Outer Hebrides: High on Harris

It seemed crazy: calm seas, light winds, not a cloud in the sky...
...but after 7 days paddling beneath the dramatic summits of both South Uist and Harris as well as Lewis, it was perhaps inevitable that I would want to be up amongst them.
And so our eighth day was declared a rest day, sort of. An Cliseam is after all the highest of the hebridean summits and while 799m may not seem much to those more used to the 1000m peaks of the mainland, it is climbed from sea level and if approached from the south as we did, mostly across rough ground with no track.
In no rush we climbed first into the corrie beneath Mo Buidhe...
...before leaving the track and breaking up onto the shoulder of Mulla-Fo-Dheas, and a short stop. It was a rest day after all.
Continuing briefly on level ground with striking views of the western corries and summits, we were soon climbing steeply once more.
A golden eagle provided another welcome excuse to pause as the huge bird soared first below and then high above.
A last steep climb across boulder fields of rough loose blocks and the views were opening up in all directions...
...Loch A Siar and Taransay far below.
The dramatic ridge of Mulla-Fo-Tuath, unfortunately in the wrong direction...
...though the steep drop to the coll to gain the ridge leading to An Cliseam proved entertaining in sections.
Further scrambling: a fun if avoidable route to reach the summit cairn...
...and long views of distant summits and deep colls.
The summit team! Left to Right: Mike, Chris, myself, Tim.
The descent was steep requiring sufficient concentration to temporarily forget it was a rest day...
...leading soon enough to our starting point: the old whaling station of Loch Bun Abhainn Eadarra.
Whether or not we were rested, I was certainly refreshed and keen to return to the water, our next objective, the island of Scarp.

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