Saturday, 31 December 2005

Glen Skeaudale

<![CDATA[ As regular readers of my blog will have gathered by now, I like to go to remote corners of the island. The place which I mention in the heading is not that remote, anybody travelling between Harris and Lewis passes it. But does anyone know it's there? This glen is located opposite the turn-off for Huisinish. Since the re-alignment of the road, some years back, it has become more difficult to gain access to the valley. But it's worth a visit. When I went there, in May, it was pouring with rain. Consequently, the pictures are a bit dreich. Nonetheless, it's a spectacular place, surrounded by mountains up to 1,700 feet high on both sides (Iosal being the highest), and a little pass high up at the eastern end, which leads to the valley of the Lacasdail Lochs. I found evidence of habitation there, although I have not been able to find out anything about this. Back in June, I spoke to the islands' archeologist, and she was unfamiliar with it. Mind you, it could just have been a sheepfold.
When you go in, gain some altitude and head up towards the head of the valley. Don't get entangled with the Skeaudale River. The return can be made on the northern slopes, but do not attempt to recross the main river. Admittedly, it was in spate when I was there, but it's a tricky one to cross. You have some work regaining the level of the A859.

Skeaudale River in spate
View from the valley
View from the top of the valley
General terrain underfoot
The Skeaudale River near the main road

Beyond the Skeaudale Glen lies the valley containing the Lacasdail Lochs. This has a walking route on it, that used to be the mail route from Tarbert to Stornoway. It regains the main road at Maraig (Maaruig), after a very steep climb. Another shortcut, leading past a relay station, brings the route round to Glen Scaladale, with great views of the Clisham Range. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of that route available. ]]>

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