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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog archive

Monday, 28 May 2018

Scotland 2018.......Dornie [with swimming walks]

A good sized group of walkers will be going to Dornie for our annual Scottish hill walking extravaganza.  Dornie is a small village on the route to the Isle of Skye, not far from the Kyle of Loch Alsh or Glen Shiel and the famous Eileen Donan Castle. The trip will run from Monday 28 May for 7 nights.  All of the pre-booked accommodation is now taken, so if you are interested in coming, you would need to find your own accommodation.  For inquiries on the trip generally, please contact goepfertkarenATyahooDOTcom.


Chris L said...

Is anyone interested in sharing a cottage in the centre of Dornie that sleeps 6 to 8 people? Contact me at

Chris L said...

The cottage is now full. If you are still looking for accommodation in Dornie, please contact Karen, so she can let you know if anyone drops out from any of the cottages that have been booked.

Thomas G said...

Dear Readers,

I know you have been waiting for updates in your thousands but events have conspired against your correspondent. First there was no WiFi in the cottage (and don't even dream of mobile phone reception), then - yesterday - we got back so late from the walk that it was impossible to get even some semi-coherent notes together. But more of that later. Reports will come in bit parts.
In total we have n=31 people, most in a set of three cottages together, a few minutes outside of Dornie in a lovely lochside setting. Quite possibly the best value for money accommodation we have had on these trips. More are in two neighbouring houses in the centre of the village and a few others still are across the bridge in a B&B and on a campsite.
As for the nature: bluebells are still in their prime, wild flowers (orchids and others) in abundance, as is bog cotton grass, on the hillside we saw frogs and beetles, ptarmigan and quite a few dead deer (the hard winter?).
The ground is very dry, we have seen some wildfires in the distance.
More later...

Thomas G said...

Tuesday 29th
The Falls of Glomach from Morvich.
This was chosen as a first walk as it can be a simple out-and-back, but on the return can also include a Munro just off-route: A Ghlas Bheinn. So everyone could start together and the walk would give the people not used to walking in Scotland an idea of the effort involved in this environment, while providing for a straight forward harder option.
27 started the walk together, 2 thought it too tough and did something else, 2 others had had trouble getting out of Stansted Airport and arrived late in Dornie (but nevertheless went straight to the walk, starting after noon and finishing at 9 pm).
In proper SWC tradition, we started to go 'wrong' within 15 minutes, as the fast walkers were following a line on a screen and the usual 'leaders' were being distracted by chat and not noticing we walked past a left fork and up towards the Munro first. The main group retracted to the fork missed earlier, the fastest 3 were out of earshot though and marched on.
The sun was shining relentlessly, the scenery was stunning and eventually we got to the very impressive waterfalls, with a 113m drop into a very narrow gorge. Well worth the effort!
On the return, 6 of the group went up and over A Ghlas Bheinn and descended down another valley back to Morvich.
No rain.

Thomas G said...

Wednesday 30th
The Five Sisters of Kintail (or, more boringly, the western end of the North Glen Shiel ridge). Never mind the genderist name, a wonderful walk, a true classic: a steep 500+ height metres ascent from the valley bottom A road onto a saddle on a ridge, follow the ridge over various tops and three Munros, a steep short downhill scramble involved, fantastic far views, some rough paths, some vertiginous drops to the side, some stretches pathless on the descent. The whole exciting Scottish walk experience. And 1400m total ascent. All this in continuous sunshine and with no option for refilling water bottles until close to the end.
We had opted to drop just one car at the end of the walk and therefore depended on all the drivers to get off the hill and drive with that car back to the start to pick up all other cars.
19 walkers on this outing with a wide spread in experience (or lack thereof) of this level of exercise, in the temperatures. Consequently progress was slow, some walkers were short of water and or energy, and the fast walkers spent upwards of 3 hours in total waiting for the tail to catch up. Lessons will have to be learned. At least it was the perfect weather to have to wait around in... A booth selling bottles of beer at the end in Morvich proved a huge success with the waiting fast walkers.

10 others walked one of two walks from/near Glenelg, by the Skye Ferry, either a coastal variant, or a circular walk out past some brochs.

Sunny and hot, no rain.

Thomas G said...

