Inchnadamph Meet Report, November 2018
David Treagus and Alistair Jeffs (Mr I.M.L.) left their respective homes on Thursday and spent the night at the bunkhouse near Inverlael to get an early start on “Beinn Dearg and the other three”. (Editor’s note – presumably these are Cona Meall, Meall nan Ceapraichan and Eididh nan Clach Geala). Fresh snow lay on the ground and David wisely decided to let Mr Trainee International Mountain Leader break trail through the snow all day. They enjoyed a good, but long and arduous, day out, which was clear most of the day and were well satisfied to get four hills in before the arrival of the storms forecast for Friday night and Saturday.
Evelyn Droege also left home on Thursday, spent the night in Inverness and opted for a lower level walk from Ullapool over the hillpath to Loch Achalt and back along the estate road. This gave some excellent views of the snow covered hills all around and the Eas Dubh waterfall.
In the event the worst of the storm passed overnight and Saturday was a lot less windy and wet than everyone had expected. However it had rained hard overnight and waterfalls were the theme for the day on Saturday.
Jan, Andy and Sheena opted for a low level coastal walk from the Stoer lighthouse and along to the Old Man of Stoer, returning on a more inland route via the trig point and old radar station. For them the weather was mostly bright and breezy.
Alistair took a long drive north and climbed Ben Hope and was pleased to find that the wind was much lighter than forecast. All the waterfalls were in spate and he felt rather smug to be climbing a mountain, unlike those who preferred to go caving beneath them.
Caving was the choice of Dan, Jenny Smith, David and Luke who headed for the Allt nam Uamh stream cave. The heavy rain overnight meant that there was some water flowing down the usually dry stream bed outside the cave so there were some slight concerns about the conditions inside. They had a good rake around and found that the mud sumps were pools of water on this occasion so they missed the pleasure of a long and very muddy crawl. The entrance to the Farr series also has a very low crawl and the pool of water at the lowest and tightest spot was rather deeper than on previous occasions. Only Jenny and Luke braved this to go about half way up this passage, while Dan and David presumably studied stalactites or something for half an hour.
Evelyn, Susan and Simon drove to Lochinver and found that there is now a walkers car park about a mile up the road to Glen Canisp lodge which cuts out much of the tarmac road. Evelyn and Susan walked up to the lodge and over the hill to the river Inver. They enjoyed the spectacular autumn colours of the birchwoods and the even more spectacular waterfalls which were in full spate. Best of all was that the path came out just by the pie shop.
Simon, on his first meet in several months, managed an hour’s walk up the Suilven track and rendezvoused with the others at the pie shop.
Andy Brookes only discovered the new walkers car park when he walked past it having parked at the road end in Lochinver. He walked several miles up the track to a point just short of the Suileag bothy. The Assynt Foundation have recently being doing a lot of footpath improvement work and the route across the peat hags to Suilven is now greatly improved.
Ben, having unfortunately had to be rescued from Cairngorm a few days earlier with a dislocated knee cap, spent the day reading at the Lodge.
Carol, Joe, Sheila, Al, and Dougal went to the falls of Kirkcaig followed by a short visit to a book shop just above the car park then a pie stop in Lochinver. Then a wee bit of sightseeing and photography at the ruined Ardvreck castle on the way back to Inchnadamph.
Saturday evening was the now traditional fancy dress party, this year’s theme being masquerade. As ever there was a wide range of costumes on display but nothing quite as outrageous as in previous years. These included a lady in red, a ‘lady’ in black, Zorro, cat-man?, a rather overweight Henry VIII, and several people wearing masks of themselves.
On Sunday Carol, Sheila, Joe, Jenny, Luke, Ben, Dougal, Al, and Jake went from Blughasaray towards the coastal path and a ruined fort where the cliff path to Achiltiebuie begins. A lovely low level walk, and Ben did amazingly well on crutches!
Sheena and Dan report as follows – “Cul Beag may not be as high as other hills, but it is pretty steep on most aspects and it affords magnificent view of some of the finest scenery in Scotland. We parked on the minor road a few kilometres short of the Stac Poillaidh car park and walked along a good stalkers’ path and then steeply up to a small bealach on the north ridge, before the final climb to the summit. Very little wildlife on the hill today, apart from a few deer that we disturbed on the descent.”
Alistair made another long detour on his way home to Ben Klibreck, reporting a good clear day with punitive winds. Trig point broken. Ran back down the peat bog track from 542m. Mudtastic. Panoramic views. Saw peregrine falcon.
All in all an excellent and diverse weekend, but with rather fewer people attending than usual.