Christmas Meal Bus Meet to Newtonmore – 16th December 2018

We will be having our meal at the Balavil Hotel, Main Street, Newtonmore. The meal will served from 16:00 and I would anticipate that we would be leaving the hotel by 19:00 at the latest.
If you are going by car then there is a car park immediately opposite the Hotel, and hopefully, the coach will be parked there too.
The two likely walks for the day are: The Wildcat Trail and Creag Dubh. I’ve attached maps and likely routes for these 2 walks below. However, you are of course free to do whatever you like – just make sure that you are at the hotel by 15:45.
The pickup points and times are Elgin (8:00), Forres (8:20) Nairn (8:40) and Inverness (9:00). Even with some roadworks at the Slochd we should arrive at Newtonmore by 10:00/10:15. I am anticipating that those wishing to do the Wildcat Trail will be dropped off on the Main Street in Newtonmore and those wishing to do Crag Dubh will get dropped off at the car park beneath Creag Dubh. The coach will then return to the car park across from the Hotel.
You should aim to be in the hotel between 15:45 and 16:00. The meal will deserved from 16:00 and will be followed by the presidents speech and our annual awards. We would then leave the hotel at 19:00 at the latest, to enable us to get back to Inverness by 20:00 and Elgin by 21:00.
I’ve previously emailed out the maps/routes and menu choices.

I would be grateful if you could confirm that you are going and your menu choices by Sunday 9th December. (It would be a disaster if I had to cancel this bus meet due to lack of interest!)


Hogmanay Meet 30th December -2nd January 2019 (three nights)

The New Year meet this year is based at the Kintail Outdoor Centre, owned, by the National Trust at Inverinate in Kintail. This is a comfortable, spacious and well equipped bunkhouse and we have stayed there before for several New Year meets.

It is conveniently located for many Munros and also offers a choice of low level walks, cycle routes and wet weather alternatives, including the Falls of Glomach.

We have booked 15 places for the meet and there are still a few not yet taken. For this meet we require a £40 deposit. Cost for the meet to be confirmed as the Club traditionally subsidises the cost but it will not exceed £75 per person.

Bookings, preferably by text or email to Simon please.

More details on this link.

Inchnadamph Meet Report


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.

IMG_1335 Dan, Jenny, Luke and DavidCaving 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.

IMG_3160Evelyn, 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!

IMG_1336 Sheena, Stac Pollaidh from Cul BeagSheena 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.

Car Meet to Ben Wyvis

Date: 18 November 2018
Destination: Ben Wyvis
Meeting Point: Car park on the A835 at 09:30
(Grid Reference NH 410671)
Map: OS 20, OS (Explorer) 437
Transport: Private cars (no bus)

This is a car meet to one of our closest Munros – Ben Wyvis. We attempted this meet in January 2018 – however, the weather defeated us. So, here is another chance to get accustomed to some wintry conditions.
The “normal” route to the summit is not too long (7km, 3/3.5hours), which makes this ideal for a short winter’s day. Don’t forget that this is winter, so ice axe/crampons etc are likely to be required. Some equipment is available from the club.
Contact Gordon Eccleston (by email, phone, text or via Facebook) if you are interested by 18:00 on Friday 16th November.

Inchnadamph 2-4 November

The next meet is to the ever popular Inchnadamph Lodge, probably the largest and most comfortable of the venues each year. The Lodge has been refurbished so we are back after an absence of two years.

For those who haven’t been there before there is a great range of activities. The Assynt hills are well known but there is also kayaking and climbing available near by and most years see some caving activity too.

This weekend also has a slight reputation for the annual Halloween fancy dress party. This year’s theme is Masquerade so you can embarrass yourself as much as you like and no-one need know who you are.

Please let me have your names soon please. There are also some twin/double rooms so let me know if you want one of those. Rates to be confirmed nearer the time and will depend on numbers to some extent.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Bus Meet to Torridon – 21st October 2018


Destination:           Beinn Eighe car park
Pickup points:       Elgin 7:00, Forres 7:20, Inverness 8:00
Map(s):                     OS Map 19,25 (and 24)
Arrive:                      9:30
Depart:                     17:30

The plan for this bus meet is to undertake a traverse from the Beinn Eighe car park  (OS 25) and traverse through Torridon and Flowerdale aiming for the Red Barn car park (OS 19). The main options on this traverse are i) Beinn Dearg (Corbett), ii) Baosbheinn (Corbett) or iii) Beinn an Eoin (Corbett). It is also possible to undertake a traverse via Beinn a’Chearcaill (Graham) finishing at the Loch Maree road.

The other main option is a traverse of Beinn Eighe (2 Munros) from the Beinn Eighe car park through to Kinlochewe, finishing at our pub stop (the Kinlochewe Hotel).

There are, of course, also a number of non-traverse options available including: Slioch (Munro), Meall a’Ghuithais (Corbett), Ruadh-stac Beag (Corbett), Beinn a’Mhuinidh (Graham) and Beinn nan Ramh (Graham).

