Hastings Rock and Fell Scotland Trip 2014

After last year’s exceptional trip to the Southern Highlands, the weather this year, returned to typical Scottish winter conditions. What snow there was, was at high level, soft and slushy. Having said that, the accommodation at Ardmair, is some of the best that we have used, (warm, dry, with panoramic views across the bay to the mountains beyond).

One of the days out included a loch-side walk to the mousy bothy at Loch Glendhu, where all mods and cons were available, deck chairs to sit in, tables, plus decorative antlers. (Ideal headgear for a stagdo? May-be.)

Another expedition involved the whole group in an ascent of Beinn Mor Coigach, the mountain visible from our chalets. Two approach routes were taken, one direct across the river, the other, skirting the head of a small lochan , and a steep ascent of a gully, in order to avoid the water. Both parties reached the western summit, with some proceeding on to look for the main top, while the others returned down the ridge and a river crossing, which involved wading through the sandy outlet of a lochan. This proved surprisingly refreshing, the water temperature being 4 degrees C. Those of us used to Summerfields pool, felt quite at home. It had been a nice sunny day with views, until the last 10 mins walk to the cars, when the skies opened and we were deluged upon.

For a short day, Stac Pollaidh was climbed, but strong winds in all directions, precluded any thoughts of the bad step and the western summit.

Other hills attempted during the week included, An Teallach, Cul Mor and Conival. High winds, rain, poor visibility and the ‘wrong sort of snow’ beat us back after valiant attempts. These were enjoyable days out, despite summits not being attained.

‘A rest day’, was a trip to the remote Sandwood Bay, near Cape Wrath. This involved a long, though scenic drive and a walk down a well made track past several small lochs. Am Buchaille, a sea stack, was visible from the beach. A few minutes from the cars, a violent hail storm struck, the ground becoming white.

That evening, we attended a curry and quiz night at the Argyll Hotel in Ullapool. This was enjoyed by all. Our two teams did reasonably well in the quiz, but were both defeated by the locals.

Despite the weather, I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Discussions as to next years venue are already taking place.

Dick

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