25 EMC members, old and new, arrived at various stages on Friday evening - the largest EMC meet for some time. Hostel was lovely and cosy with a welcoming wood burning stove in the main area and those who came to Dalwhinnie on the train found they didn’t have far to carry their bags.
Saturday morning brought fresh snow and we awoke to a winter wonderland. Plans were rapidly finalised. Martha, Keith, Dan, Duncan, Tim N, Fiona C, Alison C, Gillian and Gill headed for the Fara via Dirc Mhor - some on foot along the road and others parked a bit closer. Mostly it was described as atmospheric with swirling clouds and the unusual and impressive Dirc Mhor gorge to contend with. Kenny met them on the top having taken the less dramatic route of ascent and his footsteps were duly followed by the party of 10 on the way down.
Other expeditions included Ken and me on Gairbeinn from Garva bridge (not the usual start point but the roads were a bit iffy); Kate, Allan S and Lydia on Meall Nan Eagan; Tim D, Chris W and Oscar on the Monadhliath and Hayley who did a walk from the hostel around Coachan Forest and down the Loch. Mike, Fiona, Peter, Joh, Mark and Hamish tackled the 4 munros on the West side of the A9 - a few happy munro baggers albeit Peter had to turn back to search (successfully) for his dropped ice axe.
The evening brought another cosy log fire and kitchen rota alongside much chat of hills and plans for Sunday with the forecast looking a bit grim. Maps were studied and there is rumour that someone tried to do a 2 finger googlemap zoom on a paper OS map - the individual shall remain nameless but needless to say it wasn’t Kenny!
Sunday’s weather was better than expected and a mix of walks. Tim D was the most adventurous - he arranged transport for his gear back to Edinburgh and set off for a couple of nights backpacking to Corrour. Chris W and Mark headed for the 2 Drumochter munros on the east of the A9 and reported high winds but some good views.
Dan, Hamish, Martha and Tim N went north a bit and had good views on Creag Ruadh. Allan S, Kate, Fiona C, Duncan, Gillian and Lydia tackled Birnam Hill from Dunkeld Station car park.
Ken and I did the Clunie walk at Pitlochry. Others headed for home via a breakfast either at the hostel or en route home or both.
Great weekend and good new meet venue too.