Edinburgh Mountaineering Club: Meet Report
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Meet Report

14th to 16th January 2005 - Potteries Bunk House, Laggan

Oh the joys of winter, clear cold mornings, snow on the hills, excellent visibility, the chance to dust off your crampons and ice axe and perhaps get some climbing done - that is if you`re in Canada. For us in Scotland this weekend, the story was somewhat different, low cloud, mild, wet snow, ice falling off Meggy and a fair amount of rain. Ten of us from the club were back at the Pottery near Laggan due to its excellent location but mainly because it has a hot tub. This weekend we were also sharing the bunkhouse with the BP Excel hillwalking club from Aberdeen who all seemed very friendly and who like us seemed to bring a lot of drink with them on weekends away, some of which we also drank.

The Saturday saw two distinct factions with an early departure group consisting of Alison, Tim, Paul, Victoria and Bill, Monadhliath bound for a day navigating in the cloud around the three munros, although time and darkness meant that they missed the third summit of Carn Dearg before descending and facing another wet river crossing. The rest of us, myself, Anne, Kenny, Alison & Hywel had a more leisurely start and with initial plans of traversing Creag Meagaidh quickly dispelled we headed for The Fara, via the Dirc Mhor, a rocky ravine to the North of the hill. It was at this point very wet. The cloud lifted a little on the way off the summit and gave some good views. On the way back we had a river crossing which myself, Anne & Alison simply waded across, Kenny & Hywel however thought it was better to cross barefoot. Hywel threw his boots across the river like a discus thrower and they landed safely on the other bank, Kenny clearly having watched Steve Backley too often went for the javelin approach, which meant a lot of height but not much distance and splash into the river they went, incredibly they landed on the sole side up and luckily did not float off at a great rate of knots. After a cold wade across the river and some resuscitation to their feet we moved on and we were back at the cars by 2.30, a really hard day then! By the time the other group returned we had partaken of a coffee at Wolftrax, visited the hypermarket in Laggan, had a shower, been in the hot tub and started cooking our tea. We all headed for the pub later on that night and returned for the usual cheese, biscuits and port. The night thereafter went on to the wee hours, well 3am in some cases, don't come on club meets if you want a good nights sleep and there`s a hot tub nearby!

The next morning promised to be slightly better, although yet again the traverse of Meggy was put to one side. Bill and Tim went off to Meall Chuaich while Hywel escaped to sort out a gas "incident" back in Edinburgh. Kenny, Alison, Anne & myself had another exhausting day with a traverse of Creag Dubh, a prominent wee Graham above Newtonmore which took us some 3 hours during which the weather improved all the time. In total over the weekend we had walked about 7.5 hours, very tough indeed.

Alan R