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.