Members' reports 2017-18
Midsummer summit camp
Drinks and summer de-brief
Climbing on Sunday
Christmas night out
Ad hoc climbing evening
Sligachan Bunkhouse, Skye: Cuillins, Bla Bheinn
Curlers Bar, Byres Road
Beinn a' Ghlo
Inchnadamph Lodge: Sandwood Bay; Canisp; Quinaig; Ben Klibreck; Ben More Assynt, Conival; Ben Wyvis; Glas Bheinn
Buachaille Etive Beag
Meall Corranaich, Meall a'Choire Leith
Drygate Brewery, Glasgow
Beinn a' Chochuil, Beinn Eunaich
Ballater: Caistel na Caillich; Lochnagar; Broad Cairn; Carn Aosda; An Socach; Shielin of Mark
Meall nan Tarmachan
Drumochter: Sgairneach Mhor, Beinn Udlamain, Geal-charn, A' Mharconaich
Glas Maol, Creag Leacach
Inverie, Knoydart: Sgurr Coire Choinnichean; Ladhar Bheinn; Luinne Bheinn, Meall Buidhe
Dumyet (Ochil hills)
Surprisingly hard day on Beinn Chabhair.
Leaving the car at The Drovers we climbed steeply up the side of the Glas Falls to be met by a strong headwind all the way to the summit cairn. Brutal at times with very strong gusts up top. Made for a hard climb indeed. Coming back was a skoosh with the wind (and sunshine) behind us all the way. Went into the bar/restaurant at Beinglas Farm and I have to say it was excellent and worth considering for a stop on the way home from any subsequent Club Sundays.
Twelve years since we were last up this hill and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Scorchio on the Cruachan Horseshoe. Brilliant day on Ben Cruachan. The ground is tinder dry at the moment !
I just finished my Mountain Leader training at Glenmore lodge. Thanks to everyone in the club who's supported and advised me on this so far. I thought I'd drop a wee experience report out to the group.
First of all, let's be clear, this training course is no holiday on the mountains as some of my work colleagues thought! It's a very full-on 6 days of classroom and practical teaching that left me more tired mentally than physically.
We started off with a navigation refresher (as you might expect) before moving onto a day of rope work and safe river crossings - both of which should only be used as a very last resort at summer ML level. Day 3 was a walk along the ridge of Meall a' Bhuachaille behind Glenmore looking at group management on regular terrain and the following day we were up at the Fiacaill Ridge (but not on the scramble) looking at ascending and descending steep ground with a group. We were on expedition the final 2 days doing a circuit of the Newtonmore munros taking in A' Chailleach,
Carn Sgulain and Carn Dearg and wild camping at Lochan Uisge NH633039 (sadly, taking actual whisky would have been frowned upon as taking unnecessary weight :-). We went out after dark with a 1:25000 that night and did some night nav practice.
Everyone talks about the navigation but I don't think I got a proper crack at it because the weather was absolutely spectacular the whole week. BTW, you're allowed a margin of around 10% so despite the popular myth its OK not to be right on a specific contour as long as you are near enough. The instructor tried to make it as hard as possible by picking the oddest little features on the map for us to find but it was pretty unrealistic. The night time navigation was the most technically challenging but it was actually quite enjoyable. Even then the good visibility made it a lot easier because you can still see a surprising amount.
Now, I'm not saying my nav was anywhere near perfect even in good weather. In fact there were some embarrassing howlers in there, but it's really just a case of tightening up on measurements and considering a more strategies before I commit to one (I can be prone to tunnel vision at times and miss an easier route).
The hardest thing, though, was the emphasis on group management, timing and anticipation. Right from the start, we were told to memorise the map and strategy for a leg and then put the map away so you can focus on the group. By the end of the week we had 10 seconds to make a strategy and start moving *with the group*. Any additional thinking and map reading had to be done on the hoof. Similarly, we were expected to know the next step before we got to the end of a navigation leg - i.e. no getting to the summit and then deciding where to go, you had to have all that figured out enough that a quick visual and/or compass bearing would get you moving away in the right direction.
