Ben Cliad, Island of Barra. Section 24D.
Height 206 metres. Map – OS Landranger 31.
Climbed - 6 June 2011. Time taken – 1 hour.
Distance – 2.25 kilometres. Ascent – 175 metres.
We headed to the north-west corner of the Island of Barra for our next Sub 2000 Marilyn, Ben Cliad. Ascent options were either from the south or west with the southerly approach having the advantage of a higher starting point. However we opted to climb the west face.
A parking spot was found south of the telephone kiosk and cattle grid between Grein and Cliaid before we made a slight descent across grassy pastures towards the foot of the hill. We hadn’t gone far when we came to an area of smelly bog which I had no intention of trying to cross. The decision was to head north which involved crossing a fence topped with barbed wire and walking along the edge of a field containing sheep and lambs. Once beyond the worst of the bog we re-crossed the fence and commenced the ascent of Ben Cliad.
The earlier fine and sunny weather was replaced by cloud but it was still quite warm as we ascended the gully to the north passing a couple of ponies and their foals. Higher up the heathery terrain had been burnt in places and I spotted a couple of golf balls, which had been singed by the fire. The local golf course was away to the west so I presumed the balls had been picked up by birds and dropped on the hillside.
On approaching the top there was a couple of spots of rain and a rabbit disappeared down its summit burrow. The top was marked by a few stones and while there we spotted a plane taking off from the nearby airport, the runway being part of the local beach.
The return was by the ascent route although once over the fence and to avoid the bog we crossed the field and passed through a couple of gates to reach the road north of the telephone kiosk and cattle grid.
The map shows the Gaelic name for this hill which is Beinn Chliaid.
Photos taken on walk.