Bus Meet: Fannichs, 16 June 2019

When:                        Sunday 16 June 2019
Bus Stop:                   Loch a’ Bhraoin (NH 162 760)
Pick up times:          Elgin (07:00); Forres (07:20); Nairn (7:40); Inverness (08:00)
Est. time of arrival: 09:30
Time of departure: 17:30
Cost:                           £15.00 pp

The Fannichs lie between Loch Fannich and the A835 Garve to Ullapool road. There are plenty of Munros, Corbetts and Grahams in the area, so there is plenty of choice for all abilities.  There is even the Corrieshalloch Gorge, with the Falls of Measach. The bus will park at Loch a’ Bhraoin for the day and drop-offs can be made along the way as usual.  On the homeward journey, there will be a refreshment stop at the Inchbae Lodge Inn.

Some suggestions include:

  • Fom Loch a’Bhraoin: Beinn Bheag and Groban (Grahams); Creag Rainich (Corbett); A’Chailleach and Sgurr Breac (Munros); Meall a’Chrasgaidh, Sgurr nan Clach Geala and Sgurr nan Each (Munros)
  • From Braemore junction: Beinn Enaiglair (Corbett); Corrieshalloch Gorge plus Lael Forest
  • From Loch Droma: An Colieachan and Meal Gorm (Munros); Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich and Sgurr Mor (Munros); Cona’ Mheall and Beinn Dearg (Munros)
  • From Loch Glascarnoch: Am Faochagach (Munro) Beinn Liath a’Ghiubhais (Corbett); An Coileachan and Meall Gorm (Munros)

Be aware that a hydro scheme is under construction on the watercourse flowing out of Loch a Bhraoin.  Access should still be possible over the usual footbridge.  If you want to know more about the hydro scheme then have a look at the various documents on the Highland Council’s planning portal (search for 18/02458/FUL)

Contact Gordon Eccleston by 21:00 on Wednesday 12 June to book a seat.

Weekend Meet Report: Rum, May 2019

May Day bank holiday weekend is the traditional island meet for the MMC. The location this year was the Isle of Rum, the biggest of the group of four islands that make up the Small Isles. Rum was for much of the first half of the 20th Century known among west coasters and islanders as the forbidden isle. This was due to it being in private ownership as a sporting estate and with a policy turning away people who did not have permission to be there. During the 2nd half of the century the island passed into the ownership of the Nature Conservancy council who later became SNH. They had a more lax policy for visitors but still liked to control the numbers as they wanted to carry out scientific research of the fauna (particular red deer) and flora without too much disturbance from hill walkers and the like. The last 15 years or so has seen a change again with visitors welcome to explore the island at will.

May 2019 Rum from the Ferry

The Moray Mountaineering Club Goes to Rum, Photo by L Grant

Rum has fantastic geology and put simply it is a volcano which died about 60 million years ago. The hard igneous rocks that were formed at that time explain the distinct shape and height of the Rum Cuillin. On the central hills sixteen layers of rock have been identified as the remains of lava flows and close study of these reveals rocks rich in minerals such as olivine. Jump forward several million years and the place was covered by ice which has its own influence on the landscape carving out deep corries and valleys.

The place names of Rum are both Norse and Gaelic in origin. Ainshval – rocky ridge hill, Askival – Spear Hill, Dibidil – deep dale, Hallival – Ledge Hill, and Trollaval – Trolls’ Hill – possible from the noise made by the manx shearwaters as they nested on the mountain.

Anyway, enough of the Geography lessons and on to what folk actually got up to over the meet.
In Ray’s own words ‘I didn’t do very much. I arrived on Friday and walked out to Dibidil bothy on the Saturday.
On Sunday I went to the otter hide but saw no otters. I then walked up the track towards Kilmory and back. Monday I was with the group that went to Croft Three.’

Babs, Drummond and Ella filled up the days with a variety of walks. Here is what Ella had to say:
Arrived with most of the others on Friday afternoon ferry and settled ourselves into our pod. Maybe not exactly ‘glamping’ standard but comfy enough. Wandered down to Kim’s cafe in the hope of booking in for the Friday night fish supper but only one bit of fish left – any guesses which of the three bagsied it! Sheila gave him such a hard time about it. Saturday we set out with Maurice and Robert for the ridge. It was good to get back up there after a twenty year gap (Babs and I) and the two of us were happy to settle for Hallival and Askival. Drummond carried on to Trollaval before calling it a day. Maurice continued along the whole ridge, (it was noted that he did not surface from his tent till mid-morning on the Sunday).

