Edinburgh Mountaineering Club: Meet Report
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The night before and the secret stash of balloons - Alison C (Taken by Alison C)
The night before and the secret stash of balloons - Alison C

Meet Report

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 surprise was that Richard's brownies were the best yet. Amazingly, and only due to the vast quantity made, these lasted until the 30th.

The 29th saw a murky start and most people headed out in search of hills on one list or the other. Certain people were heard to curse the glacier that sculpted the lower slopes of glen nevis as they struggled upwards fighting against their hangovers. Is munro bagging really worth that much pain? 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 gully grumbling that the marker post was, perhaps, on the wrong end of the gully for their needs. At least it would confirm at the end if they had chosen 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 and 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 Mor Dearg and enjoyed a very sociable meander down reaching the car park in the gloaming.

The evening brought the communal meal. Richard and Fiona provided soups to start with. The main courses were chicken curry and curry goat provided by 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 of rising temperatures and torrential rain. The 8am gondola party had already moved to 10am which in turn morphed into the 3pm slot at the Ice Factor. Alison, Kenny, Alan and Ewan reminded themselves why they don't climb grade 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 in pictures of obscure grahams in the mist to identify. Instead he had resorted to general knowledge which people seemed disturbingly good at. 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 apart 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 Eil to an anonymous corbett. Sometimes guidebooks do actually contain advice that should, if not be heeded, at least be noted. Had this been done then 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?

Josh B