May 2017 Weekend Meet: Coruisk, Skye


At the ‘Bad Step’ en-route to Coruisk

Date: 28th April – 1st May 2013 (3 nights)
Venue: The Coruisk Memorial Hut, Skye

Location: The Coruisk Memorial Hut is situated on the Island of Skye at the head of Loch Scavaig, close to where the River Scavaig flows the few hundred metres from Loch Coruisk to the Sea. It is about 100m from a landing stage in Loch na Cuilce (off Loch Scavaig) (OS Sheet 32, Grid Ref: NG 487197).

Access:
Boat from Elgol – a 30-minute sea crossing. There are now two operators but please check their website: Bella Jane Boat Trips or Misty Isle Boat Trips.

Walking from the road at Kilmarie – a 10km (6 mile) hike.
Follow the land rover track as far as Camasunary, then the rough track round the headland by way of the ‘Bad Step’ and the Scavaig River to Coruisk. This route will take between 2 and 4 hours depending on one’s fitness, load and weather.

Walking in from Glen Brittle, with a heavy pack, not recommended.

Please note that a boat has been booked going in Friday evening – group price negotiated. If anyone intends making their own way in, please let Simon know.

Facilities: The building is self contained and sleeps 9 persons in bunks within the main room. Sleeping bags are required although there are a number of blankets. Power is supplied by bottled gas that serves the cookers, lights and new stove. Both the flush toilet and the kitchen sink are served by a water pipe running from a nearby burn. All pots, pans, crockery, cutlery, etc. are also provided. (Only sleeping bags, clothing and food are required.)

Cost: tba

Activities from hut: In spite of its remoteness the hut is ideally situated for excursions to Sgurr na Stri (recommended), Druim nan Ramh, The Dubhs, Gars-bheinn and the more demanding traverse of the Cuillin Ridge. Rock climbing of all grades is found nearby. On less energetic days one might include low level walks around Loch na Cuilce, where there are many seals and other forms of wildlife, or around Loch Coruisk, where the scenery is most dramatic with the black rocks plunging into the watery depths.

Bookings: As many who want to come can come, however, please note that all 9 bunks in the hut are already taken, with numerous members also already on the reserve list. If you don’t have a place in the hut you can camp nearby.

April 2017 Bus Meet – Glen Affric

Sunday 16th April 2017

Glen Affric – Morvich traverse

O.S.Map(s): 33 (and 25)

Bus Stop: Glen Affric car park

Est. time of arrival: 9.30/9.45am

Time of departure: 5.45/6.00pm

Leave Elgin: 7.00am

Glen_Affric

This traverse is part of the Affric Kintail Way The bus will be drop of us at the car park in Glen Affric and then makes its way round to Morvich.  On the homeward journey, there will be a refreshment stop at the Cluanie Inn.

The likely walks include:

The traverse to the Cluanie Inn could be combined with a hill or two:

  • Ciste Dhubh
  • Mullach Fraoch-choire and A’ Chrailaig

Please contact Gordon Eccleston by 16:00 on the evening of Thursday 13th April to book a seat on the bus for this meet.

March 2017 Weekend Meet Report – Braemar

There was a last minute rush for places on this meet. This resulted in the reserve list members having a weekend in the very modestly priced luxury of a chalet while the rest of us made do with the slightly unusual bunkhouse and a few hardy OATs [Old Age Travellers. Not so old these days in some cases, but they still clutter the place up, keep us awake all evening and then retreat for a tranquil night’s sleep elsewhere. Memo to self – find a friendly parking warden to issue a few tickets next time.] cluttered up the recycling centre with an assortment of camper vans.

Friday was a near perfect winter’s day so Jake, Joe, Alan Duncan and David Treagus started the meet a day early and met, with bikes, at Inverey, at some unearthly hour in the morning. They cycled up the glen to Altanour lodge and were rewarded with extensive views of the Cairngorms from the summits of Carn Bhac, Beinn Iutharn Mhor, Mam na Cain and Beinn Iutharn Bheag. Alistair Jeffs meanwhile went to Cairn na Tuirc; well, why not?