Of course, the point of this is to a) keep the group moving (flow is important with novices - give 'em 10 seconds and they'll take 5 minutes) or b) make sure you can focus on their needs at rests (dishing out warm clothes, blister plasters, haribo, daredevil tales etc as appropriate).
Did I enjoy it? Sometimes no, but mostly Yes. I must admit that the idea of taking endless parties of novices out is unappealing and moving at a glacial pace over easy ground is pretty wearing. In my weaker moments I wondered if it might be more fun to tick off the northern cairngorms in what was undoubtedly one of the best weeks of weather we'll see this year. But, really, yes it was an amazing experience and I'm already a better mountaineer as a result. My girlfriend came and joined me in Aviemore on Saturday night and we went and had an incredible day on Stac Polliadh on Sunday. I was amazed at how much of the planning, pacing and timing elements of the course had become instilled in me in such a short time.
I also loved the sessions on ropework, river crossing and (bizarrely) The Weather as well as the night nav.
Going forward, I'm looking forward to consolidating my skills over the next year or so and going for assessment sometime next summer. I won't be turning down the odd climbing, scrambling or bouldering day in favour of trudging round a misty bog looking for a stream junction though 😂
Took a wee trip to Skye this weekend. I'm glad to confirm it's still there and in tip top condition ready for the club trip next weekend. We took in Sgurr Alasdair and then the Spar cave and Cuillin brewery the next day. Impromptu detour to Steall Waterfall on the way home.
Cairn Ban weekend in Skye with the usual Skye weather. Sgurr Nan Gillean by the supposed "tourist route". One of most exposed tourist routes Thanks I have been on! Then off via the West ridge with some pretty exposed scrambling followed by an abseil down a chimney on the ridge. Visit to Slig after 10 hours on the hill. Walk along Loch Coruisk today in the rain. Great weekend despite the weather.
Good Old Skye. You can always rely on the weather..........to be bloody horrible !!
Weather was brutal at times, just our luck. Plans chopped and changed but we managed up Sgurr Nan Eag in atrocious conditions with some challenging climbing and route finding. Great just the same !
Camera wasn't out much.
Think everyone had a tough day!
Brilliant evening with the troops back at Sligachan
...not to mention Lorimer and Antje's pre-nuptuals!
Pinnacle ridge (grade 3.. and a bit... scramble) in the lakes on Saturday. Hoping we can get a club weekend down there sometime. It's busy in places for sure but amazing when you scratch the surface a bit.
A reasonable sleep on a windy night, a cosy wee, warm tent and a great feeling waking up high. A success methinks, next time, less wind a water source and sime tea bags will make it perfect.
John McGill, 2 July 2017
Carn Mairg four bagged on a rather wet day. Despite the weather we all claimed to have had a good day.
Iain Kent: ' I was a walking waterfall. Great day everyone'.
Sheena McKie: 'Don't be fooled! Only time the camera was out was pre monsoon!!!'
Bob Gardner, 15 July 2017
Cathedral Peak Drakensbergs South Africa 9858 ft. Fairly loose underfoot till you get to the top section. Put the thing into perspective when a helicopter arrived on the upper shoulder with tourists just as we arrived. All wearing good suits and shiny shoes. Still, fantastic views and a great day out.
Catherine Bloomfield, 25 July 2017
What a view this morning at Refugio Jermoso! On a 5 day hike round the central Picos. Totally recommend although you do need to know Spanish, which I don't!
Stuart Young, Beinn a' Ghlo, 15 October 2017
Went from a typical Scottish day on the hills to a beautiful evening - mist and wind to clear and very windy.
John McGill added: Great day out. Good laugh as usual.
Big difference to yesterday's monsoon. Cairn Ban outing up 3 Corbetts on Quinag. Beautiful but cold day.
