Edinburgh Mountaineering Club: Meet Report
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Skiing south of Coylumbridge - Alison C View over the lake - Alison C
Skiing south of Coylumbridge - Alison C

Meet Report

6th to 8th February 2009 - Strathspey Mountain Hostel, Newtonmore

Despite concerns the A9 might become impassable due to abundant snowfall, 15 EMCers made it to the hostel without difficulty.

Saturday saw most members wanting to make the most of the low-level snow. Alison C, Kenny, Richard, Helen, Ron and Penny headed off to hire cross-country Skis at Loch Morlich, and got there just before the shop ran out of gear. After a many-pointed turn to escape from the queue for Cairgorm (which was still shut at 11) they headed back to Coylumbridge to enjoy a day skiing in superb conditions.

Others remained more local, with the two Bills skiing straight out of the hostel up into Glen Banchor and four hardcore walkers heading directly uphill in the general direction of A'Chailleach. Due to the wind and spindrift, goggles were donned within ten minutes of leaving the hostel and a passing range-rover driver offered the helpful advice "You're crazy!". After much post-holing and some full-on snowploughing by Martin, the group managed to make it up to a minor Geal Charn at 766m and then descend over Creag an Loin and rendezvous with the local skiiers.

Most of the group elected to eat out at the nearby Glen Hotel on Saturday night, prudently booked the night before. Future trips note that the hostel is somewhat lacking in its supply of pots, pans, plates and cutlery. And glasses.

Sunday brought better weather; most skiiers went back for more, with Richard and Penny heading for the Cairngorm downhill area, while Helen and Alison C attempted a cross-country expedition from Glenmore to Nethy Bridge (which was truncated because there were no volunteers to break trail after the bothy). Kenny (while not being the designated driver for Alison and Helen) spent his time being thwarted by the "bottomless snow" on Meall a' Bhuachaille. The Bills skiid on the plateau east of Drumochter Pass, and three walkers bagged Beinn a'Chuallaich (a Corbett north of Schiehallion) in perfect conditions.

Tim