Wonderful weather on Rum!
September 25-27th 2021
The weather forecast was poor and as we headed west at Corpach the rain started. Chris had planned a Corbett near Glenfinnan but stopped in Glen Roy to bag one of the Carn Dearg's instead. The evening was spent discussing plan 'B's.
The rain and wind had eased allowing the ferry to sail in the morning and we had a brief turnaround in Eigg before disembarking on Rum and walking the short distance to the bunkhouse. With the afternoon to kill we set off for a low level walk along Kilmory glen (Chris and Steve cycled) to see the Red Deer study area. The rut had just started; we saw and heard the stags and had an interesting conversation with the rangers leading the field work.
Strachan the stag, in Kilmory Glen
Much discussion was had on the Monday evening. Do we hope that the forecast is pessimistic or wait until Wednesday to attempt an Alpine start in order to be down in time for the ferry? We opted for the former and set off in the morning wearing full gear. We did get some rain showers as we passed Kinloch Castle and then on the very good path going up Coire Dubh but were pleased that visibility was generally good and while it was windy it did not unduly hamper us. The track petered out as we walked up the Hallival ridge where the full route was laid out in front of us. Askival looked tricky but in reality a path led us to the east of the crags and then up to the summit with the descent off Hallival being the more difficult part with some 'hands on' required.
On the way up!
The section down to Beallach an Oir took longer than anticipated and with time ticking on Steve, Margaret and Graham decided to skip Trollaval (the Graham) and head directly for Ainshval, the second Corbett. With Alan already having headed back Chris and Sandy did a quick ascent of the twin topped Trollaval and descended down a scree gully to the beallach to reach Ainshval. While the gabbro rock was generally safe it was very wet with some treacherous sections on the way up Ainshval. The first three enjoyed great views from the top while Chris and Sandy were clagged in even although only 15 minutes separated us.
Askival and Ainshval
Summit of Askival
It had taken about 6 hours to summit Ainshval and the distance back was almost the same albeit with much less height gain. The first descent was slow and we were hampered by a heavy hail shower and then after contouring north around Atlantic corrie there was a tough slog over the beallach to reach the top of Coire Dubh. Here though we were rewarded with a view of Kinloch Bay, almost home.
It had been a tough 9+ hour day with much ascent and we were glad of a hot shower in a comfortable hostel rather than camping. Over dinner at Kim's (with Rum venison being the main ingredient) we agreed that it had been a great day with much better conditions that we could had hoped for.
Wednesday turned out to be a dry, bright and sunny day. We were all tired and had no desire for another hard day and so after a leisurely breakfast took the early ferry to Canna where we spent a couple of hours lunching outside the cafe and exploring the old castle.
King of the Castle?
We were guided into Mallaig harbour by a small pod of porpoises while an eagle soared high above the crags. Graham had a trip planned to Knoydart with a rival organisation (Culter Hillwalkers) and so on the Thursday made for the Moidart Corbetts. The rain had returned and Alan and Sandy decided to stay dry and return home and left Graham to climb Rois Bheinn solo before the wind and rain forced him back down to the glen.
All in all though a successful trip for the last DHC multi-day outing of 2021.
Graham N, Alan, Chris, Steve, Margaret & Sandy