Day Meet, Saturday 9th January 2016 to Geal Charn (Cairngorm Corbett)

Present: Peter & Marion, Richard H., Arthur McC., Mark , Michael G., Cerian, Robin (& Albert who joined us later in the day).

Being in an out of the way corner some five miles from Nethy Bridge at the end of an obscure single-track road you might expect Dorback Lodge to be a quiet sort of a place. Unfortunately our arrival coincided with the morning rush hour, comprising a gritter, three excitable ponies, and more Land Rovers than I have ever seen before on one shooting estate (6, 7, 8? – I lost count after a while).

Happily all this traffic was heading in the opposite direction and we were soon striding out on virgin snow under blue skies along an easy landrover track which led us straight to a comfortable and commodious shooting hut (at 570M) perfectly placed for lunch, though our arrival wasn’t welcomed by the local mountain hare community who were using it as a meeting place and promptly ran off in all directions (aside from the one who hid underneath the floor all the time we were there).  Good conditions prevailed until we approached the subdsidiary top Geal Charn Beag (759M) after which things became a bit – well, obscure – white sky, white ground, white everything.  At least most of the peat hags were frozen over.

It has to be acknowledged that the subsequent trudge across the gently ascending plateau to the small cairn adorning the 821M summit – minus the panoramic views of the Northern Cairngorms promised by the clear morning weather – wasn’t the finest part of the day, though Richard and Arthur did a fine job keeping the party on track.  Shortly after this two things happened – one, it stared to get dark; and two, the party began to fragment.

Cerian raced on ahead to fulfil a social engagement, followed soon after by Mark, who’d forgotten his headtorch and was concerned about facing the night walk without it. The remainder holed up for a while in yet another shooting bothy before the cold inside drove them back out into the even colder gathering night for the strung–out trek back to the vehicles, to be warmly welcomed by Albert, who’d arrived late but had enjoyed a stroll to the lunch hut and back again.

One mystery of the hills remains: Cerian had entrusted Albert with a bag of jelly babies to afford the latecomers much-needed sustenance, once they had fought their way over fallen trees (well, one anyway) and forded raging torrents (OK, a smallish river) to regain civilization, but when they got there – no jelly babies to be seen. Did he eat them all himself?


Day meet to Inchbae, 10th December ‘15

Seven of us met up at the old lay-by to the north of Maryburgh.  Richard H (and Skye), Arthur, Ewen,  Michael, Cerian, Pete R and Robin. Although the weather seemed to be better than forecast the cloud level appeared to be about the 3,000 ft mark, and we decided to keep our heads below the clouds and headed off to the Graham, Carn Loch nan Amhaichean (698m) to the north of Inchbae Lodge hotel.

We followed the farm road north up Strath Rannoch to the steading where we bore north east up the Alt a Choire-rainich, crossing it to climb steeply up the west side of the hill to reach the summit.  On the way Pete pointed out a couple of geological features of interest, the first being a brown conglomerate on the stream bed, being Braemore mudstone which is part of the 400 million year old Old Red sandstone group.  The second on one of the two large boulders was a slightly older Inchbae Granite gneiss being 600 million years old.

We had lunch out of the wind on the summit, facing east and overlooking Loch nan Amhaichean and the other Graham, Beinn nan Eun. We had intended to follow the ridge back down the glen but as it started to rain (in accordance with the forecast) we headed down west to the track and back to the cars. We found the Inchbae Lodge hotel open, having just been taken over by a friendly ex-military couple from Devon who were only too keen to serve us. It’s worth noting that the hotel is open again with the owners hoping to attract the hillwalking community.

Although not one of our hardest days, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day adjusted to suit the weather.  RH

Christmas dinner meet to Inver hut, Achnasheen, 27/28th November ‘15

On Saturday Kirsty, Carol and Michael G climbed Fionn Bheinn from Achnasheen.  Conditions were better than expected but the summit was no place to linger; photo attached.

Robin and Steve collected the Grahams Carn Breac and Beinn na Feusaige, descending after dark before heading to the Ledgowan Hotel for a well-deserved pint.

The evening saw 18 members sitting down to a pre-Christmas dinner in front of a roaring fire in the well-equipped Inver hut, which is owned by the Jacobites MC.

The weather on Sunday was poor so most members opted to head home, some via small hills such as the Cat’s Back above Strathpeffer.  The newly-improved boardwalk access to the hut allowed us to get out with dry feet, but come Monday there had been so much rain that the access track from the road was submerged; a narrow escape!

Day meet to Glen Feshie, 14th November ’15

IMC_CMYK-Header-300x266Peter, Marion, Robin and Michael G climbed Carn Ban Mor from near Auchlean.  Robin and Michael then went on to Sgor Gaoith.  Near ‘whiteout’ conditions made navigation interesting.  Refreshments at Carrbridge were required!  MG