15th to 18th April 2022 - Strawberry Cottage , Glen Affric (Easter 2022)
After a nearly two-year postponement, the EMC finally made it back to Strawberry Cottage in the beautiful Glen Affric. A long journey from Edinburgh, so we were all glad to have the extended Easter weekend to make the most of this great location. A drive of over 4hrs brought us to the carpark at the end of the public road, but it was foot and pedal power for the last ~10kms of bumpy track to the cottage. The exception was Tim who braved taking his car carefully up the track to the hut – much to the relief of everyone to be reunited with their food, drink and heavier kit! Huge thanks to Tim!
PNM’s - Kai & Bethany must have had an early start and bagged Tom a Choinnich & Toll Greagach before arriving at the hut.
Friday evening was passed catching up, cooking and eating food and boiling what seemed like endless kettles of water for cooking, brews and drinking water for Saturday.
Saturday saw the majority of the group ascending the Munros north of the hut. Kai, Bethany, Daniel Martha, Alison, Mark and Chris were joined by Richard & Judit on the climb up Mam Sodhail, the former then progressing to Carn Eighe and Beinn Fhionnlaidh, whilst Richard & Judit explored the ridge to Mullach Cadha Rainich. Alison & Martha took a detour on the return from Beinn Fhionnlaidh to visit the summit of An Sochach, via a long and laborious traverse of Gleann a Choilich.
Kenny had a trip up An Socach via the An Sornach ridge whilst Shireen and Tim took to a couple of southern Corbetts – Carn a’ Choire Ghairbh and Caen a’ Choire Bhuidhe. All were back at the hut in good time so everyone enjoyed a lovely sunny evening recounting stories from their day. A good day for wildlife it turned out, with golden eagle, lizard and deer all seen. Strangest wildlife spot of the day was a couple of moles doing…ahem…well what animals do in spring – right there on the grass in front of the cottage. Brazen!
Sunday saw smaller groups heading out for various hills in some good ol’ Scottish mizzle. Martha cycled down the Glen to bag Tom a Choinnich & Toll Greagach, Mark had an epic 12hr round of Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan, Mullach na Dheiragain and An Socach, and Kai ran the same three hills. Bethany and Daniel ascended Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan and An Socach, and Chris, Richard and Judit tackling a clag-capped An Socach only. Kenny headed up Carn a Choire Ghairbh and Tim & Shireen headed up the glen to Corbett - Sgurr Gaorsaic, spotting a golden plover on the way. The weather had improved throughout the day and allowed some to sit and enjoy the evening sunshine, whilst others took a dip, splash and squeal in the nearby river and loch. Once the sun went down we all ate together, recounted stories from the day and some enjoyed one or two drams. Judit even found time to make a very accomplished sketch of the cottage, a real keepsake of our weekend!
Monday was a slower start, with the usual packing, clean-down and decamp. We all made our way by respective methods back to cars and onward home, some with an extra hill on the way. Martha and Tim stopped off to climb the Corbett – Sgurr na Diollaid, in Glencannich.
A superb Easter weekend, with a good mix of seasoned members and new faces, in a beautiful part of Scotland and with plenty of hills to choose from. What more could you want?!