The night before and the secret stash of balloons - Alison C
31st December 2007 to 2nd January 2008 - Corran (New Year)
We assembled on the 28th at the Corran bunkhouse which was found to be
significantly posher than many of our dwellings. The other nice
was that Richard's brownies were the best yet. Amazingly, and only due
the vast quantity made, these lasted until the 30th.
The 29th saw a murky start and most people headed out in search of
on one list or the other. Certain people were heard to curse the
that sculpted the lower slopes of glen nevis as they struggled upwards
fighting against their hangovers. Is munro bagging really worth that
On the day the Ben's hardest route (the secret - IX,9 ) was to
recieve its second ascent the EMC had more modest ambitions. With good
weather forecast a party of 11 walked in via the superb new north face
path. A group of 4 armed with Sara's very shiny new axes and very
pink rope headed for Ledge Route. The other seven aimed for Number 4
grumbling that the marker post was, perhaps, on the wrong end of the
for their needs. At least it would confirm at the end if they had
correctly! The weather was perfect with a fine cloud inversion as we
emerged blinking in the sunlight onto the plateau.
Following successful ascents both groups were to head over the summit
back down the CMD arete for a proper mountaineering day out. Due to a
scenic detour by the gully party both groups met up on the top of Carn
Dearg and enjoyed a very sociable meander down reaching the car park in
The evening brought the communal meal. Richard and Fiona provided soups
start with. The main courses were chicken curry and curry goat provided
Alison and Ewan. Anne and Sara provided the many accompanyments. Dessert
was sadly missing Gillian's trifle but she did make a fine cheesecake
instead which equalled Margaret's meringue and chocolate creation.
After such a fine day previously few could motivate themselves on a day
rising temperatures and torrential rain. The 8am gondola party had
moved to 10am which in turn morphed into the 3pm slot at the Ice
Alison, Kenny, Alan and Ewan reminded themselves why they don't climb
VI ice while Ron and Sara opted for some expert tuition. Other parties
were rumoured to have driven most of the way around the highlands in
search of a hill that met their exacting criteria.
The hogmanay celebrations included Kenny's quiz which was sadly lacking
pictures of obscure grahams in the mist to identify. Instead he had
resorted to general knowledge which people seemed disturbingly good at.
the bells out neighbours in the adjoining bunkhouse provided a fine, if
alarming, firework display. Thankfully all the rockets missed solid
objects. In a break with tradition everybody lasted until the New Year.
On the 1st the majority headed for the wee Buchaille for a New Year
stroll. Having accomplished this the group dispersed and headed home
from one disturbingly enthusiastic member who headed to the ice factor.
Those who were staying on for an extra night had headed north of Loch
to an anonymous corbett. Sometimes guidebooks do actually contain
that should, if not be heeded, at least be noted. Had this been done
the words 'a long and tedious ridge' might have made themselves known.
Perhaps this is why there was nobody to wish happy new year to?