19th to 21st January 2007 - Alex McIntyre Hut, Onich
The first meet of the year found us at the Alex McIntyre Hut near
Onich, the first time the club had been for quite a few years. The
drive up didn't promise great things, it poured down from the moment we
left Edinburgh to arriving at Onich. 12 of us had gathered at the hut,
once we mastered the digital lock and found our way in. A discussion
with the warden revealed that despite the hut having a capacity of 16,
as per the website, there was actually 19 in the hut that night, this
was on the basis the hut was being run like an Alpine hut apparently,
can't think of too many Alpine huts right next to a busy main road at
sea level next to a pub but maybe I've just missed them! By this time
Alison W had taken Matt and Ron under her wing and sneaked out to the
pub, good plan.
We split into 3 parties in the morning, Tim, Bill and Ewan took off
to do Beinn Schoolyard near Appin while Alison W, Ron, Anne C & Matt
headed across on the ferry to Ardgour to do the Corbett Stob Coire a
Chearcaill. Myself, Anne, Kenny, Alison and Martin headed into the
Mamores where it snowed, blew a gale, had bright sunshine, good views,
low cloud and a whiteout, all the usual Scottish winter weather. Alison
took to crawling at one point as the wind predicted by the Mountain
Weather forecast actually came into being - "mobility implausible"!
The other groups all had similar days and we all returned a bit battered
back to the "overstocked" hut. After dinner we all headed down to the
pub followed by the now traditional EMC cheeseboard back at the hut.
The next day looked a wee bit better until we started to drive round
to Glen Nevis where it turned rather dark and poured down again. After
a bit of walking round the car park myself, Martin, Kenny and Alison
eventually decided to head up to Stob Ban where those nice people from
Abacus Mountaineering had made a trail but unfortunately for us they
veered off in the wrong direction, so we sent Martin up ahead to blaze
trail to the bottom of the East Ridge, a grade II/III route, which as it
turned out was buried under masses of snow. In celebration of
finishing the climb Martin showed his appreciation by sacrificing his
helmet to the mountain, it tumbled away down the hillside, with Martin
in hot pursuit, cursing at having bought a white helmet, so easy to spot
on a snowy hillside, but on this occasion Martin lost the race.
Meanwhile on Ben Cruachan Tim, Bill and Ewan were fighting their way
through the snow to get to the top, which resulted in a descent in a
storm, passing a group of 8 still heading up without an ice axe between
them, nothing like being prepared. The other faction of Alison, Anne,
Matt and Ron had opted to go further south and bag Beinn Challum.
A weekend of wild January weather.