Sat 11th Mar - Sun 12th Mar, 2000
Muir Of Inverey, near Braemar
Members present: Roger Mapleson, Colin Maddison, Craig Marsden, Dave Bone, Mark Garrod, Michelle Harvie, Sheena Hendrie, Neville McMillan, Graham Harkness, Ann Woolley, Chris Williamson, Tony Gask
Guests: Jesper Jorgensen, Paul Jackson, May McLeod, Dave Hall, John "Goatie" Sanderson
What a turn out! 18 places, 17 turned out despite reports of poor winter climbing conditions and little snow for skiers. It would have been 18 had guest, Dave Lygate been able to secure a lift. As it turned out the sun shone and a strong wind on Saturday morning soon dropped to give a balmy spring weekend.
Everyone arrived without incident late Friday or in the early hours of Saturday. May complained bitterly of being woken by the farting of late arrivals. Obviously not me then, must have been Ann. On Saturday four pairs set off optimistically to Lochnager fully equipped. On arrival it was apparent that climbing conditions were poor with ice only of the liquid variety. Dave B, Chris, Tony and I toiled up Black Spout to the summit. This was then followed by a short (as defined by Mr Bone) stroll back via the White Mounth and Craig an Dubh Loch. Purgatorial in plastic boots. Craig and Colin tackled first a winter route (in winter conditions) and continued up Black Spout Buttress (summer conditions) engaging in a spot of boulder trundling on the way. They were just leaving the summit plateau when John was spied leading Jesper out of Raeburn's.
A total of eight set off for a walk up Glen Derry to Loch Etchachan at which point May returned feet in tatters and promptly placed her boots in the bin at the car park (Subsequently retrieved by me to be given to Bridget as her birthday present). Mark went off to bag a couple of nameless Munros whilst Neville, Sheena, Michelle, Paul, Dave H and Graham returned over Derry Cairngorm. The remaining party member, Miss Woolley, nursed her lurgy through a gentle "square shaped" walk from the hut via the fleshpots of Braemar.
On Sunday all thoughts of climbing were abandoned as most people headed out for a walk. Jesper, Ann and John engaged in John's favourite pastime of Munrobagging picking off three from Glenshee. Neville and Sheena headed for Glenmuick where Sheena picked off Broad Cairn and Neville paddled his blistered feet in the loch. Craig, Colin, Dave B and I went for another "short" (copyright, Mr Bone) stroll over the obscure Munro top Carn Bhac. Chris and Tony took their skis on a search for snow and were moderately successful. They even found a couple of tows operating but being tight-fisted, walked up. Upon finding a 300m patch of snow Chris spent his time practising telemark turns whilst Tony honed his already slick technique. Graham and Dave H had unfortunately to await breakdown services to attend to Grahams car. Did you get home OK Graham? May headed for home nursing sore feet whilst Paul, Michelle and Mark walked up An Socach. Lots of white mountain hares seen by all even if it was the flat ones on the A93.
We have 18 places booked in what I am reliably informed is particularly pleasant accommodation. There are full catering facilities, drying room, and showers. You will need sleeping bag and pillow cases. You will also need some 20 pees for heating in bedrooms if your bag's a bit iffy. The main room is made cosy by solid fuel stove (fuel provided).
Location is 5 miles west of Braemar, grid ref 076896. Mark Garrod says the hut is on North side of road, with parking immediately adjacent to the hut.
I've not been to this area before but I suspect tastes for all winter activities are well catered for. Lochnagar looks like the nearest location for winter climbing but other Cairngorm locations are accessible if you're fit enough. Walkers, skiers and mountain bikers will not struggle to find something to do either.
A tenner to me secures your place. Cash or cheque payable to KMC.