Edinburgh Mountaineering Club: Meet Report
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Meet Report

16th to 18th May 2003 - Glenbrittle

Well not exactly Glenbrittle. The poor forecast for this weekend meant that the few of us that did appear for this traditional meet didn't get further than Sligachan. Travelling up on Friday afternoon was reasonable enough, allowing us to set up camp in the dry, but whereas seasoned campers Kenny and Alison wisely pitched on a well drained knoll above the wash-up block, I carefully picked the flood plain. The three of us met up in the pub discussing various poor weather options with the prospect of rain spreading in from the west. Rain? From Friday night onwards until we left on monday, the campsite was hit with wave after wave of heavy squally showers more reminiscent of November than mid May. The ridge was out of the question by Saturday morning, as Gillean disappeared permanently under a blanket of low cloud and rain.

But whereas there is something strangely comforting about being secure in a sleeping bag in a dry tent listening to the rain beat down, knowing that a long lie is in prospect, the ear piercing cries of a nearby camping group bawling out at 6.30 in the morning "Dave, have you got yer 'arness Dave, we're going on the ridge!" certainly is not, especially when you have had a disturbed night due to the weather. By the Saturday afternoon there was a dry enough interlude to persuade us out for a reasonable day on Belig, Garbh Bheinn, and Marsco, but the rain was on again by our return. Conviviality in the pub followed as we were joined by Jane and Bobbi who had gone into the Slig bunkhouse under Glamaig, and Mark, Jennifer and Oceanna who were camping. We heard later that a group attempting the ridge had to be rescued having got into difficulties. I don't know whether it was Dave & Co.

There was little early improvement on Sunday, so Kenny Alison and myself had another late start, with coffee in Portree and the papers. Improvement in the afternoon led to a pleasant half day on the Storr and part of the Trotternish ridge. Mark was hoping to climb Glamaig. Monday was just the same so we decided to bail out in one of the drier interludes. I headed off for Applecross, Torridon, and eventually Jura for the annual hill race, with the unsettled weather prevailing all week, the others headed home.

Despite the unseasonable weather, it would be a pity if the club stopped having a firm committment to include Skye as a regular annual destination, but changing working patterns have meant that some of the traditional 'local' holiday weekends are not now respected by many employers, which means that the far Cuillin can seem very distant if you only have a short weekend for a visit.