Raven’s Crag, Thorsdale – climbing meet report, 21 May

A very wet Saturday forced Andrew to transfer the climbing meet to the next day, Sunday, betting on a less bad weather day.   In the event it worked out well and Andrew was joined by  Ellinor Dobie and  Chris Monkton.  So a select group of three went out to Raven Crag at Thorsdale.  The weather started dry as was the rock and it stayed thus until about 14.30, by which time we were on our 2nd route.  It then started to drizzle lightly but we all completed the climb on dampening rock and then abseiled off – a bonus experience for Ellinor.

Ellinor rose to the challenges and really enjoyed herself, it was a very good experience all round and only a pity more folk did not come on this meet.  We stopped in at the Kinlochewe hotel for a little “refreshment” on the way home, rounding off the day in the traditional manner.

The  photo shows Ellinor approaching the first belay with Chris  (just visible on the ground close to the foot of the crag).

Knoydart meet report, 5-8 May 2017

Nine club members made it to Knoydart for a great long weekend of Munro and Corbett bagging, and other adventures, in exceptionally fine weather.  The group stayed at the bunkhouse in Inverie run by the Knoydart Foundation, a community based organisation which acquired the Knoydart Estate from the previous neglectful owner about 18 years ago.
Ladhar Bheinn, Luinne Bheinn, Meall Buidhe, Beinn Bhuidhe, Sgurr Coire Choinnichean and Beinn na Caillich were all summitted by one or several members of the group.  One member (Shona) did some impressive hill running – surprising a camper near the summit of Ladhar Bheinn as she ran past him at 8am.  She then went for a cycle ride, did some wild swimming (intentionally) and went to the pub.  Now that is an impressive day.
The rest of the team were perhaps a little less energetic, but had fine hill days and also went to the pub.  Some also explored the remains of the WW2 Mica mine on the side of Beinn Bhuidhe and were educated by John in the finer points of the geology that gave rise to mica.  One group visited the statue of the Madonna, on the headland of Rubha Raonuill marking the entrance to Loch Nevis, discovering that this fine, prominent statue is hollow and made from fibreglass!  Later research uncovered that she is unkindly, and  irreverently, known by some as “plastic Mary”.
Knoydart was at its finest with exceptional hill days… and no midgies.  The only downside was that the pub was not serving meals and appeared to have no staff and few local customers.  The enterprising lady with a snack van (local venison burgers recommended) and freezer full of home cooked meals next to the bunkhouse and the locally run coffee shop on the shore filled the gap.  Community ownership of Knoydart seems to have turned it into a thriving community despite its remoteness.

Kintail meet, Sunday 30 April

Steve got some good weather for his Graham-bagging week, and that extended to the day meet he organised in Kintail.  A large party of IMC members and four dogs set off from the (supposedly closed) forestry car park at Dorusduain, just along from Morvich in Kintail.  The objective was Carnan Cruithneachd, a rocky, interesting Graham to the west of the Falls of Glomach.

After the Graham was bagged, we all went down to the Falls of Glomach, pictured, for a closer look.  Well worth while; an impressive volume of water was coming down, and no-one wandered too close to the edge!  The weather was good but windy, and no-one extended the day to include A’Ghlas bheinn, the Munro to the south of the return track.  However, most folk managed a stop off at the Kintail Lodge Hotel for an alfresco drink.  All in all, an excellent day out.

Crianlarich Easter meet, 15-17 April 2017

The Easter weekend saw the IMC at the luxurious Inverardran cottage in Crianlarich; the Ochils club have spent a lot of time and money upgrading it.  The weather on the first two days was poor, so most folk headed for the smaller hills.

On Saturday Arthur went to Ardtalnaig and climbed two Corbetts – Creagan na Beinne and Ciste Buide a’ Claidheimh (the latter aka the Shee of Ardtalnaig).  Cerian, Michael, Mel, Kirsty and her friend Hannah, Annie, Eelco and John climbed Ben More – photo below – with the top in soft snowy conditions, before deciding not to go on to Stob Binnean because of the wind.  Peter, Marion, Lisa and Jim went up Creag Each and Creag Ruadh at Lochearnside; Ewen forsook the latter in favour of a coffee shop and pub in St Fillans.

The weather in the west on Sunday left something to be desired, so John and Eelco went up A’Mharconaich and Geal-Charn from the A9 on the way home.  Cerian, Annie, Michael and Arthur wimped out of Ben Ledi because of heavy rain, but went round Callander Woodland Walk, the Crags and Bracklinn Falls, finishing off by inspecting the kayaking waters at the Pass of Leny.  Jim and Ewen did something similar but in a different order, omitting the Pass of Leny but including another excellent coffee shop on the site of Strathyre station.

Mel and Lisa went up Meall Buidhe from Glen Ogle on their way home.  Arthur followed in their footsteps in the evening after the Callander adventures.  Peter and Marion went up Ciste Buidhe a’Claidheimh, following in Arthur’s footsteps of the day before.   Marion unfortunately fell crossing a burn and fractured her radius necessitating a late night visit to the Belford Hospital in Fort William for treatment, then on to Raigmore the following day to have the fracture set.

There was a depleted cast on Monday, but of those lucky enough not to have work commitments, Jim and Ewen took the Corran Ferry to Ardgour in superb weather.  They ascended Meall Dearg Choire nam Muc above the village of Corran.  There were excellent views of the Glencoe and Ardgour hills; photo above.

Cerian and Annie attacked Farragon Hill from Loch Tummel and met Arthur who had traversed Meall Tairneachan from Tomphubil.  Annie kindly gave Arthur a lift back to his car from Loch Tummelside.  The Barytes mine at Foss and the possible new mine  at Duntanlich were of great interest to the group.