Paddling Expedition Report

Paddling Expedition Report

Possible the finest paddling expedition in Scotland?  Loch Shionasaig, Veyatie and Fionn Loch with access to Scotlands most iconic hills Stac Polly, Suilven, Cul Mor and Canisp.

The course ran for 5 days with 8 clients and started with a portage of gear and boats into Boat Bay on the
North side of Shionasaig. Every wild camp in this trip is a winner and the first night on the banks of Boat Bay didn’t disappoint, fine little outcrops of Torridon sandstone made for the evenings entertainment with some nice “bouldering” and scrambling.  The Second day saw us packing gear into boats and setting off. A force 3 head wind made for a tricky start but the group handled the boats well as we passed through the inlet into Shionasiag.  Hugging the West shore gave protection from the wind and at around 1700 we arrived at our intended second camp on a beach surrounded by the amphitheater of Cul Mor and Cul Beag. Long hours of light meant that we grabbed a quick bite and set straight off for Stac Polly which we summited at around 1800.  Straight back down to the boats for an open fire and food.

The second day saw an early start and straight up for Cul Mor, as we neared the top we were treated to a sighting of a pair of Golden Eagles.  Back down to the boats and an intended wild camp on Eilean Mor (big island). In my opinion this is one of the best wild campsites you can find.  Setting camp on the north shores you have a panorama of Stac Polly, Cul Beag and Mor, Suilven and Canisp – having said this the midges made an appearance “en force” and after a spot of fishing we cleared of into our tents away from pesky critters.

The third day was the big one…..a lengthy portage of boats and gear in to a connecting loch between Shionasaig and Fionn Loch and then another portage into Fionn Loch itself, this is the reality of expedition paddling, there’s always hard graft to be done to gain the objective. The group performed superbly and without a winge carried boats and gear 2 Kilometers into Fionn. A short paddle down the loch and a 3rd outstanding wild camp, with some rainbow trout for dinner that was landed that evening.

The 4th day was spent paddling, fishing (brown trout this time) and lining our boats upstream and into Loch Veyatie. Our final nights camp was a corker, stories told around the camp fire, fishing and a good breeze kept the midge away.

The final day was a easy paddle to Elphin and a quick shuttle to pick the transport up. Its quite clear to everyone on the course and the instructors that Scotland is a match for Canada and Scandanavia when it comes to quality paddling expeditions, we love this country!


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