No less than eleven club members braved the North Coast 500 roads to get to the aptly named (on this occasion) Sango Sands Oasis campsite in Durness. And it was indeed very dry; excellent weather on Friday evening, and a good meal in the restaurant attached to the campsite.
Most folk opted to ascend Foinaven on Saturday. A car was left near Achfary, at the south end of the massif (below) and the whole team walked down Strath Dionard – accompanied by a swarm of clegs – and up Coire Duail on the north-east side of the hill. A steep ascent onto Ceann Garbh, the northernmost top, gave stunning views over the sea to Orkney and most of Sutherland.
Here the party split, with Arthur, Kirsty R and Kevin opting to do the full traverse – a mammoth 28km, one of the classic Scottish mountain days. Helen, Michael and Ewen called it a day at that, heading back to Gualin House over a very dry moor; lucky for Ewen, as he had forgotten his boots and did the walk in trekking shoes.
Alan and Gina conquered Ben Hope on Saturday and swam in a loch on the way back down. Catherine and Rob joined us after a night in Kearvaig bothy near Cape Wrath, and Robin managed a quick trip up Quinag in the afternoon on his way north.
The weather broke on Sunday, with mist and drizzle deterring most from anything more adventurous than a trip to the new improved coffee shop at Balnakeil. But some helped Catherine and Rob to take the dogs for a walk at Balnakeil Bay, and all agreed that it had been a good sociable meet.