Edinburgh Mountaineering Club: Meet Report
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Meet Report

12th to 14th November 2004 - Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl (Dinner Meet)

The Moulin Brewery had a lot to answer for on the Saturday morning, as a few us quietly nursed pounding heads contemplating our black pudding and bacon on our breakfast plate at the Atholl Arms. It had seemed a fairly "quiet" night in terms of drinks on the Friday at the Bothy Bar but you know what it's like, you forget how many you've had and tell yourself it wasn't that many until Sat morning dawns and your wallet and head tell you that well, maybe, we did have a few after all. Even Richard looked worse than normal on the Saturday, surely completely wrong footed by the lack of Vinho Verde behind the bar and Fraser was getting in some serious training for having altitude headaches on Aconcagua.

The huge compensation was that the Saturday was a beautiful cold November day with a dusting of snow on the tops. Bill Brown had his ladders on the roof of his car evidently thinking he would need them to bridge the crevasses on the ice falls in upper Glen Tilt, sadly it wasn't quite that cold, although you just never know when a set of ladders may come in handy. The mountain bike branch of the club headed for Fealar Lodge and a cross country, bike carry through icy rivers before hitting Glen Tilt. Kenny was apparently complaining about having to wait on Alison and Fiona all the time as he waited at the Lodge, no doubt drinking lots of tea in the process. On the way down Glen Tilt they passed the bikes of Anne and I, we were still at that point coming back from Beinn Dearg, having first been on the Corbett above the Glen when from the summit Anne pointed to a snowy peak in the distance and asked "What's that?" Beinn Dearg I said with an uneasy feeling, "Is that a munro?" to which I replied in the affirmative while hastily looking at my watch. Being recently married and therefore always doing as I'm told (does it ever change?) we trudged off toward the distant peak as I thought about my soup and chicken getting cold. A few hours later as we stumbled across a river in the dark, Anne admitted that maybe it hadn't been such a good idea, this was mainly due to the fact that there was a possibility Anne would now miss the dinner, the speed picked up noticeably thereafter . We got back to the bikes at 6pm and with one torch between us pedalled back to the hotel where we arrived with an hour to spare before the meal, not much earlier than Hywel who had also been on Beinn Dearg and the Corbett Beinn Bhreac, like us he also got some nightriding practice in. Also like Taff we then had an hour cursing and swearing at the shower (I was also cursing the football scores) that went from arctic cold to Sahara hot, with no in between temperature available before we finally got down for dinner at the allotted 7.30pm. Other more sensible people had arrived back from various hills with time to spare and we listened enviously as people described long hot baths and nice warm showers.

As usual, people at the dinner were dressed more smartly than you would normally see on a meet and Fraser wore what is now becoming his traditional dinner meet garb of a Lowe Alpine base layer, a different one he assured us than he had worn on Beinn a`Ghlo that day but as he was in training for a 3 week trip to South America, I'm not so sure. The meal seemed to go down well with everyone before we retired back to the Bothy Bar where we sensibly steered clear of the Moulin Brewery ales.

Unlike the Saturday morning, Sunday arrived with no pounding head and also unlike Saturday, the weather was awful with freezing rain falling, making driving extremely hazardous. Most people opted for a return straight home, Richard skated up Beinn Vrackie and Owen, Fiona and a few others had a walk near Loch Orde. Anne and I went home and even managed to get back before it was dark!