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Tarbert to Luskentyre walk

Tarbert to Luskentyre walk

Postby markblythe » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:30 pm

Route description: Beinn Dhubh, Losgaintir

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

Date walked: 28/08/2012

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 650m

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This follows the old path from Tarbert to Luskentyre used in days gone by, but remember that paths on the Isle of Harris are non-existent, so apart from one ancient cairn you will need to just find your way. The first half is pure Hebridean heather and bog, quite hard work, but nothing over the top. The second half makes it way along the Beinn Losgaintir/Beinn Dhubh summit plateau with views that are unparalleled in the UK. More adventurous can take in Ceann Reamhar for some added height. I have done this route 20 times it is one of my favourites.

Find some friends who want a pub lunch and visit to the beach. Have them drop you in Tarbert behind the new school at the end of the small road which runs down from the Harris Hotel to the beach on West Loch Tarbert. Head up onto the hill following the obvious path for the first 50 meters. You will be heading SSW initially walking through newly planted wood so be careful not to damage the saplings. Once on top head in a SW direction over the heathery undulating lunar landscape so typical of Harris but do NOT be tempted to go over Uamascliet. It is a waste of time and very steep on the East face. You can also forget heading west down to the Bagh Stithcliet, the cliffs at the end make this route impassable. As you approach the SE end of Uamascliet you will pass to the E of small lochan and the head to foot of the shoulder ahead of you, there is no need to clamber up high, just follow a gentle walk round the bottom of the shoulder. Think of what a local would have done 200 years ago when he did not need to go any higher than necessary. Tucked round the corner you will find an ancient cairn, and I mean ancient.

You are now in a pronounced valley with Ceann Reamhar ahead of you. You want to head just north of west diagonally up the northern flank of Ceann Reamhar. You do not need to go to its summit, unless you wish. You are heading for an obvious flatter point at about 380 meters. This is an easy ascent, but the complete absence of paths makes it harder than it looks. Once you reach the obvious plateau you simply contour round above Glen Gunasdail. Depending on how high up you are will dictate how far round you contour. Just follow a sheep trod and enjoy the views. There is a little exposure but nothing to worry about. Look out for the Golden Eagles hereabouts and of course the views to the North Harris hills.

You will soon emerge from the Glen onto the NW flank of Ceann Reamhar - this is a wonderful gentle slope down to the bealach at the 333m spot height between Ceann Reamhar and Beinn Losgaintir. Continue almost due west up onto Beinn Losgaintir and gently put a little south into your route so that you follow the gentle ridge up to the summit cairn on Beinn Losgaintir. Again head on, now NW to the next beach before ascending the 100m to the summit of Beinn Dhubh. From the NW flank of Ceann Reamhar you have been walking on a fantastic summit plateau which is generally easy under foot with great views. Make sure you take a compass and map with you if you venture up there in poor visibility as the cliffs on the north side of these mountains are steep and unforgiving.

At the top of Beinn Dhubh take in the stunning views, on a good day St Kilda is clearly visible. Continue due west to the subsidiary cairns about 200m from the main summit. Now follow your nose down to the beautiful Luskentyre beach. Whilst you can still see the cemetery at the Luskentyre road end, head just to the north of this to access the beach. As you arrive at the beach you will come across an impressive and substantial old wall that encompasses the village. The more athletic can scamble over this. The less so should simply head northwards and you will find a gateway down to the beach.

Join your friends and family on the beach and amaze them with your photographs and go for a paddle.

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Mountain Walker
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Sub 2000:34   
Joined: Nov 6, 2012

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