All in all, great to be back in Rum after so long. Won’t be leaving it another 20 years.

Babs continues the story:
On Saturday Drummond, Ella and Babs set off for Guirdil Bothy on the west side of the island intending to drop down to this by finding the least steep option off Bloodstone Hill. They set off down the Harris road and had several stops for blethering to passing cyclists (Dan and Sheena) early lunch etc before turning off down the track towards Guirdil. On reaching the Bealach a’ Braigh Bhig, from where they could see the amazing Bloodstone hill [ Lava flowing away from the volcanic centre formed Bloodstone Hill, gas bubbles leaving holes in the structure that were then filled with green agate flecked with red], and also the near sheer drop to the Bothy, they decided to climb the hill on the north side of the Bealach, Fionchra, from which a far more gentle descent to Guirdil could be made. They were rewarded with amazing views to Canna and the Outer Hebrides. Guirdil bothy was reached, quite busy with people. They then followed the route back via Glen Shellesder, with a stop at the sea shore to look for subterranean tunnels. Ella and Babs gave up on the search quite easily, being aware of how long it would take to get back to Kinloch. Drummond, of course, continued exploring and reported that the tunnels smelt very strongly of goat! He arrived back much later than the others, his progress having been further hampered by a slight wrong turning on the road, briefly heading for Kilmory rather than Kinloch – well they both started with Ki!

On Monday morning, the trio headed out on a brief walk past the otter hide to the ruined village of Port nan Carannan, which was abandoned in 1861 when the remaining villagers moved to Kinloch. Fascinating place, as is the whole island and its history.

May 2019 Rum Askival from Hallival

Hallival summit looking to Askival, Photo by S Forsyth

Dan and Sheena arrived on the Saturday morning and fuelled up by the Cal Mac full Scottish fry up, dumped their stuff at the camping pod and set off in hot pursuit of the Cullin crew. The advance party was soon spotted descending the first summit and then overtaken, albeit briefly as everyone arrived at the second summit about the same time after scrambling up the rocks by various routes.

They continued on to Trollaval where they weighed up the return route options. It was decided to descend the same route back to the bealach, then traverse round the back of Atlantic corrie to gain the bealach and descend via Corie Dubh.

The addition of bikes to the kit list allowed an easy trip to visit the mausoleum at Harris on Sunday. The structure houses the tombs of the former owners of the island – the Bulloughs – and is a reminder of the opulence they enjoyed at their holiday island. The adventure continued with a trip up Bloodstone Hill – but no such stones were found much to the disappointment of Sheena. However a couple of sea eagles were spotted over the sea towards the Hebrides.

May 2019 Rum - Harris Mausoleum

Harris Mausoleum, Photo by S Forsyth

Ben, Lauren, Iain, Sheila and Joe arrived on Rum on the Friday ferry in time to head along the Dibidil path for some bouldering. Ben assures us that the bouldering here, and further up the slope into the corrie beneath Hallival and Askival is world class, although when there’s a chilly breeze and more enthusiasm for looking at views and pondering dinner options the bouldering can sometimes take a back seat. Fun was had by all, and Ben is of course correct, the bouldering is superb.

May 2019 Rum Bouldering

Bouldering on Rum (Joe, Lauren and Ben). A pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Photo by I Rudkin

On Saturday the same quintet went to Canna. It is a lovely island and very different to Rum, with its green scenery and apparent lack of ticks and midgies. An excellent seacliff was found on which to climb which was made even better by the weather – quite a bit of sunshine with a cold northerly breeze, so as soon as the climbers abseiled over the edge of the south facing cliff they were bathed in sunshine and out of the wind, with sound, warm black basalt to climb back up to the top.

Sheila decided to forgo the dizzying heights above crashing waves in favour of some solo exploring and found a Neolithic tomb on Canna and a lovely sandy beach on the appropriately named island of Sanday.

