Monday to Wednesday this week I was up in the far North-West of Scotland with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Trip climbing and walking trip.
After driving up on Monday we dropped off the walkers at Inchnadamph to tackle Ben More Assynt and Conival. John, Linda, Gillian, Steven, Tony and I then headed for the Old Man of Stoer.
We rigged a Tyrolean to the South-East corner of the stack and climbed it via the Original Route missing out the initial traverse pitch. Conditions were perfect with sunshine and a light wind.
On Tuesday we dropped Craig and the walkers at the start of the way up Arkle. The forecast wasn’t great, but the climbers decided to head up to have a look at Am Buachaille anyway. It was misty down low all day, but the forecast rain never really appeared in earnest and when we reached the bottom of the sea stack the rock was damp, but looked climbable.
Again we climbed it by the Original Route. This gives three pitches of good climbing, but there is loose and friable rock and care is required. Additionally there’s still Fulmar chicks around and one on the first ledge of the first pitch requires care to avoid. It’s late for the chicks to still be on ledges, so I’d guess it’s a second brood or second attempt given the variable summer. Am Buachaille is definitely an adventure with a longish walk in, a fairly serious grassy scramble to get down and up, a swim for everybody and tidal time constraints.
On Wednesday the walkers headed for Canisp and great views, whilst the climbers had a few hours climbing and coasteering at the Pinnacle area of Reiff in glorious weather. All in all a very successful trip.