Mar '18 - Judy Scott
The camping barn was in a fantastic position between Reeth and Gunnerside. It was a very snowy weekend but four of us did an excellent 10 mile walk taking in historic lead mines and blizzards.
Feb '18 - David Aldridge
Originally there were 5 of us but Mick had a bout of flu and Christine’s car broke down and couldn’t be repaired until the following week. Mike D was about to become a grandad so was grounded in Matlock. That left Pete, Laura and David to battle the Scottish elements, joined by Roger for the weekend.
Also in the hut over the weekend was a party of 10 on an English-Polish climbing exchange week. Most of the party didn’t arrive until the small hours of Saturday morning but it was interesting to hear them planning climbs over breakfast of grade 6 and 7 in Glencoe – just as a warm-up to start the week!
Saturday Pete, Laura and David drove out to Victoria Bridge and climbed Stob a’Choire Odhair. The day was grey and got greyer as it progressed, finishing in a squall and snow storm as we approached the summit. We quickly abandoned our plan to descend via the W. ridge and retraced our steps. The small hut at the bottom of the glen (Glasgow Climbing Club) was occupied for the weekend by two brothers and nephew.
Sunday we were joined by Roger for a climb of Ben Vane. In complete contrast to the day before, Sunday began bright and clear. Snow conditions were quite loose but from about 700m it was cold enough to have formed a crust to stop us sinking to our knees at every step. The wind increased as we got higher producing significant spindrift and the cloud closed in. There was no view from the summit but as we descended, retracing our steps, the clouds lifted to give extensive views over Ben Lomond and looking west, out to Mull. It was a good day with some short scrambly bits to add interest.
Photos: Ben Lomond from Ben Vane, on Ben Vane itself and at the summit.
Richard arrived on Sunday evening for a few days, a member of the ‘Wokandrice’ (I kid you not) Club to do some walking and cycling.
Monday a route up Beinn Chabair was abandoned by Pete and Laura due to dire conditions under foot of loose snow on top of bog. David remained in the hut feeling sorry for himself after a dodgy curry the night before.
Tuesday the day began cloudy but the summits were clear. Laura, Pete and David headed down to Loch Awe to climb Beinn a’Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich. There was a lot of loose snow, thigh deep in places on the S ridge up to Beinn a’Chochuill so progress was slow. Higher up, where the ridge had cleared a bit and a good crust formed, the going became easier. Large patches of clear blue sky developed which meant a good view from the summit into the northern walls of Ben Cruachan. Time was getting on so we made a rapid descent to the col followed by an ascent of Beinn Eunaich, hampered by a quick snow storm halfway up to remind us who was boss. There were no views from the summit but the clag was only hovering around the tops. We made a descent of the SSW ridge and the steep W face back to the track.
Wednesday’s snow and high winds arrived as predicted making it a rest day. The same was forecast for Thursday but early morning weather produced false optimism and talk of Ben Narnain. However by 10 the weather had deteriorated and the talk was more about abandonment. Pete and Laura decided to try for the Corbett of Meall an Fhudair but had to bail out after reaching the top of the ridge of Troisgeach but David was already well down the M74 by then.
Had three good days on the hill and some enjoyable conversation in the hut. It was a pity that more couldn’t have made it.
Dec '17 / Jan '18 - Peter Scott
12 DMC members celebrating in front of a cheerful fire and toasting the arrival of 2018 with sips from a rare bottle of Shackleton’s Whisky (courtesy of Austin who sadly was unable to join us). We were lucky to enjoy 2 days of good weather, walking the local fells, valleys and exploring the slate quarries.