Thursday, December 1, 2016

Weekend Walk 27th November.
Why's all the snow gone?! A jolly bunch from the AMC (Holly, Mark, Judith, Juliet, Stu, Morna, Jill, Greg, Jess and Melba) ventured out with crampons and ice axes to do An Socach in Glen Shee. There had been snow and ice the week before, but due to warm weather it had mostly gone, much to our dismay. It was pretty chilly and large patches of ice needed to be avoided on the way up. There were still a few patches of snow to test out new winter boots in though, and the extra weight to carry helped us earn our coffee and cake at the end!

My two favorite walking companions were however undeterred and managed to chase many small edible animals across the grass. It turned out to be a lovely day, with plenty of time for coffee and cake afterwards in the Bothy in Braemar. Someone also purchased a new axe from the shop!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Goat's Last Munro (round 2): West Quioch

The weather in the East (Raeburn Hut meet) looked a bit dreich as we (The Goat & Scuz) climbed the zig-zag stalkers path up the East ridge.
The subsequent ridge walk gave great views to the South and West.

By early afternoon, we were on the summit. We lingered an hour or so, wrapped up in out duvet jackets, admiring the view while the Goat celebrated his second round of Munros with a beer from his tankard and a chocolate bun... although we could neither name the hill we were on nor its height!! (It turned out to be Sgurr a Mhaoraich at 1027m).

We had a leisurely descent to a high camp overlooking Loch Hourn.
Sunday was morning glory, staying high to Buidhe Bheinn further West.


Someone was pleased to bag another Corbett.
More great views over Knoydart:
The Autumn colours were stunning as we walked back to the car through the valley.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Meters Climbed Award

The summer season has finished and with it the Meters Climber Award. 
It is a competition among the AMC climbers to record all the meters climbed in the summer outdoors, sport or trad, worldwide, leading but also top rope. 

Here the scores:

1st Bob 2088m
2nd Razzak 1538m
3rd Evan 538m
Then all the others.

I am glad to mention two walkers for climbing just less than Evan's meters. Well done Scuz and Ed!

A special pat on the shoulder for Razzak since his score are the lead climbing meters only: he forgot to record the top rope ones. Finally, he has the greatest number of meters of lead climbing recorded in the summer season in the club.

For the next session, if you have any doubt about the metres you climb in one route or one pitch, just borrow Bob's prize: the 100m measuring tape is thought exactly for this!!

Congratulations to the winners!

Keep climbing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Linda's Last Munro

Linda Smith, Aunty,  Ultra Runner extraordinaire and now TV star, finished her round of Munros last weekend.  Only Linda can know which one was her last, but we celebrated on Stob Coire Sgreamhach in Glen Coe.   The previous day she had ascended Meall nan Eun (along with a few others, but that is runner's for you) from Glen Kinglass.

So the party from the Clashgour meet headed over to Glen Coe and had a pleasant walk up to the Lost Valley and then the more strenuous path to the bealach on the Bidean ridge above.  Here, Greg and Donald turned back, as they needed to get back to Aberdeen.  The cloud that was in the upper Lost Valley was absent from the southern side of the ridge and so there were great views down Glen Etive to the Loch and surrounding hills.
After the tough ascent to the bealach everyone was happy to stuff their faces!

5 of us completed the short ascent to the top of  Stob Coire Sgreamhach ( which Linda may or may not have been to before!)

Scuz read out a poem and we all sang the chorus, throats wetted with a bottle of fizz:

Ode to Aunty's Last Munro

In the beginning Aunty was in denial
She didn't start ticking her Munros for quite a while.
Eventually The Goat's definitive record was compiled
from Aunty's Munro book notes which was quite a trial.

Oh dippy Aunty, on her last Munro!
She had a list
And now it's ticked;
Just one descent to go!

We thought Aunty's Last Munro would never come.
She's had a clutch of Munros she hasn't done for years.
And then she got into her Ultra run
And her portfolio completion was much more fun.


