18th to 20th March 2005 - Carrbridge Bunkhouse
This was our second visit to Carrbridge bunkhouse, set in a peaceful cul-de-sac a short
distance from the village centre. We knew about the 4 storey bunk beds with variable headroom,
but we all managed to slot in nicely. The bunkhouse cat seemed to have certain preferred
places to roost, which meant that one or two folk had a disturbed Friday night. Great effort
was made on the Saturday night to foil our feline host, such as blocking up the cat flap, but
it was unfazed by these puny defences and still managed to get in.
Anyway, as with our last visit here two years ago, the weather was almost too good to be true,
with daytime temperatures soaring to summer highs and had the climbers wistfully gazing at
rapidly diminishing snowfields, thin gully lines and black buttresses. However the end of the
winter climbing season was more than compensated for by the classic inversion conditions
experienced by parties on Creag Meagaidh (Alison W, Fraser, Victoria and Paul), the Fannichs
(Alan, Anne and Martin), and Ben Wyvis (Kenny, Alison C and Fiona). Those visiting the Northern
Corries via the Chalamain gap (Owen, Margaret, Albert and Judith) just had to be content with
wall to wall sunshine. Hard to grizzly eh? Maverick Bill Brown went for the Hills of Cromdale,
and encountered a large (50+) herd of reindeer (aka Robb's goats).
Evening feeding time was a major logistical challenge but with a shift system in place,
eventually managed to get well fed and watered. Pub leader Alison W. was accompanied by Fraser,
Victoria and Paul to investigate the local hotel, but the rest were either too knackered or
replete to be bothered going out.
Unusually there were bigger plans than normal for the Sunday, but with the promise of an
equally inspiring day in prospect, it demanded more than a token hill. Fiona, with the first bare
legs of the season was set on Braeriach, accompanied by Margaret. Alison C cycled in to Strath
Nethy, quickly catching up Alan, Anne, Paul and Martin, who did the full circuit of the Strath,
via Bynack More and Cairngorm. Alison left us on the slopes of Bynack More, and went off for the
remote Corbett Creag Mhor. Kenny had followed on behind and seemed particularly pleased with
himself to catch us on Cairngorm summit, so much so that he phoned Alison on his mobile, bawling
out "I'M ON TOP OF CAIRNGORM!" This proved too much for the delightful little snow bunting that
was dotting about nearby, who fled the scene.
Owen, Albert and Judith did the Corbett Meall a'Bhuachaille and got inverted too. Still my
guitar gently weeps. Fraser, Alison W and Victoria had to do Schiehallion because it was on
Fraser's tick list. Hope you carried a bag of hardcore each up the path for the JMT guys, to
justify your short day?
And what happened to Maverick? Just got plum crazy folks, headed out west with a road kill
pheasant and rabbit, mebbe teamed up with that chain sawed bear from the big hoose, bottle of
hooch. Too much sun I guess, gotta watch it in Scotland in March. No doubt he'll turn up one day.
(Nor) wegies are survivors.