Trip Report - Glen Shiel Summer Trip – 11th-17th June 2016

***Trip Report***

Glen Shiel Summer Trip – 11th-17th June 2016 

Hello Hikers! 

We are now introducing trip reports which will reflect what we got up to on all of our weekend and week long trips.  These will include the routes we achieved and other activities taken part in so participants can look back on the trip and other members can keep updated on the club’s actives whilst away on trips.  So sit back and relax to hear about the club’s summer trip to Glen Shiel!

Last week saw 11 members travel 400 miles north from Leeds to Glen Shiel and the Isle of Skye in the North West Highlands.  A great time was had by all, despite the constant stream of midges!

On the first day of walking (Sunday), one group headed to the Black Cullin on the Isle of Skye for a grade 1/2 scramble.  Starting from Sligachan, the group headed to the summit of Bruach na Frìthe before traversing to descend an amazing ridgeline on the north-east side of Am Basteir.  Meanwhile the other group claimed the summit of Beinn Sgritheall on the Glenelg Peninsula, where they had great views of the Knoydart and the Outer Hebrides.

On Monday, a group headed up The Saddle via the infamous Forcan Ridge, navigating along a grade 2 scramble where a few spicy obstacles were covered, including a 15m drop (far more than the previously described 7ft!!!)  As we were ahead of time and the weather was nice, we downclimbed this with the security of a top rope, which was a great experience for those new to scrambling at this grade.  In addition to this route, another team headed to Bla Bheinn on the Elgol Peninsula on the Isle of Skye.  This peak is the only Munro on Skye off the main Cullin Ridge and is thought to be one of Britain’s best mountains!  

Tuesday was a rest day for all, which soon turned into quite a long day of sightseeing, walking and BBQ-ing.  Prior to setting off, the keen runner in the group, Michael decided to do a quick run along Loch Duich before we all headed off to Eilean Donan Castle, which proved to be a picturesque scene of Scotland (bagpiper included!).  Next, we headed to Portree on the Isle of Skye for a spot of fish and chips.  After lunch, we visited the most touristy route of the whole week, The Old Man of Storr, where a moderately large ascent was undertaken to reach the pinnacles.  Then we drove north to the Quiraing, which pleased many of the keen ‘Game of Thrones’ watchers among the group as several scenes were filmed at this location.  We then headed off to the northern tip of Skye, Rubba Hunish, where we all had a bit of a ‘titanic’ moment, with views to the Outer Hebrides in the warm Scottish evening.  We finished off this incredible day with a sunset BBQ on a beach in southern Skye, which became a very middle-class event of langoustines, mussels, mackerel and various other BBQ delicacies.

After the very busy ‘rest day’ we embarked on what was to become the highlight of the week for many: the multiday backpacking trip, staying in the Camban Bothy, the inaugural hike of Sam Stockley’s ‘Camban Trail’.  The two day route started with a very steep assent up to the ridge traversing the Three Brothers of Kintail.  Later on in the day, half of the group felt they had even more energy in them and conquer a fourth munro, Ciste Dubh, before descending to meet the others in the wilds of Glen Affric.  The bothy was a welcome rest stop for all: we lit a fire, played a ‘pub quiz’ and scared ourselves with a few games of ‘Werewolves’.

On the following day (the last day of walking), we made the steep ridgeline ascent of Beinn Fhada, with glimpses though the swirling cloud of the views across Glen Affric.  We then descended the northern ridge into woodland, encountering several spectacular waterfalls on the way before rejoining the road at Morvich to walk back to the campsite. We then made a beeline for the pub to stock up on good grub and fine ale.

Overall, the trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all who went and the weather yet again was superb (for a Scottish summer).  A massive thank you to all the organisers, leaders and drivers on the trip, it was very much appreciated by all.

Hope you all have a great summer and the Committee look forward to welcoming you back and welcoming new members to the club in September!

Ed Mason (Web Sec)