Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 22 May 2021

22 May 2021 - Backpacking in the Lake District - Day 1

Patterdale to Link Cove.

An 8 am departure and 95 miles in 1 hour 50 minutes got us to Mike P's house in Patterdale, where we spent the rest of the morning chatting and deciding on a route, given a foul weather forecast.

At least it was dry when the three of us set off towards Hag Beck, with a view to skirting to the west of Deepdale to reach our planned destination.

The rain soon arrived, by way off a light shower. Waterproofs went on and off as we ascended to Trough Head, eventually remaining off (t-shirt weather!) for the final ascent into Link Cove, where there are many good places for an overnight camp. 

It was a short but pleasurable walk, our first backpacking for many months. Just 7 km, but enough to give Sue a blister, then a realisation that I'd forgotten to pack a proper first aid kit! Just medicine and plasters. Mike to the rescue!

Great views back to Ullswater for much of the walk, then across to the distinctive lumps of the Angletarn Pikes. Always with St Sunday Crag and summits of the Helvellyn range slowly getting closer ahead of us.

We had set up camp, mercifully in the dry, by 4 pm, so we have enjoyed a brew and have a leisurely evening with good food to look forward to.

It really is just great to be in the hills again, and as I write this a shaft of rare sunshine has just engulfed the tent.

Friday 21 May 2021

Waterproof clothing - Mk 1

I suspect it was August 1967 when my dad drove me and Mike, and I think Geoff, who must have taken the photo, to Hollows Farm campsite near Grange (Borrowdale). He dropped us off and collected us a few days later.

It was our first visit to the Lake District, and we set off up Scafell Pikes in the rain. On reaching the summit, we worked out that we were on Lingmell. Oops!

My anorak wasn't waterproof, so my waterproof clothing in this era comprised an ICI fertiliser bag with a hole cut in the bottom to allow breathing. I don't recall Mike P mentioning this form of waterproof clothing in his excellent book 'Keeping Dry and Staying Warm'.

We will be backpacking with Mike P this coming weekend - hence the 'Mobile Posting' test by way of the previous posting. I can reassure him that we have moved on slightly from the ICI bag form of waterproofing, which actually worked very well.

I can't remember whether we got to the top of Scafell Pikes (I think we did), but I can remember watching Mike for some some making futile attempts to catch a trout for supper, as his bag of popcorn was empty.

Testing mobile postings

Isabella in her armchair this morning.

Thursday 20 May 2021

17 to 23 February 1980 - A Week in Torridon (Part 2 of 2)

Continuing from the previous posting, on Thursday 21 February a few of us (or maybe just me and Roger) walked the entire Ben Eighe ridge apart from Creag Dubh, which I'd been up a couple of years earlier.

The header picture shows our view to the west, from the head of Coire Dubh, with Beinn Dearg and Beinn Alligin beyond. I'll caption the remaining pictures from this great mountain day - click on any image to view a slideshow (best on a PC with a good monitor).

Upper Loch Torridon, Beinn Alligin and Beinn Dearg as we look west from the path around Sail Mhor

Roger admires the view from Sail Mhor, north west to Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eoin

Another view from Sail Mhor

On the ridge, heading for Ruadh-stac Mor, beyond the triple buttress,
on which cloud obscured a good photo

The view to Liathach, on which other members of our party were no doubt enjoying themselves

Roger on Ruadh-stac Mor

Roger, with Liathach in the background

The main Beinn Eighe ridge, with Liathach

Looking east to Coir an Laoigh and Sgurr Ban

Roger admires the view south west from Sgurr Ban, with Beinn Damh

Martin on Sgurr Ban (971 metres)


The view west, with Loch Kishorn

Roger on the ridge

The view to our final summit, Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe,
with the inaccessible gap to Creag Dubh visible

Climbing to Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe, our final summit

On Friday (22 February) it looks as if we had an easier day with a walk around Diabeg. Maybe it was a rainy morning so we just went out in the afternoon.

Looking towards the Torridon mountains from Alligin Shuas

Loch Torridon, and the view towards Skye

Lower Diabeg

Sunset from Diabeg

Didn't that week go quickly! We drove home on Saturday 23 February, with frequent stops to admire the views on a wonderful sunny day.

Sunrise on Loch a Chroisg (Achnasheen)

We must have taken someone to Achnasheen to catch a train home.

