Leaving the West Coast is never easy, especially after that special weekend.

We had a low-key night in Ullapool after our great day on the hill it had been a busy few days and I was in bed by 2130 and awake by 0530.  There was no walking down the harbour after the meal we were to tired and I left Yvette to catch up with Dave and the kids and I went straight to bed.

Moon out in Ullapool

Moon out in Ullapool

I was still tired and had been up early and watched the early morning light down by the harbour. There was even a seal in the sea and with incredible panorama of the snow-capped hills and the Loch Broom and the sea it was an incredible sight in the changing light. How often have I been here and passed through this great place, even staying in Ullapool always chasing another hill or climb and missing the simple things. Now I have time its great to enjoy the simple things like the views and explore these places at a slower pace, old age has its benefits?   This morning the magic Ben More Coigach dominates the view and was covered in last nights fresh snow and with a bit of cloud looked like it rises straight from the sea it looked massive.

Early Morning light from Ullapool.

Early Morning light from Ullapool. Beinn Dearg looking great with the fresh snow

I had a wander before Yvette was ready and over to the Caravan /camping site near the sea, there were plenty of camper vans and a few hardy campers up already and it was bitter cold. I watched them shiver as the made brews but what a place to be?  I walked along the shore and was thinking what a spot to camp for the future as is Ardmair a few miles North and many others, we are spoiled for choice in the West.

2016 Ardmair beach April

2016 Ardmair beach April –  One bonny place.

It would be very hard leaving the West today,the weather was still wintry but we had a great journey through familiar hills after enjoyable breakfast in the Ceildh Place in Ullapool. We loved our journey stopping on the way, the usual places, last glimpses of An Teallach, that spiky ridge, the Fannichs and Beinn Dearg a huge snow dome summit shimmering in the sun. We stopped  for tea with pals Anne and Mark just appreciated the the great views as always ever changing, Ben Wyvis was so clear and the fresh snow made it look even more impressive. I loved the time with someone specail Yvette and me have rarely ever had time like this and I cannot thanks Dave, Geoff Renee and the girls for giving us the time together. We had a laugh as well, so many memories and such a wonderful weather. I needed this break and its been a hard few years and losing my Sister was an awful time and reminds me how special family time is. You should never put of time like this life is so short and can change so quickly.

2016 April Descent to Shenaval Yvette

I have so many memories of the weekend, the weather so changeable, the mountains were wonderful with the smattering of snow and Yvette laughing all the time. She had travelled light and had to wear some of my hill gear as she did many years ago as a wee lassie. She told me since she was very young none of my gear ever fitted her as she was a “Borrower Super Model” and I was a “Wee fat Borrower”  It is great to see that the family tradition will continue with Lexi and Ellie Skye when they come up into the mountains! My gear is ready for them.

I said goodbye to Yvette at the airport and she had a safe trip home.

On the way to Shenavall

On the way to Shenavall – Thanks Yvette xxxx

It was amazing but when we came off the hill my sister called an said that there was an article about the Mountain Bothies and an article that I had been quoted in – Have a look it made our day.

Herald Logp

Herald Logo

Basic but brilliant – Scotland’s bothy bounty – Colin Hutchison


The joy of the Mountains.

The joy of the Mountains and Wild places. You cannot beat it

The winter weather is still with us today even at Sea – level it was a bitter wind with heavy seas today. Be careful on the hills it still is winter and may remain for a while. There is fresh snow about and with the freezing temperatures, there will be hard snow about, so please enjoy be careful, but its still time for winter gear.

From the Police

“A climber who had to be rescued after getting lost in the Cuillins on Skye has been criticised by police.

Skye Mountain Rescue Team and the Stornoway Coastguard helicopter were called out on Sunday evening.

The helicopter crew picked up the man and airlifted him to safety.


Safety – Common Sense !

Lochaber and Skye Police tweeted: “Google maps on a phone with no charge, no map and a hopeful attitude are no mix for hills on Skye (or anywhere!) be prepared not rescued.”

Jonathan Mustard, from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, added: “Prepare and plan for your walks in the hills. Wear suitable clothing and footwear, ensure you carry suitable equipment like a map, GPS, a fully-charged mobile phone or a locator beacon and make sure you check the weather.

“If you do get into difficulties, call 999 and ask for help.”


About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Books, Enviroment, Friends, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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