The rather poor weather forecast led to a lack of definite plans and a late night session instead. Saturday dawned (?) as miserable as forecast but the MMC members are not put off by such things and eventually all left the hut.

Joe and Dan thought they might try for tea and cake with Liz, and donning ski-googles, set off on their bikes towards Balmoral, into the wind, the snow, the rain, et cetera. They returned, via Invercauld and Mar Lodge, wet footed from a run through the river, cold and tea and cakeless. All in all a Type 2 fun sort of a day.

Colin Cowie set off on his bike to visit the secret howff in Glen Slugain, waking up the three incumbents, some of whom had only arrived at 06:00. He was followed shortly after by Simon and Drummond who walked in from Invercauld. By now the incumbents were well and truly awake. They were followed an hour or so later by Bea, Jen Clarke, Alan and Jake on a circular walk from/to Linn of Quoich. There is no record as to the state of the incumbents when they arrived. However the logical mathematical progression is that they may have anticipated a further party of eight shortly descending on them and decided to evacuate the premises. Clearly this rather splendid howff is not the secret it was a few hours earlier. It is located …..(this section redacted to preserve the tradition and to ensure that future incumbents can get a decent night’s sleep)….

The Munro baggers, Alistair, David and Adrian set off with the triple objectives of Carn Aosda, the Cairnwell and Carn a Gheoidh. However the wind was horrendous, the visibility none existent, the snow and ice appalling, et cetera. Adrian’s dog Smidge had the most sensible idea of descending back to the car by following a chair lift from the Cairnwell so our hardy hill- walkers had no choice but to follow.

A larger group consisting off Evelyn, Fiona & Bob, Jan, Sheena, Ray and John Henderson opted for a pleasant low level walk around Braemar along the Queen’s drive and a lunchstop at Braemar Castle.

The chalet girls, Faye, Theresa and Ellen, went through the pinewoods to Derry Lodge but have left no account of their adventures.

Drummond and Simon dug deep into their pockets, always a painful process, and bought tickets to attend an entertaining talk and book launch by Geoff Allan, author of the new complete Bothy Bible book. Their short pockets [err… short arms?] didn’t extend to actually buying a copy so your humble scribe has probably got the title wrong. This weekend was the first year of a new Braemar Mountain festival which, unfortunately for us, was sold out so there is no report of the Ceilidh or other events.

Saturday night was Dan’s birthday. A succession of cakes with single candles meant he aged three years in one evening. Quite an achievement – Dan, you don’t look a day over 45!

Sunday also dawned a bit wet. Dan, Sheena and Simon headed off to Glenshee, full of hope and with skis at the ready. After tea, no cake and much indecision they eventually headed up into the clouds. The snow got better and more abundant, relatively speaking, and they very soon reached the mist shrouded summit of Carn Aosda.

Simon headed back to the lodge which was the cue for the clouds to instantly lift leaving the hardy duo to ski on in surprisingly good conditions and blue skies to Carn a Gheoidh. Despite the rising temperature they returned in time to beat the thaw and just managed to water-ski back to the car-park.

All in all a most enjoyable weekend. Let’s hope Loch  Ossian will be as good, or even better.

March 2017 Bus Meet Report – Fannichs

A total of 18 Members and two guests joined the bus at Elgin and Forres leaving the Moray Firth in good weather and high spirits.

However, as the bus approached the first drop off at Torr Breac about 3 Km north of Garve, cloud had descended and was being whipped past the hills by a strengthening wind. The bus windscreen wipers going at full chat was another indication the day might not go to plan. Not at all daunted, Graeme Bartlett left the bus to tackle Little Wyvis and its big brother.

The next stop was at Loch Droma where 3 “seniors” (Ray Harron, Ray Newell and Dave Galloway) left to head up to the Fannich Ridge by Meall á Chrasgaidhand then down to where the bus would be parked at Loch á Bhraoin. Stewart Evans set off from Corrieshalloch Gorge to climb Beinn Enaiglair (889m)

It needs to be recorded that all these early departees successfully completed their planned routes, though our senior Fannich baggers reported being blown over as they crested the ridge. Sadly, the remaining 15 failed on all counts to achieve theirs!!

