Wiay, Outer Hebrides

23 05 2015

Having to put this archival post out – all due to the Post Office who decided, in their infinite wisdom, to not deliver my films for processing for a whole week! (and to charge an extra £3.17 postage in the process)… That means that it will now be at least another week before my photos come back for scanning so all the posts I’ve written for my recent burst of activity will have to wait awhile. Royal Mail used to be good once – now, like so many of our British institutions, going rapidly downhill 😦 Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Camping on Skye

23 12 2012

During the cold winter of 1976/77, when I was in the Army and based on the Outer Hebrides, some of the lads decided they were going to Skye on a camping trip and extended an invitation to the WRAC girls. My mates and I were the type of lasses who’d agree to almost any daft scheme so we immediately said yes without really giving it any thought. As the Uists almost never freeze (maybe one or two days per year) we didn’t really think about it being cold elsewhere – this is despite being able to see Skye’s Cuillin hills well plastered in snow. We were soon to find out just how cold it can be in a tent in snow at minus 10 degrees! Read the rest of this entry »

Gillaval Glas Round Attempt aka ‘The Germans’

20 07 2012

While staying on the Isle of Harris (Outer Hebrides) to walk some of the superb mountains there, I shared a B&B in Tarbert with a German couple. They were quite young and very pleasant company – she spoke good English but he knew very little. The next morning we were at breakfast discussing German’s apparent similarity to Welsh when they asked me what my plans were for the day. I said there was a nice round of mountains on the Lewis border – the Gillaval Glas round.

Harris-Gillaval Glas round Read the rest of this entry »

North Harris – Uisgnaval Mor Round

15 07 2012

On my first walking trip to Harris I decided I liked the look of the Uisgnaval Mor and Teilesval ridge – hills of 2405 and 2300 feet respectively…

My 2 are on the left… (Clisham on the right)
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Blaven – A Strong Case For Stone-Pitching!

9 06 2012

Sun 6 May 2012

After our lovely stay at the Cluanie Inn at the top of Glen Shiel, where I finished off my remaining two Kintail hills, on the Sunday we had to move on to Skye. As we had to do our week’s food shop and drive up to the holiday cottage to dump it in the fridge, that only left us half a day to walk and so I’d planned to tackle Blaven as it is a short route. Now, despite all the superlatives everyone seems to attach to the peak, I had huge reservations about it – I always thought it looked near-vertical, extremely rocky and very unpleasant. Who was right I was wondering as I drove back round on the Elgol road to Loch Slapin to the start of the route? I was soon to find out what an excellent judge of mountains I am – or at least, an excellent judge of what I will think to them!

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Sgurr Mhic-Choinn-eeeek!

31 05 2012

Wed 9 May 2012

Richard was back with me and Ryan-the-guide for this walk after his rest day but, as we drove to the carpark to meet up, we had no idea what peak we’d be doing – I was hoping for Sgurr Dubh Mor – a peak which hasn’t managed to get me worried at all so far on my various studies about it. We met Ryan and he greeted us with the fact that we were off to do my most dreaded Cuillin of all – the super-exposed Sgurr Mhic Choinnich! Everyone reading this probably by now knows that I find the easiest, most cowardly route up every peak I tackle – well, the bad news for fellow mountain cowards for this one is… you’re doomed!

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Sgurr Alasdair – King of the Cuillin

25 05 2012

Tue 8 May 2012

Day 2 of my Cuillin ordeal… sorry, challenge! Richard wasn’t with us for this walk as he decided three days Munroing in a row was enough so he was having a rest day. I met up with Ryan-the-guide at 0900 at the same little carpark in Carbost and we set off round to Glenbrittle – we were to do Sgurr Alasdair, he announced. I was fairly ambivalent about this – I didn’t see it as my hardest challenge, apart from the Great Stone Chute, but the weather was looking none too good so I didn’t want something too difficult anyway. My horror of descending very steep scree was going to be my biggest problem on this one as the stone chute is over a thousand feet high and very steep indeed!

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An Dorus Twins (Mhadaidh & Ghreadaidh)

19 05 2012

Mon 7 May 2012

The night before our first Cuillin walk, our guide Ryan, visited our holiday cottage to make plans and check our equipment – he also had forms for us to fill in – I joked they were ‘Organ Donation’ forms! Joking apart though, I was pretty worried about our planned activities in the Cuillin which was why I’d had to hire a guide. It probably needs saying at this point that there are two kinds of Cuillin mountain guide – the ‘non-technical’ guides who are local and know the Cuillin Ridge like the back of their hands, and the ‘technical’ guides like Ryan, who would be able to rope me up for the bad bits – very necessary in my case! Read the rest of this entry »

The Pathless Peaks Between Loch Eynort and Lochboisdale (S Uist)

27 03 2012

Done over two walks… The second walk was done in 100% plastic, waterproof walking boots which didn’t work out to my advantage despite the wet ground… Read the rest of this entry »

Tarbert Circular via Laxadale Lochs & Rhenigidale (Harris)

11 02 2012

One summer, while staying at Tarbert, the ferry port on Harris, I decided to have a non-mountain walk as the cloud was pretty low. While driving to the Isle of Scalpay one evening, I’d been intrigued by the track I’d seen leading up over the high moor after the Laxadale (Lacasdale) Lochs. When I got back to my B&B, I found the track led to the famous Rhenigidale which used to be the most remote village in Britain and where there is a now a Gatliffe Trust Youth Hostel.

I worked out a 14 mile circular route which would bring me back to Tarbert while visiting Rhenigidale, the Scriob and Laxadale Lochs. Read the rest of this entry »