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Friday, 30 June 2017

Beinn na Seilg Round 18-5-2017

Beinn na Seilg is the highest hill in this immediate area of ORMSAIGBEG, a crofting township of KILCHOAN,  WEST ARDNAMURCHAN. As Jill had decided to pay TOBERMORAY another visit on our last day of a week long stay in the area, I decided that a good look round the hills directly at the back of the cottage would be a good way of finishing our holiday. The weather forecast was good clear sunny spells with a bit of a breeze, so all was set fair. I had my sights set on Beinn na Seilg and a ring of sumitts that seem to circle two lonely lochs. The hills are not a great height, Beinn na Seilg being the highest at a mere 344 metres above sea level but what it lacked in height, sure made up for in views, as did all the other hills on this fine walk. This really was a great little walk and apart from two para-gliders doing their thing, I didn't see another soul until I got back down to base, brilliant :-)
The start of the walk was through a gate, a stones throw from the cottage on the Ormsaigbeg Road, heading up the grassy hill where the sheep were happily grazing. Passing a sheep dip and zig zagging my way up through patches of heather I made my way to a rocky out crop overlooking the two Lochs that go under the name Lochain Ghleann Locha. A good first view point and also a good gauge to how windy it was and with a bite to it! From here I could virtually see my route for the day and most of the surrounding area.
My route for the day
Up the grassy & heather hill
First view of Beinn na Seilg & Stacan Dubha, on the right, looming over the lochs
From here it was a good easy walk over to the first summit of the day, Stacan Dubha @ 246 mts. Because there are no huge mountains here and it's very close to the coast, there are some great all round views over to the other Isle's dotted about. Mull, Rum, Eigg, Muck & Skye are all visible as is Movern on the mainland across Loch Sunart. A pair of Binoculars pick up a few more of the Inner Hebrides. SCOTTISH ISLANDS
Stacan Dubha Summit
Stacan Dubha summit view down on Kilchoan and across the Sound Of Mull
  A bit of a scramble down from here and following a track of sorts taking me under the flanks of Beinn na Seilg to bring me out at the North end and under some nice looking rocks that gave me a chance for a bit of cheeky scrambling. A very nice alternative to the soft grass and heather mounds I had encountered so far. The scrambling was nothing to tricky, in fact it could of easily been bypassed but I wasn't going to give that up on such a nice day. Any chance to get hand on rock is a very welcome one in my book, especially some easy scrambling to add a bit of adventure :-) There was in fact quite a bit as I took advantage of this small but nice playground, probably taking twice as much time as just straight forward walking on the grass!
My way forward to the North end of Beinn na Seilg
View down to Ardamurchan Lighthouse from the Northern slopes of Beinn na Seilg
Some nice easy scrambling
View up to Beinn na Seilg
Nice easy scrambling
View up to Beinn na Seilg from part way up the scrambling section
I got up to Beinn na Seilg and saw there was two summit markers, one at each end across a grassy/rocky plateau that again offered some fine views. There was also a eagle flying about overhead but I didn't manage to get a decent photo as it was quite high and also in and out of the sun.
Beinn na Seilg North Top
View back down on the scramble section and distant views of the Small Isle's
Beinn na Seilg South Top with the North Top to the left
View down to the two lochs, the Sound of Mull, Kilchoan and Ben Hiant
I headed off Beinn na Seilg and made my way towards the shore of the Lochs before making my way through the flatter ground towards the next summit of Dubh Chreag @ 244metres. To get to the summit requires a bit of a pull up the grass, heather and rocky hillside but you are rewarded with more fine views down to the lighthouse, Sanna, and across to the small Isle's, all bathed in sunshine. It was here that I got my first glimpse of some para-gliders doing there thing and what a view they would of had! Wonderful.
Making my way off Beinn na Seilg with the ridge of Druim na Gearr Leacainn as the backdrop
Lochain Ghleann Locha
Making my way across more flatter ground to Dubh Chreag
The steep pull up Dubh Chreag
Dubh Chreag summit views back to Beinn na Seilg
Dubh Chreag summit views over to a distant Morvern across the Sound of Mull
Dubh Chreag summit views across the Sound of Mull to the Isle of Mull
Dubh Chreag summit views towards the Lighthouse, Sanna and the Small Isle's
The way off Dubh Chreag was by the ascent route and then straight up and on to the ridge of Druim na Gearr Leacainn @ 259metres, again, no great height but superb views all round. This is quite a long wide ridge so a bit of rest on the old legs after quite a bit of up and down and a pleasure to take time admiring the 360degree views on offer.  Despite the sun and blue sky, there was still a cool wind blowing and being quite exposed it did take the temperature down a few notches and gloves and warm clothes were very welcome.
Looking back to Dubh Chreag
On my way to Druim na Gearr Leacainn
Para-gliders doing their thing and the only other two people I saw while out walking
Druim na Gearr Leacainn
Admiring the views from Druim na Gearr Leacainn
View across the Sound of Mull and down on Kilchoan and Ben Hiant
View of Stacan Dubha, Beinn na Seilg & Lochain Ghleann Locha
 After admiring the views for a bit I made my descent by going over the minor top of Tom na Moine and dropping steeply through more heather and grazing land back to the cottage for a welcome meal. In the evening, there was only thing left to do and that was to drive out to Sanna to see the sun setting on what has been a fabulous week in this wild and remote part of Scotland.
Looking back on the high tops from Tom na Moine
View down on Kilchoan and beyond from Tom na Moine
Sun going down on another fabulous week
Another great adventure comes to an end

 A short video showing the views from all the tops

A fabulous day and a great end to the week.

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