Log 19 Sept 2016

HARRIS WEEKEND   16-19 September 2016
 
Kevin, Fraser, Allan took the afternoon ferry from Uig, having travelled by bus from Glasgow, meeting Ron and Robert on the ferry which also carried Jon and Fiona, but we did not actually meet up until we were off the boat.  
Alex arrived at the hostel slightly later, having used the Ullapool to Stornoway ferry. 
Phil had started much earlier, with his motor bike.  Island hopping from Barra, and arrived for a late breakfast on the Saturday.
 
The hostel accommodation was excellent, with a total revamp since our last visit, and a superb management arrangement.   Kitchen was very well set up, and breakfast materials generous, including new laid eggs.   Showers worked, towels were provided as well as all bed linen already made up.
 
The crossing on Friday had been fair, but Saturday dawned cloudy with a threat of some rain and increasing winds.   The main party set off early, and reached the summit of  CLISHAM  before the wind really kicked up, so managed the horseshoe of the Clisham ridges, coming back to the car park via the coll between Tomnabhal and Clisham.  As this was facing into the wind, all found it very demanding. 
Phil, setting off later, was unable to reach the summit of Clisham as the wind conditions were impossible.  
Allan and Fraser had the longer walk northwards up the glen beside Lochan Lacadail and then took the end of the ridge westwards towards Sgaoth Aird.   A series of slimy scrambles on the end of the ridge with the increasing wind was an effort, but once on the ridge, standing became very difficult, so after a time we decided to head down into the corrie and take the long walk back rather then head over the hills back to Tarbert.   The reward was the sight of a pair of golden eagles, the male gliding below us fairly close.
 
Sunday was forecast to be wet all day, with some of the rain very heavy.  The wind was to abate somewhat.   After a late breakfast, Fraser set off to follow the old postal path to Renigadale.  Low cloud reduced visibility, and once through the top of the pass, he pressed on to a point where he could actually see down into the bay, but increasing rain decided him to return.   The wind funnelling through the top of the pass was still strong enough to buffet the walker.  
Later in the day a group went up above the village and reached trig point at Giolabhal Glas and decided that honour had been satisfied.  
Robert more than satisfied the demands of an outdoor weekend by running a half marathon in the rain.
Later in the afternoon, Kevin, Allan and Ron went by car south to see the spectacular Rodel Chapel.  
Report by Fraser Gold
 
On Monday Alex, Phil, Rob and Ron set out to climb Tiorga Mor and Oireabhal.  Leaving the car at the power station (Phil was on his motorcycle) they ascended Tiorga Mor by the grassy southern slope.  Throughout the day the weather was dry with intermittent cloud on the tops and gusty wind at times.
 
Walking north they headed to Tiorga Beag before heading east to the bealach at the northern end of Loch Aiseabhat and then climbed onto the Oireabhal ridge where Alex and Rob took in the 454m top before catching up with Phil and Ron on the climb to Ulabhal.  The scramble over Cathadail an Ear looked interesting but the gusty wind (near gale force at times) meant that we kept to the bypass path on the right before making our way to Oireabhal.
 
The descent was made via Cleiseabhal reaching the road some 2km east of the power station road (7 hrs).   Thankfully (for Ron) Alex and Rob, who are training for the Mountain Marathon, jogged along to the car and picked up Ron on the way back.  Phil meanwhile walked back to collect his motorcycle.
Report by Ron Dorn