Marhofn 294.17 - May 2015

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Baglog bonanza:

Richard Mclellan (+31=1501)

Early March 2014, in sunshine and snow, we camped beside the Abhainn Rath before wading its icy water to reach Creag Ghuanach, a nice little mountain providing fine views over remote glens.

A couple of weeks later in Torridon the weather is less kind, the wind tearing water from the sea loch as I struggle through rain, wind and cloud up sodden hills without views; strangely I see no-one else out.

On a long but superb day in the arctic landscape of the Monadhliath, claiming Meall na h-Aisre from the north, we walk through a haze of wind-blown snow, long shadows and bright sunshine under blue skies, the fresh air bitterly cold. A repeat ascent for me, but gets Denise one closer to completing her Corbetts.

The three new Marilyns provided walks a little closer to home; Mynydd Anelog at the tip of the Lleyn peninsula is particularly pleasing with its coastal views.

In May I cycled with a group of friends from Aberdeen to Fort William, a superb route of over 320 kilometres, nearly all off-road, visiting the summit of Culardoch, the forests of the Cairngorms and crossing the Corrieyairack pass.

After ten years of waiting and four visits to St Kilda, finally I feel the rough rock of Stac an Armin and Stac Lee, a magical day where, after a gloomy grey start, cloud clears to a give a few hours of blue skies and bright sunshine. We teeter over the slabs at the base of Stac an Armin, the sea waiting eagerly for victims of a misplaced step, then it is up steep grass and rock outcrops to the naked boulder of the summit. Stac Lee is altogether more foreboding, even on landing it is hard to imagine a way up the towering rock face, but step by step progress is gained and one soon learns to enjoy and delight in rather than fear the exposure; exposed it is, right to the guano-covered rocks of the summit.

The slimy ledges, foul-smelling pools of gloop and decaying nests of gannets will never make it at a classic climb, but it must rate as one of the best days out the UK has to offer. It is in darkness I leap from the rocky ledge into the little tender lit by a pool of torch light as it rises and falls on the swell; I wonder if I will ever be back.

Denise on Meall na h-Aisre (photo: Richard Mclellan)

Denise on Meall na h-Aisre (photo: Richard Mclellan)

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