Thursday 31st
Kylerhea Circular (drive to Glenelg, park cars, take ferry across to Kylerhea [Isle of Skye], walk, take ferry back).
19 on this walk despite warnings of a steep pathless ascent from sea level to 739m height on Sgurr Na Coinnich. The ferry ride proved to be a good idea, as it's the only turntable ferry left on the planet, and in a grand setting on the narrowest point between Skye and the mainland. It took three shuttles to get all of us across (cars have priority), but we all reunited halfway up the relentless ascent. Fantastic views were had from our first resting place, across the straight to Glenelg and to the Knoydart peninsula. The Corbett of Sgurr Na Coinnich then provided good views down the other side, of the Kyle of Lochalsh to Skye Bridge and of the Cuillin Ridge.
A descent through heather and bracken got us back to the road, and back to the ferry, where we just missed a sea eagle catching a fish, but saw plenty of seals (but no otters) taking advantage of the fast flowing tide (up to 10 knots apparently). 2 of the group chose a shorter route, omitting the Corbett, 2 others completed a fuller circuit via another top, Ben Aslak. 15 of the group then paid a visit to the Glenelg Inn.

3 others had a ramble near Glenelg ferry and village.
4 others drove to Skye for the day and had a walk to the Fairy Pools, where they were joined by the remaining 5 who had decamped to Skye for an overnight and were starting from the Sligachan Hotel.

Bright sunshine, and still no rain.

Thomas G said...

Friday, 1st
South Glen Shiel Ridge
A tough challenge, almost on a par with Wednesday's walk, and still with blazing sunshine, but today with added high humidity. 12 walkers for this, 6 each doing 'just' the 4 Munros, with 20 km distance and 1100m ascent, or adding another 3 Munros (and hours) to the experience. Lots of thick snow patches up on them hills still. Actually an easier walk than the Five Sisters, as the first hour is spent following the Cluanie Estate tarmac road and the route is always clear and the path mostly good. And there is only light scrambling involved. But it's an hour on tarmac and for the last hour you're in earshot or even along the A road. Not as fantastic as The Five Sisters then... The 6 short walkers were back at the start near the Cluanie Inn at 18.30, and popped in for a refreshing drink.

10 others on a Dornie Circular via Eas Ban waterfall and Carr Brae viewpoint. Lots of very positive comments on this walk from the punters.
2 others doing local sightseeing.
5 others still on Skye and doing a circular walk to the base of the Inaccessible Pinnacle.

Still no rain, despite ominous forecasts of thunderstorms and localised heavy rain.

Thomas G said...

Some of the Fairy Pools walkers as well as today's Elgol walkers did go swimming so this is officially now a Swimming Walks holiday. Who would have thunk...
4 ticks have so far been removed from walker's skins by the SWC Medical Team.
Parts of the resident herd of feral goats in Glen Shiel were also in evidence idling on a large snow patch on the ridge.

Thomas G said...

Saturday, 2nd
17 walkers on the Isle of Skye on an Elgol Circular walk, mainly along the coast with some swimming opportunities. 12 are reported to have swum. This included most of the 7 Munros on the South Glen Shiel ridge heroes: broken by the mountain...
5 walking the Dornie Circular walked by others a few days back.
2 sightseeing and otter-spotting in Kylerhea.
2 dropped off in Plockton by the otter-spotters to do a circular walk via Plockton Crags.
2 challengers taking on Am Bastain on Skye.
2 doing an attempt at a Killilan Circular via Sguman Coinntich (a Corbett). They got separated near the first top, the forecast thundery dark clouds were rolling in so they decided to descend to the valley, along separate routes. Went shopping for more food and bubbly.

Thomas G said...

Sunday, 3rd
9 on the Forcan Ridge and onto The Saddle (a Munro). Third of the classic Glen Shiel walks, with one of the best long scrambles in Britain. All did the scrambling, a few incl. all but one of the harder sections. 2 added Sgur Na Sgine to the round, another Munro, the other 7 descended down the Coire Mhalagan, as the main object had been achieved and a group dinner at The Glenelg Inn was looming.
7 walked Plockton Heights/Crags.
5 the Dornie Circular.
5 went to Skye, 2 up and down Glen Sligachan, 3 up the Old Man of Storr.
4 did I don't know what.

11 at the group dinner, many more at drinks and entertainment afterwards at one of the houses.

Thomas G said...

Monday, 4th
Departure. High marks from all for the Dornie week. Accommodation, weather, landscape were perfect. Walk variety probably not, as there are few middling walks doable in the area, and as we were short of leaders (the SWC does not have leaders - the editor) for middling walks.

More midges than in previous years as we have been later this year than usual. Plenty more horseflies (just as annoying). So many cuckoo's that one got blasé about them. Wild hill ponies. Etc pp.

Slight deductions from me off a 10/10 score for excess heat and humidity...

Scotland: missing you already!

Over and out.

Frances said...

Just to add, five who hadn't done the South Glen Shiel Ridge on Friday attempted it on Sunday. Very relaxed ascent to first Munro, more tricky approach to the second one so decided to turn back at that point and leave it for another day.

Andrew said...