For the last three days our Summer Mountain Leader candidates have been out on the expedition section of their assessment. With snow forecast down to 700m the decision was unanimous on Wednesday morning to head out west from Fort William, where the hills are lower and would be below the snow line, but about as rugged as you will find anywhere in Scotland.
We started just west of the end of Loch Eilt and went up into the hills on the north side of the road where the map is covered in wiggly little contour lines allowing endless possibilities for navigation. The early sunsets at this time of year meant we just kept walking into the night to eventually camp close to Meoble.
Day two got off to a fantastic start when a sea eagle flew low over our heads as we made our way along Druim a' Chuirn, and between the showers the views out west to the islands of Eigg, Rum and Skye were stunning. The terrain in this area is incredibly rough and it's just not possible to move at any great speed, so after camping at Kinlochbeoraid we just followed the very faint path along the side of Loch Beoraid to complete our loop.
All the candidates did incredibly well and after five challenging days of assessment we now have four more excellent Summer Mountain Leaders. Well done to them all!
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.