Muir Cottage Winter Hut Meet
Thu 1st Feb - Sun 4th Feb, 2018
Attendees: Emily Thompson, Jared Kitchen, Andy Stratford, Steve Graham, Stuart Hurworth, Clay Conlon, Phillip Hewertson, Richard Appleby and Steve Bingham.
The trip started with an interesting drive over the Glen Shee pass for some of the club, with Andy's car having a sketchy slide around in the snowy conditions as it attempted to get up the road to the top of the pass. With his winter tyres the fortunate members made it to the hut in one piece. Jared and Emily were less lucky in their little Corsa which, try as it might, failed to make the last 300 metres of the hill. They eventually gave up trying at midnight and spent the night back at the bottom of the hill in the car.
Arriving at the hut the following morning they found the rest of the club had gone out bright and early to Lochnagar to make the most of the glorious conditions.
Steve and Phillip opted for a walk up to Lochnagar summit across the plateau. Steve was very happy to have broke his record for a day out this winter since his accident, completing a 7 and a half hour route. Steve noted that there were great conditions and amazing views from the summit pillar.
Stuart, Andy and Clay went to check out climbing routes on Lochnagar and managed to climb half of Raeburn's Gully (II) with Andy apparently sent ahead, soloing, as an avalanche probe. With a large cornice above they decided to retreat and headed to Central Buttress (II) where Stuart set off as lead till it became necessary to retreat.
After a late breakfast and a brew to recover from a night in the car Emily and Jared headed out for a walk through the woodlands onto the Carn Liath top. The terrain was easy going so they used the opportunity to nav through the mist across the spot heights to Geal Charn and the munro top of Carn Bhac. There was a brief moment of relocation techniques being deployed in the cloud before they found the summit and headed down to the valley, heading back to the hut in the dark.
Typically the evening was a chat about routes for the following day and marvelling at Stuart's tea for the evening: acheese sandwich and mash starter, and a mix of tuna, beans and dolmio accompanied by Thai rice and Morrocan couscous, all mixed together in a huge bowl.
The weather wasn't as nice on Saturday, with low cloud and snowfalling all day.
Richard and Steve B had arrived Friday evening and had headed off to climb at Lochnagar but came back concerned about the road so eventually walked in to do Carn Toul. After a long walk in they decided to climbed Sgor Mor the summit near White Bridge, which resulted in bashing through the heather back to the track.
Andy and Phillip inspired to back a remote munro set off the do the route Emily and Jared did the day before although ascended via the track direct to the munro.
After some debate Emily and Jared decided to do the long walk in to Derry Lodge and ascend Being Bhreac. It was a very long walk in, made much worse by arriving at the derelict Derry Lodge moments before a rather smug Steve whizzed to join them on one of the hut mountain bikes. Steve continued on to explore the forest tracks on the bike, and Emily and Jared continued on through the snow to the munro summit.
Stuart and Clay made it to Lochnagar and climbed a variation of The Gift (II) on Lochnagar and had an amazing time on the route, arriving back at the hut late. The evening was spent discussing 2019 winter options.
Most of the club members headed home Sunday morning with Emily and Jared stopping at a tea room in Dunblane on the way back. Andy, Steve and Stuart made the most of the day and headed out in the sun to bag the munros to the East of the Glen Shee pass in what Andy described as Alpine conditions.
It was agreed by all who attended that Muir Cottage was a fantastic hut and a great location for a winter meet and it would be somewhere we'd definitely visit again at some point in the future.
******4 places left!!!**********.
For the first weekend in February the KMC are heading to South Cairngorms to Muir Cottage, just outside Braemar.
The hut is ideally situated for plenty of easy winter munro bagging including the Cairnwell round and lots of Corbetts. For the more adventurous it also provides excellent access to the Lairig Ghru and Glen Derry, with options of winter overnighters at the Hutchinson's Memorial Hut or Corrour Bothy.
There is also lots of winter climbing options not far away including the classic Lochnagar and Creag an Dubh Loch.
Booking open to full members only until October 1st 2017, when the meet will open for booking to associate members. Non-members/guests of members may only book after Dec 1st.
Weekend will cost £36 for the three nights. For details of the hut see:
Muir Cottage, South Cairngorms. Ideally situated for Munro bagging, climbing in central Cairgorms (Loch Avon Basin), and the classic Lochnagar and Creag an Dubh Loch. Booking opens 1st May 2017 to full members only until October 1st 2017, when the meet will open for booking to associate members. Non-members/guests of members may only book after Dec 1st. 12 places are available and the meet is expected to be fully booked.