Scottish Climbs: Port Askaig Brae

This is not a climb I have done, but one that comes courtesy of several contributions from twitter friends.

According to Jim aka @cowspassage, Port Askaig Hill is Islay’s Alpe d’Huez. He explains: it is not a long climb, but is more notable for its Alpine-style road engineering, with a couple of well-graded hairpins. Sounds good to me- one of my favourite climbs in my local vicinity is the Dukes Pass- another road with some nice hairpins. Long overdue a blog post, that one.

The image above is from Jez Hastings of Port Mor Wheelers, Wiggle Tandem and Islay Birding fame.


Brian aka @Bazzargh warns that maps and signage can be misleading though- the sign shows 14% but that this only a short section near the top, and the Bikehike profile showing a downhill at the hairpin, which is wrong. The climb is 1.5km up to Dunlossit Gatehouse, and is 9% at the bottom and increases in gradient after the first bend.

@bazzargh gives the following tip: if you’re there also visit Caol Ila distillery- it has a harder, narrow double-hairpin climb that takes you back to same point as the Port Askaig road. I’m sure the distillery has some things of interest too. While we’re on food and drink, Jim recommends the food in the Port Askaig hotel.

To top off this post, Brian Palmer aka @twmp of the essential Washing Machine Post site sent me these shots by Mark & Helga Unsworth who are Islay Studios. The pics show Brian riding with The Mighty Dave T, whose words of the week can be found on the Washing Machine Post.

image: www.islaystudios.co.uk

image: www.islaystudios.co.uk

image: www.islaystudios.co.uk

image: www.islaystudios.co.uk