30th December 2011 to 2nd January 2012 - Ullapool Youth Hostel, Ullapool (New Year)
Most of us gathered in Ullapool on Friday evening (30th): some folk who had already been north for a few days enjoyed the luxury of an early arrival and were the welcome party for those of us who endured the long slow drive north on the A9. Despite the rather bleak weather forecast for the following three days, many plans were in the making…
Ian had planned to do Breabag (Corbett in the north), and was joined by Chris, Fiona M, Pete and I. A good choice of route for the weather – quite short and sheltered. We visited the Bone Caves during the ascent and managed to avoid the rain for most of the walk apart from towards the top and the first part of the descent. Not many views from the summit! We were back down in time for lunch time and had a stop off on the way back to Ullapool to explore Knockan Crag. The second half of the day was spent relaxing at the hostel drinking many cups of tea. J
Alison, Kenny, Bill B, Fiona C and Bill C travelled south and trekked the 8km into a Graham, Carn Loch nan Amhaichean, and made it back mid afternoon having had similar weather to the Breabag crew.
Gillian, Alison W, and Bruce went to a similar area but trotted in on the stalkers path to a Corbett, Ben a Chaisteal, and were very fortunate to get weather window on the summit with good views. Reported highlights of the trip included seeing a stag stealing food from some Highland coos - his antlers sticking up over the bales of hay in amidst the cow horns gave him away - and singing the Thunderbirds theme tune in the car on the way back.
The posties path
Fiona R and Mike opted for a local coastal walk – the Postie’s Walk, from north of Ardmair round to Achiltibuie. As with everyone they had mixed weather but a friend kindly picked them up, took them home and fed them mulled wine.
Anne and Alan made it to Ullapool on Saturday afternoon after some car trouble on their attempted journey north on Friday. Harry joined us on Saturday too.
We all enjoyed a Hogmanay feast thanks to all the soup, pie and pudding chefs, and, as usual, made a good attempt at tackling enough blue Stilton to feed a small army – the remainder will be available at Tyndrum! A good number of us made it to the local pub to bring in 2012 and there was even some boogieing on the dance floor!
New Year’s Day had the potential for the best weather of the trip. Most folk headed up the Corbett next to Stac Pollaidh, Cul Beag, and despite it being rather windy, got good views from the top. Pete and I explored a little further north and took a trip out to Sandwood Bay. Bit of a boggy approach but worth it for the wild sea views at the beach. Alison and Bruce decided to head back to Fortrose with the possibility of an outing somewhere en route.
Ben More Coigach from Cul Beag
Cul Beag summit huddle
Cul Beag descent
Sunday evening brought with it another culinary success with enough leftover soup, pies and chocolate pud and cheese to feed everyone another hearty meal. The highlight was Anne’s delicious, and much sought after, lemon cheesecake which didn’t last long!
Ian & Mike - Summit of Beinn Liath Mhor a Ghiubhais Li
Beinn Liath Mhor a Ghiubhais Li
A few folk just headed home on the 2nd - a wise move with the rather slow and tedious toddle home on the A9 because of snow on the road at Drumochter. Chris, Ian, Fiona and Mike tackled a Corbett not far south of Ulllapool, Beinn Liath Mhor a'Ghiubhais Li, which was an appropriately short outing in light of the forecast snow and gusting winds.
Pete and I headed a little further south to Ben Wyvis and had idyllic sunny and snowy conditions until a ferocious snowy squall hit us just short of An Cabar at 950m. We turned back at that point as the thought of those conditions for another 2km there and back along the ridge did not appeal. Harry, Kenny and Alison did Fionn Bheinn at Achnasheen which was fairly epic but the incentive of getting Harry down to 17 Munros kept them going!