25th to 27th March 2005 - Gairloch (Easter weekend)
As always, we'd been watching the forecast all week and with the promise of a good day
on Friday, most people decided to "do something" on the way North. However there was much
disgruntlement at the campsite on Friday evening that the promised blue skies hadn't materialised
and depending on which hill you chose visibility varied between poor and non-existent. Friday
evening however was warm with very little wind and no midges - we started off
the weekend campaign of "staying outside as much as possible". With the help of Alan's lamp we
sat outside chatting until well after dark before retiring to the pub for the rest of the
evening. With an excellent forecast for Saturday plans were made for the next day.
The morning dawned bright and sunny but with a cold wind - Gillian left at 7am to ensure the
best use of daylight and in fact the whole club had left the campsite by 8.30am - for us an
Alpine start. The weather was as forecast but only in the extreme West - the East end of Liatach
was in the clag for most of the day but the West end was in the sun. Unfortunately for Lesley,
she chose one of the Corbetts behind the Ling hut and her hill remained shrouded all day. The
others enjoyed a day of sunshine and excellent views - Fiona and Alison W were on Beinn Alligin,
Gillian was on Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eoin and Richard & Anne climbed a Corbett and Graham
alongside Loch Maree. Alison, Kenny and Alan climbed Liatach via the Northern pinnacles and
found ice axes were essential for their day out - to help with grip on the steep grass! To round
off an excellent day, we all headed off to a local restaurant for dinner.
Unfortunately Sunday was a different story.... The cloud level remained stubbornly around 500m
and was accompanied by a cold wind. It was a dry but fairly miserable day on all the hills. By
5pm however, the campsite was basking in sunshine so we piled on the warm jackets and sat
outside until after 7pm - by which time we were almost blue with the cold. We had hoped for an
invite to a "tent warming" in Kenny & Alison's new tent which has ample room to accommodate most
of the club - unfortunately for us they weren't feeling that generous so instead we retired to a
which had comfy seats and a ringside view of the sunset. Humphrey returned after dark following
a day of mixed success - his 14 mile run in the morning went well but left him with insufficient
time for Slioch and he had to turn back before the summit.
Monday morning was beautiful again but with an even colder wind than the previous day. Most
people headed off to do a small hill or a short cycle ride before the long drive home. Humphrey
was staying up for another day and so was doing a 16 mile run to the Loch Maree Hotel and back
before setting off for his hill - he was
almost at the hotel when I passed on my way home!.
Finally, a new feature for Meet reports - "hill of the weekend". The winner was definitely
Beinn a' Chearcaill alongside Loch Maree - over the course of the weekend it was climbed by seven
of the ten folk present. The hill had a fantastic rock plateau on the summit and
apparently has fantastic views of the Torridon hills - however only Richard, who climbed it on
Monday, would have seen the view.