Friday, 8 October 2010


I just had one of those Staycation holidays. Two and a half weeks of running to and from the weather in Scotland. At times it seemed like there wasn't a single square mile of Scotland that wasn't covered in cloud and rain. And as for the wind!

At times however, there was superb weather in one corner of the country when everywhere else was being blown to pieces and soaked just for good measure. We had three great days in the Galloway hills including a long day on Merrick and Shalloch on Minnoch. Despite a constant cold wind and some haze we could just pick out the Mountains of Mourne across the Irish Sea so a great reward for studying the weather forecasts and choosing the right direction to travel.

After returning home for the open canoe we headed over to Argyll and spent a superb day exploring the Crinan Canal. It was a joy to see so many people out in boats of all kind, as well as a considerable number walking, running and cycling along the towpaths. The canal is a real gem and a terrific place to go when you have a day away from the mountains. We launched at Crinan, paddled to Ardrishaig, turned round and paddled back again. It's definitely worth a look sometime.

As the weather improved towards the end of our fortnight we made our way up to Glencoe, Fort William, Skye and Kintail. After chasing the one bit of sunshine in the whole country we suddenly had the whole of the west coast to choose from. Spoilt for choice!

Highlights included a great day on Garbh Bheinn on Skye and then a canoe/walk day on Beinn Loinne. Beinn Loinne is the Corbett on the south side of Loch Cluanie. We avoided the long-ish walk or mountain bike ride in by paddling across Loch Cluanie and then made a pretty steep ascent of a spur on the north side. The reward was an absolutely fantastic view from the top. One of those moments that the Scottish mountains are all about. Sheer magic!

Over the course of the holiday we had managed to take in 8 Corbetts, so not a bad tally given the mixed weather we'd had.

Just before the holiday I spent the weekend at the start of September at Glenmore Lodge for the MCofS AGM. As well as running sessions for members and attending the AGM, I also worked with a film maker - Simon Fildes - working on a video to promote MCofS membership. Now that I'm back at work I'm liaising with Simon on the final few tweaks to the video and hopefully within the next week or two the final version should be embedded on the MCofS home page. Have a look at it and encourage others to have a look as well. I hope you think we have done a good job with it. I would certainly welcome your feedback.

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