Graham Milton and Bill Lindsay had planned to climb Creag Rainich, a number of others thought the Grahams (Groban and Beinn Bheag) would make for a pleasant walk while the remainder planned to walk up the glen to Loch an Nid.

All 15 left the bus at Loch á Bhraoin in good spirits and set off south west along a good lochside track towards Lochivraon Bothy some 6 km distant where they enjoyed a ”Hobbit” second breakfast or early lunch while they took stock. Graham and Bill looked at the clouds sweeping past obscuring the hill and decided an extended bothy-stop or low-level walk was called for. The other 13 set off with good intentions, however, when it became clear that climbing the Grahams would mean crossing a river that was flowing like the Findhorn after a wet weekend, they joined the party walking up the glen. However, after a couple more kilometres crossing streams and bog trotting, all decided to leave the Loch for a better day. Of course, as soon as the decision was made to return to the bus, the sun came out!

So all arrived back at the bus by 15:30 leaving time for an unscheduled stop at Corrieshalloch Gorge which was pretty spectacular thanks to the rain-swollen river. The final stop was at Inchbae Lodge Hotel, now under new management and much improved from previous experience. We were made to feel very welcome and spent a pleasant hour there before heading back to Forres and Elgin.

And the main question of the day? – What happened to the Inverness contingent? – is this the first time that no one joined the bus there?)

April 2017 Weekend Meet: Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

Date: 31st March/1st April 2017
Venue: Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

Location: Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is a small eco youth hostel situated on the banks of Loch Ossian.

Getting here: Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is only accessible by rail, bike, or foot. You cannot drive here.  You can park up at either Tullich station (to the North) or Rannoch station (to the South) to catch a train to Corrour  station (the West Highlands Glasgow to Fort William line). Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is an approximately 20 minute walk from Corrour station along a well-made track.

Facilities: Fully-equipped self-catering kitchen but no fridge. Perishables can be kept cool in the north facing washrooms or in the loch! Drying is available on two overhead racks and boot stands by the fire. There are now showers, the wash rooms have hot water and towels are available for hire or purchase. Loch Ossian has a small shop with ‘Beyond the Beaten Track’ ready meals, a range of snacking essentials, postcards and sundries. Electricity is provided by a wind turbine, composting toilets are used and a reed bed is used to soak away for grey water. In extreme weather the youth hostel normally remains open during the day.

Nearby hills: (Munros) Beinn na Lap, Sgor Gaibhre, Carn Dearg, Beinn Eibhinn, Aonach Beag, Geal Charn, Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain. (Corbetts) Leum Uilleum, Meall na Meoig, Glas Bheinn. (Grahams) Beinn na Clioche, Creag Ghuanach.

Nearby pub: None. There is a restaurant at Corrour Station that is open for evening meals (booking advisable).

Cost: circa £20 per person per night (for non SYHA members)

Please note that only two nights have been booked despite this being a holiday weekend. If you would like to stay on Thursday evening and/or Sunday evening, please book these additional nights yourself directly with the hostel.

To book on this meet please contact Simon.

March 2017 Bus Meet – Fannichs

Sunday 19th March 2017

O.S.Map(s): 19, 20

Bus Stop: Loch a’Bhraoin (NH162760)

Est. time of arrival: 9.15am

Time of departure: 6.00pm

Leave Elgin: 7.00am

The Fannichs lie between Loch Fannich and the A835 Garve to Ullapool road. With Munros, Corbetts and Grahams in the area there should be plenty of choice for all abilities. There is even the Corrieshalloch Gorge, with the Falls of Measach. The bus will be parked at Loch a’ Bhraoin for the day and drops can be made along the way as usual.  On the homeward journey, there will be a refreshment stop at the Inchbae Lodge Inn.

