There was a collective sigh of relief as the last person arrived at Inchnadamph Lodge on Friday evening for our first (and possibly our one and only) social event of 2020. For the weeks and preceding days leading up to the meet we had been on tenterhooks, as advice on group meetings seemed to be changing daily, and even if the meet could go ahead it would be very different. Rules on the size of accommodation, households, the use of bathrooms and kitchens, plus social distancing caused massive headaches for the Meet Secretary and a significant increase in gin consumption as a result! But, in the end, it all worked out perfectly (apart from the weather of course).
Those, who came up early to climb Conival and Ben More Assynt and the Corbett, Glas Bheinn were defeated by the elements with increasing wet and windy conditions. The Friday evening was spent catching up and making plans for the next day as we watched the rain lash the windows and clouds scurry across Loch Assynt.
The forecast for Saturday wasn't exactly inviting - showers, rain and wind. Proper character-building stuff for anyone attending Munro Society meets has become accustomed to! In fact it wasn't as bad as the forecasts suggested and everyone managed a successful day out.
There were several different excursions ranging from a walk out to the Eas a' Chual Aluinn waterfall, a coastal walk to Ardmelvich, a visit to the Bone Caves from which some continued to summit Breabag, whilst others went off to explore Lochinver and Glencanisp. Glas Bheinn was successfully climbed a day later and the Grahams, Ben Stack and Meallan a' Chuaill and the Marilyn, Meall an Fheadain were also climbed.
Sunday was the best day of the weekend with perfect autumn conditions.
To celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary Alf Barnard treated Barbara to a walk up Conival, Ben More Assynt and its South Top; but made up for it with an excellent anniversary meal at the Kylesku Hotel.
Again there was the usual array of walks including Arkle and Meall Horn, Ben More Coigach and Quinag.
A large party went up Suilven. It was particularly poignant for Irene, who had been looking at Suilven for 50 years during numerous fishing trips to the area with her husband - she was extremely pleased to finally climb it.
The weather on Monday returned to normal with rain and gales forecast. However, undeterred, some of the group climbed more hills including the Grahams, Sabhal Beag, Carn na-Easgain and Meall Doire Faid; and the Marilyns, Creag Loisgte and Meall Dola. Everybody else beat a hasty retreat, fighting a losing battle with the elements.
So, our only meet of 2020 was a unanimous success and I am keeping everything crossed that the restrictions are lifted in time for our next meet in Skye in May 2021.
Anne Butler and Ralph; Alf and Barbara Barnard and Rab and Rona; Oliver and Catherine Bartrum; Phil Massey; Mark Gibson; Elsa Yates; Irene Leckie; Eleanore Hunter; Gill Nunn and Marley; Mary Coventry, Alan Brook; Maggie Kift; Robin Corlett; John Green. John and Audrey Rogerson were staying at Lochinver.
Some photographs from the weekend can be viewed in the Photo Gallery.