells-next-the-Sea

Re: A week in the Uig hills - Part 2

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:19 am

An amazing looking part of the country. Thanks for sharing. I love the Norse influence on the names up there, mixed in with the Gaelic.
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Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2889
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

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