Hogmanay meet, Craignure, Isle of Mull (Dec 2018)

29 December 2018 – 2 January 2019

Last time i went walking here was back in 1991 – a school trip no less, which took in Ben More and Dun da Ghaoithe, the resident Munro and Corbett on the Island. I’ve since expanded my horizons to Grahams and the odd (some of them very odd) Marylin, Mull is chock full of these and has some impressively rough and rocky ground, almost obligatory sea-level starts and big drops between them… big little hills indeed.

Sun 30th was a bit dreich but Miguel and I took our chances on Creach Bheinn from KinlochSpelve, and succeeded without getting completely soaked and/or blown over. The complete lack of photos from this hill tells it’s own story. We had a wander afterwards along the beach at Loch Buie – really interesting Church / Chapel of St Kilda, and Moy Castle, sadly locked but undergoing restoration.

Mon 31st did not exactly dawn clear and dry, but buoyed by the success of the day before and making a judgement the forecast was only ‘slightly’ worse, Miguel and I decided to head for another Graham. In the end we only got to around 600m on Ben Buie before driving rain and nearly being flattened by the ferocious gusts of wind saw us retreat and take the scenic route to Balamory (Tobermory), to see what Miss Hoolie had been up to. OK so Andy did once teach on the Island but am reliably told it was at the high school and probably long before Balamory was created. The others had – perhaps more sensibly – wandered round to Rubh nan Gall lighthouse and taken up residence in the Tobermory Chocolate Cafe.

1st Jan – Today it did dawn (or probably did as i missed sunrise by some margin) clear, dry and bright, and so plans were put into action, Richard and Allan for the Corbett, Niall for a 217km tour of the island by bike (he left before sunrise..), Andy for a leisurely Graham, and Miguel, Simon and I for the same Graham but with ambitions of making it to Ben More. This we eventually did, via A Chioch, summitting at about 15:25, after lighting the afterburners from the col at 332m. Luckily Ben More has one of the quickest and easiest descents to the south, little over an hour to the road, and no headtorches needed!… Thank the 10 mins later sunset compared to Dundee and a bit of west-coast ‘gloamin.’ About 1500m of ascent overall and only 5 hrs on the hill.. Quote of the day – “all the Munro’s I’ve done this year have been in great conditions…!”

Wed 2nd – sneaked a further quick Graham – Beinn Talaidh well under 2hrs up and down, whilst Simon and Miguel managed some climbing (!) at a nearby sport crag on the coast. This despite the morning frost which had left the beach at Loch Spelve draped in a carpet of ice.

So Mull comes highly recommended, still got a few little hills to do…