Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Tale of Two Boots - Rhenigidale 1

The trek to Rhenigidale, along the path from Urgha on Harris, is an iconic Hebridean hike. Before a road was built in 1987, the only way to reach Rhenigidale was by sea, or by this exhilarating path that starts on the road two miles east of Tarbert. I had started to follow the path once many years ago, but a thick fog made visibility near zero, so I turned back. But a few weeks ago, while saying on nearby Scalpay, a clear day tempted me to try the walk again.

As I looked at the map, an intriguing loop hike presented itself. The OS map shows a 'shore' path that links Rhenigidale to Molinginish, another old settlement on Loch Trollamarig. So I decided to make a long loop hike. Starting from Urgha I would go to Rhenigidale, then backtrack to the head of Loch Trollamarig to follow the shore path to Molinginish. I would then return to the car by climbing the Molinginish path back to Urgha. A bit ambitious, but it would make for a great day of walking.

Two minutes into the walk - looking back to the parking area at Urgha

The walk starts with an easy climb east to the pass

And soon the summit cairn is reached

Summit Cairn - Shiants can be seen in the distance
After descending a ways I reached this marker stone where the path to Molinginish branches off
At this point I was still planning to carry on to Rhenigidale, swing through Molinginish, head back up the hill to this marker stone, and then return to the car. As you'll find out next time, it was not to be.

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