An early dinner was enjoyed at Canna Café, the humble name of the establishment belying the quality of its locally sourced quality food.
On Saturday Lauren and Iain traversed the Rum Cuillin, enjoying lovely weather and mostly having the ridge to themselves. Joe and Ben followed but didn’t get any further than Askival due to a combination of injuries and general lassitude.

Day three saw Dan and Sheena head out on their bikes to the beach at Kilmory for some easy coastal walking (see pic below), watching the deer and birdlife – few golden plovers – and soaking up the sun. Returning for the afternoon ferry where the voyage back to Mallaig was a reminder of the beautiful coastline that the west coast has to offer.

May 2019 Rum

Will that hold the weight of a Cal Mac fry-up? (Dan near Kilmory). Photo by S Forsyth

Weekend Meet: Scourie, 6+7 July

Date:            Nights of Friday 5 and Saturday 6 July 2019
Venue:          Scourie Campsite
Location:     Scourie, Grid Ref: NC 154 447 (Google Maps)
Facilities:    All the usual campsite facilities.  WiFi.
Cost:             Prices as advised on Scourie Campsite’s website.

What to do: Assynt is packed with fantastic hills and coastline.  Some of the best hills include Foinaven, Arkle and Ben Stack.  For those seeking more adventurous routes, there is at least one good scramble on the northeast face of Foinaven.  Handa Island , with its spectacular sea cliffs and sea bird colonies, is also very close by (Check ferry times here – no ferry on Sundays).  If you’ve never been to Sandwood Bay, then don’t miss the opportunity.

Contact Simon Jacyna to book a place on this meet.

Weekend Meet Report: Morvich, Jan 2019

The irony of Joe Glennie telling anyone to ‘hurry up’ is rich indeed, but this has been an honour afforded to me these past few weeks, as memories of the MMC Hogmanay meet recede and Joe harries me for the report. Apart from upsetting Joe (a difficult, yet satisfying endeavour) it does of course mean that no-one remembers what actually happened and your addle-headed author can pen what he will with little fear of recrimination. So here follows that which was recorded in the Book of Climbs. If it isn’t there, then it won’t be here and I certainly can’t remember.

The last day of the year was also one of the wettest and those venturing out would be more in need of gills than crampons. Alan, Fiona, Alistair and Karen travelled to the wonderful Glenelg. It was a bog trot, but declared an amazing bog trot by those taking it. The ‘tickers’ did a recce for some future Grahams which pleased them, (curious breed). There was also a new brewery to be visited and a very wet day was made better by the Glenelg Inn.

Dan ‘Tigger’ Moysey, always a man to sneer in the face of inclement weather set off on an anti-clockwise circumnavigation of Beinn Fhada. Setting off up Glen Lichd at a good rate of knots with a strong tail wind an un-verified Golden eagle took off from the right next to the track, but as usual, when evidence is required the camera was buried and the crow got away. It was hike-a-bike territory up the steep path past the waterfalls of the Alt Grannda. Had first lunch/second breakfast at the lovely Camban Bothy, but loitering here was only putting off the inevitable return to the wind and rain. Turned left up Gleann Gniomhaidh – straight into a fierce headwind. The lea of Bealach an Sgairne offered a bit respite from the weather and time for a refuel. The top part of the descent is technical at the best of times but with a gusty wind and wet slippy rocks it was almost impossible. Fortunately it got better after a bit of height loss and provided a fine finale back to the bunkhouse. A descent slowed only by the bimbling and thoroughly sodden Sam and Jake returning from a hunting trip with the very smelly dog Lucas.

Sheena, Adele, Andy Lawson, Evelyn D, Heavy and Diane M went on a popular ‘wet weather option’ from Kintail to the Falls of Glomach. It’s quite a long way, and spectacular though the falls are, the route takes you the top of the falls and so to the less exciting end. It was probably with little regret therefore, that three of the six turned back early on this wet, windy and altogether miserable New Year’s eve. The torrents flowing off every hillside almost as impressive as the main event.

Evelyne, ever a student of history and a collector of atmosphere made a creative trip from Dun Totaig Brock from Letterfearn. She set off along the coastal road and then along a beach. Then followed woodland paths to the ruins of the Iron Age broch, which still had some of the passageway. After exploring the broch Evelyne followed the path a bit further and had views of the Skye bridge and Eilean Donan Castle.

