We had an excellent turn out for the first club trip of 2020 to Muir Cottage near Inverey, Braemar, with a fine weather forecast for the weekend. Muir Cottage, owned by The Cairngorm Club, is a superb hut with 18 beds (plus a few extra for Cairngorm Club members), an ample common room and kitchen, drying room and washroom facilities.
On Saturday morning a group of six set off early for a cycle 8km south along Glen Ey as far as Altanour Lodge with the objective of climbing Beinn Iutharn Mhor. The track had a dusting of snow and icy puddles to negotiate but the group made steady progress along the glen before ditching the bikes for later.
|Having a pit stop before the steep climb up Beinn Iutharn Mhor|
Heading up the steep Eastern slopes of Beinn Iutharn Mhor
|Hazel & John on the summit approach|
Some firm neve and ice patches made for slower progress, but the group gradually reached the summit plateau. Winds reached 25-35mph bringing temperatures of around -12°C with wind chill making the extra layers necessary.
|Helene & Helen smiling on their way up the steep section|
|Summit success for the team (L to R Peter, John, Helen, Ann & Helene)|
|Time for a selfie (L to R Peter, Hazel, Helen, John, Ann & Helene)|
Keen to make good time back to the cottage the team retraced steps back to the bikes, being careful to negotiate some of the trickier patches, and made their way back to the Muir, somewhat slowed on the bikes by the headwind (and not as hoped by gravity).
|Back at the bikes|
Meanwhile Roddy set off for Glen Callater to tackle a 795m summit North of Creag Phadruig. He cycled in a short distance along Callater Burn before heading off on foot to the summit. His solitude meant he could practice the lines for his recital (more on that later). Simon climbed Sgor Mor from the Linn of Dee and Donald cycled en route at Ballater.
Judith, Mark and Rae climbed Morrone from the track by the Corriemulzie Burn and onto the cold and windy tops. Due to the windy and cold weather no photos were taken but, by all accounts, the group had an enjoyable day. They then spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying cake and coffee at The Bothy in Braemar ahead of our tour of the Braemar Mountain Rescue Centre.
Later that afternoon we all regrouped in Braemar to have a tour of the Braemar Mountain Rescue Centre, kindly arranged by Derek Edge, one of our members who is also a BMRT member.
|What’s in your rucksack Derek? It’s mega heavy!|
|Mountain Rescue is no laughing matter, but we thoroughly enjoyed our tour, a real eye-opener to the challenges the team face|
We were able to visit the team store room and feel for ourselves the weight of the technical rescue kit that the team must carry on top of their own personal rucksacks. It’s clear to see the iron strength and fitness the team need to provide the excellent service we hope to never need ourselves.
|Derek showing us one of the BMRT Landrover Defenders|
That evening we were treated to a Burns Supper feast (thanks to the chefs), the highlight of which was Roddy’s address to the haggis and later recital of Tam O’ Shanter. Fine food, wine, whisky and good company all made for a fantastic evening.
|Roddy’s address to the haggis|
|‘And in an instant all was dark’ (Tam O’ Shanter, Robert Burns). Roddy reciting the poem with drama the point where the lights go out, the music and dancing stops and Tam flees.|
The following morning a group set off for a clockwise loop of Beinn a’ Bhuird before dawn to make the most of the short daylight hours. The team were a bit shocked by the new track up Glen Quioch which is wide and steep in places and far from the river, but they had an excellent day with very clear skies.
|Simon, Ed & Scuz heading up the track|
|Simon, Scuz & Ed on the snowy slopes|
Leaving the hut at a more sociable hour, another team set off for a climb up Carn Liath from Inverey, enjoying lighter winds and warmer temperatures than the previous day.
|The landrover track had filled in with snow and ice|
|At the summit of Carn Liath (L to R, Jane, Peter, Helen, Hazel, Bob & Roddy)|
|Heading down towards the river Dee|
Excellent views were had North over the Cairngorms, across to Braeriach and Ben Macdui, over to Ben Avon and beyond.
|A sheltered picnic spot|
Donald, Ann & John opted for a cycle to Linn of Quoich and Keiloch with a stop at The Bothy on their return to the Muir before heading back to Aberdeen.
Another fantastic weekend with the Aberdeen Mountaineering Club and a great start to the 2020 club programme.