23rd April 2012.
In an effort to get up to date I`ve missed out on a few trips 🙂
The forecast on Saturday predicted a few days of settled weather early midweek but we decided to play safe and make our minds up at 10pm on the Sunday night.It was still looking good so I picked up Bob at some ungodly hour on the Monday morning for the drive up to Mallaig aiming for the 10.15am ferry.I always like to leave early to catch the sunrise if possible,so,having time in hand, we stopped here there and everywhere for a look around.
Ben Nevis further up the road….
30 minutes at Glenfinnan to stretch the legs and look down the loch…
A stop near Morar to take in the Skye ridge…
We eventually hit Mallaig 30 minutes before departure time.It was a lovely morning for a sail on the west coast and I passed the time on the crossing chatting to a Canadian woman,Susan from Edinburgh, who was the spitting image of Emmylou Harris.I actually asked Emmylou to marry me once at the back door of the Glasgow Concert Hall after a gig there but I must have caught her unawares as she asked for time to think about.Guess she lost my phone number as I never heard from her again.Hope springs eternal though and my contact details are at the top of the page 🙂
Two and a half hours later after a stop at Eigg we jumped ship at Loch Scresort.We`d brought the bikes along so it was only a few minutes pedalling to the small campsite where we pitched the tents and had a bite to eat before heading round to the shop for a few things.Leaving the bikes at the shop,we crossed the bridge and followed the path into the woods on the north side of the Kinloch river,carrying on until directly south of the summit before climbing through a band of tussock hell to gain the easier going above.It was a lovely day and made even better with the view over to the Cuillin of Skye from the summit plateau.
A short traverse to the west and we were at the summit…
The wonderful thing about small islands is that there is never any rush.We lay around the summit for an hour or so 🙂
Bob looking over to Orval…
A closer look at the Skye Cuillin….
Back the other way again to Hallaval and Askival.Picture from Bob.
The scattered white crofts of Elgol and the Red Cuillin….
Eventually,as usual,hunger got the better of Bob and we made a beeline back down to the path….
As it was a bit on the cold side we biked down to the castle after dinner for a pint and seat in front of the fire.I`m not sure which one of these delights I was looking forward to the most but in the event we were to be disappointed on both counts.The ceiling in the bar had collapsed the previous week and it was closed for the foreseeable future 😦
So,back to the tent it was where at least I had a nice bottle of wine waiting 🙂
A word of warning if camping here.The black labrador from the village is in the habit of calling round to the campsite and has perfected the technique of unzipping tents to sample the foody delights contained therein.Ring a bell Ken ? As if that wasn`t enough,the hooded crows seemed to have watched and learned from the dog.Leave nothing under the flysheet or in the camping shelter.The hoodie that punctured the can of beer must have got a bit of a soaking 🙂
It was relatively quiet here.A guy from Cockermouth Mountain Rescue team with a Dutch friend.A retired woman,Harriet, from Edinburgh on a two week tour of the Small Isles who had a very funky trailer for her bike.A retired surgeon named Zoe who had spent a lot of her time volunteering in third world war zones including Afghanistan recently.She never even had a tent with her.On returning from her daily walk she donned a down suit before bivvying in the wooden shelter.She was a lot older than me I can tell you,a hard woman.! A girl from Ayrshire had also arrived to take part in a geological tour of the island the next day and that was it.The spaniel belonging to the Cockermouth guys was a bit of a nuisance though as it barked non stop.Even the folk on the other side of the loch were complaining.
Early to bed for an early start on the ridge the next day 🙂
PS: Just noticed this less than complimentary decription of the ascent.!