Edinburgh Mountaineering Club: Meet Report
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Gillian and Stac Pollaidh - Alison C Girls day out on Beinn an Eoin - Alison C
Gillian and Stac Pollaidh - Alison C

Meet Report

29th to 31st December 2006 - Ullapool (New Year)

The New year celebrations may have been cancelled in Edinburgh but the EMC and the FBI in Ullapool were made of sterner stuff. This was our first visit to Scotpackers hostel and on Friday evening we relaxed in the toasty sitting room checking out the MWIS forecast - 120mph winds, chances of cloud free munros 10%, wind chill severe, going to extreme on Hogmanay.

Funnily enough the next day looked sort of OK, at least relative to the prediction. Even more bizarrely, although it was hellish windy on Cul Mor in the vicinity of the corries, once we got to the summit we experienced a mysterious calm and some good views. Good enough to hang about for half an hour watching a load of brockenspectres. The other hills done that day were Braebag and Ben More Coigach.

On Hogmanay a big front was crossing the country. Resident meteorologist Alison M was confidently predicting that the front was slow moving and that far north was best (Shetland anyone?). She duly left with the other Anne at the crack of dawn for Quinag. The rest of us were not quite as dedicated. The boys all went for separate trips, leaving us girlies to face the access problems at Braemore junction on our own. A bit tough as it required us to creep quietly past the gatehouse without saying a word. We lost our nerve further down at the lodge and deviated through the back of the forest. The "slow moving" front seemed to have come in just as we reached the summit of our Corbett, prompting a split in the group with Fiona very generously noting that as Sara wasn't wanting to go on to the neighbouring Graham she would be willing to "accompany" her down.

The group we were sharing with let us partake in their pre dinner Pims and Gin and tonics - nice to have some sophistication in the EMC- before we got down to the task of making dinner to Air guitar II and then heading off to the FBI (Ferry Boat Inn) for the Bells. Alison W had managed to drink them out of An Teallach draught and bottled and was presented with a free T-shirt for her efforts.

Now usually the EMC is nicely tucked up in bed just after midnight on Ne-er day (or in Pa Broon's case several hours before the Bells) but things were getting a bit more lively with party games starting next door. Chubby Bunnies was first on offer. This was followed by various people demonstrating alarming degrees of flexibility (or in my case not) by attempting to pick up small bits of cardboard from the floor using their teeth but without touching the floor with anything but their feet. The other group turned out to be particularly bendy and only one person was able to compete for the EMC side in the latter stages. Alison W finally restored the EMC pride by winning the woman's leg wrestling competition.

No sign of the other group in the morning. Gillian, Fiona, Sara and myself enjoyed rather a wild day on Beinn an Eoin with hail, wind, rain, thunder and lightening but some good views in between the squalls. Kenny, Richard and Alan were heading home and opted for Beinn Dearg with some apparently awful breakable crust snow conditions which gave Alan the opportunity to demonstrate his awesome trailing breaking ability.

All in all, a really good New year with a great relaxed atmosphere.

Alison C