23rd to 25th October 2009 - Ben Nevis Inn, Acintee Fort William
While this was a club meet it was one with a difference and all about a well kent member making the transition to that of a senior citizen, with bus passes, museum concessions, tea rooms, bath chairs and Highland Heritage bus tours. For Kenny of course none of those apply, ok maybe tea rooms, and so it was that on the Friday a large contingent found themselves plodding up the Ben to celebrate the man`s coming of age. Kenny wasn’t hard to spot as he had a large “I am 60” badge complete with flashing lights attached to his rucksack. At the halfway lochan the party split, one group heading round to a wet and greasy Ledge route, the initial slab proving particularly interesting while the other group carried on up the tourist path. They arrived considerably well ahead of the supposedly faster Ledge Route party and had a long wait in the mist, they were rewarded however with more mulled wine to warm themselves up when the other group appeared along with the birthday boy. By his own reckoning this was Kenny`s 92ndascent of the Ben, that’s over 3 months worth of days on the Ben alone, not sure that qualifies him to a discount with Lochs and Grans though.
Back at the bunkhouse there were balloons, numerous photos of Kenny with his cars, tents and various EMC members throughout the ages. Cathy had made a fantastic birthday cake in the shape of the Ben, complete with Kenny and Alison climbing on it, although their belaying did look a little suspect.
That evening was spent at the Inn with the highlight the Highland Heritage brochure Alison had brilliantly put together complete with photos of Kenny and Martin throughout, if you’ve not seen this you need to have a look, it’s hilarious.
The next day was pretty wild, myself and Martin partook in some horizontal climbing on all fours to reach the summit of Stob Ban, it was a tad windy. Others quite sensibly elected to stay lower on various Corbett’s and grahams. It was back to the Inn that night where over 30 folk had gathered for a meal to formally toast Kenny.
As if all that wasn’t enough there was another big celebration on the Sunday when Helen completed her round of Munros on Meall Buidhe in Glen Lyon, (the fastest round for an EMC member?). Despite pouring rain on the drive south over 15 folks saw Helen up the final ascent where Kenny even managed to launch a rocket despite the wet conditions.
So happy birthday to Kenny and well done to Helen, a double celebration w/e for the club, right whose birthday is next..................