Saturday, 29 August 2015

Day 5 Expedition day

 Sun rise over the bay, a glorious day promised but we knew different. As we were heading off into the wilderness breakfast was not its usual large affair as there are no toilets the far end of the world and exposing your backside to do what bears do when there are trillion midges waiting for human flesh is a no no. Cereals and bacon sarnies sufficed while we watched the antics of the flight crew
 on Gypsy Rover who made a right pigs ear of coming alongside, hence broom no boat hook etc
 Finally loaded up a crucial hour late we were off along Loch Nevis the easy way.
 Here there are some lovely houses
 I mean lets talk remote, no roads, access is by boat or if you wanted to walk to this one its 20k from anywhere.
 There are neighbours to borrow sugar from.
 Keith played Titanic as we approached the drop off point
 but as the tide was in and high we got right to the foot of Sguir-na-Ciche
 with out unbelievably heavy packs
 which we jettisoned at what was to be base camp and
 in changing weather (the wind picked up, spot the lessening blue sky) the assault on the 1041 metre peak began. I climbed this around 15-20 years ago but it had merged into many climbs so really this was all new to me. In fact I had completely forgotten how hard it was and how impossibly steep the final 300 metres was. The views made it worthwhile all the way
 but more than once the peak looked very forbidding.
 Grass soon gave way to rock
 and after a soul destroying 100 metre descent at 800 metres the final climb was ahead. Now the weather was really closing in and bad so we set an emergency shelter up and dumped all but bare essential gear to make the climb quicker. We also left two of the group who were not so keen on the climb up to the top.
 Despite the weather there was time for posing
 this is looking across to the twin peak of our target, half a plan to tick that one off was abandoned in the gathering storm.
 Looking back the way we came
 a bit higher the same view
 towards Ben Nevis
So. A successful day. The descent from the peak was miserable in pouring rain and at base camp I had to erect a wet tent around a very wet dog. Midges decided to hide from the downpour so that was the only plus side but once the storm abated they rose up in fresh clouds of aggression. We all retired to our tents and as I had taken my lovely spacious Terra Nova Quasar tent I was able to sit up, cook a curry, drink hot chocolate and look at all the pictures taken that day. I also pondered the joy of wet dog, trapped midges, wet clothing, wet sleeping bag and whether my bladder would last until morning without stepping outside into rain again.

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