Carol Jack, with clinical judgement, may well claim to be the only person to stay dry. Pootled up to Eileann Donan castle then Kyle in the air-conditioned and extremely dry car. Her only dilemma being .which cake to have with her coffee. Wise.

All returned safely however for a change into evening wear ready for the night’s festivities. More of which later, but first, the remaining tales from the Book of Climbs (it is after all allegedly a mountaineering club).

Now I am sure that more was done on the last day of the old year, just as there were no doubt other feats performed on the first day of the New Year that are not here recorded, but as already mentioned, that which lies outside the official record lies in the memories of those who were there. And perhaps just as well.

The day was much more clement than the dreich affair previously endured, and it was into this bright and brave new world that Andy Brooks and Deb Ward stepped. They drove along the loch Long road to Camas, then bogtrotted along to the bridge over the River Elchaig heading for those pesky Falls of Glomach. Over the footbridge and to the path that goes up and round for much longer than expected. Finally their goal was achieved with a distant view of the falls which was deemed sufficient and it was decided that enough was enough. A good day with weather so much better than yesterday.

Alan Duncan had arranged to set off with Jake, but decided better of it and so sneaked away ten minutes before the designated time. He set off from the outdoor centre and walked up Glen Choinneachain and from Bealach an Sgairne climbed up to Aghlas Bheinn. A great day with excellent visibility and views. As there was a small amount of fresh snow it is safe to say that Alan was the first person to summit this munro this year as there were no other footprints about. His obvious intention and the reason for his cruel deception

Evelyn, Diane, Fiona D, Heavy and the forlornly abandoned Jake decided upon a New Year Day ascent of Sgurr an Arrgid. It was a sociable group that followed a good footpath all the way to the summit with its shattered trig point. Nearer the top there was a dusting of snow and the views of snow covered mountains all around were fantastic. A grand day out on the first day of 2019. Jake, perhaps in a futile bid to find Alan, decided the day too good to cut short and set off alone across the rough bounds of the Inverinate Forest to take in the little visited and lumpy Beinn Bhude and Beinn Bhreac before getting lost in the forest tracks on his late return to the hut.

Alistair, Adele and Carol, were the true athletes of January the 1st as they set out to conquer Four Sisters and two Brothers. No lie-in for these rabid ‘tickers’ as they set off at 07.00 hours from west end of Glen Shiel Ridge. It was very dark and the only reason they were able to locate the “shed” in the shed start, was from Sheena’s excellent inside information. Excitement was the word. Snow flurries at 10 cleared by 11 for a beautiful day. Slippy underfoot made progress slower than hoped and ambitions were reigned in slightly as they cut down after the first two brothers as dark was quickly reappearing. Being true athletes of course, they took full advantage of any kind of outside agency and completed their day out with a lift home from the redoubtable Karen Jeffs in the support car.

Colin Cowie, as usual beating to a slightly different drum, decided against a hill and met Kate Duffus at Plockton for a paddle. Weather was way better than expected as they headed up Loch Carron. After five minutes two otters bobbed up with crabs in their mouths. Paddling on this rugged coastline throws up all sorts of wonderful surprises and the pair found a secret howf, well hidden and according to our grizzled mariner – only accessible from the sea. Headed up to narrows then on to north coast up and round Kishorn Islands then back to Plockton. Met a couple and paddled with them for a while. Good tiring day. Burger van was open in Plockton, but Colin claimed to have resisted.

Brent, Diane and Gus made a sensibly late start after the Hogmany celebrations. Cycled down the road to the cemetery then up up up to the summit of Sgurr an Arrgid (Corbet 841 metres) where the other group had headed. Gus, who is happy to take in the atmosphere and compose sonnets on his way up made a slower ascent. The eventual reward were fantastic 360 degree views. Then it was back to the bothy for day two of the Hogmanay pigout.

Andy Lawson, who does more hills than most and has a real love of these wild places started 2019 as he undoubtedly proposes to continue it with a fine day. Parking at the Cluny Inn he set off walking the south GlenShiel ridge doing the four easterly munroes, which are Creag a Mhaim, Druim Shionnach, Aonach air Chrith and Maol Chim-Dearg. Descended from fourth munro down the Druim coire Nan Eirecheanach ridge and walked the road back to the Cluny Inn. A cracking day.

