Edinburgh Mountaineering Club: Meet Report
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(Taken by Albert) (Taken by Fiona C)
(Taken by Albert)

Meet Report

17th to 19th September 2005 - Eigg

Meet report for Eigg, 17th-18th of September 2005

As we walked along the pier, to board the Sheerwater with all our gear, some with more than others (Fiona!), it is fair to say it was absolutely pissing down. Eigg, we were assured, was somewhere through the rain and mist as we left Arisaig. Not long after leaving dry land (it's all relative) the boat started to roll up and down in the swell, those members who had decided to sit inside at the front of the boat very quickly appeared on deck, the motion not apparently to their liking. Despite the stormy conditions, the club members showed they were all of stern stuff with no casualties to the sea, which is more than can be said for quite a few others on the boat, with one poor chap looking particularly haunted by the experience. It was with some relief that we stepped on to dry land (again its all relative), with the bunkhouse owner meeting us to transport our stuff, for which Fiona was very grateful. After being given directions to the bunkhouse, which is one mile from the pier, we all trotted off until we came to the first junction at which point no one could remember which way we should be going. More by luck, than judgement, we chose the right way and this was confirmed when our bags went past us in the same direction.

The bunkhouse was excellent and when it cleared briefly that afternoon the views promised to be good. A welcoming party was launched to meet Hywel and Cathy who, quite sensibly, had chosen to arrive by Cal Mac on the basis it wouldn't be as rough on a bigger boat, a wise choice. The next day was cloudy but dry and everyone set off towards the Sgurr, which looked fantastic from the path on the south side of the island, the views to Muck, Coll and the mainland were almost worth the rain from the day before. Anne and I arrived at the top where we caught up with Alison who, in a case of the "wrong trousers" had picked up my over trousers as she left the bunkhouse in the morning, leaving me with her size10 trousers which actually fitted me quite well, I'm so slim! Just as well I'm not John Hartson. On the way down we passed Albert, Judith and Owen but when we got to the tearooms we discovered them already there, how could that be? I think they have a special tracking device for tearooms stored in Albert's GPS. In the afternoon it continued to clear and various forays were made to the other end of the island to see the beaches at Laig and the singing sands, which did not sing for anybody. A pleasant evening was had and birthday cake was shared round to celebrate yours truly reaching 25.

On Monday morning it was again absolutely pissing down, but this time coupled with a howling gale so, jigsaws were started, cups of tea were drunk with only one brave soul venturing out first thing. Hywel left at 9am to go and see if the sands would sing for him but again they kept quiet, he did say however that it was "f...g pissing down" and that he was a wee bit damp. Despite initial worries, the weather did ease and both Cal Mac and the Sheerwater turned up on time to take us back, by this time it was a glorious day with blue skies and light winds. The journey back was superb and showed off the west coast at its very best, maybe even the sands were singing.

Alan R

The forecast for Tuesday was good so both Owen and myself opted to stay on for an extra night. My spare food came in very handy and coupled with the usual leftovers starvation seemed unlikely. It was a day of blue skies, sunshine and excellent views so we meandered slowly along the ridge at the North of the island with frequent stops to sunbathe and admire the view. By the time the boat arrived in Arisaig on Tuesday evening it was raining again....

Fiona C