The likely walks include:

from Loch a’Bhraoin 

  • Beinn Bheag and Groban (Grahams)
  • Creag Rainich (Corbett)
  • A’Chailleach and Sgurr Breac (Munros)
  • Meall a’Chrasgaidh, Sgurr nan Clach Geala and Sgurr nan Each (Munros)

From Braemore junction

  • Beinn Enaiglair (Corbett)
  • Corrieshalloch Gorge plus Lael Forest

from Loch Droma

  • An Colieachan and Meal Gorm (Munros)
  • Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich and Sgurr Mor (Munros)
  • Cona’ Mheall and Beinn Dearg (Munros)

from Loch Glascarnoch

  • Am Faochagach (Munro)
  • Beinn Liath a’Ghiubhais (Corbett)
  • An Coileachan and Meall Gorm (Munros)

Please contact Gordon Eccleston by 16:00 on the evening of Thursday 15th March please to book a seat on the bus for this meet.

February 2017 Bus Meet Report – Cairngorms

cairngormThe first bus meet of the year was to a local destination and the only one of the year to have a formal mountain skills session.  Experienced club members Ray Harron and David “Heavy” Whalley kindly gave their time to pass on their skills to fellow club members.  Luckily, there was sufficient snow for winter skills to be taught and learned.  This has been a particularly lean winter so far for snow lovers.

First off the bus in Aviemore, was John and Bob.  They walked to Loch an Eilean, then past the northern reaches of the Lairig Ghru and Loch Morlich to Glenmore for a coffee and cake stop before returning down the glen to Aviemore.  So they say… although the fact that they were dropped off at the Cairngorm Hotel and were already there (or should that be still there) when the bus turned up eight hours later raised suspicions!

Next off the bus at Glenmore was a group of four that quickly split in two.  One group of one was Tom, who set off home.  Literally.  He lives in Forres and walked the 40-odd miles home.  The poor chap was charged full whack for the bus despite only getting it one way but hey, if it’s a good enough policy for rail companies it’s good enough for the MMC.  He finally reached his front doorstep at 8.10pm, which, incidentally is about when the bus got back into Elgin which begs the question what were the rest of us doing for all that time?!

But as for the other three, Jake, Stewart and Joe set off up Bynack Mor with the intention of traversing it, A’ Choinneach and Cairn Gorm.  A fine high traverse is perfect for a bus meet when people can start and finish a walk at different locations.  Joe had prepared for a big day in the winter hills by attending a beer festival the day before.  There had been at least eight beers on offer, all of them good, some of them needing to be sampled more than once, including the Windswept Werewolf, a thick black chilli-laced glass of delightfulness which at 6% abv was wonderful at the time but may have contributed to a slightly sub-prime Moray Mountaineer the following morning.

The walk to Bynack Mor is for at least a couple of miles an easy flat tree-lined walk which helped the hopeless case keep up with the two fit hillwalkers, occasionally bouncing off trees like a pin ball and wishing he could just curl up into a ball and wake up the next day.  The summit was reached with an increasing westerly breeze but stunning clarity.  Stewart enjoyed the views, Jake complained about the lack of Champagne and tablet “But, but, there was lots on offer last time I was here…” and Joe blinked stupidly at the views wondering where he was and how he had come to be there.  By this stage the wind had reached ferocious proportions and a descent was welcome.  The group wandered unsteadily down over A’ Choinneach to the very calm Saddle, with Strath Nethy to the right and the grand and sublime Loch Avon to the left before a wee wander over Cairn Gorm and back to the bus.

The main mission on this bus meet, and by far the largest group was Ray and Heavy and their merry band of followers, all keen to learn how to stay safe on Scotland’s winter mountains.  They incorporated a lot of skills into their walk into Coire an Lochain and over the top of Lurcher’s Crag, such as safe use of ice axe and crampons, ice axe arrest, and navigation.  Heavy emphasised the fact that nobody is merely a follower in the hills, especially in winter, and everyone should learn the skills to be safe and be able to look after themselves.  It was great to get a decent turnout of ten people to take advantage of this session – David, Dotty, Fiona C, Fiona D, Lucy, Jan, Bob, Al and enthusiastic newbies Ellen and Stefan.  All they need now is more snow to put their learned skills to practice!

