"Cross, on foot, a large plain of ground, seemingly improvable, but covered with a deep heath, and perfectly in a state of nature........After a walk of four miles, reach the paps (mountains in the centre of Jura): left the lesser to the south-east, preferring the ascent of the greatest, for there are three : Beinn-a-Chalaois, or 'the mountain of the sound'; Beinn Sheunta, or 'the hallowed mountain'; and Beinn-an-Oir, or 'the mountain of gold'."
The 'Paps' are a magnificent sight to behold. Not only do they dominate the Jura skyline, they also dominate most of Islay. Even though we were blessed with beautiful weather the Paps summits were mostly covered in clouds although they did occasionally permit us to see them in all their glory.
They must be difficult to climb but I imagine there must be an incredible view from the top? Top marks to anyone who achieves that feat!
The energetic Pennant climbed Beinn an Oir, the highest of the Paps Of Jura, but he mentioned its near neighbour, Beinn Shiantaidh. This translates as the "Enchanted Mountain", or more precisely "the Mountain Defended by Enchantment". No archaeological information exists to confirm or deny its use as such, but the name strongly suggests that the mountain was important in the beliefs of the prehistoric peoples of lived on Jura. As Pennant notes, it is one of three grouped close together, and triplicity was thought to be spiritually powerful in the ancient world. And high places seemed to attract those who felt it was important to be near their sky-gods.