12th to 14th December 2014 - Ardenbeg Bunkhouse, Grantown-on-Spey
December 2014 – Ardenbeg Bunkhouse, Grantown-on-Spey
MEET REPORT BY SHARON
The weekend’s activities began with some members taking to their ski’s to make the most of the low-lying snow and dry weather conditions.
Alison C and Fiona M were the first to test out the freshly cut cross country ski trails in the surroundings of Glenmore forest on the Friday night, with Alison giving a big thumbs up.
Saturday then saw the more ‘inexperienced’ xc skiers take to the same trails. The group included myself, Chris A, Katrina and Alan H.
Again, we were lucky with the weather – blue skies, snow dripping from the trees and views back to the Cairngorms from the trails. As a result, we were able to spend the entire day exploring the trails and practicing our skiing techniques.
Being a group of athletes, things got a bit competitive as expected. Realising that Katrina was moving faster than anyone else, Chris initially reasoned that her skis must have been newer than the others in the group. However, the frustration finally got the better of him when he then resorted to pushing her over, taking one of her poles and skiing off into the distance. You need to work on your tactics, Chris.
Special mention also to Alan H who appeared from over the hill at one stage, walking with both skis over his shoulder as it ‘was much quicker’.
Meanwhile…elsewhere in the area….Alison C and Fiona M again teamed up, venturing into the Northern Corries to do original summer route iv, 5 in similarly great conditions.
Nearby in the Northern Corries, Mike, Tim and Fiona R took a wander in search of some winter climbing action. A combination of short December days, waiting for the ski road to open and silly amounts of snow, meant the walk in took almost 2 hours – and so they decided not to climb and instead headed up to point 1141 and then back to Aviemore for coffee and cake.
The final group - which included Claire H, Antti, Martin, Ali G, Monty and Sylvian - went up Meall a Bhuachaille which involved wading, nay swimming in waist-deep snow directly up the slope, yet it was still balmy enough that they could take chairs from the Ryvoan Bothy and sit outside in the snow.
On the way back down, they took a diversion back to Glenmore “through Narnia”, where they also experienced the trees laden with pristine snow and long tailed tits scrabbling to find food in the branches.
Back at the hostel…Saturday evening kicked off with the drink flowing freely – starting with the Genepi (French drink made by new member Sylvian – you are VERY welcome to the club!).
While half the group ventured to the local pub for the ‘amazing’ venison pie, the rest stayed to cook up their own feasts, with poor Alan having to make his pasta in a WOK due to the lack of pans in the hostel.
Ali G and Monty then pulled out the whiskey. At this stage, Ali was determined to heat up her mince pie enough to go with her cream – even if this meant potentially blowing up the broken microwave in the process. Somehow…and with the rest of us looking fearfully on…she successfully managed the microwave enough to get what she wanted.
Sunday morning saw the arrival of drizzle, increase in temperature and thawing….Ideal running conditions!
Myself, Alan and Anne R and Martin began our morning with leisurely cup/s of coffee before Alan, Martin and myself ran up a snowy Craigellachie followed by a run around the surrounding trails with Martin still showing us how it’s done with his return to running fitness.
There was a mass assault (Alison, Tim, Chris, Antti, Sylvian, Mike, Fiona, Katrina and Claire H) up a Graham hidden in the hills - Carn Glas-choire - which was effectively ice skating/wading their way up a long stalkers track.
Fiona and Claire struggled to follow Chris's huge yeti-strides; they all sheltered in a stalker's hut for flunch/slunch, just as a squall came in. Apart from the summit itself the weather was actually quite good, although the snow was too soft for Claire’s usual bum-sliding.
The weekend was finished off with the group gathering at the café in Aviemore for some well-deserved coffee, cake and tired chat before we all made our way home.
Great weekend was had by all!