Tongue – the far north (Jun 2022)

Friday 24 – Sunday 26 June 2022

A long and winding road…. – true but not a single car in the 37 miles between Lairg and Tongue. No Midges either on arrival Fri eve, at the new campsite (great facilities!) and with a promising forecast.

Ben Loyal was the main target for Sat, and is often talked about as the ‘Queen’ of Scottish mountains – in fact it is a stupendous miniature massif with a bit of Arran-like monolithic granite crags, high Cairngorm plateau, some sharp ridges and deep corries, that belie the fact it is only just a Corbett – and with stunning 360deg views. Simon and Maddy braved the cycle to Cape Wrath and back and Ben Klibreck had already been ticked off by a few folk who took the Friday off.

With near endless daylight the only question was what next?? A swim in the sea (for some anyway), some delicious al fresco hor d’oeuvres, Greg’s veggie Chilli (warning: contains meat), and mixed (home grown) fruit crumble (warning: contains Ratagan Plum Vodka!) and then Iain and Konrad heading off at 9pm for a nighttime ascent of Cranstackie and Beinn Spionnaidh. This was amazing with colour in the sky right through the night and headtorches not needed. Just as well as I only realised back at the car that I had taken the wrong map (!).

Sunday dawned too early and after about 5 hrs sleep, time to get going and head for Ben Hope. Ferocious winds in the glen and up high countered by strong sun, so the ordinary route was the only option. Back in 1996 on my first visit i had to back off the North Ridge ‘bad step’ due to wind as well, so it will be 3rd time lucky, hopefully not in another 26 years – this really is a very special part of the world, big skies, big mountains, endless space and very few midges 🙂

  • Report by Iain