The Footprints Summer holiday this year was based in the Victorian spa village of Strathpeffer near Inverness. For once Jackie and Andy didn’t have the longest journey!
With clear blue skies from dawn to dusk, A party’s introduction to the area began from Black Bridge with a 5-mile walk-in along a farm track. Envious eyes were cast upon a couple who cycled in. For the A+ group a steep ascent to summits Beinn a Chaisteil and Meall a Ghrianain was followed by an even steeper descent across pathless terrain, then 3 miles of track walking back to the car park. The A- group continued further along the track then retraced their steps.
The B party walked along the Cat’s Back Ridge to the South of Strathpeffer including Cnoc Mor and Knock Farrill, then back to the hotel.
After partially repeating yesterday’s B party walk along the Cat’s Back ridge, the A party walked to Rogie Falls via a complicated network of forestry tracks, then back to the hotel.
Unusually the B party had the greater ascent for the day as they climbed Little Wyvis via a well-graded path.
A party drove up Strathconon valley then climbed Bac an Eich, 849m.
B party drove to the village of Cromarty and took the ferry for a rather rough crossing of the estuary, then climbed Hill of Nigg for Geoff’s 417th Marilyn. Retracing their route (thanks to the ferryman for waiting for the stragglers!) they stopped for tea and cake in Cromarty before heading back.
Our traditional ‘do your own thing’ day. One group took the bus to Inverness for a look around followed by a dolphin-sighting boat trip (no dolphins were sighted). Another group took a scenic train journey to Kyle of Lochalsh for a fish & chip lunch, finding that the weather was definitely better on the East side of the country than the West.
In the evening Geoff presented a “loser’s quiz”; the arcane rules of which left everyone feeling cheated!
The plan for A party was to climb Ben Wyvis, however low cloud and light rain forced a change. Instead they drove to Strathconon and headed up Meallan Nan Uan, a trackless steep and boggy route in intermittent light rain. The group split into two, with the A+ continuing over the first summit then down to a col with good views North before continuing on to Sgurr a’ Mhuilinn. A steep trackless and boggy descent followed, before meeting up with the A- party who had descended directly from the first summit. A continuation of the (steep boggy trackless) route led back to the cars.
The B party were led by Geoff on another Marilyn-hunting expedition, this time to Cnoc Ceislain and Cnoc Fyrish.
Deja Vue day. A party climbed Little Wyvis, adding on a short extension to the route taken by B party on Tuesday, while it was B party’s turn at Rogie Falls.
The evening entertainment was organised by Debbie and involved lots of small pieces of paper…
Unusually, for a number of our members the fun didn’t end on the last day of the holiday. Destinations for further adventures included John O’Groats, Bute, Harris & Lewis, Fort William, Stirling, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Lossimouth.
Many thanks to Peter for organising the holiday, and to Peter, Geoff, William, Ian and Greg for devising and leading the walks.
Maps of the walks