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Climbing Ceapabhal, South Harris

Climbing Ceapabhal, South Harris


Postby denfinella » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:11 pm

Route description: Ceapabhal, Taobh Tuath

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ceapabhal (Harris)

Date walked: 25/05/2018

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 7 km

Ascent: 360m

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<< previous day: St Kilda

Today probably wasn't going to match yesterday's eventful trip to St Kilda, but nevertheless we had grand plans for a circular tour of South Harris. My foot was pretty much healed, so we also wanted to ramp up the walking with a short hill walk up Ceapabhal near Leverburgh. Mostly cloudy skies first thing were a bit of a departure from the blue skies we'd been getting accustomed to, but they we forecast to break up late morning and a trip to the Seallam! Visitor Centre / museum near the start of the walk filled the first part of the day. On the way to the start of the walk we picked up a fish pie (as in, the pasty kind) to take up with us from a little honesty shop called Croft 36 - unstaffed, and pies freshly baked every day :D

The route shown below is the standard WHs route, but we varied the first section by following the west side of the peninsula, taking in two beautiful beaches. I couldn't be bothered to redraw it :shh: Most of the photos are from the return journey as it was sunnier then, but I've rearranged the order so they show the route from car park to summit:


ceapabhal.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



This area is supposedly famous for machair, but I don't think it was properly flowering yet. Except this random patch near the start, behind Traigh na h-Uidhe:

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Traigh na h-Uidhe:

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Looking back:

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Scaling a fence seemed to be required to continue along the coast, though on the way back we found a stile. There was a faint path most of the way to Traigh na Cleabhaig, which had good views of this lunchtime's target:

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Trying to get excited about the machair, but it looked suspiciously like daisies to us :lol:

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Traigh na Cleabhaig:

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These terns must have had nests nearby as they weren't at all happy with us being on the beach. They'd just started to go into dive-bombing mode when we got to the end of the beach and joined the track (and WHs route) along the shore.

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A few hundred metres later, just before a gate with a view of the next beach, you can head right (don't go through the gate) to a nearby stile / pedestrian gate which gets you across the fence to the open hill:

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Pathless ground ahead, but not too steep, short grass and dry underfoot:

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Spot the oystercatcher:

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And the eagle:

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Bits and pieces of path eventually turned into a proper one just as the gradient became steep enough to require one. Views back were getting better and better:

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Trig pillar (not quite at the summit):

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Way out west - St Kilda was just visible through the haze, though not visible in the photo:

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Summit cairn, and views to North Harris:

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The cloud over Harris had pretty much all gone now, but it was still cloudy over the Uists:

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We didn't stay long at the top as it was a bit busy for our liking - i.e. there was one other couple there - so we headed a little way back down and tucked into our delicious pie overlooking the beaches. Life was good.

An uneventful stroll back to the car park. Verdict: an excellent walk. Next stop Leverburgh, where a burger from the "Butty Bus" had our name on it for lunch-part-II. We couldn't help stopping off at the mini-supermarket just to marvel at the size of it - a few days in Tarbert does that to you - and we were glad we did, because the top floor of the supermarket was home to the Harris Millennium Tapestry - worth a look. Leverburgh looking lovely in the sun:

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After lunch it was time for the road to Rodel: it's church (St Clement's) is well-known, but the harbour is also worth stopping at:

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Tune in next time for an afternoon along the Golden Road and exploring Scalpay... report here.
Last edited by denfinella on Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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denfinella
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1116
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Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Climbing Ceapabhal, South Harris

Postby Sgurr » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:20 pm

Love this hill. Great reminder of climbing it. We went back to Harris end May, beginning June when we strolled round the bottom for a bit, but I see we climbed it another year at the end of July, and that's when the machair is in evidence: it may get better(or have been better), I don't know. Have to go back, though we have been there 9 times already in pursuit of all the Marilyns. Two people too many?....We are a bit that way inclined so am sort of worried about visiting the Lakes this summer, where a few years back we saw more people before 8 am up Blencathra than we saw in Scotland all year.

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Sgurr
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Posts: 4294
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Location: Fife

Re: Climbing Ceapabhal, South Harris

Postby denfinella » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:30 pm

Ahh that machair photo looks much better! July next time then...

I grew up visiting the Lakes quite often. It does get busy but the less famous hills are still quiet...
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denfinella
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1116
Munros:66   Corbetts:34
Grahams:23   Donalds:16
Sub 2000:61   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

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