MacPhi bagging on Colonsay

Looking for the a walk on Colonsay with a bit of  challenge? Try bagging the MacPhies. A “MacPhie” is a hill in excess of 91.46 metres (300 feet) in height and there are 22 included in the Official List for Colonsay and Oronsay. Clonsay’s walking challenge is to climb all of them in one connected walk with a start and finish point below the high water mark. There is no official route, and the total distance is around 32 kms.

The Colonsay and Oronsay MacPhies (with location, height and grid reference) are listed below:

  • Beinn Oronsay 93m GR 351893
  • Beinn Eibhne 98m GR 378904
  • Cnoc an t-Samhlaidh 93m GR 383926
  • Cnoc a’ Raon a’Bhuilg 120m GR 372942
  • Beinn nan Caorach 126m GR 366941
  • Carn Mor 134m GR 373947
  • Binnean Riabhach 117m GR 364964
  • Cnoc Mull-araich 100m GR 370965
  • A’ Bheinn Bhreach 139m GR 375972
  • A’ Bheinn a Tuath 120m GR 381971
  • Beinn Uragaig 120m GR 385976
  • Beinn a’ Sgoltaire 125m GR 392975
  • A’ Bheinn Bheag 109m GR 406986
  • Carn an Eoin 143m GR 409985
  • A’ Bheinn Bhreac 122m GR 414287
  • A’ Mhaol Bhuidhe 100m GR 417983
  • Cnoc Mor Charraig nan Darach 92m GR 413973
  • Dun Dubh, a’ Phairc Gharbh 104m GR 407972
  • Beinn nam Fitheach 105m GR 407967
  • Carn nan Caorach 110m GR 392948
  • Beinn nan Gudairean 136m GR 388950
  • Carn na Cainnle 116m GR 381945

The MacPhie bagging idea came about after an island farmer David who was keen to develop an island hill bagging list for Colonsay, along the same lines as munro bagging – but smaller. The terrain and lack of distinct path to each summit on Colonsay adds to the challenge, along with route finding and planning on the tidal crossing to Oronsay.  On the upside the route will take you to all of the magnificent views on the island.

The challenge record is currently held by Jethro Lennox with a completion time of 3 hours 56 minutes and 44 seconds. He started at the Strand and finished at Kiloran Bay.

More ideas of what to do on Colonsay:

  • Cycle the island circuit – more here
  • Wild swim at Kiloran Bay and experience the “Colonsay washing machine”
  • Attempt all 22 MacPhies – more here
  • Help grow the whale sculpture by adding a stone – more here
  • Climb to the island highpoint for great views – more here – more here
  • Go the beach – find the best ones here
  • Walk to the tidal island of Oronsay – more here