30th December 2005 to 1st January 2006 - Skye (New Year)
We were a smaller than usual contingent but those going were
determined to have a good time on the first EMC New Year meet in Skye.
There may have been no snow on the hills but the weather on Friday made
for an exciting drive over. This enabled various folk to show off their
text messaging skills as we tried to find out where the late arrivals
were. There was further excitement in dorm 1 at 2am when everybody but
me was woken up by loud "blood curdling" screaming. Rather
embarrassingly, it turned out I was the one doing the screaming following
a very realistic nightmare where the top bunk had collapsed on top of me.
Hmm must remember to take a top bunk this weekend at Raeburns.
Hogmanay was a day where the optimists (Alison W) triumphed over the
pessimists (Fiona) as the main group set off for a traverse of Bla Bheinn
in drizzly misty conditions with Fiona questioning the point of it all
and Alison adopting a glass full approach. As it happens the glass was
more than full as it got progressively lighter the higher we got only for
us to enjoy a magnificent clearance of the Black Cuillin at the exact
moment we reached the summit. Others had equally enjoyable days on the
Grahams at Kylerhea and the Red Cuillin.
The main problem in the evening was working out how we were going to
have time to get through the 5 course meal including curry extravaganza
and then stay awake in time for the Bells. The problem was partly
solved by an early immediate post hill serving of soup. Only Bill B fell
by the wayside before 12, not surprising as he has apparently not seen
midnight on Hogmanay for over 20 years.
After the bells we were ushered outside by Owen to see what was
described as the most amazing electrical storm ever seen in the British
Isles. Owen declared he had only ever seen the like before in Darwin,
NW Australia (name dropper!). The fact that the "electrical storm" was
accompanied by firework like bangs and stopped abruptly after 15 mins
did not deter Owen from his theory (and of course it was nothing to do
with the large box of gin, brandy and whisky that he had brought to see
in the New Year).
The weather looked very promising on New years day and we all enjoyed
further big days on the Red Cuillin and the Broadford Grahams although
the day clagged in later - almost the opposite of the day before. A
slightly earlier return and slightly less food (but thanks to Anne in
absentia for a magnificent chicken and broccoli bake) gave an opportunity
to complete Liz's Christmas mazzle a sort of fiendish jigsaw puzzle
where the picture is an OS Harvey's map, in this case the Glencoe/Ben
Nevis area. By 1am, only the diehards were left together with 50 pieces
which consisted of random counter lines with nothing more to distinguish
them from each other. An early rise enabled Fiona C to show off her
jigsaw prowess so that Liz could complete the mazzle.
On the last day the weather on Skye was not promising so most folk
headed off to the mainland for various short expeditions.