Yesterday we had a look at the weather forecast and decided to climb Clisham . It had been over 40 years since Kalie had climbed it with her late husband Nigel. She had wanted to climb it today but the weather was perfect yesterday. It was a stunning 30 minute drive to our hill the island was looking stunning with huge skies and great visibility. As always the sea and beaches looked magnificent. We would loved to have climbed the full horseshoe but today it was to be a slow wander up to the Corbett summit. There were few cars in the car park and we wandered along by the river it’s very wet badly eroded and boggy ground. We stopped often to enjoy the views which were stunning. The path is easily lost here in places and soon we were onto the steep ground very rocky in places with scree and lots of rock. The Sky was huge and as we climbed with Islay Kalie’s wee dog always ahead we savoured the views. In winter this can be a steep winter climb.
Not today as once high on the rocky ridge we could see the whole Island and the mainland. In the distance was St Kilda a great sight a place I have huge memories off from past visits.
The Clisham is a mountain on Harris, on the island of Lewis and Harris in the Western Isles of Scotland. At 799 metres it is the highest mountain in the Outer Hebrides and the archipelago’s only Corbett.
I was near the summit enjoying the views when I saw a pair of Eagles soar above. The final ridge is grand and the trig point summit is a rounded domed cairn. Thus us where we met two folk from Arran another Island I love. Her we sat to have lunch and it was then I noticed I had left the sandwiches in the fridge. It did not spoil the day though Kalie was very understanding as was Islay with my incompetences.
We spend a long time in the sun at the top I went along the ridge to the other top.
We both loved the views and the peace and beauty of this place. I spotted the Colby Camp just off the ridge and took some photos.
Note – There is a ‘Colby’ camp, similar to that at Creach Bheinn (see NM85NE 2 for details) situated beside the primary triangulation pillar on Clisham, at NB 1548 0730. They are ruins of shelters, windbreaks etc on the summits of hills across the Highlands left by OS parties during the principal triangulation of Britain in the 19th century. Colby and his men lived for weeks on lots of mountains taking bearings to other summits when weather permitted. Hardy men
On one trip Colby recce camp sites and triangulation stations over mountainous terrain. He is recorded as walking 586 miles in 22 days , including Sundays! The only summit he failed to reach was the Cuillin in Skye. SMC J 2013
There was no rush to descend but we set off down the ridge picking a dryer line back to the car. We stopped often enjoying the heat and company. It was a superb day out and one to savour. The views the weather and of course a good scenery . Islay got a wash in the burn at the end of the day and the drive back was superb.
What a day another I and Kalie will never forget and the day was completed with a walk along the beach at sunset. Today brings a bit higher winds but still good weather we are so fortunate to be in Harris.
I was often on the Island in my other job in the RAF as a Caterer where I came over regularly to Stornaway to work out the Daily Messing Rate for the RAF personell at Stornaway and Uig. I met so many local characters in those days. Looking back they were a great chance to meet folk.
I did not get much spare time to look about then. Also as a member of the RAF MRT we often came over to climb and walk. Looking back I have been very lucky. Sadly RAF Stornaway is shut now but many memories are still with me.
RAF Stornaway closed 31 March 1998
After sixteen years in this role and also the end of the Cold War, the station was finally closed on 31 March 1998 and reverted to Stornoway Airport.