Oireabhal - 662m
Tiorga Mor - 679m

Monday 21st July 2014

Weather/Conditions: Good summer weather. Light cloud enveloping the summit of Tiorga Mor, but very nice apart from that.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 13.9km / 1350m / 4h 35m
Accompanying: Alone

Oireabhal and Tiorga Mor constituted the second half of the big four Harris hills I'd yet to climb. In previous years, I'd been to the top of An Cliseam and Uisgneabhal Mor, and thus a plan was made to start with the remaining two. They were the most sought after summits of my holiday - beyond that I'd turn attention to the smaller Harris hills; hills that would all turn out to be absolutely packed with character.

Dad dropped me on the road south of Cleiseabhal and I started walking. I reached the top of Cleiseabhal in good time, then headed onward to Oireabhal itself. Oireabhal is a bulky hill, with it's most dramatic feature left to it's hidden north end; Sron Uladal. In some ways, the hill itself passed without any issue, but of course the views were outstanding. Most inspiring was to look to the north into the wilderness of Frith Mhorsgaill, an untracked area stretching toward the horizon.

North again to the subsidiary top of Ulabhal, I then walked west toward Tiorga Mor, reaching the connecting bealach to stop for a break on the track through to the Sron. Here I met a couple who had been to Sron Ulladal, and we chatted for moments. Then, en route to Tiorga Mor, the Sron itself appeared slowly, a bulging precipice, yet from this angle only partly hinting at what lies around the corner. Even from my restricted viewpoint, you can just tell this is one of the most unusual pieces of rock architecture in the country. One day I'll go right underneath it. (and maybe climb it, too...?!)

Tiorga Mor is a pretty stunning mountain for being seemingly so out the way of everything; a ridge rising to a sharp fin of a summit. I came on that ridge sideways, popping out by a slightly battered looking trig point, and seaward views to the west slightly obscured by cloud. I hung around for ten minutes, at which time the cloud cleared slightly more to get a reasonable summit panorama. And then I headed south.

Sunny skies remained for the walk back to the road. I'd made it a quick round, and I'd catch dad again by the roadside.

Tiorga Mor and Oireabhal are fantastic hills, everything that 'Harris' encapsulates with an almost complete lack of hill tracks, and rough, bare ground. In altitude they aren't that high, but they rise high above the moor of Lewis and Harris, thus the sense of elevation is profound. This really goes for any of the high Harris hills too, and they show this time and time again.

360° Panoramas




Ulabhal - 180° North

Ulabhal - 180° South

Tiorga Mor
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 12.25pm Roadside
(0.40) 1.05pm Cleiseabhal
(1.25) 1.50pm Oireabhal
(1.35) 2.10pm Ulabhal
(3.05) 3.30pm Tiorga Mor
(4.35) 5.00pm Road by Abhainn Suidhe

Written: 2016-09-12