Catherine Bloomfield, 29 October 2017
Today's short walk up Glas Bheinn was indeed a short walk. Not like yesterday's 'short' walk up Canisp!
Ania and I drove all the way down to Gruinard to do some climbing and realised we’d left the guidebooks at the lodge!
Fortunately, we do have the bouldering guidebook so we popped down to Torridon to climb the best boulders in Scotland.
Conival and BMA after getting blown off Klibreck on Saturday. All it takes is one day to make up for the rest. We also bumped into Isa, Jack and Victor swearing at everyone as they walked by the back door!
Adrian Mowat, 30 October 2017
Another great club weekend. Inchnadamph Lodge was a great base, thanks to all who helped organise. Some pic's attached.
What a cracking day on Sunday, cracking hills, with cracking views and cracking team. In fact just great crack all round.
Brilliant day on the hills today, wall to wall sunshine (sometimes), bitterly cold, clear views....perfect.
Lot’s of snow in the hills, down to roadside in Caurngorms. Snow is soft & deep making for hard going.
South east ridge of the Cobbler. A great first winter climb for me. Dodgy in places. Glad I was seconding rather than leading. Thanks to Alex for taking the time.
Ania Borg and I rounded off an absolutely stonking November with another cracker of a sunny day out on Ben Ime (admittedly, so we set off to do the Loch Lomond Ben Vorlich and then realised the A82 is closed). Turned out to be a perfect reserve option. It was all quite alpine feeling really. We were too hot walking in fleeces at the bottom but we had all our gear on by the top. Crampons on from the bealach between the Cobbler and Ben Narnain (630m) to the top of Ben Ime and back. Snow firming up nicely even though we did find the bottom of a couple of bogs. Really good conditions over about 850m or so. Very breezy (50mph I reckon) on top.
A wild day on Sgurr Mhaorich at Loch Quoich. Our accommodation for the evening was a sheep dip pen rather than soaking the tents ⛺️. It came with its own fire 🔥 pit! Paul and Alex bagged 2 today but I only managed 1 due to dodgy tummy. Off to Glen Affric tomorrow
Braw wee day up Beinn A Mhanaich, great snow and weather, good to get the legs stretched. Lovely wee Graham.
Wee trip up the Cobbler with Stuart and Dougie. Very cold but stunning day. Dougie now burst on the sofa.
Grande ascent of Roan mountain on the Appalacian trail. Summited Grassy ridge Bald via Joan Bald and Roan Bald. Overlooking the Blue ridge mountains. Cold and windy. Fab.
- Hell of a place to be buried !! 😉
- She was very tall wasn’t she?
- Had no hair either!
Great day out today on Beinn a Bheithir - fantastic conditions and crampons and ice axe got their first outing. Bit of winter mountaineering to start off 2018. This is going to be a great year!
A trip up Ben Lui in near perfect conditions.(Doug also included a quick trip up Beinn a'Chleibh).
John McGill, 7 January 2018
You really should have got out today. Doesn’t get much better. Beinn a Chochuill & Beinn Eunaich.
- The sun shines on Caim Ban yet again!
Alex Haken, 7 January 2018
Two days climbing in the Cairngorms with Paul Valente.
Saturday was mingin weather and bottomless powder snow. No useful ice on Invernookie III/4.
Sunday was sunny but cold. -7 deg C when we left the ski carpark. We did the Fiacaill ridge, keeping to the left side which made it a bit more exciting.
Practiced bucket seats, buried axe belays and avalanche pits on the way back down.
Adrian Mowat, 14 January 2018
Super weekend with Ania Borg. Winter skills in Stob Coire nan Lochain on Saturday and navigation (am) and ice climbing (indoors, pm) on Sunday. All with Dave from Lochaber guides who was an excellent teacher and generally good bloke.
