After a pleasant night of rest and alcohol free drink we all rose early to find a sunny but windy morning. There were 3 walks planned Steve and his team were planning a circular route over the Witches Step on to the castles then down to the saddle Katherine and her group were planning a low level walk, I opted to tag along with Alan, Maureen, Irene and Robin to ascend Cioch- na h-Oighe on to Mullach Buideh then finally towards North Goatfell then to descend towards corrie.
Our ascent up through Glen Sannox towards the summit of Cioch- na h-Oighe was hard going with the wind in our faces all the way. It was about half way up Maureen started to put Tissue paper in her ears which blew about in the wind, why she did this no one knows (maybe it was to appease the wind Gods or something) anyway we carried on. Not long after Robin had to stop feeling really unwell and decided to abandon the climb and choose the more direct route to Corrie along by the forest with Irene for company. Alan, Maureen and I plodded onwards and upwards up the steep face we stopped and looked across at Steve’s team heading towards the Witches Step it was then we had to scramble to the summit. Thankfully we were sheltered from the wind during this part of the climb, scrambling all the way to the top at full stretch climbing up the granite rock face.
Finally we reach the top and the wind was at full force in our face, in a wedge part of the summit we sat down trying to get some shelter from the wind and have a quick bite to eat. Suddenly Alan jumped up and said “come on lets go over the ridge” at this point fear gripped me having never traversed the ridge before and I knew the wind was very strong I wondered what was in front of me. I looked at Maureen with tissue paper still sticking out from her ears she seemed to be unperturbed at the whole situation, her faith in her “Wind Tissues” she had applied to her ears earlier seemed to be working.
Wishing I had applied “Wind Tissues” myself we traversed the ridge. At fist the wind was kind to us, making the crossing easier but then the wind increased. You could feel the power of it rushing toward us on an exposed part of the ridge suddenly like synchronised swimmers we dived to the ground holding on the tuffs of heather making our bodies at low as possible as the wind gusted above our heads as soon as the wind eased we rushed to a more sheltered part and off the ridge completely to the relief of us all.
The rest of the climb was pleasant towards North Goatfell and the views are spectacular we descended through Corrie Lan to reach the path towards Corrie at this point Alan (like something out of a Rocky movie) started running down the glen into the distance I could hear the rocky theme music in my ears as Alan sped off. Maureen on the other hand could hear nothing with her “Wind Tissues” stuck firmly in her ears.
We all met up at the corrie Hotel for a well deserved drink at the end of another great climb.
Photos: Craig Johnston
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