Ballater meet, 22-23 November

The Club’s weekend meet to Ballater was notable for the dreich weather, superb accommodation at Ballater Hostel and an enjoyable dinner celebrating the birthday of one of the party.   Although hills of varying stature were climbed, there is little photographic evidence of this so we must rely on the words of those involved…..

On Saturday, Dan, Dougie, Kirsty G, John and Irene had an ascent into the clag on Morrone.  Fay and David visited a couple of the Balmoral cairns and Gelder Shiel bothy, and on Sunday cycled to Aboyne on the disused railway then up to the Glen Tanar visitor centre, and back to Ballater on the south Deeside road.

On Morrone

Steve spent the weekend in pursuit of Marilyns, bagging three on Saturday on the drive north.  With even lower cloud on Sunday, he kept heading south to find a cloud free hill, but to no avail.  Neither Kings Seat near Coupar Angus nor even the diminutive Moncrieffe Hill south of Perth at just 223m afforded a view.  Though all small in height, the combined ascents nevertheless tallied to a respectable 1000m.

The birthday party

One Corbett bagger, who shall remain nameless, made an early start on Friday which saw him set off totally preoccupied with a walking pole refusing to lock, and heading on the wrong path leading to the wrong ridge. Our hero promised himself to concentrate when at the summit and taking a different route down.  However, he reports that the GPS showed that his concentration powers were on a par with a goldfish.  He is signed up for our navigation course.

Despite guidebook promises of superb views and fine outlooks, Arthur’s weekend involved following hill tracks and fencelines into the clag until a trig point or summit cairn was encountered, and then following another hill track or fenceline out of the clag. This performance was acted out on Friday on Cat Law; again on Saturday on Mount Battock with Robin and Richard; and again on Sunday on Gaellaig Hill with eight of the group.  

Exiting Burn o’Vat

Robin compensated for the lack of views by poring over the map to come across some interesting place names – a croft named Flatnadreich, another simply called Waggles, and a gorge in the River North Esk tagged the Rocks of Solitude.  One such finely named place that most of the group thought well worth a visit was Burn o’ Vat – above and top – a pot formed by glacial meltwater in the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve.

The extent to which we enjoyed the celebration of a significant birthday of one our group is perhaps illustrated by the array of eleven misplaced items that were left in the Hostel following our departure.  Participants: Andreas, Dan, Dougie, Kirsty G., Fay, David, Richard, Steve, John, Michael, Irene, Robin, Arthur, Kirsty R. and the posh folk in Airb&b – Cerian, Mel and Sherine.

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