A good turnout of nine for a weekend at the Kinlochewe Hotel to celebrate David’s 70th birthday the previous month. Jim Tollervey was the only southern member to venture north of the border on this occasion and, unusually, Harry was absent on other business.

Saturday was mostly overcast on the hill tops but provided generally favourable walking weather with only the odd shower of rain or sleet. Took the cars to the regular parking spot a few miles along the A896 and commenced climbing up through Coire Dubh Mor on well constructed track; then up through Coire Mhic Fhearchair which some say is the most impressive corrie in Scotland with its cathedral-like atmosphere. Main ascent up Ruadh stac Mor (Beinn Eighe’s highest summit at 1010m) was a bit of a steep scramble over large, loose (“belowww”) scree derived from the Old Red Sandstones and Quartzites. However we were rewarded, when the mists cleared, with superb views back down the corries from between the buttresses.

After lunch (which allowed us all to admire Ian’s new banana box) we set off along the main ridge picking up the second of the two Munros, Spidean Coire nan Clach (993m). After some uncharacteristic navigational hesitation by our leader we continued along the ridge, dropping and climbing again to reach Sgurr Bann which some think should be classed a Munro in its own right.

A fairly arduous initial descent over the scree slopes and a long walk out (for most of us) to Kinlochewe resulted in a nine-hour day on the hill – not bad for a septuagenarian and a Norwegian whose trousers wouldn’t stay up!

Next day was brighter and a little less adventurous as we set off to conquer the Corbett, Meall a‘Ghiubias (878m). We numbered only eight since one of our party (no names, no pack drill) decided he had other things to attend to that day although the suspicion was voiced that a Corbett wasn’t enough of a challenge to the individual. Starting from the tourist car park on the western banks of Loch Maree (which takes its name from a visiting Irish monk) this is a wonderful walk up through one of the best remnants of the old Scots Pine forests. From the top, the views of Slioch to the north and Beinn Eighe to the south west are nothing short of spectacular.

All in all a great weekend although the Kinlochewe Hotel was (for me) a disappointing two-star (with some weird customers – us excepted). And congratulations again to David who did it all without helicopter assistance.