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Durness Weekend

Durness 12th-14th July 2019

A group of 9 DHCers comprising Chris, Steve, Ruth, Ali, Graham, Moira, Alan, Gillie and David ventured to the far north again for several to have a second attempt to climb the classic Foinaven ridge.

On Friday Chris climbed the Corbett Beinn Leoid and David knocked off 3 Munros in the east Loch Broom area (Cona Mheall, Eididh nan Clach Geala, Meall nan Ceapraichean). Graham climbed the Corbett Glas Bheinn in the Assynt area, For me the weather was damp, misty, humid and cloudy with only occasional views further than 500 metres, so not the ideal combination.

A Rare glimpse of the summit of Beinn Leoid

We later heard that the rest of the party had been held up in traffic queues travelling north due to an overturned camper van north of the Kessock Bridge, but all eventually arrived by around 10pm at the Lazy Crofters hostel.

After consulting various weather forecasts for Saturday and holding the obligatory extended discussions, the Foinaven team decided to put that plan on hold again and instead climb Arkle and perhaps Meall Horn.

Saturday dawned with some pretty murky and low cloud conditions, with the forecast promising improvements later, and the group eventually split into three parties when the correct starting point was eventually located. Ali climbed the Corbett with the longest named mountain in Britain namely Meallan Liath Coire Mhic Dhughaill. The Arkle only group were Moira, Graham, Alan and Gillie....

Before entering the cloud on slopes of Arkle

(note picture has been edited on request!)

Ideal conditions for Alpine Cudweed

....and the optimists climbing Meall Horn first then Arkle were Chris, David, Steve and Ruth. The latter group took 9.5 hours covering around 25 km and over 1500 metres of ascent. It turned out to be the right decision not to attempt Foinaven as the weather was pretty dreadful all day with several hours spent concentrating on GPS and compass bearings in damp and cloudy conditions.

Nearing the summit of Arkle

Arkle summit (I believe)

For Saturday evening dinner we all went for a meal at Meet and Eat, Balnakiel Craft village which was very enjoyable especially as Ruth was kind enough to drive some of us there.

Sunday dawned with much better weather conditions and a higher cloud base. Steve and Ruth considered Foinaven but then changed their mind and joined most of us climbing the Graham Ben Stack. Only Ali did her own thing that day and climbed the Corbett Ben Hee.

Summit of Ben Stack

Finally a view of Arkle and Foinaven (from Ben Stack)

Descending Ben Stack

All except David returned home on Sunday night. Perhaps he needed a charge for the Tesla on the way home and decided to climb Gael Charn in the Monadh Liath area whilst waiting ?

Despite the weather an impressive number of Munros, Corbetts and Grahams were climbed by the group over 4 days but it would seem that the Foinaven ridge is destined for 3rd time lucky!


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