At 450m Ronas Hill is the highest point in Shetland. Whilst running his recent sea kayak weeks in the UK’s most northerly islands Steve took the opportunity to spend a non-paddling day exploring this little visited granite plateau. Despite its relatively lowly height, Ronas Hill and the surrounding peaks are the only sub-arctic terrain in the UK outside the Cairngorms. What they lack in height compared to their southerly cousins they make up in latitude as, at over 60 degrees north, they experience similar temperatures, extreme winds and significant swings in light levels across the year. This has led to a rounded, wind scoured and ice shattered environment with rare and unusual physical features such as solifluction terraces and fell field. Ronas Hill also sports about 15 species of rare arctic alpine plants such as Alpine Lady’s Mantle, Alpine Azalea and Moss Campion.
Whilst there are no defined paths, Ronas Hill is a relatively straightforward walk in fine weather, though strong wind and/or cloud would make it an entirely different proposition. The views from the summit, which, like Steve, you may well have entirely to yourself, are spectacular, taking in Northmavine and Yell to the north and Eshaness, Papa Stour and Foula to the the south west. There’s also a neolithic burial chamber on the summit plateau.
If you’d like to share Steve’s broad environmental knowledge in any of the UK’s mountains and hills, or just be able to relax and enjoy your mountain walk with expert support, Steve will be pleased to hear from you and happy to help. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07796 213817.