Ben More Coigach day meet, 24 June 2018

A strong team of nine plus a dog set off from Blughasary, south east of the mountain, on a beautiful if windy day.  We headed for the east ridge of Speicein Coinnich, a rocky wee ridge (below) which added some interest to a very pleasant ascent and gave some great views over Cul Beag, Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh, Suilven…..

Our hopes of good views to the west were not disappointed, especially when we reached the main top of Ben More Coigach and the outlier Garbh Choireachan, as rough as its name suggests.  The Summer Isles looked at their best, and the rocky Sutherland hills rose up impressively out of a landscape of moor and loch.

Despite the good conditions, we didn’t see another soul on the hill all day.  The roads on the way back were a different story.  There had been an accident near Garve which blocked the road, making the journey back home more exciting than expected.  But nothing stops the IMC!

Harris Weekend meet, 8-10 June 2018

There is always a sense of anticipation on the ferry going to the Western Isles.  Leaving Loch Broom, the swell of the sea makes itself felt and the mountains of Wester Ross and Sutherland get smaller on the horizon.  In what seems like no time at all, the hills of Harris rise up from the Long Island and the Loch Seaforth is nosing its way into Cala Steornabhaigh.  The fumes, noise and bustle of the ferry traffic in Stornoway are quickly dissipated as we drive through the lochs of Lewis into the surprisingly mountainous road through the North Harris hills.
Ten club members made it to Drinishader for a long weekend meet.  The chance to be in the Western Isles in good weather was not to be missed, so some came early and some stayed on to the following week.  One intrepid soul –  Jim – took his bike on the ferry to Tarbert and cycled through Harris before joining us for some hill walking.
And so to the hills.   An Cliseum made a nice short Friday evening walk after settling into the Cottage Hostel at Drinishader for Douglas, Michael, Nell and Arthur, leaving the round of the Mullach and the Mulla Bhos for a future trip.  Jim and Sarah took a more measured approach, leaving An Cliseum until the next day.

 

The fine weather took six of us up Tiorga Mor  with a dubious sighting of a hazy Hirta from the summit.  We wandered over Toirga Beag to gawp at the impressive crag of Sron Uladail – above.  Jim, Ewen, Nell and Michael made their various ways down to Gleann Chliostair, while Douglas and Arthur went on to summit Oireabhal.  The soft drinks and ice cream from the honesty shop next to the big house at Abhainn Suidhe were sublime.
Uisgnabhal Mor was the target for Michael, Douglas, Nell and Arthur the next day.  Jim and Ewen took the old postal path from Urgha Beag to Reinigeadal and back to the Harris Hotel, from whence they were recovered happily sipping pints of beer.  Jim and Sarah had to head back home, but still had time for a local coastal walk with Alan and Gina who were staying next door.  Alan and Gina’s beach wanderings and ascent of Ceapabhal delivered some stunning photos which Alan has posted on the IMC Facebook Group page.
Our final day saw Jim take his bike back on the Tarbert ferry via the Harris Gin Distillery.  Douglas and Michael visited Callanais standing stones (below) just early enough to miss the tourist buses.  And Ewen, Nell and Arthur visited the beautiful Eagle’s Nest bothy on the cliffs at Mangerstadh.

Do check out the IMC Facebook page and Facebook Group page for lots of pictures.

Glenfinnan Weekend Meet, 11-12 May

We had booked the sleeping car at the Glenfinnan Station Museum for our meet; a vintage railway carriage has been converted into a 10 berth bunkhouse complete with kitchen and bathroom.
Kevin, Douglas, Kirsty, Steve, Andreas and Masoud, accompanied by Skye, had a hot and thirsty but enjoyable day on the Corryhully horseshoe, below.  Arthur, Robin, Nell and newcomer Anne, went for a more modest round of the two Corbetts west of Loch Shiel, Beinn Odhar Bheag and Beinn Mhic Cedidh (top photo) also in super conditions.  Peter and Marion joined them for Beinn Odhar Bheag and then descended by Coire Buidhe.

Sunday saw Steve and Andreas taking to the water, kayaking into the beach at Peanmeanach bothy.  Masoud hired a bike and cycled the 55km down Loch Shiel and back.  Kevin, Douglas and Nell headed for Gulvain, continuing Skye’s Munro bagging excursions.  Kirsty shot up Sgurr An Utha and then found the energy to go mountain biking. Marion and Peter also ascended Sgurr An Utha, but possibly at a more moderate pace.  Meanwhile Arthur, Robin and Anne continued their assault on the area’s Corbetts by tackling Streap, below.
Altogether it was an enjoyable, productive and varied weekend.

Strathfarrar day meet, 29 April 2018

A crowd of 16 members and guests gathered at Inchmore at the entrance to Glen Strathfarrar, awaiting the appointed time for the gate to open.  At the stroke of nine we scattered in different directions.
 
Douglas, Toni, John and Helen – who really didn’t need to go through the gate at all – headed off for a very pleasant circuit of Beinn a’ Bhathaich Ard, the Corbett which marks the easternmost reaches of the glen.
Ewen, Marion, Peter, Andreas and Robin followed a little used path – above – from the bridge across the River Farrar to the east of the Loch Beanhacharan dam, and struck uphill to the Graham, Carn Gorm.  Thence they stravaiged over Carn a Mhuilt and Carn Moraig to explore the old lead mine workings on the descent path to Struy over Blar Mor.
 
The rest of the group – Richard, Nell, Michael, Arthur, Kirsty, Miha and Masoud – drove to the power station at the end of the glen and set off for An Riabhachan, below,  encountering a surprising amount of snow on the northern slopes.  Misplaced ambitions to include Sgurr na Lapaich were quietly dropped, and a brisk drive back down the glen saw them at the gate a few minutes before the six o’clock closing time.
 
The group repaired to The Cnoc for much needed refreshments after interesting and thirsty days out.