Members' reports 2018-19
26 - 28 October
15 - 17 February
15 - 17 March
24 - 26 May
The Auctioneers, Glasgow
Stob Coire Sgreamhach, Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire nan Lochan
Torridon: Beinn Dearg, Maol Chean-dearg, Beinn na h-Eaglaise, Beinn Eighe (Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Ruadh Stac Mor), Slioch, Sgurr nan Each, An Ruadh-mheallan, Meall Mheinnidh.
Drygate Brewery, Glasgow
An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin
Snow Factor (Ice wall), Braehaed
Beinn a'Bheithir; Stuchd an Lochain and Meall Buidhe
Glas Maol and Creag Leacach
Aviemore: Bynack More; Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm; Coire an t’Sneachda; Beinn Tharsuinn; Meall a' Bhuachaille
Steall Hut: Sgurr Coinnich Mor, Stob Ban; Three Wise Monkeys, Ice Factor; Somerled's Cave
Creise, Meall a’ Bhuiridh, Clach Leathad
Stuchd an Lochain
Beinn Achaladair, Beinn a’ Chreachain
Ossian Youth Hostel, Corrour
Drinks and summer de-brief
Climbing on Sunday
Club weekend and Burns Supper
Sheena McKie: Club Sunday saw 13 of us out to help Davy Gray complete his 2nd round of Munros on Ben Cruachan. An added bonus for Davy was also his completion of Munro tops on the same day......sensational !
Champers, whisky, shortbread and chocolates up top, and not forgetting a little bourbon supplied by Stas, helped warm the cockles.
An outstanding day, congratulations Davy.
Stuart Young: Davy Gray completed his second round today in what can only be described as a standard day in the Scottish hills, sunshine, cloud, wind, rain, sleet, snow, wind, sunshine and round again. But you know what it was great to be out with a turnout of 13, excellent.
Stas Burek, Stob Coire Sgreamhach, 14 October 2018
Iain hadn’t climbed Stob Coire Sgreamhach before, so we set off for Glencoe – Sheena, Stuart, Campbell, Davy G, as well as Iain and myself. After some discussion whether we should go via the Lost Valley, or try to get up on the high ridge of Beinn Fhada, the Lost Valley won out.
Unfortunately, although it wasn’t raining (it didn’t rain all day, in fact), the heavy rainfall of the previous few days meant that the river coming down from the Lost Valley was very much in spate, and was impossible to cross without getting very wet.
So we detoured: first up some steep slopes of fine scree on the right (west) side of the river, which turned into a boulder field. Our route then led through a birch wood, where the boulders became much bigger and covered in three inches of moss – a vibrant green obstacle course in the autumn light!
We emerged into the Lost Valley by the prominent boulder there, and after a brief stop we carried on up the path towards the headwall. As we got higher, the path became increasingly eroded among the steep rocks, and the last 15 metres was through a six-foot deep gulley worn into the rock by the passage of thousands of feet.
The view into Glen Etive was stunning, as ever, with the sun glinting off the river and wispy low cloud to add interest. We turned left to climb the scree and rocks of the ridge to the summit of Stob Coire Sgreamhach, where we rested, ate some lunch and enjoyed the view.
What next? Go back along the ridge of Beinn Fhada or return the way we came via the Lost Valley? The lure of Bidean nam Bian won the day for most of us, but Campbell decided to go back to the car direct. So, after extracting from him a solemn promise that he wouldn’t drive off back to Glasgow without us, the rest of us headed back down the ridge and up to Bidean, and then across the narrow ridge to Stob Coire nan Lochan.
The route down from there to Gearr Aonach was indistinct at first, with big rocks threatening to break an ankle and throw you down to the valley floor five hundred steep metres below. But we reached the grassy ridge of Gearr Aonach without incident, and ducked down onto the well-engineered path of Coire nan Lochan. Davy, being Davy, led a blistering pace all the way, but even he stopped occasionally to enjoy the views, and the rest of us caught up so that we all managed to get to the car park together.
Campbell, true to his word, was waiting at the car park, having arrived not long before us, and as usual, we finished off with some well-earned refreshment at a local hostelry. By general consensus, yet another brilliant day in the hills.
