28th April to 1st May 2017 - Strawberry Cottage, Glen Affric (Bank Holiday Weekend)
I’ll have the Scampi and chips please I said as I ordered my tea in the Slaters Arms in Cannich on the Friday evening. I was feeling quite pleased myself that all the logistics were working out, bags were being put into Rebecca`s car, everybody had arrived (well other than Kat and Chris) and the two sets of keys for the hut and the gate to the track were with the right people and as I watched Kate, Antti and Allan drive off up the Glen with one set of keys all was good. As I waited for tea to arrive I looked up and saw Rebecca chatting with her friends and then at her car and then at the lack of a key in my hand for the gate to allow Becs to drive up the track……….oh b******s, I’d given both the hut and gate key to Antti. Cue a frantic drive up the Glen to catch Antti that David Coulthard would have been proud of and I eventually caught up with them at the car park, retrieved the gate key from Antti and drove at a more sedate pace back to Cannich to have my now delayed tea which was warming on the hot plate. Never entrust me with keys………..as it turned out the gate to the track wasn’t even locked due to ongoing hydro scheme works, hey ho.
We all walked, cycled or cadged a lift (Chris R didn’t need asked twice!) up the track to Strawberry Cottage and settled in for the evening, in the case of Claire and I waiting for our sleeping bags to arrive courtesy of Kat and Chris who very wisely left Edinburgh at a later time and avoided the traffic chaos around Perth.
Saturday morning saw a variety of parties form to make the most of what looked to be a good but cold day, Rebecca and Chris R set off for a big day on Ceathremhanan, Dherigan and An Socach with Chris and Kat also heading that way but replacing Dherigan with the Corbett Sgurr Gaorsic. Fiona C set off for A Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch Choire, Kenny to Mam Sodhail (the highest of the day as he pointed out later), Kate, myself, Nigel and Allan set off up the Corbett Carn a Choire Ghairbh where we saw Claire and Antti making a direct approach up the hillside having missed the path as they were too busy chatting apparently (surely not), they carried on to take in the 3 munros of Sail Chaorainn, Coinbreahan and Carn Ghlusaid, Nigel opted for Sail Chaorainn while Kate, Allan and I carried onto the next Corbett Aonach Shasuinn. A bit of rain late in the day for some groups but all round an excellent day with everyone getting back to the hut in time for a communal meal of soup, a variety of main courses, an incredibly rich chocolate mousse and for those with any space left some cheese and biccies. Some whisky and beer rounded off a fine day.
Sunday was a cloudier day and as we discovered quite quickly a very windy day with all of us being nearly blown over on a few occasions, but we were not deterred. The main peloton of the group was concentrated on the Sgurr na Lapaich top, Mam Sodhail, Carn Eighe and Beinn Fhionnlaidh, with myself forming a solo breakaway to include An Socach. Across the Glen Kenny took in Carn a Choire Ghairbh while Kat and Chris also did that plus Aonach Shasuinn. By 7pm everyone was back at the hut, some braved the river for a wash, with quite a difference being shown as to how much people immersed themselves! Another fantastic communal meal followed, there was no shortage of food, probably enough for a week, but safe to say it was all consumed with various bowls being licked clean.
On Monday we were all sad to leave this great spot, Kenny walked out over Mullach Fraoch Choire and A Chralaig to meet the bus at Cluanie while the rest of us headed back to the cars, with thankfully no repeat of the key faff of Friday evening. A great meet and thanks to all for making the logistics work out, some excellent food and great company.