Returning to Kinlochewe, with the view to Kinlochewe and Loch Maree

A view towards Beinn Eighe from the chalets, just before we left for home

Goodbye Liathach

Torridon and Liathach from near Shieldaig

Beinn Bhan from Couldoran

Loch Carron

Stromeferry, a hamlet near Plockton

The Five Sisters ridge, from Shiel Bridge

Ron and Maggie admire the view to part of the Saddle range (Aonach air Chrith)

Loch Cluanie and the Saddle range (and Ken?)

The view down Loch Loyne, with Sgurr a Mhaoraich

Loch Garry

The view down Loch Lochy to Laggan

The view down Loch Lochy to Gairlochy

The Glencoe mountains, from Onich

Buachaille Etive Mor

And thence to Manchester. I wonder whether this was the time we called in to see Helen in Glasgow and noticed her engagement ring, but I suspect that was a different occasion.

Wednesday 19 May 2021

17 to 23 February 1980 - A Week in Torridon (Part 1 of 2)

L-R: John, Ron, Roger, Janet, Dave

For the next phase of my 1980 slide scanning exercise, a trip to Torridon. This was 'pre-diary', so the commentary, such as it is, is cobbled together from notes and memory.

The team on this occasion, and sadly there's no group photo, nor pictures of everyone who was there, was as follows, housed I think in several of Mrs MacDonald's chalets at Kinlochewe:

Roger Freeman*
Ron Butler
Alison Levers*
Christine (Alison's friend)
Janet Hydes*
Ken McNair*
Dave Scruby*
Daffyd Wynn (RIP)
John Mansell (RIP)
Maggie* and Trevor
Lorna, Andy, Dave, Neil and Mick (I don't remember who these people were 'connected' to, it was possibly their only trip with this mainly ex UMIST hiking club group)

Six* of the above will receive links to this posting, and are free to add their comments and corrections. The photos aren't brilliant but hopefully the memories will be happy. I'll cover the week in two postings.

We traveled up on Saturday, and on Sunday a few of us climbed Beinn Alligin. I think we just went to the Munro 'Top', Tom na Gruagaich, that was subsequently elevated to a Munro 'Mountain'. I'd already done the full traverse of the mountain a couple of times, and the easy route to the 'Top' must have been more appropriate for this group, who are pictured above in the Coire Mhic car park.

Waterfall in Coire Mhic, and Beinn Alligin

Ron and Janet on the Coire Mhic Nobuil path

Janet and Roger, with Liathach in the background

Ron, with Sgurr Mhor, Beinn Alligin's main summit, but I don't think we went there on this occasion

Dave, and the view north from the Alligin ridge

On Monday we went for a walk along the sea shore at Red Point near Gairloch.

That's Roger, in his distinctive apparel, on the beach at Red Point

On Tuesday (19 February) a few of us drove up to Inchnadamph for a walk up Ben More Assynt and Conival. There was a fine view towards An Teallach from the road to Ullapool.


Near the start of the climb up Ben More Assynt

The view west to Loch Assynt

Martin on the summit of Ben More Assynt (998 metres)

This is Roger, fully equipped in his glissading uniform

We got a good view down to Loch Assynt from the slopes of Conival

Ron, Janet and Roger, on the Conival ridge

I'd been up Ben More Assynt before, but this was my first time on Conival, from where I think the next picture is the view to the north west.

As we descended, the sun set behind Canisp.

On Wednesday (20 February), when the pictures portray another rainy day, some of the group joined me on a circular walk from Kinlochewe to Loch Coulin.

Maggie and Lorna near Kinlochewe

Climbing a high stile near Loch Coulin (the original image was very dark)

Wet weather hikers near Loch Coulin - L-R: Maggie, Dave, ? , Lorna?, Janet, ?, Trevor, Ron

Loch Coulin

Loch Coulin and Coulin Lodge

Loch Coulin and Sgurr Dubh

Maggie, by Loch Coulin

Dave and Maggie returning to Kinlochewe, with Slioch ahead in the gloom

That's it for now, the rest of the trip will follow tomorrow, but I'm afraid some of the party will still not be involved in the photos. There must have been quite a divergence of objectives, varying from dossing in the chalets to more serious climbing on mountains like Liathach. Let me know if you remember!
NB: Click on any image for a slideshow.