31st December 2009 to 3rd January 2010 - Carn Dearg Youth Hostel, Gairloch (New Year)
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Snow was everywhere this New Year, even on the beaches on the west coast. The snow resulted in a number of call offs due to travel issues, a snowplough being the best form of transport.
A total of 25 did however make it to the youth hostel at Gairloch, many had been away for the preceding few days, ploughing through the snow on the hills or more sensibly cross country skiing, with the ski centre at Slochd and its charming owner being a popular choice. Fiona and I turned up on Hogmanay after a day on Beinn Bhan, with a harrowing gully climb prior to emerging on the A`Chioch ridge and glorious sunshine. By the time we arrived everyone was ensconsed in the lounge and it was very cosy, Fiona R was busy preparing puddings for the next again night, which looked very appetising.
After seeing in the bells, (well some of us managed to stay up) New Years day started cloudy but soon started to clear and various parties went onto the Corbetts behind Beinn Eighe, a Graham nearby and other walks to start the year. The dinner that night was the usual excellent fare, with EMC members yet again demonstrating their culinary expertise, it was a case of help yourself to the various dishes and amazingly everybody formed an orderly queue rather than the anticipated rammy to get to their preferred dish.
The next day ambitions were more adventurous with parties on Beinn Alligin, a party of 4 slogging and swearing their way up an incredibly plastered Maol Chearn Dearg which was rewarded with stunning views of Torridon and a finish in the dark.
All too soon it was time to face the road home again, thankfully the A9 was clear as we headed south.