Hill: Beinn a'Bhaillidh (Eilean Shona)
Date: Sunday 6th February 2011
Company: Just myself
Time: 3Hrs 50Mins (excluding 1Hr 20Min wait at ford)
On looking across Loch Linnhe this morning the cloud was down to around 200m.
I decided to drive a bit further West towards Glenfinnan to potentially ascend
some Loch Shiel Corbetts.
On arriving in Glenfinnan I was not inspired to even get out of the car.
To stay below the cloud, and hopefully get some views, I needed to ascend a
Inspiration came to me as I remembered my pal Chris had recently ascended a
nearby tidal island called Eilean Shona.
A quick check of the SatNav confirmed that the starting point was only circa 18
I didn't have a clue about the tides but decided to head there anyway
I parked on the roadside verge at the start of track leading down to the ford
I made up the route as I went along.
The walk along the track leading to the ford was pleasant - nice oak trees and moss-covered boulders.
Track towards Ath a'Chaolais:
In just over ten minutes I reached the water separating me from Shona Beag and Eilean Shona.
My heart sank as I saw a considerable expanse of water between me and Shona Beag.
As I stood looking at the water, I realised that the water was moving quite quickly from Loch Moidart out to sea. The tide was going out.
I put a small stone at the water's edge and had a wee look about.
Ten minutes later I noticed that the stone was now about 6 feet away from the water's edge.
Too close to high-tide
I put on all my spare clothes and waited patiently for the tide to go out sufficiently to let me cross.
I took a photo one hour later. The tide goes out really quickly
One hour later:
Another 15 minutes later and I decided to go for it. The water was still almost to the top of my gaiters but I got across with just slightly wet feet.
Once on Shona Beag, I followed the road/track towards Invermoidart.
Hut near Invermoidart on Shona Beag:
On reaching Invermoidart, I took to the hillside heading generally in the direction of Eilean Shona.
The going on Shona Beag was really rough and very wet. The descent back down to sea-level to the bit of land between Shona Beag and Eilean Shona was steep. I opted to descend a gully that was littered with boulders including one really big one.
Descent gully towards Port Thairbeirt Dheas:
Looking back at descent gully:
I thought the view from Port Thairbeirt Dheas was quite nice. Nae bad for a dreich day.
Port Thairbeirt Dheas:
Beinn a'Bhaillidh from Port Thairbeirt Dheas:
The land between Shona Beag and Eilean Shona was just as rough and wet. My boots were now full of water.
Land between Shona Beag and Eilean Shona:
On reaching the North Channel inlet between Eilean Shona and Shona Beag, I found and followed a good track leading towards Eilean Shona house.
North Channel inlet between Eilean Shona and Shona Beag:
While walking along the track, I passed a couple of small dams and a reservoir.
Reservoir on Eilean Shona:
Was quite surprised that an island as small as Eilean Shona has a village hall.
Eilean Shona Village Hall:
On reaching Eilean Shona House I had a look for the path marked on the map that ascends through the woods. Took me a bit of time to find it.
The start of the path is at the top of the gardens of Eilean Shona House.
Eilean Shona House:
I followed the path up through the trees next to a small burn.
Path through the woods:
Alongside the path is a blue plastic pipe. It ran up to a small reservoir at the top of the woods.
Small reservoir at top of woods:
View from just above the treeline:
It was nice to get out of the trees and head for the top of the hill.
I was impressed with the views during the ascent. On a good day the views must be spectacular.
Tioram Castle (zoomed):
View towards Riska Island and Tioram Castle:
It didn't take long to reach the summit from which there is a cracking view of Eigg.
Approaching the summit cairn and trig point:
View from summit:
View from summit:
An Sgurr on Eigg is right up at the top of my wishlist for Sub2000 Marilyns.
The rock on Eigg is apparently pitchstone, which is not abundant in the UK.