Gairloch for the May weekend

Easter was spent in an over-heated, fart – filled bedroom, with our slumber disturbed by seismic snores. In contrast, our Mayday weekend featured quiet nights in cool rooms and a refreshed team rose on the Saturday morning. The rather distant Graham of Beinn nan Ramh was our hill for the day. With a lengthy , flat approach on a well surfaced estate track , this mountain was a prime hill for cycling into – so we walked! Did we regret making the day so much harder than it needed to be? Probably , but the logistics of getting seven cycles to the start was high on the hassle count.
It was chilly . A Northerly wind nipped at us and a thin coating of fresh snow was visible on the higher hillsides. An uneventful hour or so was passed in conversation as we ambled our way from the car park at Kinlochewe to the Leckie bothy at the base of the Graham. After some swift snacking we left the bothy via a decent stalkers track ,which wound its way nicely up to the Western end of Beinn nan Ramh. A shortish ascent of trackless toil soon lead us to the flat summit ; which we swiftly departed in search of somewhere more sheltered. Heading Westwards , our eyes were now treated to striking features of Slioch and Ben Lair as they plunged towards Lochan Fada. The team assembled for lunch on a level area of land adjacent to the stalkers path. Down the zig – zags ; back to the bothy and then the long trudge back to the car. The mountain rescue team were out searching for a guy who had been missing since Wednesday : not much chance now was their assessment of the situation.
Sunday was even colder. Some members ascended An Ruadh– Mheallan , before sneaking off to the tea room in the lovely little village of Diabaig. Willie and Steve went coastal. Mo and I made the long drive to Beinn Bheag and Groban from A832 at Loch a Bhradin. Pleasant enough walking along the lochside , before the short but steep climb to the icy top of BeinnBheag. Sheets of bare rock descending from the snowy summits of the nearby Fisherfield mountains. Lunch in the bealach. Compass bearing to leave the top of Groban and down to the loch in worsening weather. Wet off and on all the way back to the car.
We all would highly recommend the Carn Dearg Youth Hostel. The views from the hostel over the sea to the mountain and shore line were magnificent.

Stuart Smith

Willie Wilkinson outside Ivors Bothy