This year’s winter trip came up with the predictable concoction of crap conditions (from some people’s point of view), great conditions (from other’s), minor injuries, car breakdowns, mist and copious amounts of whisky and piss-taking. No changes there then.
We’ve turned posh with our new chosen residence of “The Logs”, a lovely log cabin in Torlundy near Fort William which was warm, homely and with an amazing view the north face of The Ben. It also had a weird horse sculpture thing.
Scotland had an amazing spell of weather in early March which was coming to an end when we arrived. This had unfortunately removed a massive amount of the snow and the mountains looked pretty bare at first sight. Our day one walk to Lurchers Crag in the northern Cairngorms left us wondering what we’d manage to get done other than walks and the odd gully.
That got us in gear to go big on day two, with 2 teams heading to the Ben and others heading to Glen Coe to make the most of the snow on the piste while it lasted. Thankfully everyone discovered there was masses more snow there than the Cairngorms. That really set the precedent for the rest of the week. There were no face ice climbs or ski touring to be had and low cloud meant that ridge walks wouldn’t have been too inspiring so the flavour of the week was gully climbs and piste skiing.
As usual there was also plenty of other stuff going on; scenic drives, valley walks, cycling, swimming, bowling, gear shopping and bouncing over rocks in kayaks (not intentionally but there wasn’t really enough water in the rivers!)
Here’s the order of play:
Day 1: Lurchers Crag Walk
Day 2: Glencoe Piste Skiing / Ben Nevis No. 2 Gully (II) / Ben Nevis Rayburn’s Easy Route (II)
Day 3: Glencoe Piste Skiing / Craig Meagaidh Rayburn’s Gully (I)
Day 4: Cairngorm Piste Skiing / Coire an t’Sneachda – Fiacaill Couloir (II/III) / Coire an t’Sneachda – Spiral Gully (II)
Day 5: Rest Day: Walk / Swim / Bowling
Day 6: Glen Coe Piste Skiing / Glen Coe Walk
Day 7: Stob Ban ridge walk / Cycling / Kayaking
It was a cracking week and with 12 club members it was the largest group we’ve had on a club trip. Plenty of people trying new things, learning new skills and having a laugh which is what the club trips are about. We made the most of the conditions and the weather was kind to us with the worst day being the day we left – so no complaints! Also many thanks to the sponsorship from Northlink Ferries making it much more affordable for everyone.
Special thanks also due to the following for assisting in passing time in the evenings:
- Glenmorangie 10yr old
- Glenmorangie 18yr old
- Bruichladdich Classic
- Bruichladdich Islay Barley
- Tomatin 12yr old
- Aberlour 12yr old
- Aberfeldy 12yr old
- Dalwhinnie Winters Gold
- Glenfiddich 12yr old
- Strathisla 12yr old
- Glen Morray Elgin Classic
- Loch Lomond Original