Stuart Young, 21 January 2018
An aborted attempt at ice climbing today up Beinn Udlaidh with Alex Haken. Waist deep snow, window blowing, what should have taken around 1 hour to get to the bottom of climb, after 2.5 hours still a good bit away from the climb. Saw quite a few other people behind us turning back. Glad we did turm back as the snow came in heavy and 30 mph all the way from Bridge of Orchy to Callander. Roads got bad. Cracking.
Diane Langley, 4 February 2018
Lovely sunny, soft snow day on Culter Fell, Chapelgill hill & Cardon hill. 1 Graham and 2 Donalds ( or 3 Donalds).
Adrian Mowat, 4 February 2018
Cracking belated birthday trip to Assynt with Ania Borg. Decided to pass on the bothy in favour the SMC's hut in Elphin which is terrific and only £15 a night.
* Saturday - Rubbish weather so went to watch the rugby which was even more rubbish.
* Sunday - Cul Mor, stunning windless day nice snow and a bit of ice near the top. Sadly a bit of cloud lingering on the summits killed the view
* Monday - Suilven. The main aim of the trip achieved! Mountain was in summer condition - just a bit of spring snow on the top. Stunning day out and well worth the long walk across (and often into) the infinite bog.
Mega kudos to Ania for soldiering through the remnents of the flu and make it out 2 amazing days on the trot.
Catherine Bloomfield, 4 February 2018
I managed out on Sunday for a solo venture up Beinn Narnain. I have never seen the area as busy before - it was like a sledging day at Bellahouton Park! The A82 was closed so guess that’s why it was so busy.
Ballater, 9 - 11 February 2018
This year's Burns Supper weekend saw the congregation at Ballater Hostel. Despite the recent snowfall, the Glenshee road was open, and there was, as usual, a good turnout. The local hostelry looked as though it could be livened up a bit, so an impromptu gathering for a pint and food on the Friday evening gave the landlord some welcome custom.
Saturday morning heralded mixed weather, with snow flurries and a promise of sunshine later in the day. Various groups headed off for various destinations: Lochnagar, Broad Cairn and Sgurr Coire Choinnichean. The promised sunshine did materialise, but with it came strong winds. A wonderful time, though, tromping through deep heather on the way back down the hill.
The Burns Supper that evening proceeded in (more or less) traditional fashion: Davy Gray addressed the haggis, lots of alcohol was consumed and then the fun and games began. The Secret Mustachio made his appearance unannounced, and seemed to infect everyone and everything. Completely oblivious, John McGill fell asleep in mid-party - so after the obligatory conga, everybody else snuck away and left him to wake up in an empty dining room, just in time for breakfast.
Sunday morning dawned and again the congregation split several ways: Carn Aosda, An Socach and Shielin of Mark. This latter the low-level option turned out to be a good call, because the wind had grown stronger overnight, and battling to the top of the hill was too much for some people. It turned out a sunny day though, cold and crisp, and the ski centre car park was jammed full with skiers enjoying the perfect conditions. Oh, for a pair of skis to whizz down that hillside!
Lorimer Nish: Thanks to Cairn Ban for another great weekend. A Sunday saunter to Shielin of Mark for lunch in the Bothy. It was well worth carrying a few logs in for a warm fire on a bitter day. Followed two otter tracks right up the valley and over the watershed but didn't catch a glimpse of them.
Stuart Young: Broad Cairn on Saturday with Alan Wade, Iain Kent, Catherine Bloomfield, Adrian Mowat & Ania Borg, absolute cracker of a day. Sunsay was an Socach up the back of Glenshee. Again another cracker of a day but was windy and cold. Scottish mountains in all their glory.
Susan Burek: Great weekend had by all. Thanks to the committee for organising everything so well......Mary and Lorimer have raised the bar even higher on the pudding front...so yummy!!!!
Catherine Bloomfield: CairnBan Ballater weekend....what a fab weekend
Finally, a February weekend with lovely winter weather. Walk to Broad Cairn on Saturday then a walk to shielin of Mark bothy.
