A good day on the Loch Tollaidh crags and some running in the Fisherfield forest to get fit for the Highlander.

Tom on the ultimate E2 5b, 'Buena Vista' at Loch Tollaidh (Pic - A. Appleby)

Me happy to be on the jugs on 'Lifeline' E3 5c, Loch Tollaidh. Quality route but take a few #1 wires (Pic - T. Shaw)

The annual Cooper Memorial Race around Loch Muick. A stunning day, good craic and funds raised for the mountain rescue teams. I managed to squeeze in at first place after Steve but only beat my previous best by a few seconds!! I blame the heat.  

The day after, mid way up 'Blind Faith' (e35c) my calf totally cramped and my leg turned to jelly as i tried to stand on it and i almost fell off. Then my runner popped out as i nudged it. Fortunately for me alli didnt tell me as my forearms were burning and felt like lead. Fortunately I grunted my way to the top without taking a big lob.

The Highlander Mountain Marathon the following weekend was really rough, with endless countouring over chicken heads (rob calls them babies heads and there are other names..) and around 4200m vert. Alot of Type II fun! They have certainly been learning curves for me. We are both still psyched though..! (Pic - not sure)

The Secret Location Lairig Annual Dinner went to Kinlochbervie this year. Sheigra and Sandwood Bay were the choice venues (nobody went up Foinaven because it chucked it down on sunday and we slept until 11..). It was ace and we all got very merry on the saturday, culminating in the essential minibus party and some lairy antics.

Annual Dinner minibus fun crew

A duck house with a conservatory?!

Close enough.. Sandwood bay.

Young Rhino Dragon

The boys on 'Marram', Sandwood Bay. Average climbing in a stunning place. Callum looks like something's just flown up his butt.

Rhino Dragon VS Bland (both unaware of the bonxies' brooding malevolence)

Am Buichaille stands proud of wave washed platforms on the south end of the bay. An ascent involves a 4 hr tidal window, obligatory swim., chossy rock and shit gear. It was first climbed by Lairig legend 'Dr Stack' Tom Patey, Ian Clough and John Cleare who used a ladder rather than swimming and were almost cut off by the incoming tide! FA of the Atlantic Wall by Richardson and Clothier involved a bivvy on the summit after mis-timing the tides! 

As the picture suggests, we all leapt in simultaneously, frolicking in the balmy water for a few minutes before casually gaining the other side. Either that or we squeeled like little piglets. (Pic - L. Batts)

Lairig sea stack destroyers. 

Fortunately we managed to avoid benightment. It was a bit drizzly and stressful at times but mostly an amusing adventure.  Among the kelp fronds and the sandstone 'soup plates' we all probably discovered something meaningful about ourselves. However what stands out most is Callums penchant for dislodging rocks.

The North. Not always sunny!

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