Mountain gorilla? - Claire H
7th to 9th December 2018 - Ardenbeg Bunkhouse, Grantown-on-Spey
Chris R was first at the hostel, he hadn’t fancied the drive back to Edinburgh from Elgin on Friday morning, only to return that evening (and back again to Elgin on Monday!) Alan H entertained us with renditions of the SMC and the Royal Engineers’ songs.
On Saturday the forecast was pretty poor and there were a few naysayers but the majority of the group (Claire, Anne, Alan, Chris R, Martha, Chris W and local Fiona M) went to the Sugarbowl carpark, set a fast pace up the Bynack More path only for a huge side-swipe of wind on the ridge up from the track. We sought refuge on more than one occasion when reduced to a crawl, but it was never bad enough to actually turn back or shorten the walk. We enjoyed a good view of Loch Avon from the Saddle and followed some curious tracks up to Cairn Gorm: a complete set of hand and footprints! Presumably from a long-armed person rather than a well-equipped gorilla. We experienced an eerie silence at the top of the mountain: normally hooching with people at all times of year, the funicular is currently out of action for the foreseeable and it was a shell of a place. The new snow machine was merrily churning away at the bottom of the hill though!
Alison, Kenny and Alan H went up the Bochel – a Marilyn in the whisky hills above Tomnavoulin, and Ben Aigan, which involves a forested ascent near Craigellachie. Ken, Celia and Tony went up Carn Ealasaid and Carn Mor.
Just about everyone went to the pie pub – the Craig Bar – in Grantown that evening and enjoyed an array of delectable savoury and sweet fare over a beer and a chat.
Sunday morning I didn’t see everyone as many had already left by the time I was up for breakfast. I joined two Chrises and Martha for a very sociable walk along the tracks to Carn an Fhreiceadain above Kingussie in the snow. I was quite glad of my microspikes!
Alison, Kenny and Alan H did the Corbett above Aviemore (Geal-Charn Mor) for the umpteenth time. Alan ran up Mullach nan Coirean.
Thanks for another fun meet!