Thursday, January 24, 2019

Raeburn Mountaineering Hut Meet (near Laggan) 18-19 Jan 19

13 AMC club members headed to the SMC Raeburn Mountaineering Hut south of Laggan, a very comfortable abode with views across Strath Spey to the Monadh Liath hills.  With a superb central location and easy access to the Cairngorms to the east and Creag Meagaidh to the south-west, members enjoyed a variety of routes and activities across the weekend.    The forecast was fair with the prospect of the odd snow shower on Saturday, slightly worsening on Sunday. 

Greg was up before the birds to take his bike down Loch Ericht towards Ben Alder finishing the ascent on foot.  Some clag meant for tricky navigation to avoid some steep craggy ground before Greg retrieved his bike for the return journey along the track. 

Greg on Ben Alder

Razzak and Emma set off early from the hut to reach the Northern Corries before sun rise.  Twin Ribs and Riacaill Ridge were the objectives of the day, very cold with the occasional snow flurry and windy on the top out. 

Across the Cairgorm plateau
Roddy and Charles were next out of the door to catch the 8.15am train to Corrour on the West Highland line.  They arrived soon after 8.30 and set off along the track heading for Beinn na Lap, shrouded in cloud.  Passing a group of hardy overnight campers having a brew they climbed up the slope to the broad ridge.  
Roddy & Charles on their ascent up Beinn na Lap

Roddy on the summit of Beinn na Lap, shrouded in cloud
There were reasonable views of the surrounding hills but all were unfortunately cloud capped.  They reached the summit in just under 2 hours, enjoyed a quick snack and a brew before heading back via the Ossian Youth Hostel for a chat and cuppa with the weekend residents before heading back by train/car to the Raeburn Hut. 

Hazel, Derek, Bob and Jane headed for the Ardverikie estate, Jane to tackle twin Grahams Binnein Shios and Binnein Shuas while the rest of the party set off for the three Munros (Beinn a Chlachair, Geal Charn & Creag Pitridh).  

Fine views from Binnein Shioss (Jane)

Hazel, Derek and Bob enjoyed a cloud inversion with stunning views across Creag Meagaidh and further afield. 

Hazel & Derek on the summit of Geal Charn

A beautiful cloud inversion

Bob & Hazel

At the summit of the last Munro, Creag Pitridh, a rare Brocken Spectre was observed.  What a beautiful way to reward the 26km of stiff walking!  

A Brocken Spectre on the summit of Creag Pitridh
Bruce had a pleasant day on Meall Chuaich, east of Dalwhinnie.  

The usual Saturday evening communal meal was feast indeed, thanks to the volunteer chefs Bruce, Ann, Greg, Hazel, Jane and Charles, and to Roddy for the wine. 
Sunday’s forecast had little confidence, anything could happen but generally colder, wetter and windier.  The reality was low cloud, drizzle and colder temperatures meaning some members abandoned plans of venturing out into the hills.
Razzak, Emma and Mark set off early again, targeting Pygmy ridge in Coire an t-Sneachda, in much colder conditions, some snow showers and a very windy top out.  Emma confirmed it was too cold for photos.

Jane and Bob headed east in search of better weather and climbed Geallaig Hill from Gairnshiel near Ballater on the way home.  

Another fun and productive AMC meet!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Alex MacIntyre Hut - New Year Meet (28 Dec 18 - 2 Jan 19)

15 club members gathered at the Alex MacIntyre Hut in Onich for the New Year meet.

Weather-wise it looked rather wet and overcast for the first couple of days but brighter conditions were promised for the 1st and 2nd.

On Saturday Donald went multi activity with a Park Run at Torlundy followed by a cycle from Corran to Camusnagaul.  Ann and John bagged Tom Meadhoin, a Graham up from the Callert Hotel and Bruce tackled the Ballachulish Horseshoe, starting off his challenge of completing all the Munros before the next New Year meet.

Ann on Tom Meadhoin

View from Tom Meadhoin

Sunday was a wet and cloudy day and with the exception of John and Ann, who somehow missed the rain, everyone was a bit soggy.  Ed and Scuz opted for a long and rough coastal walk in the Morven headland.

Hazel, Derek, Donald, Robert, Judith and Mark on a cross country venture from the Callert Hotel to Kinlockleven. Paths were like streams and with the exception of Robert, there were wet feet all round after a rather pointless river crossing.


How not to get your feet wet

Still a few miles back to the car.

Ann and John headed for two Grahams - Beinn Sgluich and Aird Hill

Hogmanay's forecast was dryish early, but getting wetter, so folks headed out again some for outdoors and some indoors.

Hazel and Derek went to the Ice Factor for some climbing, and Scuz ran the West Highland Way from Kinlochleven to Fort William.

Ann, John, Joe, Steve M, Mark and Judith ventured up Ardcheal Hill, across the water from the hut. It started dry but on leaving the top heavy rain came down.

An 'interesting' descent from Ardcheal through a very thick Rhododendron forest back to the road.

Donald, Denis and Steve W walked up to the Inchree waterfalls which were looking super with all the rain.

The drying room was certainly put through it's paces that evening.

Happy New Year

After a grand meal of six courses - each course served hourly - we welcomed in 2019.

New Year's day dawned bright, dry and much colder. Hurrah - no more rain.

 Hazel, Derek, Steve W, Steve M and Joe decided on the Aonach Eagach for their day out.

The Steves on their way up to the ridge.

Joe on the ridge

Hazel heading up 

Derek setting up a belay on the chossy chimney just as the snow started

Steve M climbing down a rather chossy chimney

Views along the ridge

Evening coming down at the end of a challenging day out on Aonach Eagach

Ann, John, Donald, Robert and Judith on the Grahams Mam Hael and Beinn Molurgainn getting great views to Glencoe in the east and out to Mull on the west side.

Ed and Scuz headed to Glencoe too and went up the lost valley to the three munros in the Bidean Group.  Mark despite a bad cold made it up the Pap of Glencoe.

Tuesday came and it was time to pack up to head home. The weather was getting better.  Hazel, Derek, Ed and Scuz headed for the Ballachulish Horseshoe, Ann and John for more Graham bagging on Sgorr a Choise and Meall Mor and Donald and Joe explored the Oban cycle path from Onich as far as Appin..

Hazel on the Ballachulish Horseshoe

Scuz on the Ballachulish Horseshoe

Ann and John's venture to Sgorr a Choise and Meall Mor

That was New Year 2018 -19 : another great meet - walking and scrambling, tasty meals and lots of chat and fun.