Pied and gone to heaven

Complex weather systems made this last week a difficult one in which to make any firm plans but there were sufficient windows to enjoy all that is best about the north-west.
A bright a breezy day heading out of Loch Laxford bound for Handa Island. Later, strong winds made for a lumpy crossing on our return from the north west corner of the island to the mouth of Loch Laxford which was followed by a brutal slog back to the river mouth. Handa has been on my to-do list for many years and it was gratifying to have rounded the island but it is one to return to in more gentle conditions.
Another bright morning gave way to a dull afternoon and some damp rock at Reiff, but the climbing on the cliffs here remains as good as it ever was. We completed half a dozen routes before the rain set in, all of which I had climbed in years past but rediscovering the lines on this superbly positioned crag was a real joy.
The best of the weather was found in Torridon. Above, enjoying the sandstone slabs with the long ridge of Liathach beyond. Our route, which took in the 7km descent of Coire Lair and the well known descent from Bealach na Lice to Annat, is a big day out by anyone's standards and offers some of the best mountain biking I have enjoyed yet.
But ultimately, this was always going to be a more relaxed trip, our attention drawn more than once, by a particular counter in Lochinver.
The headline, I have to admit, is not mine. Taken from a newspaper cutting framed in the shop however, it seemed more than apt for a superb week of biking, climbing and kayaking.
And pies.

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