New tick this week up Puig de Massanella (1,365m) which is the second highest peak on Mallorca. Situated in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. It is the highest peak on the island whose summit is accessible, as its higher neighbour Puig Major has a military-run antenna complex on the summit. Walked up through beautiful woodland, nothing too arduous but fantastic views across the island.
Adrian Mowat, Club weekend
Torridon, 26 - 28 October 2018
The panoramic lounge at Torridon youth hostel is as good a place as any to nurse a foot injury. Or so I thought, as I watched my friends venture forth into the snow and wind while I enjoyed a warm cup of tea with a good book at the ready for the relaxing day ahead.
An hour later, my smug demeanour was binned along with the grotty weather forecast, because the sun was out, the sky was blue and the mountains were capped with a generous cover of early season snow. Clearly the first Cairn Ban weekend of 2018/19 season was going to be a stunner!
Six groups went out on the Saturday. Closest to home, Campbell and Davy took a 'bit of a steep way' up Beinn Dearg, Ania, Catherine and Paul ticked off Maol Chean-dearg and John continued his assault on the Grahams on Beinn na h-Eaglaise with Diane. A larger group went to Beinn Eighe, Bob and John for the walk into Coire Mhic Fhearchair and Stuart, Sheena and Stuart for the summit of Ruadh Stac Mor.
Meanwhile, further afield, Paul ticked off Slioch for the second time and Stas finally got Munro number 200, Sgurr nan Each, in the bag accompanied by Sue, Christine and Kaz.
I took a less adventurous limp down to the coffee shop in Torridon village for a haggis roll and a cup of coffee.
Dinner at the Youth Hostel was a very cheerful affair. Many great stories from the day were told, along with the odd wry remark about the follies of trying to predict the Scottish weather and some side splitting reminiscences of years gone by. Stuart was presented with a surprise early 60th a card from the club (goodness knows how we managed to all sign it without him noticing), a birthday cake and ticket to visit the grandkids in Spain from Sheena. Have great trip guys!
Sunday dawned even brighter and sunnier than Saturday but most people had to (reluctantly) head back to the lowlands. However, Stuart and Sheena climbed Maol Chean-dearg; Stas, Sue, Christine and Kaz took in the views in Coire Mhic Fhearchair, and John’s round of the Grahams continued on An Ruadh-mheallan with Diane and Catherine and a solo ascent of Meall Mheinnidh on Monday when all the unlucky other people were back at work.
All in all, the weekend was a huge success. We had the usual excellent company and the weather, for once, was on our side. The facilities at the Youth Hostel were excellent and the staff were top-class. Thanks to the committee for organising a fabulous weekend and here’s hoping this is the start of another brilliant winter season.
Just me and Martin on Ben Challum today. Words like 'drowned' and 'rat' come to mind, in close proximity. 🌧️🌧️☔
Positives? 👍 Our Gore-tex jackets got a thorough rain test, and passed, more or less 👍; having spent five hours looking at the inside of a cloud, we're pretty expert in what the inside of a cloud looks like 👍; Martin got to tick off Ben Challum.👍
Negatives? None really! 🙄
🎵 'Always look on the bright side of life...' 😀
Stuart McKie, Beinn Chabhair, 25 November 2018
Stuart Young: What a great way to spend Christmas shopping at Braehead today.
Wee trip up Schiehallion today. Very windy up top, but the sun came out and it was a lovely day. Brocken Spectre at the top before heading down and to the Good Food Cafe for Coffee and cake.
Stuc an Lochan and Meall Buidhe: We bog-trotted up the second one (very wet ground) and we were back to the car about 3.45pm. We even got some views as the cloud lifted on the way down. A great day and two new ones for me. Thanks all. Next time we need to book some snow please...
We went for a walk, some would say a ramble, along part of the Ayrshire Coastal Path from Lendalfoot to Ballantrae and back. The sea was amazing and certainly blew away the cobwebs!
Aonach Eagach winter traverse today. once we got above the clouds we had a blue sky day all the way!
Glas Maol and Creag Leacach. Game of two halves really. Poor vis for the first top then perfect clear sky for the remainder of the day.........chilly right enough !
A drookit valley walk towards Beinn a'Chroin today. What a difference a day can make. Very wet, very cold and very windy - all the ‘verys’ today!
