Fiona on the final pitch of Squareface - Mike W
28th to 31st August 2009 - Rucksacks, Braemar (August Bank Holiday)
For this weekend we had exclusive use of Rucksacks Hostel as a base.
Uninspiring wet and windy weather on Saturday saw EMCers headed off in all directions, to later bring back widely diverse accounts of weather conditions. Anne C and Alan R and Martin H optimistically headed off towards Coire Sputan Dearg with full climbing gear, only to stash their ropes at Derry Lodge at the sight of the drenched hills, and then get turned from Ben Macdui by the wind on Derry Cairngorm. Tim had a showery day completing his remaining "zone 8" Munros (Devil's Point and Cairn Toul) with lunch in the An Garbh Choire bothy (Currour bothy swarming with hordes of people and campers). Fiona and Mike found drier weather later in the day, and successfully ticked the remote but much coveted Squareface (four-star VDiff) on the northern slopes of Beinn a'Bhuird.
Better conditions on Sunday inspired Alan, Martin and Tim to make the epic bike ride into Squareface for a most enjoyable ascent. Alan and Martyn proceeded on to the Ben Avon summit and a couple of tops. Alison and Kenny were less successful, being roped up at the base of Creagan a'Choire Etchachan's Talisman (three star Hard Severe) before deciding that it was all a bit cold, damp and unfriendly and bailing. Elsewhere Bill, Alison and Anne had a pleasant stroll over Creag nan Gobhar (Corbett), and Margaret and Gillian did Carn Liath and Culardoch, leaving a car near Gairnshiel Lodge and cycling from Braemar up to the two hills then out via Glen Gairn.
Other activities of note include the inspection of a restored seminary in the hills used by outlawed catholic monks, the discovery of a land rover stuck on a rock, the rescue of a pheasant, and a presentation to Fiona as a token of thanks for her efforts organizing the Alps trip.