Easter Isle of Skye Meet Report April 2019

Nine CMC members camped at Sligachan campsite for the Easter break. Bill, Gemma and Kial arrived early and ventured onto the Ridge to bag some peaks before the rest of us arrived on Good Friday. The whole group explored the Quiraing on Saturday, and admired the basalt formations and views from the high points of Sron Vourlinn and Meall Na Suiramach. Inclement weather on Sunday led to an excellent coastal walk along the Ardnish peninsula, near Broadford. Here we spotted dolphins, seals, and a variety of sea birds. Kial and Gemma enjoyed a cultural and historical tour including Dunvegan Castle.
We had to bid farewell to some of the workers on Monday. However the list of bagged tops continued to grow over the next few days with Kial and Gemma completing Marsco, Beinn Dearg, and Beinn Dearg Mheathonach. Marian, Andrew and Ali set off for a two day cycle/walking adventure to the Isle of Raasay. Andrew enjoyed the ferry so much that he made an immediate return trip to pick up his rucksack that he’d left on the dock at Sconser. Having consumed coffee and cake at Raasay House and, finally in possession of all our gear, we cycled to the Northern hamlet of Arnish, following the infamous Calum’s Road – the hard toil of a remarkable crofter who decided to build a connecting link between his community and the rest of the island. Armed with just a pick, spade and wheel-barrow Calum Macleod completed the road over a period of ten years, after numerous pleas to the local council were ignored for many decades. From Arnish we walked to the only bothy on the island, marvelling at the views of Fladda, Rona, Skye and the Torridon hills. On the walk-out, the next day, Andrew summited a relative hill for even more terrific views. The return to the ferry seemed to involve more pushing than cycling at times as the short and steep inclines began to take their toll. Strong coffee provided just the pick-uo needed to complete the ferry ride and cycle back to the campsite.

Other highlights of the Meet included drinks and chats hosted by Chris and Jo one evening (in a Billy Smart sized tent) and also by Kial and Gemma another evening, in their superior tepee with wood burning stove. During these very convivial gatherings we expanded our knowledge of subjects varying from the the geology of the Quiraing to “hot spots” and how to share data. Still confused!

A Scottish away meet is not complete without some wild dips/swims. Several were completed both in fresh and salt water. Bill, Gemma, Kial and Ali all braved the waters at various times.

On the final day Andrew and Kial climbed at Staffa and completed the spectacular two pitch classic “Return of the Stone”. Kial led the second pitch which involved a nerve jangling large step off a rock column onto the main rock face. He wins the bravery award!

Overall the weather was very favourable with clear sunny skies. However blustery winds prevailed throughout the trip which, of course, perhaps preventing some of the planned ridge excursions. Nevertheless, great company made the Skye adventure into a memorable and enjoyable few days. Many thanks to everyone who made the long journey.

Ali

Nine CMC members camped at Sligachan campsite for the Easter break. Bill, Gemma and Kial arrived early and ventured onto the Ridge to bag some peaks before the rest of us arrived on Good Friday. The whole group explored the Quiraing on Saturday, and admired the basalt formations and views from the high points of Sron Vourlinn and Meall Na Suiramach. Inclement weather on Sunday led to an excellent coastal walk along the Ardnish peninsula, near Broadford. Here we spotted dolphins, seals, and a variety of sea birds. Kial and Gemma enjoyed a cultural and historical tour including Dunvegan Castle.
We had to bid farewell to some of the workers on Monday. However the list of bagged tops continued to grow over the next few days with Kial and Gemma completing Marsco, Beinn Dearg, and Beinn Dearg Mheathonach. Marian, Andrew and Ali set off for a two day cycle/walking adventure to the Isle of Raasay. Andrew enjoyed the ferry so much that he made an immediate return trip to pick up his rucksack that he’d left on the dock at Sconser. Having consumed coffee and cake at Raasay House and, finally in possession of all our gear, we cycled to the Northern hamlet of Arnish, following the infamous Calum’s Road – the hard toil of a remarkable crofter who decided to build a connecting link between his community and the rest of the island. Armed with just a pick, spade and wheel-barrow Calum Macleod completed the road over a period of ten years, after numerous pleas to the local council were ignored for many decades. From Arnish we walked to the only bothy on the island, marvelling at the views of Fladda, Rona, Skye and the Torridon hills. On the walk-out, the next day, Andrew summited a relative hill for even more terrific views. The return to the ferry seemed to involve more pushing than cycling at times as the short and steep inclines began to take their toll. Strong coffee provided just the pick-uo needed to complete the ferry ride and cycle back to the campsite.

Other highlights of the Meet included drinks and chats hosted by Chris and Jo one evening (in a Billy Smart sized tent) and also by Kial and Gemma another evening, in their superior tepee with wood burning stove. During these very convivial gatherings we expanded our knowledge of subjects varying from the the geology of the Quiraing to “hot spots” and how to share data. Still confused!

A Scottish away meet is not complete without some wild dips/swims. Several were completed both in fresh and salt water. Bill, Gemma, Kial and Ali all braved the waters at various times.

On the final day Andrew and Kial climbed at Staffa and completed the spectacular two pitch classic “Return of the Stone”. Kial led the second pitch which involved a nerve jangling large step off a rock column onto the main rock face. He wins the bravery award!

Overall the weather was very favourable with clear sunny skies. However blustery winds prevailed throughout the trip which, of course, perhaps preventing some of the planned ridge excursions. Nevertheless, great company made the Skye adventure into a memorable and enjoyable few days. Many thanks to everyone who made the long journey.

Ali

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