Now the dippy brunette syndrome is worth some attention -
forgetting her running shoes gets an honourable mention; 
the wooden compass award to add to the collection
and getting Scuzzered by Scuz all part of the convention!


For Logical Munro Units Aunty had the wooden spoon:
She'd done all the Black Mount except Meall nan Eun,
all the great Grey Corries except little Stob Ban
and all of the Cullins except Am Bastair - Damn!

The Mighty Clashgour and Elephlump

Last Friday a select band of AMCers headed West and walked in to the Glasgow University MC hut at Clashgour, an isolated and bijou establishment, that meant the 5 who were staying in the hut had just enough room to spread out.  Luckily Denis and Greg elected to stay in their vehicles.  The 5 who stayed were joined in the night by an elephlump who disturbed the sleep of some.

Saturday saw an early arrival of Linda, who had been camping nearby, who was off to bag her penultimate (or last) Munro (depending on her memory).
The rest of us - Ed, Scuz, Mark, Judith, Donald, Greg and Denis headed up Glen Kinglass for an aimless wander as the cloud was low and the wind high.  Denis soon turned back for the pleasures of the Invereran Hotel.  The rest of us carried on west until the sight of the cloud free summit of Beinn Suidhe (676m) forced the mountaineering spirit in us to ascend via the tussocky Coire Fearna.  The 6 of us split into 3 pairs and headed down our separate ways depending on our desire for a cup of tea (or whisky) back at the hut.
Judith keeping up with the AMC elite

our target for the day - Beinn Suidhe

A smile on Ed's face as he nears the whisky
An afternoon of relaxing.

The evening was, as ever, convivial, with 8 of us squeezed in the hut for a 3 course meal and the obligatory bottle of Buckfast at the GUMC hut.
For the Sunday see the next post.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The way was long, the morning cold, the AMC walkers were feeling bold......

A group of intrepid AMCers gathered on Sunday for an ascent of Glen Shee's Creag Nan Gabhar.  A chilly start in the Achalleter Carpark (not helped by the late arrival of  the walk organiser....) led to a brisk start up the landy track leading towards Loch Callater Lodge.  A short distance in, the epic ascent of the day began, quickly gaining height and being rewarded with cracking views.
View down Glen Clunie towards Braemar

Continuing up, we paused for lunch on Sron nan Gabhar, lochnagar looking grand in the background.

Meanwhile, somewhere to the east, Scuz was enroute from Ballater to meet us back at the Achallater via as many hills as possible!

Carrying on, the happy crew headed on to Creag nan Gabhar and cracking views over the glenshee hills and down Glen Clunie.  Having made good time, and with Carn an Tuirc beckoning in the distance, a few of the baggers in the club decided to extend the walk out to it's summit, so with a cry of "into the bog once more dear friends" Mark led the happy few towards Carn an Tuirc whilst Stu, Juliette, Denis and Bruce headed down into the Glen, and after a leisurely lunch 

"are you finished with that" says the Melba
"Throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, THROW THE BALL" says the Jess

narrowly beat Scuz back to the cars.  We headed off back to Aberdeen via the Ballater Butchers to stock up for the BBQ planned for the evening.

The hardcore Carn an Tuirk crew had made it up to the summit mean while and dropped back the loch and the cars.  Later we all reconvened for a BBQ with some of the other club members to finish off a cracking day all round!

spot ghost dog, terror of the unguarded burger.....


Monday, September 5, 2016

The Grey Slab

Sunday morning saw Razzak, Greg and Mark meet up at a midgey Linn of Dee car park and having divided up the climbing gear, which led Greg to have to decide what food to leave out of his small rucksack, we cycled in to Derry lodge where the bikes were left and walked in towards the Coire Sputan Dearg buttress - a long midgey trudge.

However when we reached the bottom of the crag and our destined route of the Grey Slab (HS***),
the sun was shining and a gentle breeze kept the midges at bay - happy days! 