Ray (no, not that Ray, the other Ray) had a fine scramble up Fiacaill Ridge and wandered down the far side of the plateau towards Loch Avon.  He then traversed the tops of the cliffs, taking in the magnificent views of the Loch and hills beyond which are hidden from those on the very top of the plateau.  Cairn Gorm’s summit was Ray’s final destination before descending to the bus.

Bob and Ella did the classic circuit of the Northern Corries, peering over the cliffs and checking out the gullies for some exciting ski descents if they ever receive enough snow (well, Bob was, Ella is much too sensible to contemplate such antics).  They reported seeing a lot of people on their walk and they topped it off with an ascent of Cairn Gorm followed by a bowl of soup in the Ptarmigan Restaurant.

A fine day enjoyed by all, finished off with a sociable pub stop in Aviemore.  The next weekend meet will be to Braemar, followed by the next bus meet to the Fannaichs.  Weather as good as this bus meet can’t be guaranteed and there certainly won’t be a restaurant serving hot soup at over 3500 feet but both meets will definitely provide plenty of fresh air and good craic.

J Alister Sword Photography Competition 2017

J Alister Sword  Best Scottish Photo

The annual J. Alister Sword photography competition will take place after the Annual General Meeting on 23 March 2017. The competition rules are:

1. Competition is open to current members of the Moray Mountaineering Club only.
2. Two categories: “Scottish” and “Non-Scottish”.
3. Any subject with a mountaineering theme (landscapes, people, macros, wildlife, etc.).
4. Entries must have been taken in the last 12 months.
5. Submit up to a maximum of two photographs per category.
6. Entries must be made as hard-copy on the night (please write your name and photo details on the reverse).

2018 Calendar.   All entries for the Scottish category will be considered for The Moray Mountaineering Club’s 2018 calendar… but only if you email them to moraymountaineeringclub@gmail.com. Unlike the competition, there is no limit to the number of photos that you can submit for the calendar (within reason!). Please email at the full resolution and include a description (location, date…etc).

Last year’s competition winners…

loch-ossian-2016-photo-comp
Scottish, Loch Ossian by D Moysey

tignes-2016-photo-comp
Non-Scottish, Tignes, D Moysey

March 2017 Weekend Meet: Braemar

Sat 4th – Sun 5th March 2017
O.S.Map(s): 43
Accommodation: Braemar Lodge Bunkhouse
Cost: TBC
Facilities: Fully equipped kitchen. Linen and towels provided.

The hotel is situated on your right as you travel south along the A93 (the road to Glenshee).

There are lots of Munros in the area, snowsports at Glenshee (if you can find snow this year) and good climbing on Lochnagar.

Email Simon Jacyna to book a place.

23 March 2017 – 80th Annual General Meeting

The Moray Mountaineering Club’s 80th Annual General Meeting will be held at 19:30 on Thursday 23 March 2017 at Glen Moray Distillery, Elgin. Please support your club by attending (one free drink for members).

The management of the Club is vested in a committee comprising the Office Bearers (President, Vice President x 2, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Secretary) and four Members. The current committee is:

  • President: Joe Glennie
  • Vice President 1: Richard Knak
  • Vice President 2: Katie Dyke
  • Honorary Treasurer: Malcolm Campbell
  • Honorary Secretary: Daniel Moysey
  • Committee Member 1: Simon Jacyna
  • Committee Member 2: Al Dennis
  • Committee Member 3: Gordon Eccleston
  • Committee Member 4: Vacant

Any member may stand for any of the positions. You do not need any particular experience just enthusiasm. The allocation of specific roles and responsibilities is not defined in the Club’s constitution, but the current arrangements are:

  • Weekend meet co-ordinator (Joe Glennie)
  • Bus meet co-ordinator (Gordon Eccleston)
  • Climbing co-ordinator (Richard Knak)
  • Membership (Malcolm Campbell)
  • Website (Al Dennis)
  • Newsletter (Daniel Moysey)
  • Library (Daniel Moysey)
  • Equipment (Daniel Moysey)

Annual General Meeting will be followed by