Snowholing, 26 February 2018
Martin McKinstry: A far more luxurious affair than the 2016 trip. Hermit crabbed a pre-dug snow hole which required only minor renovations. Back to ptarmigan restaurant for a coffee before a wee jaunt up to the summit then dinner and bed. Woke up to dawn over the Cairngorms, and had a wee roll and bacon in the Ptarmigan before a trek round the northern corries.
Stuart Young: No matter what anyone tells you snow holing is a tough gig. With Antje Nish, Alan Forsyth, Alex Haken, Martin McKinstry and Stas Burek we started off. Stas had to drop out, but the rest of us plodded onto the Ptarmigan for a light refreshment, then into our 5 berth snow hole, wandered to the top of Cairngorm (for a top) back to the Ptarmigan for an evening refreshment, dinner al fresco with Antje's warmed mulled wine, another evening walk, Alan's wiskey on the rocks and woke to a stunning morning. Then myself and Alex went ice climbing, well Alex did I stood and held his jacket at the bottom and then a beautiful walk out. What a CB weekend.
Adrian Mowat, 20 March 2018
After a few character building trips to look at the inside of clouds lately, Ania Borg and I caught absolutely perfect conditions for the CMD aerate yesterday.
Martin McKinstry, 6 May 2018
Multi-summit cluster-bag up at drumochter. Brilliant day. Awesome weather. Four summits. Minor sunburn.
Knoydart, 25 - 27 May 2018
Mary Howley: Great weekend in Knoydart with just lovely company. Most of the party climbed Sgurr Coire Choinnichean at some point this weekend, what a great mountain. Special high five to Bob on this one!
Stuart Young: What a weekend in Knoydart, who would have thought it would have been so hot and clear.
And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Stuart McKie: Haven't laughed so much in ages. What a weekend, thanks everybody for making it one of the very best trips !!
John McGill: Cairnban melting in heat of Knoydart. Drier than our last visit, although we did still find a bog to sink into!
Catherine Bloomfield: Two great days walking in good company with the sunniest and hottest weather in Knoydart.
Bob Gardner, 6 June 2018
(Mad dog of a Scotsman out in the Noon day sun.)
Ben Lomond to the top. car park midges awful.
Midges on the top treble awful. No one lingered,
Very quiet on way up, Extremely high numbers heading for the top when I was coming down. Not fast either way.
I'm Gently boiled and possibly very tasty. Wife thinks that's disputable.
Sheena McKie, 22 June 2018
Lovely three days up in Braemar with sun, wind and a couple of showers. Bagged nine Munros. In training for Mongolia.
High winds yesterday on Glas Tulaichean so had to leave Carn an Righ for another day.
Lovely meal at The Gathering Place.
Midsummer walk and camp, 23 June 2018
Iain Kent: Mid-Summer walk and Camp up Dumyat in the Ochil Hills. Massive BBQ thanks to Campbell. A bit windy and chilly up top but lovely sunset. Great laugh as usual!
Stuart Young: After an arduous drive and long haul into the camp spot, we settled down for an evening of fine dining (and I am not kidding), drinking and merriment. Cracking summer walk and camp and great to see everyone who made it.
Stuart McKie, 25 June 2018
Bidean Nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach in brilliant sunshine. You forget what a tough climb Bidean is !!
The steep descent into the Lost Valley is now very badly eroded and needs much care. Great views today !
Catherine Bloomfield, 6 August 2018
The Dolomites are a fantastic place for a holiday suiting both walkers and non-walkers. We had lovely weather for climbing the Marmolada, ascending many peaks Via Ferrata, some rock climbing, swimming etc.
Stas Burek, 12 August 2018
So, four of us made it to Neilston Quarry on Friday - Adrian, Ania, Diane and me. Not quite the drama of the Dolomites, but a great way to spend an evening. Thanks to Adrian for organising. Maybe more opportunities to come?