Date: Saturday-Sunday 20th-21st September 2014
Distance: 23 + 10.2km
Ascent: 1100 + 90m
In the run up to the weekend forecast had suggested that the north-west Highlands would see the best of Saturday and a good Sunday. By Friday night they had inverted that and suggested the NW would be claggy.
Having already committed by heading up to Mallaig we shrugged and got packed for a trip to Rum.
Calmac’s summer timetable only runs til 26th October so opportunities to visit the Small Isles this year were running out.
We fancied heading up Mullach Mor – but took the main track west out of Kinloch rather than the smaller, more tick-ridden wooded path. A bit of a dog-leg adds on some distance though.
Having got to NG 371 002 we cut back on the small path to pick a route up Mullach Mor – mixed sandstone strips and grass.
As promised in the forecasts the air had cleared a lot from the week – visibility was reasonable from the summit.
From the ferry we’d noted Samhnan Insir – a beach east of Kilmory with old ruins. We’d fancied a visit for some time so we headed down Allt Rubha na Moine for this point.
We’d had a hankering to camp on Orval for a while and the forecast suggested a clearing evening and a clear morning. This seemed a fine opportunity.
A less good situation was water – Rum is fairly dry currently so as the streams were getting low I felt obliged to get the evening’s water at only 250m height, meaning 300m of ascent with it.
Quite windy on the summit with a westerly funnelling up from Guirdil – irritatingly Orval had a hat on.
Cooked in the tent in a rather brisk breeze – a rather damp breeze too given the mist. Put our heads down at about 2200 and got up at 0200 for a look-see. Although the wind had dropped we were still in patchy mist. The Milky Way was visible above and there were occasional views of Ardnamuchan lighthouse (and some lights out on S Uist). Too damp for the camera so back to bed.
Up before dawn to brew some cocoa. Still patchy mist and, to cap that, very hazy too.
Got packed up and moving for 0800. It’s about 2.5 hours back to the 1100 ferry and it’s always best to factor in a bit of slack. A really hazy day – Canna was just visible, but Skye had disappeared.
From the bealach a quick yomp down the path to the main track.
Back onto Orion for the trip back. The Sunday service goes to Canna first, a free tourist trip.
Flat as a millpond we spotted a large number of porpoises and dolphins enroute, along with a distant minke whale. Enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
Conditions not as good as some of our Rum trips – I suspect that Orval may need a revisit with the tent. Rum however was as relaxing as always.