Friday 7 August 2015

Finest little mountain in the west - Beinn na Seilg (Hill of the hunter)

Kilchoan's Matterhorn
As you sweep into Kilchoan at the start of your holiday( observing the speed limit!) the village is dominated by a shapely miniature mountain, Beinn na Seilg the most westerly 1000 ft mountain in mainland Britain. Very few visitors ever climb it despite it having much better views than Ben Hiant. But then there is a clear footpath up Ben Hiant and many people are reluctant to venture off paths if its a  choice between the two do this one.

From Craigard head NW past my poly tunnel, through the gate (closing it securely), follow the fence on your left up to the steel gate on to Ormsaigbeg common grazing. Head for the old stone fank (sheep dip and handling pens) now unused. From the fank climb up to the Lochain Ghleann Lochs, I am assuming that you have an OS map and can read it.!

There is an old iron fence post on the col overlooking the lochs, from the post contour round the slope of Stacan Dubh to the burn running into the the northern loch then follow the ridge with it's gabbro outcrops to the summit of Beinn na Seilg.

The view is panoramic from Coll and Tiree in the south to Barra fifty miles out in the Atlantic then north to the Small Isles and Skye. Return by the same route for the view of Kilchoan, Ben Hiant, Loch Sunart and Morven. I've been meaning to spend a night out on the peak to see the sunrise over Morven and Sunart but so far this year the weather and the needs of livestock have prevented this little expedition.

If you are a climber ( I retired after my last trip to Skye nine years ago;our combined ages on the rope were 132 years and I realised that I was too fat, too stiff and just too old) north of the summit there is an outcrop with climbs from moderate to V. Diff on gabbro,  Skye in miniature.  For routes see, The Western Highlands, SMC, 1931. I told you I was old.

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