Kinloch Bunkhouse, Isle of Rùm (Jun 2018)

6 – 9 June 2018

Landing at the end of a two week holiday with temperatures rarely dipping below 20C the Rum meet saw me not quite manage what I’d hoped to; ok not manage what I had hoped to at all.

Meeting Simon in Galmisdale, Eigg on the Tuesday I received reports of there having been rain; something I hadn’t seen in a few weeks at this point, a passing shower had disturbed his bivvy on the dramatic An Sgurr summit of the island, while I slept soundly in the awesome bunkhouse; we met up with others as they arrived in Mallaig that evening before getting up at a sensible time for the 1015 sailing to Rum.

Others arrived at the pier in good time as a huge queue of people had us worried that Jim wouldn’t get on board as he hadn’t yet appeared.

With seconds to spare [Jim protests: around 300 to spare] Jim was seen running along Mallaig’s steamer pier with a crate of beer, nothing quite like risking missing the boat for the essentials!

With 10 minutes to timetabled departure and check in closed, the ramp of MV Loch Nevis lifted from the linkspan and we were on our way to Rum.

A gentle sailing took us directly to Loch Scresort where a midge infested walk through the trees took us to the bunkhouse; well most of us walked, while the food and chefs made use of the Stretched Golf Cart taxi. Sitting down to relax in the sun a fairly competitive game of Pentaque kicked off between Katrina and Jim before a group of us went to take in the tour of Kinloch castle.

If you are on Rum do the castle tour before SNH hand it over to the “Friends” group, there will never be another tour guide quite like Ross fae Cumbernauld who told us about the house, the Bulloughs and their reported antics in his unique style.

After the best Curry ever served on a DMC meet I shot off to visit Harris and Kilmory by bike in the late evening as I hoped to get a decent hike in the following morning; on returning from the cycle about 11pm I was informed I had missed the party as someone preparing breakfast for an early start on the ride had set the fire alarm off getting everyone else out of bed in the process as he and Jed (the hostel manager) hurriedly read the manual for the fire alarm.

Last to bed not long after Jim I struggled to wake early as Allan’s alarm went off and realized summiting the island or doing the ridge with the others wasn’t going to happen, so I went back to sleep. Waking much later it was scorching so I set off for Coire Dubh for lunch with a view and to see if there was any chance of making it up Askival; after all but finishing my water on the way there I realized there was no chance I was going further and retreated to the bunkhouse.

Others started to arrive and Katrina started sending updates on their location when she had a signal; at this point I decided i needed a post tea lunch and headed up the path towards Dibidil to meet them.

Another 11pm finish!

The following day everyone else had tentative ideas of doing something easy, so I set off on my own for the summit of Mullach Mor, although I intended going via Rubh na Roinne then take the nose up to Meal a’ Goireteam I discovered the path didn’t continue along the shore so changed plan and took route one straight up, discovering in the process what must have been the only knee deep patch of bog left on the island!

Bone dry blanket bog further up made what should have been a horrible wet hike a nice springy bounce along between the lochs; with no sign of a boat house to investigate at “Boathouse Loch” next to the summit I descended down to the boggy and little used path that runs through Kinloch Glen and returned to the Bunkhouse

Activity of other members was higher than expected with a surprisingly energetic group walking to Harris and then over Orval while others Climbed on rocks around Kilmory.

A fantastic chilli sorted out the rumbling stomachs and we discussed plans for the following day, with two boats off the islands on a Saturday some chose to take the tour of the small isles in the morning to see Eigg, Canna and Muck from the ferry, while Simon, Jeannie, Chimed and I eventually chose to stop off at Canna and Sanday, the others set off with some of Iain’s climbing mates who were met by chance on the ferry while I set off to visit as much of Canna and Sanday as I could before heading for the Canna summit of Carn A Ghaill.

The Saturday turned out to be Columba’s day, and Canna was apparently Columba’s summer island, so the island and ferry was rather busy! Certainly the number of visitors far exceeded the normal population of 20!

We eventually regrouped at Café Canna for cake and drinks and a few drops of rain fell, before long we were setting sail for Mallaig and settling down with Calmac Burger and Chips as Lochnevis cut her way through the calm seas.

  • Niall

A lyrical report

In a moment of (inspiration?) i was going to re-write the lyrics to ‘We didn’t start the fire’ by Billy Joel (those on the trip or having read the meets book will appreciate), however i thought I might try some Haiku instead of a long report, so here goes:-

Rough diamond, smooth seas

Scrambling exertions, Sun, Skye!

Fresh? fish ‘n’ good craic

OK, having set myself up, here goes, edits appreciated..

Iain G, Jim D, Suzanne B and Toni G,

Andrew H, Katrina P, Neil Wallace

Greg Cox and Alex, Chimed J and Nathan L

Simon, Jeannie, Alan too, no Pete!

Ridge walk, midge fest, sea-stack climbing always best

biked tracks, swam seas, drunk the island dry…!

We didn’t start the fire

it was only smoking

but you thought “you’re joking”

we didn’t start the fire

but don’t cook for morning

when folk are snoring..

  • Anon

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