Dan and Sheena with their usual ambition set out to complete the Five Sisters. The great thing about the Kintail activity centre is the great walk straight from the door. With this in mind the geographer and the engineer ascended the west end of the Kintail ridge and travelled as far as Sgurr nan Spainteach before dropping steeply northward to Gleann Lichd. Great views and a dusting of snow. Large bird footprints were spotted on the summit of Sgurr Fhuarn. Possibly golden eagle. Or more likely the same crow from yesterday.

Sam. A newcomer (and actual not even a member – please note Malcolm) decided against big hills or distant waterfalls and instead went on a lovely local bimble. The main intention was to rid the dog Lucas of some of his stinkiness, but he failed to shed any of his malodorous pong and was therefore banned to the van for another night.

As usual, there was more done than this, but the Book of Climbs has failed to record it. And also as is usual, the Hogmanay meet is so much more than a couple of days in the hills. It’s a great chance to catch up with old pals and have a right good shindig, with magnificent food. It would be unfair to pick out any gastronomic highlights, as it would necessarily miss so many others, but Alistair and Karen were certainly our very own Fannies and Johnnys (apologies to younger members for the ancient cookery reference) and would surely make it to the next round. There was the usual musical cacophony of fiddle and guitar, but sadly Fiona D was unable to delight us with her wonderful repertoire as she had only recently been thrown off her bike by Alan and her wrist was broken (Retirement has clearly not mellowed him). A true highlight was the late night wassailing of Heavy and Gus with a fabulous medley of songs. Gus in particular possessing a fine tenor voice.

The Kintail outdoor centre is a great venue for a Hogmanay meet. Very comfortable and able to seat many for a feast, as well as being in a wonderful and secluded position. It even had a resident stag stalking the grounds during our stay, just to sprinkle a bit of festive magic. A great start to the year as ever and should auld acquaintance be forgot………………

Report by Jake Lee

Bus Meet: Glenfeshie, 26 April 2019

When:                        Sunday 26 May 2019
Bus Stop:                   Auchlean (NN 850 985)  *** UPDATED ****
Pick up times:          Elgin (07:00); Forres (07:20); Nairn (7:40); Inverness (08:00)
Est. time of arrival: 09:30
Time of departure: 17:30
Cost:                           £15.00 pp

Glenfeshie is a wonderful glen, especially at this time of year when the wildlife will be out and about.  The obvious big hills are Mullach Clach a’ Blair and Sgor Gaoith with its lofty summit sitting high above Loch Eanaich.  A walk along the glen through mature pine forests leads to the recently renovated Ruigh Aiteachain bothy. Another possibility is to tackle one of the Corbetts as part of the “Corbetts for Courses – 2019” – which aims to have a photo of someone on top of every Corbett during May 2019. Another possibility is a traverse back to Coylumbridge.

I’ll make up some screen shots, and estimate the various lengths and times for the various walks, and post these out later.

Contact Gordon Eccleston by 21:00 on Wednesday 22nd May to book a seat on the bus.

Weekend Meet: Glen Affric, 8+9 June 2019


VenueStrawberry Cottage, Glen Affric

Location: West end of Loch Affric, Grid Ref: NH 132 206.

Glen Affric is a very special and beautiful place. A natural nature reserve and a site of special scientific interest. The glen has a real wilderness feel although, fences and buildings show that it has been inhabited for a long time. the hills will always be there, but Strawberry Cottage allows you to linger for a while and get the most out of your experience. Long days are the best, the hills deserve to be savoured and many of the fantastic ridges are not really accessible to the day tripper.

Facilities: 12 beds with mattresses and pillows (sleeping bags required), lighting by solar-panels in summer (can be topped-up by petrol generator (unleaded petrol required)), cooking by gas, well-equipped kitchen (all utensils, cutlery and crockery provided), wood-burning stove (logs or peat required), flush WC, drying room, water supplied by petrol-driven pump (unleaded petrol required). There are no showers.

Cost: £15 per person for the weekend.

Access: Access is restricted for vehicles. There will be a vehicle to carry packs, details available from Simon. Otherwise on foot from road-end at Loch Affric along circa 5 miles of rough track.

