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Isle of Rum: Askival

Isle of Rum: Askival


Postby trickeyja » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:39 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Askival

Date walked: 19/07/2010

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 900m

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Another update from my recent cycle tour starting with the ferry to Rum from my wild camping spot near Mallaig.

***

It was raining when I woke up, but I couldn’t be late for the ferry to Rum, so I braved packing away my tent in the rain, and made my way to the ferry terminal. The ferry was extremely busy because there was a private party to be held at the castle and all the guests (about 150 of them) were on board. This was an unusual time to be heading for Rum, normally a quiet island with just a few visitors. Indeed, the boat was far larger and far busier than I had expected.

The ferry crossing was long, lasting around 2.5 hours. As I arrived on Rum, the cloud was burning off rapidly, and the skies soon cleared. This left dramatic views of the mists lifting and swirling around Rum’s Cuillin mountains.

Cloud clinging to the Cuillins of Rum
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View of Rum and Eigg from the ferry
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When I arrived on the island I made my way to the castle (as did all the Ceilidh guests). I was pleased that the weather had by then brightened substantially, and there were fine views over Loch Scresort. At the castle, I paid to use the laundry facilities and waited until I had some clean clothes in which to go walking for the afternoon and escape the bustle of the private party. Although some of the guests hinted that I might be able to surreptitiously join the evening’s Ceilidh (Scottish dance), I did not want to intrude. I therefore decided that an ascent of Askival, Rum’s highest point, would be a better idea, especially when I couldn’t guarantee another afternoon of fine weather.

Loch Scresort, Kinloch
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Kinloch Castle, Rum
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By about 3:30pm I was setting off on my walk, aiming first for the 723m Hallival and then the 812m summit of Askival. The walk began with a steady burnside climb up to Corrie Dubh, providing good views back to Kinloch.

View back to Loch Scresort and Kinloch
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Stony path on the ascent
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Later from the slopes of Hallival I enjoyed marvellous views of the Rum Cuillin ridge, and south to Eigg. The clouds, swirling above and below me, sweeping up the valleys and flirting with the hillsides, were awe-inspiring and made the landscape seem ethereal.

Hallival, towering in the mist
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Dramatic view down Atlantic Corrie into Glen Harris
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View NW from slopes of Hallival
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Askival and Trollabhal shrouded in mist
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Askival from Hallival
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View to Eigg
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I did not quite reach the summit of Hallival, because although I was close, it required scrambling and after the scary incident on Arran’s A’Chir ridge a few days previously I decided against the risk. Askival looked terrifying enough – jagged, pointy and steep – and I decided to push on towards it. In reality the ascent was manageable and I bypassed an awkward bit of scrambling, although there were some exposed and airy moments.

The narrow ridge leading to Askival
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Me at the top of Askival (self-timer)
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The views from the top were well worth the climb: a large amount of Scotland’s dramatic west coast was visible – the Isle of Skye, its pointy Cuillins, and closer by, the Isle of Eigg. The views were very clear, although a front was quickly moving in from the west, so I headed on down the mountainside, scrambling across rocky scree. In one hair-raising moment, I dislodged a boulder, sending a cascade of rocks tumbling and ricocheting violently down the mountainside. I realised that the scree was unstable and that if a rock slipped above me the results could easily be fatal. The mist was flowing quickly down the mountainside, so I cut directly down the hillside to the coast path. It soon began to rain heavily, and I walked along towards Kinloch as fast as I could. The coast path had lost its usually spectacular views and I still had four miles to walk in the rain. To make matters worse, the path crossed several burns which were quite deep in places – I completely gave up any hope of keeping my feet dry. By the time I returned, I was drenched and then had to pitch my tent in the dark, by which time the rain had eased off just enough to allow the midges to strike with a vengeance!

Hallival in front of the Isle of Skye, from Askival
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View from the summit
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Eigg and Muck, from Askival
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Eigg sandwiched between the rocks
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Mist sweeping down the hillside
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Last edited by trickeyja on Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby malky_c » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:19 am

Brilliant! Great photos. You were lucky to snatch a bit of decent weather there - must've made the visit worthwhile. Very jelous.

At work, we are just getting to the end of a water supply project on Rhum. I have been trying to persuade my colleague for the last 3 years that I would be more than happy to carry out some site visits, but to no avail :evil: :lol:
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby Paul Webster » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:23 am

'tis a superb place and far too long ago that I was there ( i have hair in the photos). You got superb visibility by the looks of it. :D
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby trickeyja » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:32 am

Thank you both :)

Yes it was brilliant having such good weather; being Rum it didn't last all that long, so I was glad I made the most of it! The next day I walked over to Guirdil bothy - damp in the morning but brightened up by the afternoon, although not as well as it did on this Askival walk. The day I left was cloudy and drizzly once again.
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby magicdin » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:40 am

Great photos
Rum is a terrific place - only been there once April 2009 - will certainly go back :)
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:57 am

Excellent photos, very impressive. I've heard Rum has a spooky kind of atmosphere; did you encounter any kind of spookyness?
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby trickeyja » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:04 pm

Thank you :)

I'm not sure I found the island spooky, but it's certainly a remote and interesting place, with fantastic scenery and huge mountains considering its small size! Having said that there is a mausoleum at Harris which is supposed to be well worth a visit and having seen pictures I can imagine that being quite eerie, especially with a mist hanging over the hills.
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby Penguin » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:19 pm

Many years ago I visited Rum and spent an Easter weekend there in a bunkhouse. It was in the days before digital photography and all my pics came out full of clag and snow. Remember visiting the castle which was a bit eerie but really interesting. Your pics are great. Show's the views that I missed. Great report. :D :thumbup:

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8)
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby magicdin » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:28 pm

Walked over to the Mausoleum on one of the days
Good walk and interesting enough
But as the NZ lass at Kinloch said - "I think it's a bit weird"
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby kinley » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:51 pm

Beautiful 8)

I'm very jealous :lol:
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby Alastair S » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:08 pm

Great report trickey and what fabulous photos. I'm sure you're had your fair share of bad weather on your marathon trip but looks like you were well rewarded on Rum. Thanks for sharing :D
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:58 am

[quote="trickeyja"]there is a mausoleum at Harris which is supposed to be well worth a visit and having seen pictures I can imagine that being quite eerie, especially with a mist hanging over the hills.quote]

Nah, not Bullock's Bollox, it was a more ancient sort of spookiness I had heard of. A sort of "people-don't-belong-here" sort of thing. Gavin Maxwell mentions it in his book "Harpoon at a Venture", and also I think in the better-known "Ring of Bright Water". The name is nothing to do with 'rum' the drink ; I believe it is more along the lines of the old-fashioned term 'rum' as in strange and unusual. :shock:
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Re: Isle of Rum: Askival

Postby soulminer » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:38 pm

A tad pre-occupied at the moment, but a place I have to visit, looking forward to it :)
Fine report and photos.
Cheers
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