Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A climb to the Gap on Hirta, St Kilda.

After lunch we snoozed for a bit then walked back up through the village towards...

...the gap between Connachair and Oisebhal. On the way we passed some unusually shaped stone enclosures... An Lag Bho 'n Tuath.

We then followed a line of ceitean upwards towards the still distant skyline...

...getting hotter all the time... frequent stops to admire the view below us...

...were the order of the day.

At last we approached the edge of the World  and looked over... Boreray and the stacs.

We posed on the edge for each other's photos.

It was at this spot that the St Kildans would lower themselves on ropes over the cliffs to catch fulmars. We could hardly bring ourselves to look down...

...peering over the edge, we were looking down...

...on the highest sea cliffs in the British Isles.

This is the sea level view of the cliffs under Conachair from our 2008 trip. Brada Stac in the foreground is 165m high which gives some sense of the scale. The highest cliffs are actually behind us.


  1. Loving the pictures.
    Perhaps the highest sea cliffs in GB?
    The highest sea cliffs in the British Isles might be at Slieve League in Ireland or not depending on which Isles you mean...

  2. Greetings Rick, thank you!

    I was including Eire in the geographical term "British Isles". Indeed, I know Sleive League well, I walked one man's path the morning after my brother in law's wedding!

    However, you are not going to describe that fine slope as a "cliff" are you? From the summit to the sea the angle is 37.9 degrees. From the summit of Connachair to the sea is 66.2 degrees but that is not the whole story. Sleive League has a pretty uniform slope. A great deal of the rise on St Kilda under Conachair is vertical or overhanging.

    If you are happy to count a slope to the sea, then Ben Nevis has the highest sea cliffs!

    We usually fly over but I must take the ferry (and my kayak) over to paddle some of Donegal's and Ulster's fine coasts, which I have missed out for far too long.


  3. Very nice, was there paddling last year on the Cuma and the cliffs were like nothing I've seen before, have to get back.

    If were talking about Slopes then even in Ireland Croaghaun on Achill Island would be higher than Slieve League, more awkward to get to/explore so gets less press.

    Paddled Slieve League a couple of months after St Kilda and I was a bit underwhelmed, I had spoiled myself!

    List of big cliffs here.

    Do come over and visit some time Douglas, it's great :)


  4. Ok St Kilda wins the steepness contest and the remoteness one too!LOL!
    Let me know if you are coming this way perhaps we could arrange a few days...I'm sure I can find you a spare Nordkapp too. No sails...yet!

  5. Hi John, Achill Island is definitely on my to do list. I have never been but photos look awesome.

    The Cuma is great this was my second time, I doubt it will be my last.

    John/Rick I can't wait to paddle in Irish waters.