Sat 20th October 2018
With the date set for his final munro months in advance Mike had set himself a challenge to get his remaining munro's done, all was going to plan until a few weeks earlier when weather conditions threw a spanner in the works, an attempt on his 2nd and 3rd last munro's on Skye (Sgurr nan Eag and Sgurr Dubh Mor) had to be abandoned.
The bunkhouse was booked and people had arranged time off work to attend so Mike was determined that his compleation was going to be on schedule, so returned to Skye the following weekend on his own and bagged these two elusive hills.
We all set off up the A9 and met on Friday evening at the bunkhouse at Kishorn near beautiful Lochcarron, after dinner and some good chat over a few drinks we retired to our bunks in preparation for the climb the next day.
Loch Carron sunset (Ewan McNee)
Conditions on the Friday evening were crisp and clear, that all changed in the middle of the night when a forecasted weather front suddenly hit at 4:30am, the ensuing roar from the wind in the tree's around the bunkhouse saw us hurriedily shut the dorm windows.
We were all up and ready by 9am and set off in 3 cars to the start of the walk at Coulags, conditions were less than ideal, heavy rain coupled with wind gusts (reaching over 70mph on the higher ground) made it a challenging walk, however perseverence and expert guidence from Kennedy ensured that Mike got to the top.
The summit team (Kennedy not in photo)
Jack's report from the walk:
Meall Chean Dearg, 16km, 955m, 6h, 20/10/2018
The KMC met @ Sanachan B/H Loch Kishorn for Mikes final Munro of Meall Chean Dearg. Dry, on leaving the bunkhouse (ahem), the rain started as we parked at the bridge, gr956451 and continued into Sunday.
Walk in on a good path, cross the river via a wooden bridge for a break at Coulags bothy. Raining heavier now, as we pass the Clach nan Con - fionn stone, where the legendary Fionn, tied his hunting dogs. Paddle the path to a junction, then turn L for a 400m climb to bealach Coire Garbh.
The split in the path that leads to the Bealach
Strong winds here as we meet a party of three coming down, having refused to climb any further. Once at the col, we fight uphill, on a quartz path, against strong gusts of rain and wind to reach a grassy plateau.
Summit team approaching the top
Cross this for another steep rise. The going so bad now, it was the summit team that crossed the boulder field to reach the cairn.
An exhausted Mike tops out
The rest of the group huddled in a hollow conserving energy.
Decending through the quartz
A change of tops by me, brought warmth and soon the cairn team returned to cheers an congrats.
A quick return to the bothy just beat the 28 cyclists coming our way, while gouging up the stalkers path. More cheers, congrats and a swallow then a swift return to the B/H for a great meal, good craic and singsong.
Celebrating at the bunkhouse
Good to meet new and old friends thus recall my younger days. Not my hardest day on a hill, but it runs well amid my No2s. Thanks to Kennedy for the chat and Billy for the transport, so nice to actually see the countryside once in a while.
Mike Campbell - Munroist
An evening of celebration commenced soon afterwards at the bunkhouse and ran into the wee small hours, despite the challenging conditions on the hill it was agreed that we'd all had an excellent weekend and were glad to be able to celebrate this huge achievement with our friend Mike