Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 13 March 2021

Ullapool 2007 - 26 March - Stac Pollaidh

Monday 26 March

Quite a few of us felt a gentle day up Stac Pollaidh would suit us. Andrew needed socks, and I needed medicine, etc, so we thought that would take some time. In the event, Boots sorted me out in ten minutes, and Andrew's socks were easily acquired. so six of us - Andrew, Dave, Barry, Pam, Paul and me - set off up Stac Pollaidh with various other unknowns at 11:10.

It was a lovely day, the car park was full, the rocks were warm, and the scrambling was easy. We reached the col by 12:20, then we lazed for a while, chatting to others on the hill, before strolling to the eastern summit.

On the col

The view to Suilven

Suilven, Canisp and Cul Mor

Coigach from Stac Pollaidh's pinnacles

The view along Loch Lurgainn

Looking towards the coast

The view to Cul Beag from near the eastern summit

In view of Cul Mor, where in 1981 Martin managed a fall that resulted in life-long tinnitus

Dave and Barry were then more purist than the rest of us in progressing to the western, higher, summit - they took the high route that I find difficult. The other four of us went by a lower path but still over a good part of the ridge.

Pam and Paul negotiate a thrutchy section near the summit

All except Andrew made the last little section to the main summit - an exposed scramble, or a sloping gully that I prefer, but at least he got over the sloping rock that we always find a bit unnerving, and we enjoyed a long lunch before retracing to a place where we could leave the ridge - at 14:25 - and return by the path around the mountain - really well built and bedded in. Back at the cars by 15:50, still in bright sunshine.

Plenty of time then to return to prepare a roast chicken dinner as our part of the progressive meal for all nine of us. Pam and Paul produced an excellent mushroom and cheese tartlet starter, and Sue and Phil provided a crumble and a cheesecake pudding. It was an excellent and most sociable evening.

Julie, Sue and Phil went up Sail Mhor, an outlier of An Teallach, on this superb day.

Our route - 5 km with 600 metres ascent, taking 4.7 hours

Next Day

Friday 12 March 2021

Friday 12 March 2021 - Wilmslow and Nether Alderley

With Lockdown rules having been slightly relaxed this week, I was able to legitimately travel to Wilmslow and enjoy a socially distanced walk with Graeme J, including a coffee and cake break on the benches at the entrance to Nether Alderley church.

The church is pictured above, and in warmer weather we could enjoy a break on the benches shown in this view (below) from the church.

On the day, the benches were a little short for social distancing, and pretty wet from some heavy rain that fell whilst I was driving to Wilmslow, but stopped the moment I got out of the car!

Our route took us past Radnor Mere, where there is a good network of well laid paths on the old Astra-Zeneca site, overlooking private land with a distant monument - just off to the right of the next picture.

Looking across the mere, the large multi-storey car park that comes into view seems a bit of an anachronism.

Emerging into the village of Nether Alderley, we passed this delectable looking cottage. What a contrast to the fenced in mansions of Alderley Edge that followed.

We arrived eventually at the roundabout that marks the start of the Alderley Edge by-pass, and the following explanatory plaque. (Click on the image for a better version.)

Is it really ten years since this road was opened? Time does fly...

Here's our route, a very pleasant one with very few people around - about 13 km with 150 metres ascent, taking us a leisurely 3 hours or so.

Thanks for your company Graeme, and see you next week.

Thursday 11 March 2021

Ullapool 2007 - 25 March - Meall Horn

Sunday 25 March

The day dawned clear and the Tigh na Mara 5 (me, Dave, Barry, Andrew and Julie - Sue B must have been at work or tripping elsewhere) set off to the foot of Foinaven. On a lovely day with a cool breeze on the tops and occasional wisps of low-level cloud. Dave and Julie completed the Foinavon traverse whilst Andrew, Barry and I ambled up Meall Horn and strolled back via Lone, where 'No Pedestrians' must use the bridge.

The view from Tigh na Mara, from where (above) Dave is pictured leaving

We continued along the path beside Loch Stack, regardless

This turned out to be just a Health and Safety sign and not a bar to entry to this fairly remote area.

We saw just one person, an elderly Scotsman, on our walk, plus Barry befriended an Englishman from Southport who had just bought a house in Drumbeg. He was strangely attired in bright red JJB sportswear and shorts. (The man from Southport, not Barry!)

10:00 start after 1½ hour drive.

11:40 - 55 - stop on path where Julie and Dave continued up Foinaven.

13:00 - 15 - first summit.

13:45 - 50 - main summit (Meall Horn).

14:00 - 25 - lunch above col before sharp descent to LRT at 160 metres.

15:55 - reach LRT, then back to car by 17:00.

Woodland beyond Lone

Arkle, from the slopes of Meall Horn

Barry and Andrew, with Foinaven

Ascending Meall Horn (777 metres)

Reaching the summit of Meall Horn, with Foinaven behind

Descending, with a view to Foinaven, and Barry negotiating some deep groughs

The path to Lone

Several herds of deer seen. 

Then we drove north for 20 minutes or so to meet Julie and Dave at the end of their ascending track.

Quite a long wait - they eventually appeared at 18:45, so it was after 8 pm by the time we got back to Ullapool. Nice drive with the setting sun.

Also got a good deer silhouette photo from the end of Julie and Dave's track. They had a difficult descent over steep snow to get off Foinaven. 

Red deer at Gualin

Julie and Dave emerge from the Foinaven track

A view from the road to Ullapool

No time for a shower - we all gathered in the Ceilidh Place for a nice meal, except Pam and Paul who had returned from Suilven even later than us.

Phil and Sue had enjoyed a walk on Quinag.

Pam on Suilven

Our route - 19 km with 950 metres ascent, taking a leisurely 7 hours

Next Day