Monday, 20 July 2015

The Southwest Slopes of Ben Hiant

The area to the southwest of Ben Hiant is, along with the Bourblaige area and the Ockle glen, rapidly becoming our favourite area for walking. It takes less than half an hour from leaving the car at the turn this side of Caim (see map at end of this post) to the first of the steep slopes which lead up to a succession of superb views west along the peninsula. This picture shows the 'new', much brighter Mingary Castle, with the CalMac pier beyond it and, in the distance, Sron Bheag at the far end of Ormsaigbeg.

The area is wild, broken by many small glens filled with the sound of cheerful burns, steep and, usually, empty of human life - except that, the last couple times we've been up there, we've come across a lone student geologist, tapping at the rocks.

The higher one climbs, the finer the views. Yesterday was a day of sunny intervals, so there was a constant variation in the colours across the landscape as the northerly breeze chased the scattered cumulus clouds across the sky.

Once above the steeper lower slopes, there are flat folds of land filled with peat bogs. This picture looks back along the route we followed. To the right is the southwestern peak of Ben Hiant.

This open glen leads to a small lochan which, like so many we find high on hills, is like an infinity pool, from which there is a completely new view, eastwards, along Loch Sunart.

And what a view it is, with the hills of Morvern away to the right and, in front of them and in shadow, the steep slopes of Stellachan Dubha.

The little peninsula of Ardslighnish is visible at centre with, tucked in front of it, Camas nan Geall. The island in Loch Suanrt at centre right is Oronsay.

The ridge on which we sat at this, the furthest point of the walk rises northeastwards to the summit of Ben Hiant. A small herd of red deer grazed far below us.  The only signs of humans were the cars moving along the road above Camas nan Geall and, as we walked homewards....

....the Coastal Hunter delivering a pontoon to the fish farm far below us.

Map from Bing Maps

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