13-15 October 2017
October meet saw 18 of us head up to the caving hut in Elphin. On Saturday 6 different groups headed out, 4 heading to the hills, one under the hills and one climbing some sea cliffs. Sunday saw fewer different groups but did manage to add kayaking to list of different activities seen on the meet.
View from Paul
Walked up Canisp, blowy on top, lunch.
Bone caves walk, met cavers, posed for DMC sculpture.
Back for dinner, fire on, cosy
Charades, laughs and wine, fully belly
Earplugs, snoring sleepless
Caving in ‘Anus’, worm route, tight squeeze
Undergound rivers, steamy photos, wet feet
Change, lunch, clean hut and home.
Sleep – shortly (perhaps)
View from Bruce S
My first DMC meet..drove up with Greg,Simon & Janet..
Suzanne, Simon & I headed over to Reiff for a wee spot of
cragging..waves were amazing coming over the cliffs frequently as we
I led up the pinnacle (Moonjelly) which was very, very wet and extremely slippy..got up by a circuitous variation..
Simon and Suzanne followed NTAB…
Simon led another route on pinnacle then we escaped the very high waves by a nice Severe route out the main cliff..
Over to Orange Wall which was fairly sheltered and we did 3 or 4 more routes up to Hard Severe before rain stopped play..
Sunday I came down road with Andy and had a nice walk around Loch morlich…
View from Andrew H Conival & Ben More Assynt on Saturday:
Katrina and newcomer
Andrew H came with Conival and Ben More Assynt in their sights and
undeterred by the forecast of strong wind and showers headed out from
Inchnadamph at 9am on Saturday. On the walk in up Gleann Dubh the cloud
lifted from the summits and the pair summited Conival to fine views and
increasing winds. During the rocky traverse to Ben More Assynt the
weather delivered the promised rain and wind, the latter necessitating a
crab like walking style to negotiate. Having been buffeted about they
decided against traversing the ridge to the south top and returned via
the ridge to Conival. A grand day out.
View from underground
It was only fitting that a weekend staying in a caving hut in Scotland’s
best caving area would involve some caving. A great turnout of keen and
enthusiastic, if a little apprehensive, mountaineers wanting to explore
the underworld allowed trips in Rana Hole on Saturday and ANUSCave on
Sunday. A leisurely pace allowed time to explore everything from nooks
and crannies to gargantuan caverns, seeing all the unique features such
as blow-dried mud formations, stalactites and calcite. Underground
rivers, chambers, ladder climbs, traverses, worm-ways, in fact a taste
of everything that caving has to offer. We were even lucky enough to get
part 2 of the geology talk from Amy with a hands-on session in the dry
stream bed. It’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed it, conquering fears
known and unknown, performing acrobatics they didn’t know were possible,
and returning with wet wellies and muddy faces. The best bit – there’s
no wind and rain underground 🙂
View from Elsa
While traveling with Pete M and Paulina to Elphin, we stopped at Ullapool “Arch Inn” for lovely Friday dinner, recommended. Not a bad start for hillwalking weekend away 😉
Saturday`s journey took us (Pete M, Paulina, Andy M and myself) up to the Quinag. Beautiful but extremely windy and popular walk that day had to hold tight to our walking sticks to stay grounded and not to “fly” away! A place to return back as only managed to explore one summit. To make up for it we treated ourselves at Lochinver Larder with the most pricey lunch pie seen. Warmed up we headed to explore Elphin beaches, very beautiful place. Noticed two girls swimming in freezing cold water, seeing that after cosy pie shop got us some chills, thumbs up for girls courage though.
Little I knew that on Sunday 15th of October I would discover “cave explorer” spirit within me… It was 8 of us, after an hour long walk of anticipation, heading down to the cave. For many us it was the first time caving.
It`s another world down there – exciting, challenging, unknown… I felt like being in the middle of the Earth, powerful underground waterfalls were my personal treasure. Although we ended up being soaking wet and muddy, it was all worth the journey. And our caving costumes were hilarious, remind me of “Ghost busters” (see photos attached). Many thanks to Andrew B – for guiding us, Simon Li – helping navigate tricky climbing parts, Amy – having a talk about stones in their natural habitat and Bruce C for saving us from wind & rain.
At the hut we had delicious dinner with plenty of cake & custard, custard which also became Sunday breakfast for some. The hut had in store cool caving calendars, educational information, photos, and maps about caves. Outside in the darkness listening to stags roaring loudly so close by was another experience to tick. Haven’t met any Elfs during Elphin meet though … there is always another time to return, perhaps they were just hiding ☺
The rest of people’s photos from the meet can be viewed here