I led the first 2 pitches (put together), a nice groove up the slab with plenty to keep you entertained and just enough gear to keep you sane!  Razzak then led the 3rd 40m pitch
Although his shouts of 'safe' were drowned out by the RAF

The final easier pitches were led by Greg, his first leads on a Scottish mountain route. Although by now the wind had dropped and we were plagued by midges again.

But we got to the top before any rain got us, this was to hit later on the walk out over Derry Cairngorm.  A happy party completed a great route and got the best of the day.

PS- the midges at Derry Lodge and Linn of Dee carpark made a good attempt at outdoing the Glen Affric ones!!

Midgey Munroes in Glen Affric

A brave group of 10 AMCers braved the midge forecast and went in to Strawberry Cottage on Friday night (luckily there was a gentle breeze for those left to walk in).
Saturday dawned cloudy and still - ideal midge conditions. Various groups and individuals went there separate ways.
The main group of Denis, Holly, Charles, Judith and Mark were aiming for Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and decided to go over An Socach on the way to get up on the ridge and hopefully escape the midges.  I decided that the south ridge would make a different way up, although this soon proved to be a mistake - steep grassy hillside that meant those not able to walk fast enough (ie everyone except myself) were plagued by the wee beasties. 
However we all made it up to An Sochach for lunch in good spirits.

However the advantage of being slow was that the morning clouds slowly lifted and so by the time we were on the second summit the views looking west were fabulous.

A more tired party then trudged at varying speeds the long road back to Strawberry cottage via the SYHA at Altbeithe. 

In the mean time the other parties had arrived back at the cottage and prepared the usual excellent AMC meal.  Also special mention should go in dispatches to Ed, Mat and Bruce for braving the evening midges and getting the water pump working to fill the tank from the river.

Sunday again dawned grey and still.  Many people had had enough from the Saturday walk and so just walked out along the north shore of Loch Affric or simply drove out.  Ed, Scuz and Mark went the slightly longer way back to the car park over the 2 Corbetts of Carn a Chorie Ghairbh and Aonach Shasuinn.  This was in order to appease Scuzer's need for thrashing the Goat and her bad case of Corbettitis.

 a view of the north side of Glen Affric

we did come across a useful new path down from the hill though thanks to the Estate.......


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Turra TT

A plan for a cycle trip from Aberdeen to Turriff and back was hatched at New Year.  We wanted to avoid main roads as far as possible so the trip was to use the Buchan Railway track as far as possible on the way there and come back via Inverurie on the back roads.

Despite a rather unpromising weather forecast and a murky morning, a group of 9 AMCers gathered at Dyce Station on Saturday to start the Buchan Railway Line.   First port of call was Ellon for regrouping and refreshment.    Beers for some and lunch for others. We split up into two groups with speedier cyclists heading to New Deer for lunch and the others following on a little later after their lunch..

After Ellon, it was up to Auchnagatt on the railway line with a fairly smooth track and some great views over golden fields of Aberdeenshire.  Luckily the weather kept brightening up all along the way.  

Just checking the map at an old station - they even had the Olympic flag out!

On the way again

At Auchnagatt, we left the railway line and headed over to New Deer where our two groups met up again one just finishing a lunch and the other ready for afternoon tea.  After excellent refreshments at New Deer, the final leg was to Turriff  on quiet country roads.

After an overnight stay in Turriff, it was back on the road again to head back to Aberdeen via Inverurie, and Dunecht.  It was another very unpromising start with major murk but ending up in brilliant sunshine.


Team photo minus Liz and Judith

I can highly recommend exploring the Buchan Railway and the quieter roads round North Aberdeenshire. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Angel's Ridge

A few snaps from yesterday's outing to do Angel's Ridge (the NE ridge of Sgor an Lochain Uaine). Weather cleared up a bit later than forecast but still a cracking day out in the heart of the Cairngorms. Biked to Derry Lodge, then a 27 km round trip from there.

On the approach

Corrie Dee and the Falls of Dee

Getting started on the ridge

Braeriach finally emerges from the cloud

Cairn Toul and the Lairig Ghru from Devil's Point