Midsummer Solstice wild camping meet, Seana Bhraigh, 21 June 2019

The plan was to meet at the summit of Seana Bhraigh at 10 pm on Midsummer’s Eve.  There were seven of us in four parties, walking in by three different routes at different times on Friday afternoon and evening.  What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Robin was the solitary individual who made it to the summit at the allotted time and bivvied in the summit shelter.  He even set his alarm to toast the sunrise.  He was spotted striding purposefully up the North ridge just before 10 pm by Anne and Arthur; they had walked in from Inverlael and traversed over the summit a little earlier in the evening, dropping down to the little lochan on the North ridge to try to find a camp site with a bit of shelter from a biting westerly wind.

The lochan campsite

The sun set behind the Wester Ross and Sutherland hills – top photo – silhouetting Ben More Coigach, Stac Polly, Cul Beag, Cul Mor, Suilven and Canisp as the light got lower and lower on the horizon. It never really became dark, and the red glow of the sunrise soon started only a few degrees east of North.

Robin met up with Anne and Arthur on his descent back down the North ridge, as they were striking camp in the morning to retrace their steps over Seana Bhraigh and back to Inverlael. Not far behind he encountered Michael and Kirsty G. close to the lochan campsite; they had walked in along the track from the walkers car park at Corriemulzie lodge, choosing to overnight at Magoos bothy as time was getting on. Though the views of sunset weren’t as good as from higher up, they enjoyed a comfortable nights’ sleep in the bothy. They summitted at 10 am – just in time to see Arthur and Ann disappear into the distance.

Glen Beg bothy

Dougie and Kirsty R. took a long route in from Black Bridge via the Strathvaich hills. They encountered some pretty wet and cold weather, and dropped down from Cona Mheall to Glen Beg Bothy to spend the night. Kirsty walked out to Black Bridge in the morning while Dougie persevered with ascents of Carn Ban and Beinn a Chaisteil before heading home for a hot shower and a caffeine fix.

Participants: Robin, Anne, Arthur, Kirsty G., Michael, Dougie and Kirsty R.

Torrin bunkhouse weekend meet on Skye, 10-12 May 2019

Scrambling, epic walks and a bunch of Grahams is the short story of our Skye weekend.
We had organised a day’s scrambling instruction by Ian Stewart, Mountaineering Scotland’s Mountain Safety Adviser for a team of four members to coincide with our Torrin meet. The day was held under the aegis of Mountaineering Scotland’s excellent clubs programme. Blabheinn and Garbh Bheinn provided a superb arena for the team and other folk to hone their skills and test the efficacy of their sphincter muscles. That was followed by another excellent day on Bruach na Frithe  
When the weather on Skye is fine, there are few places that can surpass it.  We had a little pause for thought on Thursday when Daniel and Dougie reported full on winter conditions in Glen Shiel.  There were only skiffs of snow on the summit ridges on Skye overnight, but the higher peaks on the west mainland remained in full winter garb.  Light winds, sun, little cloud and only a couple of unconfirmed reports of midges on Glamaig gave us superb conditions.  

It may have been the lightheadedness occasioned by such conditions that led Barry and Peter B. to set off from Glenbrittle into Coire Ghrunnda, over Sgurr Dubh Mor, down to Loch Coruisk, over the bad step to Camasunery and thence to the Torrin-Elgol road.    Jim was similarly enthused, taking a superb, long coastal walk on the North West of Skye from Ramasaig to Orbost, thought by many to be the most dramatic cliff-top walk in Britain. Caves, natural arches, goes, stacks and MacLeod’s Maidens, as well as a couple of potentially difficult burn crossings, add a measure of interest to the day.  Not to be outdone, Kirsty R. headed for the Trotternish ridge with a full sack of bottles of water. This was probably quite prudent as the ridge was bone dry.
Rather more modest, but extremely pleasant outings were had on the Grahams of the Red Cuilin and South Skye. The purgatorial screes of Glamaig were experienced by Dougie and Daniel and – having paid no heed to their words – by Robin and Arthur the following day. It is reported that in 1899 a Gurkha soldier ran barefoot from Sligachan to the summit and back in 55 minutes. We took rather longer.
Participants were: Daniel, Dougie, Robin, Michael, Barry, Peter B., Jim, Arthur, Miha, Kirsty R. and Shona