After three weeks of stunning spring weather the arrival of 21 Munro Society members and their guests coincided with a rapid deterioration in weather conditions on the west coast. The venue for the meet was the Old Inn bunkhouse at Carbost with 4 members over spilling into the B&B next door.
Having travelled all the way from England Mark Gibson climbed Hudderstone in the Borders on his way north and then Beinn Clachach at Arnisdale followed by a trip across to Skye via the Glenelg ferry to climb Ben Aslak on his way to Carbost. Colin Walter also broke his journey from England to climb Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and Sgurr Gaorsaic. Derek Sime climbed the remote Graham Carn a’ Chaochain.
The majority arrived at Carbost on Friday afternoon and evening turning the bunkhouse kitchen diner and sitting room into a scene of organised chaos and many members decided to adjourn to the pub next door. Luckily the weather was kind on Friday so the drying room was given the evening off. Anne Butler and Border Collie puppy Ralph, attending his first meet, climbed Beinn na Caillich and Beinn Dearg Mor above Broadford, Mark had a strenuous day climbing Beinn na Caillich and Sgurr na Coinnich from the Glenelg ferry and then travelled to Sligachan to climb Beinn Dearg Mhor by a direct route straight up and down the scree. Derek was also on the same Beinn Dearg Mhor having continued over it from Marsco. Also on the Graham trail Eleanore Hunter, Irene Leckie, Gill Nunn and Marley climbed Glas Bheinn by Loch Arkaig on their way north. However, not forgetting its roots, Munros were climbed, with David Batty climbing Ciste Dubh in Glen Shiel. Blaven (and its south top) was climbed by Colin, Stewart Logan and his guest Kim Mason. To celebrate his 65th birthday Jim Gibson (Anne’s guest) was treating himself to an ascent of all the Skye Munros with Andy Ravenhill acting as his guide and Friday saw them climbing Sgurr nan Eag, Sgurr Dubh Mor and Sgurr Alasdair before the weather closed in.
The forecast for Saturday was not favourable with low cloud and drizzle forecast for the higher hills. Andy took an adventurous party (Jim Gibson, Alan Rowan, David Batty and Oliver Bartrum) onto the Cuillin ridge for a rather damp ascent of the Basteir Tooth, Am Basteir and Sgurr nan Gillean via the west ridge. Also venturing onto the ridge were Colin, Maggie Kift, Kim and Robin Corlett who had a challenging day trying to locate the summit of Sgurr Dubh Mor in very poor visibility. Alan Brook successfully completed a solo ascent of Sgurr Alasdair and Sgurr Thearlaich.
Recovering from a 35 mile ultra marathon the previous weekend Ann White opted for a scenic coastal walk around Talisker Bay whilst an injured Stewart Logan climbed Stockval, a local HuMp.
Those tackling the lower hills were treated to the best weather conditions, Derek Sime on a circuit of Belig, Anne, Mark and Ralph on Marsco, Jim Robertson on Beinn Dearg Mhor, Mary Coventry, Eleanore, Irene, Gill and Marley climbed The Storr and Hartaval whilst Alan Hinchcliffe and Charles Murray were just up into the clouds as they climbed the Corbett Garbh Bheinn.
That evening the Old Inn was host to a rather chaotic communal meal and many thanks to Kim for her mathematical genius in working out the bill!
Sunday was another poor forecast, it was raining with cloud almost down to sea level which scuppered David and Oliver’s plans to climb the Dubhs ridge from Loch Coruisk but a couple of determined parties returned to the Cuillin ridge. Unfortunately, Jim Gibson had injured his knee the day before and had to return home so his place on the group ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle and Sgurr Mhic Chionnich was taken by Kim. Kim was accompanied by guide Andy and a very experienced party of Alan Rowan (4th ascent), Alan Brook (4th ascent) and Derek (3rd ascent) on what was reported as a very damp and slippery climb up Sgurr Mhic Chionnich followed by the Inaccessible Pinnacle in slightly better conditions. Having missed out on it the day before Colin, Maggie and Robin returned to the south end of the ridge to successfully climb Sgurr nan Eag. Alan and Charles had fun on the screes climbing to the south top of Blaven. David fulfilled a long held wish to climb Macleod's Tables with a traverse of Healabhal Bheag and Healabhal Mhor. Oliver took the direct route up the front of Marsco followed by Beinn Dearg Mhor. Mark drove back to Broadford to climb a misty Beinn na Caillich and Beinn Dearg Mhor. A still injured Stewart was still HuMPing locally with an ascent of Beinn nan Dubh-Lochain from Carbost. Travelling north Anne and Ralph traversed part of the Trotternish Ridge from the south over The Storr, meeting Ann White on Hartaval who had approached from the north and then followed the coast path back to her car.
Jim Robertson waited for the weather to improve before climbing Marsco where he totally managed to miss Eleanore, Mary, Gill and Irene who started even later after a coffee stop at Sligachan!
Sadly the weather had deteriorated even further on Monday so gales and incessant rain forecast many decided to head home. A few hardly souls braved the elements with Colin climbing Gairich, Derek Beinn Dearg Mhor at Broadford, Mark drove to Torridon where he would be based for the next few days and climbed Am Ruadh-mheallan. David and Robin were staying on Skye overnight climbed Glas Bheinn Mhor (Marilyn) and The Old Man of Storr. On their way home Eleanore and Irene nipped up Biod an Fhitidh and Gill climbed a very wet and windy Sgurr na Coinnich above Kylerhea. Charles, Alan and Oliver were basing themselves at Gerry’s Hostel near Lochcarron for the rest of the week and climbed the Corbett Sgurr a’ Chaorachain at Applecross en route. During their stay Alan and Charles managed to climb the Munro Top Bidean Eoin Dearg on the second attempt, having been beaten back by the wind and the Corbett Fuar Tholl. Oliver added Corbetts Sgurr a’ Bhac Chaolais, Beinn Tharsuinn, Sgurr na Feartaig and Fuar Tholl in addition to Munros Sgorr Ruadh and Beinn Liath Mhor prior to catching his flight back home.
Anyone who doubts that Munro Society members are old and past it should come along to a meet! They are active, lively and very social affairs where everyone is welcomed. We look forward to seeing you on a meet soon.
Attendees: Anne Butler and Ralph, David Batty, Stewart Logan, Jim Robertson, Oliver Bartrum, Eleanore Hunter, Alan Hinchcliffe, Charles Murray, Alan Brook, Alan Rowan, Derek Sime, Irene Leckie, Gill Nunn and Marley, Mary Coventry, Maggie Kift, Ann White, Mark Gibson, Colin Walter, Robin Corlett, Andy Ravenhill, Jim Gibson (guest), Kim Mason (guest), Denny and Malcolm Robertson.