A Way of Life

"An adventure, in its true sense is something that comes to one; it is not an escape from anything...these adventures can never be one off events...they become a way of life...here is something we must always keep doing, never stop doing." (The Cuillin, Gordon Stainforth)

Roughly a decade ago, I walked into Loch Coruisk from Elgol, spending two nights alone amidst the wild drama of this most evocative of corries.
On my way out, having slithered down the bad step in torrential rain, I stood and watched two sea kayakers passing the obstacle, unconcerned. I knew then I think, that one day I would paddle into Loch na Cuilce and once again, climb the incomparable slabs of the Dubh Ridge.
The adventure starts, as for so many before, at Elgol.
A stony landing beneath Beinn Leacach.
Camas Fhionnairigh; the bay we would be forced to land in the next evening as strong winds hurled themselves out of the mountains
Strong sun and dramatic skies above Rum.
Limestone formations at Rubha na h-Airigh Baine; Pinnacle ridge in the far distance.
The skerries and seals of Loch na Cuilce.
One of three otters that repeatedly visited the beach above which we had camped close to Eilean Reamhar.

On the slabs after a dawn start...
...and a steeper little corner higher up...

...follwed by a perfect crack line.
...close to the summit.
A tiring descent saw us back at camp by mid afternoon; perfect timing for a quick crossing direct to Elgol. As we launched a strong wind warning came in over the VHF and by the time we had crossed the bay things we not looking good. Occasional gusts of F5 became frequent gusts of F7 and before things deteriorated further we pulled out at Camasunary. With Elgol clearly visible a short distance away, this was frustrating, but the right decision as the winds continued to strengthen until late that evening.
By sunset, it looked much better...
...and by morning, all was calm. Another dawn start and a gentle paddle to Elgol brought our small adventure to an end. Of course, I will go back, for this is something we must always keep doing, never stop doing.


Dr Blug said…
Great post Will!
Andy said…
Agreed, a great post Will. It is a way of life and what dreams are made of; memories that tug at our hearts and make us seek to permanantly make the move North...

I've sent you a PM on UKRGB regarding the photos we took earlier in the week.
Ian said…
Just stunning Will.

I've done just the trip you've shown to great effect, both on foot and by kayak and for me it's one of the great adventures available in the UK. Last time there we had friend's 40th at Coruisk Hut and I managed to paddle on Loch Corusik itself. So now I have to link the paddle from Elgol with and ascent of the Dubhs ridge - by paddling to it's base!