Cromdale hills, 16 Sept 2018

A wet forecast for the west and 40mph+ winds expected on the east coast mountains led us to the Cromdale hills, just east of Grantown on Spey.  A team of 10 folk, including one prospective new member and her friendly collies, turned up hoping at least to stay fairly dry.

A short walk along the road from the parking in Cromdale village took us over the Haughs of Cromdale, site of the battle in 1690, onto the track leading up the hill.  An easy ascent led to the first cairn and thence to Creagan a’Chaise (722m, above) which has an even more impressive cairn, built for Queen Victoria’s silver jubilee in 1887.

The weather was mainly fair but very windy and no-one felt like continuing the traverse to the north-east end of the ridge, which is well worth while in good weather with extensive views over the Moray Firth and the Cairngorms.  Instead we finished up with a visit to a coffee shop in Grantown, feeling that we’d made the most of the weather conditions on the day.

Galloway meet, August 2018

The Galloway Hills were damp and misty for the IMC Loch Ken camping meet.  Nevertheless, the summits of a variety of Grahams, Corbetts and Donalds were trodden by various individuals and parties of the nine people on the meet.  Amongst the delightfully named summits were Cairnsmore of Fleet, the Merrick, Shalloch on Minnoch, Meikle Millyea, Corserine, Cairnsmore of Carsphairn and more prosaically, the easterly hills of Tinto, Hart Fell, White Coomb and Broad Law. 
Dougie and guest Caroline had the best of the weather on these easterly hills – above – earlier in the week.  The weekend itself was fairly wet with low cloud, and it is a moot point whether Saturday or Sunday was the wetter day.  On Saturday  two parties summited Corserine by different routes, with some detailed navigation on unfamiliar ground.  Sunday saw people on The Merrick, Cairnsmore of Carsphairn and Broad Law.  
Fortunately, we had the luxury of a dry, warm and sociable yurt – top photo – as our base camp for the meet.  My exhortations to bring some camel dung for the stove to provide some Mongolian authenticity went unheeded, but the firewood was a good substitute once we got it going.
Peter, Marion, Robin and Ewen wisely forsook the hills on Sunday and had an interesting day exploring the cliffs and stacks along the Galloway coast, south of Castle Douglas.  At times, the sea could only just be glimpsed from the top of the very impressive seacliffs at Airds Point!
The rain stopped north of Stirling on our journeys back home.