Nearby Hills: Munros – Mam Sodhail, Carn Eighe, Beinn Fhionnlaidh, An Socach, Mullach na Dheiragain, Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan, Sail Chaorainn, Sgurr nan Conbhairean. Corbetts – Carn a Choire Ghairbh, Aonach Shasuinn.

Contact Simon Jacyna to book a place on this meet.

Weekend Meet Report: Strontian,April 2019

A good crowd of 17 people made it to this ever popular venue at Strontian.

Most to them being retired or only part time workers several made a long weekend of it with much activity on the previous days as well, while Heavy fretted about the lack of workers to pay his pension.

Alan and Fiona kicked off their long weekend with a visit to Mull on Thursday. They had a short climb up the Graham Cruach Choireadail finding it very windy but sunny and with great visibility. They spent the evening in the hot tub at the Isle of Mull Hotel enjoying the views of Ben Cruachan on the mainland. On Friday they climbed another Graham, Corra Bheinn. Sunny again, but warmer and much less windy. It was Alan’s first Graham since last August and you read it here first that Alan now intends to complete them all.

Starting off his long weekend on Thursday too with a slight detour to somewhere in Glencoe was Alistair Jeffs who climbed Creise and the other one above the ski tows. You will probably know which one he means but I don’t have a map handy. Lots of people on boards and planks making the most of the recent snowfall, but no sign of Adrian Marsay. He followed this on Friday with an ascent of Gulvain (Garbh Beinn) in the wind and sun.

Joe Glennie arrived on the Thursday night and feeling refreshed on Friday morning decided to make the first of his three visits to Mull. He took his bike on a lovely circular tour to Loch Aline, Fisnish (on the ferry as he hasn’t yet mastered walking on water), Tobermory and the ferry back to Kilchoan and an eventual return to Ariundle. Seventy miles and some insane amount of ascent. He arrived back at a sensible hour looking remarkably fit and fresh for adventures the next day.

Babs, Drummond and Ella also arrived on Thursday night and got an early start for a day on Ben Resipole. They took winter gear but found it unnecessary as most of the snow had melted. They were hit by strong winds on the ridge but from the sheltered side they enjoyed spectacular views to the Small Isles, Glen Finnan and Ben Nevis and the Mamores. A windy descent but they dropped down to the sunshine. Babs and Ella went straight down past the mines, while Drummond continued over another hill arriving back about two and a half hours later. Situation normal.

And on to Saturday’s adventures.

Heavy went to Sgurr Dhomhnuill. He took the bike to the end of the forest road, whereupon it then rained all day leaving him cold, wet and miserable and realising he had done that hill several times before. Having the bike was a definite bonus.

Susan went for a wet stomp up the glen behind the bunkhouse. Not a lot of wildlife in the oak-woods apart from a deafeningly loud woodpecker. This was followed by afternoon tea in the centre with clothes steaming by the woodburner in the cafe.

Our new president, Ben, hopefully not setting the tone for his incumbency, went to the pub. However, this was in the company of Joe Glennie, see previous reports, so this was perhaps not entirely surprising. They had set off with good intentions of climbing on the Ardnamurchan ring crags. You know the sort of thing – clinging desperately to a tiny holds with the fingernails of one hand, his right toe smearing onto a tenuous rugosity of sodden gabbro, the rain pouring down his face, staring determinedly at the route ahead. Well no. The rain pouring down their faces within minutes of setting off from the car shattered the fantasy. The Mishnish pub beckoned, from a long way away, as they had to catch the ferry from Kilchoan to Tobermory. Slainte.

Alistair and Adele made two bad mistakes. The first was to choose a hill that was not a Munro. The second was not to go to Mull. Basically they had cold, very windy, rainy day in cloud.

Also not having a great day was Ray Harron, who had planned to do the two Corbetts of Fuar Bheinn and Creach Bheinn. Not great weather, cold and wet, (see above) so he dropped off the ridge into Glen Galmadale. Debbie who went with him, on the other hand had a good day, seeing wild goats and enjoying the great views.

Simon, Dan and Drummond had seen the forecast and decided there would be much less wind, rain and cloud lower down so they stayed at sea level and went kayaking. Putting in at Portuairk they encountered some light swell which continued as far as the Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse. From there on the sea was flat calm back to Kilchoan. An excellent day but they almost wished it could have been a bit more exciting as they passed the westernmost point in the UK mainland. On the way back they stopped for a cup of tea at the hotel, where they were joined by Ben and Joe. This is getting predictable.