Stas Burek, Club weekend
Aviemore, 15 - 17 February 2019
Most of the usual suspects showed up, together with one or two newer members, for this year’s ‘Burn’s Supper’ weekend at Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel in Glenmore, near Aviemore. The weather can be quite fickle, and this year there was no snow to speak of on the hills, despite it being mid-February.
Friday night saw the usual discussions on where who wanted to go, and on Saturday morning several groups set out:
Diane chummed up John to Beinn Tharsuinn on his round of Grahams
Jamie went with Campbell, George and others to Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm, to bag two Munros on his quest
Bob and Mary took a gentle stroll up Meall a' Bhuachaille
A large group took on Bynack More, after being beaten by the wind on the previous Aviemore weekend 2014
Alex and Stuart, plus guest Richard, actually found some ice to climb in Coire an t’Sneachda, despite the odds!
Sue and Christine got lost on the way half-mile walk to Glenmore Lodge:
Sue: ‘I’m feeling a bit cold. Let’s head off and wait for everybody at Glenmore Lodge.’
Christine: ‘OK, that’ll warm us up a bit. There’s a big road sign here saying ‘Glenmore Lodge, turn left’.’
Sue: ‘Yeah, I know it’s on the left somewhere, but I’m not really sure exactly where, and we don’t have a map. Let’s ignore the road sign and carry straight on…’
(Cue: sheepish looks when we all met up in the pub later in the day! There was talk of re-instating a special Horse's Ar$e of the Year Award.)
The committee prepared a huge pot of chilli for the evening, and the evening progressed amiably, if not uproariously, accompanied by the usual generous quantities of beer, wine and other refreshments.
Sunday dawned, and the wind, already strong on the previous day, had strengthened overnight. The general consensus was that it would be unwise, if not dangerous, to venture to the top of a hill, and so put paid to any ambitious plans that anyone might have had. A small group went on the circuit of Loch Morlich to round off the weekend, but most people took an early day and headed home after breakfast.
Thanks to the committee for another great weekend in the hills – the wind in your hair, a laugh and a joke in good company, and the world seems a better place already!
Stas Burek, Steall Hut, 15 - 17 March 2019
Two years have passed and once again Cairn Ban return to Steall Hut, but the contrast in the weather couldn’t have been greater.
After gathering in Fort William on Friday evening, the crossing of the wire bridge in the dark was thankfully uneventful. Plans were made for the following day, all ‘weather dependent’.
When Saturday dawned the weather did, indeed, play a part – sleet, low cloud and a real avalanche risk. A small group set off for Sgurr Choinnich Mor. However, given that a mix of snow, low-cloud whiteout and steep crags is a recipe for disaster, and mindful of the vertical drop off the summit, the decision was to turn back before reaching the top. Others drove into Fort William, to watch the rugby in a local hostelry or to visit the Three Monkeys climbing wall.
Saturday evening saw the party re-grouped at the Hut, with the usual party atmosphere – why let a few raindrops spoil the fun?
Sunday morning showed better weather – but not much. Some ventured up Stob Ban (again, missing out on the summit because of the avalanche risk), some took a low-level walk to visit Somerled's (Samuels's) Cave, whilst others visited the climbing wall at the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven.
All in all, a memorable weekend. Not many mountain objectives achieved, but a good time was had nevertheless.
Would we do it again? Definitely!
Stuart McKie, 31 March 2019
Stas Burek, Stucdh an Lochan, 14 April 2019
John McBarron's last Munro. A bitingly cold wind, but a great turnout from John's family, work mates and CBMC.
Iain Kent adds: Well Done John. You’ve now joined the coveted Cairn Ban Hall of Fame. We are all really proud of you.
Alex haken adds: Dog and child both asleep before we got to the end of the road and neither woke up until Stirling! Well done John.
Catherine Bloomfield, 22 April 2019
Climbed Braeriach and Angel’s Peak on Friday and bivvied out at the col. Up in the morning and over Cairn Toul, Devils point, Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain before bivving at Corrour bothy. Then a walk out over Carn a’ Mhain and Ben Macdui.
Iain Kent, 9 May 2019
Sheena McKie, 12 May 2019
Jamie Wright, 16 May 2019
Iain Kent, Loch Ossian, 21 - 23 May 2019
Loch Ossian, a highland oasis only accessible by train or on foot; that was our destination for our May 2019 club weekend. This wasn’t your normal weekend, it was a bit of an adventure and probably the only time I have accessed the mountains by train.
