Our trip to Assynt was a fantastic experience. The ‘fab four’ of Sinclair, Kirsti, Alison & I made the journey north to reunite with Dave at the GSG’s hut at Elphin. A late start on Saturday didn’t prevent us from exploring virtually all of Uamh nam Claonite that is possible without diving gear. This consists of a marvellous streamway, with very different features from the usual Dales caves, and some impressive dry passages and chambers.
On Sunday we decided the weather was too good to spend it all underground, so Sinclair devised a plan that would take in 2 Munros before we went caving. Having dumped our caving kit in the entrance, we had a superb walk up onto Conival and Ben More Assynt, with tremendous views over Inverpolly and Loch Assynt. We reached the cave as the daylight was fading and were amazed by the Waterslide, a wide 30 degree angled cascade of water, formed on a thrust plane, which is open to daylight at the top and ends at a sump 100m below. We also explored most of the upper part of the cave.
Sinclair having left on Sunday evening, Dave dropped us off at Knockan Cliff on Monday as he headed back to Skye. We walked up the trail to the top and then meandered down the Knockan basin identifying (and mis-identifying) caves and potential digs, then back to the hut. On Tuesday we visited Allt nam Uamh Stream Cave (ANUS). This provided plenty of mainly dry caving as we worked our way through the various routes. Assynt provides caving with a difference in one of the most wonderful areas of Britain. Thanks Dave for your excellent guidance and advice.