Torridon Meet,16-18 November 2018

We had a full house at the weekend meet to Torridon, with glorious weather. Ten people stayed in the small but very nice Mol Mor bunkhouse at the head of Loch Torridon.  Four more members came as day visitors (Miha was enthusiastic enough to come both days); and a couple of people stayed in their vans.

Parties from the club ranged over Beinn Alligin, Beinn Damh, Beinn Dearg, Slioch, Sgurr Dubh, Liathach and Glas Bheinn at Lochcarron in fine, clear weather. I suppose it would be churlish to suggest that a little snow on the tops would have made the photographers supremely happy. As it was, we had to make do with crisp, clear light with a wonderful red glow on the hills as the sun went down.  On both nights there were strong winds which died down during the day to give very pleasant walking. This is the classic photo of Beinn Eighe from Loch Clair above.

Saturday saw Steve and Shona heading off to Slioch; while Kirsty, Michael and Arthur took in the Ben Alligin Munros.  Miha, Daniel, Nell and Dougie scrambled over Beinn Dearg – a rocky Corbett usually neglected in favour of its more famous neighbours. Richard, Catherine, Marion and Peter headed to the south of the glen for a fine walk on Ben Damh.

The young(er) team of Kirsty, Daniel, Miha and Shona had a great day on Sunday scrambling over the Liathach pinnacles. A more sedate outing on Sgurr Dubh from Loch Clair – inexplicably neglected in guides to the hill – gave Arthur, Dougie, Michael, Nell and Catherine a very enjoyable day.  Marion and Peter went for a delightful low-level walk.

Day visitors Robin, Ewen and Masoud met up with Steve and Richard for an ascent of Glas Bheinn, just NE of Lochcarron; they were entranced by the superb visibility over to the Small Isles and Skye, and the amazing shadows cast on the rugged terrain by the low sun.  It must have been a good weekend because Daniel was motivated to join the IMC; welcome to him.

Cairngorms day meet, 11 November 2018

Am Fear Liath Mòr made an appearance on Sunday.  More precisely, there were several  grey forms of both genders, appearing wraith like in the mist on Ben Macdhui on the club meet to the Cairngorms.

The group set off with four destinations in mind: Michael to walk round the rims of the Northern Corries; Dougie to bag Creag Mhor via Fords of Avon; Rob and Ewen to visit Carn Etchachan and the largest party to set out for Ben Macdhui and return via Loch Etchachan and the Shelter Stone.  Each party set off for their destinations from a largely deserted ski centre car park and ascended into the cloud. Only Michael, on Cairngorm, saw the sun thereafter.

The first signs of winter were apparent; remnants from earlier snow falls in the gullies, verglas on rocks and fresh snow falling above 1000m.  From Macdhui a little bit of navigation practice took us past the Sapper’s Bothy, down to Loch Etchachan and thence to the Clach Dhion (or more prosaically, the Shelter Stone).  In  The Statistical Account of 1794 it was reputed to hold ‘eighteen armed men”.  We thought our party of six was about right.  One entry in the log book is reputed to read “it moved”. With a  weight of around 1300 tons, that does gives pause for thought. But it was a welcome shelter from the rain and wind for our party to do some route finding, top photo.

After a fairly interesting river crossing in increasingly heavy rain, we headed up the much improved path by the Allt Coire Domhain beside Hell’s Lum Crag, heading for Fiacaill a’ Choire Chais.  The rain turned to snow as we ascended and as the light faded we reached point 1141. Point 1141  was also Dougie’s objective on the long trek back from Creag Mhor via the Fords of Avon refuge, pictured above, and the Saddle. He was a bit earlier than us and was sitting snugly in the Old Bridge Inn with the rest of the party as we soggily made our entrance.

Participants: Dougie, Michael, Rob, Ewen, Toni, Kirsty R, Shona, Ian, Fiona, Robin, Daniel, Masoud, Anne and Arthur.

Lake District Meet, Patterdale 26-28 October 2018

The long drive to the Lake District was amply rewarded by some excellent hill walking in cold, sunny weather, albeit with some strong biting winds.  The picture above is of Fairfield and Grisedale Tarn.

Seven members and Steve’s guest Terence, ensconced themselves in the smaller room at the George Starkey Hut in Patterdale. The hut is manged jointly by the Alpine club and the ABMSAC (for the curious, that is the acronym for the Association of British Members of the Swiss Alpine Club). A few Alpine Club members occupied the members room and there was also a gang from the Derwent Climbing Club; so, it was a busy hut. 
 
One of the delights of the hut’s location is being able to walk out of the door onto the hills.  Place Fell, Angletarn Pikes, St Sunday Crag, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Helvellyn, Dollywaggon Pike and Hartsop above How were all climbed directly from the hut. The photo above is Striding Edge from Helvellyn. Marion and Peter made a determined attack on the Dodds round; successfully so at the second attempt after being thwarted by lingering low cloud.

 Lest you think that serious bagging was neglected in favour of enjoyable walking, it can be reported that your esteemed President completed his last UK Furth with the ascent of Scafell from Eskdale; the photo below is Goat Crag from Eskdale. Your reporter and driver that day thought that the road trip over Hardknott Pass – occasioned by road closures – was a much more significant challenge. Other Furths – Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag and Helvellyn were also ascended. The summit of the last presented a bizarre spectacle of mountain bikers doing wheelies on the summit, whilst our party found it difficult to stand up because of the wind.

 

On the Sunday Ewen and his visitor, Ian walked along High Street from Hartsop; while on Monday Masoud, Robin and Arthur walked along the High Street in Keswick.
 
Participants: Steve, Ewen, Peter, Marion, Robin, Masoud, Arthur (members); Terence, Ian and Nigel (guests)