It was a lovely summers evening for our rail journey into the remote location of Corrour and Loch Ossian on the Friday evening. The journey did not disappoint as we travelled between mountains and across Rannoch Moor as the sun set. We disembarked at one of Scotland’s remotest train stations and and started the 30 minute walk to the eco-hostel on the banks of Loch Ossian.
Arriving at the hostel, we were met by the resident stag and the rest of the club. They already had one up on us, having summitted Bein Na Lap earlier that evening in the sunshine. We settled down to a few drams before bed.
Dinner was booked for 5pm at the Station House on Saturday evening so we all started early, with a group of 9 heading for Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre. Catherine headed for Stob Coire Easain and Stob a’ Choire Mheadhoin and 2 others heading up Beinn na Lap. Weather started OK giving views across the landscape and a temperature inversion. As usual the group banter helped us along the way and 22k later we were back at the hostel a bit damp, but ready for our dinner. After Beinn na Lap Bob and Stuart had been collecting passers by and feeding them tea and coffee in the hostel; what a couple of gents.
Dinner was a feast of such size that not much beer was consumed that night. Unlike the 4 wee guys in the restaurant, the “Trainspotting Crew”, who enjoyed the beer just a little too much.
Sunday saw the weather take a turn for the worse, with high winds and heavy rain. 4 of us were dispatched early to Beinn na Lap, returning back at the hostel just after ten, in time to have a wee coffee and a large scone at the Station house before travelling by rail in the rain back to the cars.
What a great unique adventure, of the type that only really be experienced in the wonderful Scottish Highlands. Where are we off to next?
Iain Kent, 10 June 2019
What a wonderful summers day in the mountains... except in Glen Clova. Yes, I picked the one area in Scotland with monsoon conditions. Started off bright for 1st hour, then 4 hours of wind and rain. Add a wee navigational error and it was an interesting day. Time for 🍺! Oh forgot to say had to drive home in my pants as forgot change of trousers!! 🤭 2 more Munros bagged though.
Sheena McKie, 21 June 2019
Completed the Lochnagar circuit of Munro’s in pretty decent weather followed by a climb up Mount Keen on our 38th wedding anniversary yesterday. Dinner and drinks to celebrate then out for a walk today. Nice !
Neilston Pad, Summer solstice camp, 21 June 2019
Campbell Crombie: What a good night! Banter was great, and so were the views. Michelin service at Catherine's for breakfast.
Alex Haken, 22 June 2019
Morning solo hit of Ben More (Mull). It hasn't rained yet but there's not much of a view!
John McGill, 24 June 2019
My penultimate Graham, Pap of Glencoe yesterday afternoon. An invite for my final Graham (Ben Venue) will be out soon.
Stuart Young, 7 July 2019
Had to break in a new pair of Tracksters so went solo on a couple of new hills today. Ben Oss & Beinn Dubhchraig. Very hot but chilly wind up top with clear views.
Alex Haken, 7 July 2019
Agag's Groove today on the Buachaille with Diane Langley. VD***. Haven't done it for about 20 years so a bit of a blast from the past. Climb the first half of Curved Ridge then 4 pitches on Agag's and then up the top half of Crowberry Ridge. Great day. Photos don't do the exposure justice.
John McGill, 13 July 2019
Our club trip to the AE ridge morphed into Stuart and me tackling the 3 Newtonmore Munros. Quality day out. I showed Stuart the bothy which isn’t too bad, certainly beats a sheep pen. 😄
John McGill, Ben Venue, 3 August 2019
A big thanks to all for your support on my completion [of the Grahams]. What a great day, and the non-Cairnban folk said what a great bunch of folks you are.
Catherine Bloomfield, 13 August 2019
Solo trip up Meall na Teanga and Sron à Choire Ghairbh. I camped at the Bealach and it’s a long time since I’ve carried all my own gear. Too tired to stay awake for the Perseid Shower!
Martin McKinstry, 24 August 2019
Wee jaunt up Schiehallion. Was worth it just for this quality summit selfie!
John McGill, 4 September 2019
Caught a wee weather window today when out on business. Undoubtedly the ugliest and easiest Munro summits: Cairnwell and Carn Adosa.