Friday 26 March - Monday 29 March 2004
Ten members of the club made the long journey up to Torridon setting off at the leisurely time of 10am. In addition Ginge had set off from Devon on Wednesday and had stayed in Glencoe for a couple of days so we had arranged to meet in the Clachaig Inn for lunch. Next stop was Eilean Donan Castle to do the touristy bit. From there we made our way along single track roads through Kinlochewe to Torridon.
Mol Mor bunkhouse turned out to far exceed everyone's expectations. Great accommodation and facilities in a superb setting. Just a pity about the only pub in the area, the Ben Damph. While the staff were friendly enough the atmosphere was sadly lacking, not helped by the bottled beer being past it's sell by date!!
Saturday morning's weather didn't look too promising, but we set off to do Beinn Alligin, the easiest of the Torridon mountains so all the books said. We set off in heavy drizzle although it soon brightened up as we headed towards the Horns of Alligin. As we approached the first of the three horns some of the group decided to turn back. Those of us who continued took our time to negotiate our way over the horns. As ever with scrambling going down was worse than going up. A couple of Aonach Eagach moments and we had done them. 2pm and we hadn't even done a Munro yet!
A late lunch stop at this point and a chance to admire the views. Then onwards to Sgurr Mhor, past the deep gash of the Eag Dhubh and Tom na Gruagaich. The mist started to come down at this point so we quickly descended by glissading down Coir nan Laogh eventually picking up the path back to the car park.
Back at the bunkhouse the rest had made it back safely and we decided to give the pub a second chance. Not much better, but at least it allowed some of the party to enjoy the France v England rugby match!
Much debate was then had about what we should do the next day before most of us decided to do Fionn Beinn, a Munro near Achnasheen. Fraser planned to do Beinn Eighe before travelling back on Sunday night. Sunday's weather looked even less promising than Saturday's but we decided to persevere, although we suspect Caroline tried her best to avoid it by giving Stevie some dodgy directions to Achnasheen.
I think we would all agree that it wasn't the most inspirational hill we've ever done. So much so that Alan and Michael decided to seek inspiration elsewhere (and a TV to watch the Old Firm game!). By all accounts the reception on the TV was not unlike the view we had, snowy and misty! A very wet day but at least Bryn (Ginge's dog) had done his first Munro!
It was with some relief that we drove back to Torridon to find that Fraser's van was away so we assumed he had successfully completed Beinn Eighe.
That night we left the catering arrangement to the galloping gourmets, Michael and Alan, who did a superb job creating a sausage casserole. Who needs the Ben Damph?!
We finished off the evening with a game of Trivial Pursuits. Fortunate questions on cricket and the Yorkshire author James Herriot (which brought an end to Kathryn's delight at Alan's lack of literary knowledge which resulted in countless incorrect guesses of DH Lawrence!) allowed the boys to beat the girls despite their attempts to cheat!
The long drive home on Monday was broken up by stops at the Cluanie Inn for coffee and an excellent lunch at the Onich Hotel.
Other highlights of the weekend included Alison's apparent inability to tell the difference between Steve and a stags head, and Kathryn trying to persuade Ginge to swap Bryn for Alan.
I think we would all agree that this was a really good weekend and I'm sure we will be back again for a summer trip.
Photos: Steve Morley and Jacqui Muir
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