Names to Gordon Eccleston, by email, phone or text by 9:00 on Thursday 18thOctober

Bus Meet 16th September 2018 to Loch Muick

Destination: Glen Muick car park
Pickup points: Elgin 7:00, Forres 7:20, Grantown 7:50
Map(s): OS Map 44
Arrive: 9:45
Depart: 18:00

Leaving Elgin at 7:00, the bus will go to Forres (7:20) and then onto Grantown (7:50). So, the Inverness contingency will either have to drive to Grantown or just drive to Loch Muick. We should arrive at the Glen Muick car park at approximately 9:45/10:00, where the bus will stay for the day. If you are going by car/van then note that there is a charge for parking here (£4 the last time I was there). We would need to leave the car park at 18:00 at the latest to allow for a 30 minute refreshment stop at Ballatar and to get back to Elgin by 21:30 at the latest. So, that would only allow about 8hrs 15 minutes if you are thinking of tackling all 5 Munros! The recommended time for these hills is 9hrs the 5 Munros of Cac Carn Beag, Carn a’ Choire Boidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Cairn Bannoch and Broad Cairn might just be possible. For the rest of us then there is the Corbett Conachcraig, the Munro Lochnagar (Cac Carn Beag) or a stroll around the banks of Loch Muick. Here’s hoping the weather stays fine!
1. Walk around Loch Muick
2. Conachcraig (Corbett, 856m, ascent 470m, time to summit approx. 2hr)
3. Lochnagar (Cac Carn Beag) (Munro, 1155m, ascent 800m, time to summit approx. 3hr 20min)
4. White Mounth Munros (Lochnagar + Carn an t-Sagairt, Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach, Cairn Bannoch, Broad Cairn, ascent 1228m, distance 29km, time approx. 9hr)
Due to a weight limit (18 tonnes) on the Gairnshiel Bridge, it is unlikely that we will have the “luxury” coach from Maynes. We will probably only have a 33 seat coach.
Names to Gordon Eccleston by email, phone, text or Facebook by 12:00 on Thursday 13th September.

August 2018 Bus Meet

Location: Kintail/Glen Shiel
Date: 19th August 2018
OS Map: 33
Pick up: Elgin 7:00; Forres 7:20; Nairn 7:40; Inverness 8:00

The bus will be leaving Elgin at 7:00, with the normal en-route stops, and should arrive at Loch Cluanie by 9:30. There are plenty of drop off and pick up points for this area. However, you may wish to take into account that the planned pub stop will be at the Cluanie Inn. We will need to leave Cluanie Inn by 19:00. This means that the latest pick up time from the north west end of Glen Shiel would be 18:00.

There are just so many Munros, Corbetts, Grahams and low level walks in this area that it would be difficult to cover them all. You may wish to look at the Walkhighlands website for some alternative walks. I’ve listed what I consider to be the most likely options below:
1. The Saddle and/or Sgurr na Sgine
2. The Eastern South Shiel Ridge – Creag a’Mhaim, Druim Shionnach, Aonach air Chrith and Maol Chinn-dearg
3. The Western South Shiel Ridge – Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain and Creag nan Damh
4. North East Loch Cluanie – Carn Ghluisaaid, Sgurr nan Conbhrain and Sail Chaorainn
5. North West Loch Cluanie – A’Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire
6. Cluanie Inn – Ciste Dubhh and/or Am Bathach
7. North East Glen Shiel – Aonach Meadhoin, Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dheirg and Saileg
8. North West Glen Shiel – Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe, Sgurr na Carnach and Sgurr Fhuaran.
9. Morvich – Cluanie Inn traverse via Affric Way (or Cluanie Inn – Morvich traverse)

Once everyone is dropped off, the bus will park at the car park at Morvich. The car park is marked on the map, to the north of the River Croe by the war memorial and St Dubhthach’s Church (grid reference NG 945 212).

As usual, could you email/text/phone/Facebook me before 20:00 on Wednesday 15th August to book a place on the bus

Gordon Eccleston

Car Meet – July 2018

Car Meet
Date: 15th July 2018
Location: Spean Bridge
OS 41

Normally there isn’t a bus meet during July – so we have a car meet instead!
A car meet allows us to go to some of the locations that the bus cannot reach, either due to narrow roads or it is too far to allow the driver to get back in time. It also allows those with dogs to bring their canine friends along for a day in the hills!

The options for this meet are:
1. the 2 Corbetts, Cruach Innse and Sgurr Innse
2. the Munro, Stob Ban
3. the Grey Corries (2 or 3 munros)

The starting point for any of these walks is few kilometres up a very rough track from Corriechoille, just beyond the end of a minor road from Spean Bridge. Driving the track requires great care due to potholes. There is a parking place at NN252793, where the track branches right. However, there is limited parking there – and if it is full up, then you need to drive back down the road, and try parking at the farm.

Stob Ban or the 2 Corbetts can easily be managed within our normal bus meet times. There is also a nice bothy at the foot of Stob Ban. However, you would need to be traveling quite quickly, or have an early start, if you wish to tackle the 2 or 3 munros that make up the Grey Corries.

Further details regarding these walks can be found on Walkhighlands website and, of course, the SMC books.

Names to Gordon Eccleston by email or phone/text by 20:00 on Friday 13th July stating whether you require a lift or have space in your car. For this venue, I think that car sharing would be necessary and that we would need to leave at the usual times.

Durness Weekend, 3 – 5th August

The August meet is based at the Lazy Crofter Bunkhouse at Durness on the north coast. Details of this very comfortable bunkhouse are on their website –

This is handy for the magnificant Foinaven and Arkle, as well as Ben Hope, the most northerly Munro, and the lovely Ben Loyal. Another hill en route is the lonely Ben Klibreck. Cape Wrath is a spectacular site and there are even higher cliffs at the nearby Whiten Head which is rather less visited as there is no track to it. Smoo Cave is another local attraction. Kayaking is a possibility and there are also plenty of climbs in the area, on the sea cliffs and inland.

I have booked 14 places – cost to be confirmed but starting at £20 per person per night. Please out your name down soon if you are coming so that I can release bunks if necessary so that we are not out of pocket.