Log 12 sept 2010



Dave Kingswood, Laurence Archer and Iain Wilson left Bearsden at 7am on Friday 10 September.   
Weather was dry but overcast. Our progress up the A9 was punctuated by heavy cloudbursts, particularly so at Blair Atholl and we were reminded that Autumn was fast approaching.

Mid morning coffee was at the Mountain Cafe, in Aviemore High Street.  
Probably the best cakes and coffee we have sampled in many a year served by a lovely lass from Finland.  
An uneventful run past the speed traps round Inverness eventually saw us up into the floe country and the true wilderness of Scotland.
We arrived at Tongue around lunchtime, by which time the weather had markedly improved.  Our target, by mutual agreement, was Ben Loyal.  
A track of sorts, metalled, took us to Ribigill farm where the car was left and we started our walk-in.
The walk to Cunside Farm was boggy and wet, but thankfully a breeze kept the midges away and we headed up hill following a well trod track to a series of lochans at a bealach a couple of hundred metres below the summit ridge.   Ben Loyal gives 3 tops on its summit ridge.   
An Caisteal, the central top, is a rocky crown supported by a prow of vertical rock, a kind of mini Sgurr of Eigg.
The trig point was soon attained in bright if extremely windy conditions.   After lunch and refreshment we reversed our ascent route and arrived back at the car around 5:30 p.m.
Report by Iain Wilson


Also on the Friday Donald Irvine, Fraser Gold and Derek McGaw set of up the A9 and the A839 to Kinloch for the last named couple to tackle Meallan Liath Coire Mhic Dhughaill.  
Conditions were fine and sunny with excellent visibility at first, but the southerly breeze suddenly became a 60 mph gale with gusts from the west.  
By the time they reached the ridge intersection leading to the summit, standing had become difficult, and mist and driving rain indicated a retreat was the more comfortable option.  
Donald was on the south side of the road, tackling two separate hills, BEN DREAVIE and MEALL AN FHEUR LOCH, driving between the two, and unaffected by the elements.


Stuart Wallis and Robert (guest)  drove up the west coast, and took in SGURR MOR in the Fannaichs on the way north.  
Koon Morris and Eileen (guest) manage to ascend KLIBRECK in very windy and wet conditions.  
Allan Carr and Derek Hall drove direct to Tongue and enjoyed a coastal walk.  
Malcolm Hodgins, Billy McIssac and Mervyn French (back from Australia) stopped off to do some rock climbing, for which see separate report.  


Saturday 11 September dawned dry if overcast and Dave Kingswood and Iain Wilson opted to go for 2 Corbetts toward Durness.
CRANSTACKIE and BEINN SPIONNAIDH are reputedly excellent viewpoints on a clear day...........!
Beinn Spionnaidh is the most northerly Corbett and although the 2 hills look very close to Tongue as the crow flies, there is a long trip of 30 miles round Loch Eriboll and the Kyle of Durness before arriving at the start point for their ascent.   
However, the run is worth the trip in itself as the scenery has a quality and remoteness that just doesn`t exist elsewhere in Scotland.
We arrived at Carbreck cottage only for Iain to find that he had left his boots back at the Hostel!!!!
Some unrepeatable expletives were uttered until Dave saved the day by giving Iain the use of his spare boots!!
By now, the cloud had turned to light rain and, as we headed up into the corrie, it was evident that mist was the order of the day.   
We crossed a boggy plateau to a dried- up stream bed which soon increased in steepness to become a gully and a pleasant scramble whiled away the plod to the connecting bealach between these two hills.
We headed up Cranstackie first (the higher of the two).   
The summit boulder field was soon reached and we arrived at the cairn sans view.
We retraced our tracks to the bealach, taking a compass bearing as the weather demanded.  
Beinn Spionnaidh beckoned and we arrived at the rather unusual summit cairn around half an hour later.
Unusual, because this is the only summit I have attained where the trig point is BELOW the cairn wall! We didn`t linger and followed the north west ridge down on a bearing to the road.
My thanks indeed are due to Dave for having the foresight not to entirely unload all his gear from the car the night before!!
We stopped just past Smoo cave, an interesting "geo" feature which has a well laid out visitor centre and trail system to the cave.
By this stage the weather had improved significantly and we enjoyed a most pleasant trip back to Tongue.
Anyone fancy a weekend to Durness Youth Hostel..........????
Report by Iain Wilson


The wind of the previous afternoon had died down, and now still, wet conditions were enjoyed by all.  
Fraser and Eileen used the tourist route to climb BEN HOPE, the most northerly Munro, a fitting celebration as the club's first mountain had been Ben Lomond, the most southerly. 
A timely return to the hostel, hot showers and tea with Hannah's (warden) amazing cinnamon cake with coffee chocolate icing, seemed the best way to end the exercise.  
They were joined almost at once by Malcolm's sea cliff climbing group, and later by the largest group returning from BEN LOYAL.  
Stuart and  Robert arrived later from a successful drive up from Ullapool and the ascent of FOINNABHEINN.  
Allan Carr and Derek Hall drove all the way south to Kinloch and successfully claimed MEALLAN LIATH COIRE MHIC DHUGAILL, but it was a long day for them.

In the evening, an excellent celebratory meal was enjoyed at the Craggan Inn on the opposite side of the bay.   Dave Kingswood  produced photos from the history of the club which made for some interesting conversation and guesswork.


On the Sunday, various ploys took everyone safely home, Koon and Eileen taking the credits for wild (very wild) camping and ascending SEANA BHRAIGH.   
Donald, Fraser and Derek McGaw took in MEALL MOR overlooking Loch Glass, with a diversion to see a spectacular gorge near Evanton, just off the A9 north of Inverness.  
Walking conditions were perfect, with plenty sunshine, clear visibility, and views into the northern features of Ben Wyvis.