10th to 12th June 2005 - Braemar
It was a beautiful evening as I drove up to Braemar and the forecast was pretty good
for Saturday. As a consequence of this various ambitious plans were hatched on Friday
night by assorted club members. Braemar appeared to be full, as the advance party
reported that all the restaurants were fully booked for Saturday night (leading to the
chip shop being much frequented) so it seemed like we weren't the only ones with big
plans for the weekend.
The following morning, Tim, Victoria and I pitched up at the Linn of Dee car park to
find it absolutely heaving with walkers and bikers. Closer inspection revealed that it
was due to the Water Aid charity event and therefore I don't think anyone had an empty
summit to sit on between 12.00 and 14.00. More power to their respective elbows. We
set off for a tour of Carn a' Mhaim, Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm in one direction
'sans bicyclette' whereas Bill Brown favoured the opposite direction with his bike and
our paths crossed three times during the day, once on the summit of Ben Macdui.
Here we were also entertained by a snow bunting making off with the remnants of
The route back, though rather long, was enlivened by meeting a Viking and a tennis
player. Alarming rumours also reached us of a couple of cavemen behind us somewhere.
People certainly do strange things for a good cause. Meanwhile, Kenny and Alison were
having a long day too, involving some scrambling and taking in Derry Cairngorm and Ben
MacDui en route. Not to be outdone, Hywel took his bike up past White Bridge somewhere
and took in Ben Bhrotain, Monadh Mor, Cairn Toul and the Devil's Point (I think).
Richard Hartland decided for the long hike along the Geldie Burn then climbing An
Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir and was back in time for tea (fairly impressive!).
Richard Alldread went for a hike on the hills around Glen Callater including Carn an
t-Sagairt Mor, Cairn Bannoch, Tolmount and Carn an Tuirc. Dennis took a team including
Jenny, Albert, Owen, Judith and Sam around the base of Ben Avon that he said was about 15
miles long but certain members of the party disputed this hotly and were convinced it was
quite a bit more. Lesley tackled a nearby Graham (and encountered a herd of about 200
deer) and Anne Craig who showed up during the evening had climbed two Corbetts near Ben
Avon (apologies I can't remember which ones).
So one way or another there were some fairly tired people sitting around the bunkhouse
on Saturday night. However this did not deter certain stalwarts from walking the 100
metres to the Fife Arms for an evening of entertainment. Whereas some folk were content
with drinking ale, Victoria and I hit the dance floor. I think the scariest moment was
when the entire pub got up to dance to 'Is this the way to Amarillo'. Enough said.
The following day everyone split up in different directions and if I have it right
then some of the selections were - a couple of Lochnagar hills for Tim, Sgur Mor for Anne
Craig, Carn An Drochaide for Hywel, osprey watching for Lesley and Glas Tulaichean for
Richard H. Victoria and I climbed An Socach with pretty good views but highly
unpredictable weather including freezing cold winds and sleet on the summit, brilliant
sunshine for our lunch stop and a very heavy shower on the dash back to the car.
Between all of us we seemed to have inadvertently done our own small scale version of
the Water Aid challenge over the weekend.