North-West Walking and Sea Kayaking

Jen and I are just back from a week in the North of Scotland. After a couple of days with family in Caithness we headed around the North Coast on Saturday and had a very pleasant afternoon walking up Ben Stack from Achfary via Strath Stack and it’s North-West ridge and descending the South-East ridge. This gives a good circuit on an interesting hill, which has great views. The hills in the area are very wet underfoot at the moment and gaiters are useful.

Jen on the summit of Ben Stack with Loch Laxford behind.

We then carried on to Lochinver where, on Sunday, we met up with Jules and Dave of Norwest Sea Kayaking and a team of Dave, Jane, Tim and Tanya. Over the next four days we kayaked from Culkein, near Stoer up the coast to Handa and then back down to Kylesku with camps on Oldany Island, near Scourie and on Calbha Beag. The weather was kind with rain only on the last day. It was a great trip with the highlights probably being kayaking through the Stack of Handa, seeing otter and sea eagles and the good food and company. I’ll put more photos on the ClimbNow Facebook page.

The team kayaking under the cliffs of Handa.

Fannichs and Assynt

Jen and I are back from a few days up North. After staying with friends in Inverness on Thursday we headed to Achnasheen on Friday and walked up Fionn Bheinn, returning via the coire rims of Toll Mor and Toll Beag. There was steady rain for the early part of the day and cloud coming and going.

Old snow on the coire rim of Toll Mor, Fionn Bheinn.

Old snow on the coire rim of Toll Mor, Fionn Bheinn.

We then stayed in the excellent Kylesku Hotel before heading up Quinag on Saturday and taking in Spidean Coinich, Sail Gorm and Sail Gharbh. The weather was unfortunately worse than forecast, with cloud for most of the day. However, we had a good walk on an excellent hill with the occasional glimpse of the stunning views.

Jen enjoying a short scrambling section on Quinag.

Jen enjoying a short scrambling section on Quinag.

On Sunday we took in Cul Mor on the way back South. This time the weather was better than originally forecast with just the odd heavy rain and hail shower, but lots of sunshine. After taking in the summit we wandered around to Creag nan Calman, which gave great views, before descending it’s East ridge and across the coire to regain the outward route on Meallan Diomhain. Three great days in beautiful countryside with excellent hospitality.

Stac Pollaidh and Loch Scionascaig from Creag nan Calman.

Stac Pollaidh and Loch Sionascaig from Creag nan Calman.