Sunday, May 11, 2014

High Atop Rum

One of my most memorable Hebrides hikes was to the highlands of Rum. My wife and I were staying in the B&B accommodation in the back of Kinloch Castle, and late on a sunny afternoon I started up the path that ascends the Allt Slugan a' Choilich. After reaching the black cauldron of Coire Dubh I climbed the short, but steep zig-zag path to Bealach Barkaval. 

From there I crossed a moonscape of rock before starting up the rocky mantle of Hallival (first photo). At its summit I rested for a while next to the pillared cairn, enjoying a great view down to Loch Scresort and north to Soay and Skye (second photo). All the Small Isles were in view, especially Eigg, five miles to the southeast (third photo).

I really wanted to follow the ridge south to climb Askival, the highest hill on Rum. It only involves a drop of 120 metres, followed by an ascent of 200 metres (last photo), but I decided to save that for another time; for I was dead tired, as earlier in the day my wife and I had walked to Kilmory and back. After enjoying the view for a while I started down in search of a cold beer in the bistro at the back of Kinloch Castle. Someday I hope to return to Rum and ascend Askival.

The tip-top of Hallival
Looking down to Loch Scresort from the summit cairn of Hallival

Eigg seen from Hallival
The view over Glen Dibidil from Hallival
The ridge between Hallival and Askival