Bob and Fiona had an early start for a planned long day in Glenfinnan to do Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan. The wind, rain and snow soon cramped their style and changed their minds. After dithering (surely not?) they decided just to do Sgurr Thuilm and leave the other one for a sunny day with some views. Even so they still had a long day, arriving back too late to join everyone else for a group meal in the cafe.

Alan, Fiona, Ella and Babs headed for Beinn na Uamha. Like everyone else they had rain, wind, more rain and more wind with Alan guiding them to the summit. Their report then continues with a long spiel about who wore whose socks, who wanted the lilac pair and who actually wore walking socks for the the first time, but you don’t really want to know about that.

Sunday dawned, also overcast. As usual reports for this day are a bit sparse but most people did something.

Susan, Ella and Babs had a lovely walk up Glen Moidart, followed by soup at the Glenfinnan railway cafe.

Adele, Alistair, having heard about all the delights of Mull decided that west is best and headed there, with surprise, surprise, Joe Glennie, to tackle Ben More. We know they got back but did they see anything? Nobody knows. Chances are though that they reached the summit.


Simon and Drummond Preparing for an adventure on Loch Shiel

Drummond, Dan and Simon, once again stayed at sea level [err, i think you’ll find Loch Shiel is above sea level] and went paddling on Loch Shiel, which was considerably rougher than the seas around Ardnamurchan point. Battling into the headwinds they first visited Eileann Finnan, which has the ruins of a late medieval chapel and a large and ancient cemetery, before battling on to Pollock and paddling up the river to the first rapids. The return trip was much faster with the wind and surf whistling them along.


Simon on the River Polloch

Weekend Meet: Rum, 3 – 6 May 2019

This is the long weekend and Rum is always a popular destination. We will be camping (Kinloch Village Campsite), £6 p pn, but there are eight places available in the camping pods, approx £40 for the weekend. Pods are first come first served and I will cancel the reservation if there are not enough takers a couple of weeks before the meet.

If you have not been there before Rum offers excellent walking, with several Corbetts and lesser hills, superb rock climbing and it’s great for wildlife too. Climbing on Rum can be affected by breeding birds, so have a look at Mountaineering Scotland’s bird breeding information before you finalise plans

Getting there is part of the fun, mainly with Calmac from Malaig (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday) but the option of a faster service (the MV Shearwater) from Arisaig on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Names to Simon as usual please, simon_jacyna@hotmail.com , and let me know if you want a place in a pod.

Jenny Graham – Wheels around the World

Thursday 9th May. 20:00, Elgin Town Hall.  Wheels around the World with Jenny Graham.

Sco2018-07-29 16.55.20ttish ultra-endurance adventurer, and former MMC member, Jenny Graham has just smashed her way in to the Guinness World Records by becoming the fastest woman to cycle around the planet. In 2018 her ride took her 18,000 miles, over 4 continents and16 countries, completing the trip solo and unsupported in 124days. Battling through tornados, bear country and Russian traffic Jenny tells her story with a humorous take on the highs and lows.

Tickets are £10, with a concessionary rate of £7 for MMC members, and one guest for each member. Concessionary tickets are available from any Committee member. Otherwise tickets can be booked through  Elgin Townhall.

Weekend Meet: Ariundle – Strontian. 5th- 7th April

Ariundle Bunkhouse

Ariundle Centre Bunkhouse

This meet is based at the Ariundle Centre Bunkhouse in Strontian (Google Maps). OS Landranger sheet 40.

This offers the Ardnamurchan peninsula, rock climbing on Garbh Bheinn and numerous Corbetts in a remote part of the country that we do not visit very often. It is also well located for kayaking on Loch Sunart, Loch Shiel and Kentra Bay and Loch Moidart. In addition there is a lot of local history and natural history and also plenty of opportunities for mountain biking.

The bunkhouse is very comfortable and has a restaurant next door for those not wishing to cook. Price to be confirmed but probably £40 for the weekend. There are still a few places left. This is usually a popular meet.  Contact simon_jacyna@hotmail.com to book.