Isle of Eigg 2nd-5th June 2002

A trip to the Isle of Eigg with Ian, Anne and Jim

Ian wanted to celebrate his birthday doing something special in Scotland but couldn't afford the time off to go far North with the others. Instead, together with Anne and Jim he spent the day on the Isle of Eigg. Check out their very own website.

 

Sunday, 2nd June 2002

tny_1552.jpg (5636 bytes) On Saturday, Anne and Jim had a prior dance booking at the Mobberley Rose Queen so it was on Sunday that we met up with Ian at the Clachaig Inn for lunch. Ian had had a good morning in Glen Nevis so he suggested going to the CIC hut. If the weather was good then we could try a dash for the summit of Ben Nevis but, as you can see, it wasn't - so we didn't. We had parked near the Visitor Centre in Glen Nevis and I managed to jog nearly all the way down the trade route from the col. There were plenty very tired looking people mostly in trainers and pacamacs and other totally unsuitable attire. After refuelling at Safeway's in Fort William we drove out to a campsite near Arisaig. It was quite primitive - no showers - but only 5 for both tents for the night.
 

Monday, 3rd June 2002

tny_1554.jpg (8495 bytes) Next morning - Ian's birthday - we got to Mallaig only just in time for the ferry out to Eigg (pronounced 'ayg' as in hay). This is how our packs got on - note the radio-controlled winch and the Slingsby's hand truck.
tny_1567.jpg (5049 bytes) Once on the island the weather cleared up and, after arranging out campsite, we set off around the left of An Sgurr. On the boat home we met the couple who had just bought this house and had repainted the roof - a mixture of primer and Ford, Fireburst red apparently!
tny_1570.jpg (5574 bytes) We walked along the track below the south face of the Sgurr which is an impressive piece of rock. It is described variously as basalt and pitchstone lava. Anyway, it feels like pumice and looks great for climbing. We later saw some guys with climbing gear and they said it was in the Skye and Hebrides guides.

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tny_1577.jpg (5630 bytes) We then climbed up onto the ridge itself. On the way up we saw an unidentified raptor - probably just a buzzard but it looked impressive soaring up and down the cliff. Then we headed back to the eastern end and the main summit.
tny_1580.jpg (4724 bytes) And here's one for Delia - how to scramble on Eigg!

Somewhere along the ridge I attempted to photograph the stunning 360° panorama. At the left is the main summit with the mainland in the background. To the right (under the sun) is the island of Muck whilst the lumpy one to the right of that is Rum. In the distance, above Anne and Ian's heads, is the Cuillin Ridge of Skye.

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tny_1600.jpg (6213 bytes) After reaching the trig point we headed West again, along the lochen, to the second summit - Beinn Tighe.
tny_1601.jpg (4775 bytes) Then North towards our intended campsite - one of the crofts in the only decent bit of land.
tny_1603.jpg (6863 bytes) Arty shot of the island of Rum from the Singing Sands of Eigg.
 

Tuesday, 4th June 2002

tny_1604.jpg (5051 bytes) In the evening the weather turned wet again and in the night it poured and the wind got up so much that two of our pegs pulled out. This was taken the morning after. Note the now rather asymmetric curve to one of our poles.
tny_1609.jpg (3954 bytes) After a losing a footpath we ended up back on the main (only!) road back to the port. On the way we found a good shop museum and this kid's playground.
tny_1611.jpg (8125 bytes) Ah!
tny_1625.jpg (6285 bytes) The Loch Nevis is too large to reach the small jetty on the island so everything has to be brought in or out on this small boat. Stepping from one to the other was exciting enough on this dead calm sea. Goodness knows what it's like in a good blow.
tny_1632.jpg (7606 bytes) At least we didn't go to Muck where you have to use this tiny thing.
tny_1641.jpg (4494 bytes) Goodbye Sgurr.
tny_1644.jpg (5292 bytes) On Tuesday evening Ian drove back to Sowerby Bridge so he could make work the next morning. Anne and I took an extra day and stopped off at another site near Arisaig. We tried to walk into the main village on a footpath but it quickly disappeared into deep undergrowth and we ended up on the beach. We eventually gave up when we needed a boat or a machete to go any further. Back at the campsite we had tea and then wandered back onto the beach. The weather hadn't improved much - the comet is, in fact, a rain drop caught by the flash.
 

Wednesday, 5th June 2002

tny_1648.jpg (4930 bytes) By Wednesday morning it had cleared up again but we had to go home. One last view of the sand, the sea and Skye.

On the way home we stopped at Happendon services on the M74 (access via B7078). In the foyer there is an outdoor clothing outlet shop with some good bargains - well worth a stop the next time you're passing.