Edinburgh Mountaineering Club: Meet Report
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Fraser on the edge of reality... Ben Vorlich - Alison W Fraser and Pat on An Caisteal - Alison W
Fraser on the edge of reality... Ben Vorlich - Alison W

Meet Report

25th to 27th February 2005 - Inverardran Cottage

Well it finally happened - a cold front at the weekend with things the way we like them - no snow on the roads but plenty on the hills. Arriving at Inverardran cottage I was greeted warmly mainly because I had brought the supplies of coal and wood with me. However my fire building skills were put to shame by Albert who is now officially designated as the 'chief arsonist' and who managed to turn the sitting room into a sauna in no time. Unfortunately, we were one person down before we even started as Victoria discovered the meaning of 'non contact' in martial arts can still result in a broken rib. However, she is on the mend I am pleased to say.

The next morning, the climbers, Alan and Kenny, had left well before the rest of us had even surfaced and discovered to our delight the frost and clear blue skies. A bunch of people tackled various Munros close to Crianlarich. Fraser, Pat and I chose the loop around An Caisteal, Ben a'Chroin and Ben Chabhair and were rewarded with cracking views of Ben Oss, Ben Lui and Ben More. Apart from a few snow flurries we enjoyed sunshine all day. I have to say however, that I am now expecting a new TV program - Big Sheep Diary - after one member of the party was heard to enquire whether sheep had claws while peering at a footprint in the snow. Paul and Margaret also went up An Caisteal and Ben a' Chroin and the rest of their group discovered that crampons would have been a good idea and wisely chose to turn back.

Meanwhile, Martin went up a gully somewhere that totally escapes my memory but which he described as 'great'. Alan and Kenny returned in fine fettle having tackled a route called Golden Oldy involving 9 pitches. Last home (but by no means least) was Lesley having conquered another Corbett - I think it was Meall an Fhudair. Richard arrived bearing glad tidings of a Hibs win and a Scotland rugby team victory. Kenny was delighted to be presented with a rather fetching hat, found on the hill by Margaret, as it was too big for her and his own hat had been blown off his head at New Year. This prompted rather a lot of memories of other articles of clothing and equipment found and subsequently used by Kenny including rather bizarrely a pair of trousers found on a rock at Strawberry cottage.

Moving swiftly on... the club repaired to the Rod and Reel in traditional manner and was regaled with another sort of Golden Oldies as musical entertainment complete with a somewhat alarming smoke machine and flashing lights. Working on the principle that nothing that happens after the 10 o'clock watershed should be repeated I will only add that some individual's idea of a small whisky makes me worried if ever presented with a large one and that the karaoke and dancing skills of others need some honing.

The following day Kenny, Alan and Martin dashed off to attempt another climb - this time at Stob Ghabhair where they emerged onto the summit after tackling steep ice. Fraser and I struggled up the steep slopes of Ben Vorlich in bright sunshine suffering from an overdose of the night before. Once again, there were great views from the summit which Fraser ignored in favour of a 'power nap' behind the cairn. It has to be said that this did the trick as he seemed a lot better on the way down. As usual, I have no idea what everyone else did on Sunday. All in all a great weekend!

Alison W