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Next Meet

"Wild Camping"

1st - 3rd March 2013

Next Social

AGM. Portland D136.

Thursday 14th March
8.00 pm

If you don't want this for a time, please comment it-Fabian !Next Ice Climb

Manchester Indoor Ice Wall
Friday 1st December at 8:30am

If you don't want this for a time, please comment it-Fabian !Next Climb

Set off at normal time. Fabian and Nick were pleased as they thought that having similar tastes in music and both being drivers, they would get most of the say about the music selection...they did and the rest of the passengers were rewarded with an endless stream of Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Bon Jovi power ballards which I am sure they all thoroughly enjoyed.
We didn't stop until we got to Penrith, and by then there were a number of bladders in rather urgent need of emptying. A troop headed by Damian charged purposfully (and quickly) to the nearest pub only to be thwarted by the bouncer who demanded ID from Damian! Fabian hoped to get the same treatment but alas, they just held the door open for him.

Milton was going to be driving up separately and collecting and old MPS member from Penrith - Al Mc Kay?. Since the famous car breakdown at New Year we all had reservations about Matt's car making it and when we spotted him as we were leaving Penrith, we tried to call him and suggest that he came the rest of the way with us. No joy. Matt wanted his 'flexibility'.
So we drove on.
Damo got a call soon after and we ended up circling a motorway junction roundabout three times before stopping and handing over the keys to the Alex Mac Hut to Milton and Al who, being in a "faster vehicle" would arrive before us.....
Just north of Glasgow, Damo gets another call. "The car is leaking black stuff and is spluttering and complaining if we try and go a speed above that of a lamp post". Grahame is driving now and is not happy. Amidst various curses, we stopped in a layby and were told that the AA were on their way to help the stricken Matt and Al.
We drove on. About 30 mins later, Damo got yet another call. It didn't come as a surprise...
"Matt, you know that you are really not going to be popular?" said Damo.
Grahame (amidst some more curses) just found a place to turn round and we headed back towards Glasgow to pick up them up.
Meanwhile, Matt Suddards entertained us with his visions of the future: a vision involving all of us, in the pub with Milton buying all the drinks. This definately kept our 'spirits' up in light of the very late night we knew we would be in for but sadly this vision never became reality!
Well, we finally got to the hut at about 3am and found to our surprise that we would be sharing it with two custodians (who we managed to wake up due to clattering about the place). Fabian was forcibly religated to a small room by Nick and Paul as his snoring record was now legendary, and shared the room with Matt Suddards (who never compalined once about my alleged snoring let me add - Fabian).

Spectacular weather for when we woke. Adam, Fabian, Gaff and Nick walked up Sgorr Dhearg and Sgorr Dhonuill, south of Ballachulish. This pair of Munros had alluded Fabian and Al Hampshire on the Winter Skills trip, and Fabian at least was determined to clear his name from this failed bag.

We were dropped off on the side of the road and had several attempts to clamber up through the forest to the forest track which we then followed for about a kilometer until we found a suitable place to bosh up onto the ridge. Weather was stunning initially but the moment we reached the snow-line, came over all 'Scottish' and we spent the rest of the day in the cloud (until of course, we got back down when the clouds cleared again).
We were treated to an exhilarating ridge to get to the top of Sgorr Dhearg, and then an easy descent and re-ascent up to Sgorr Dhonuill. By the time we made it back to the coll, other walkers were starting to come up and we got good directions about how to get back to the forest road. Nick was suffering by now as a result of a knee injury which he had picked up doing a recent cross-country marathon. We stopped briefly on the way down for sandwiches and then headed on through the forest. Right at the end of the forest road, Adam realised that his ice axe was missing - and he had to head back to try and find it again which took him nearly two hours! Gaff, Fabian and Nick went to the nearest pub where Nick was given ice for his knee. This injury put him out for the rest of the weekend.

  • Grahame, Al H, Matt S, Matt H and Al Mckay did some gullies on Bidean?
  • Damian and Paul made a valiant attemp of what they thought was Twisted Gully but turned out to be much harder.

That evening, we were all treated to our new and highly successful MPS dish - bangers and mash with peas and gravy - courtisy of Matt Suddards. He had bought an enormous quantity of sausages and potatoes for the predicted number who were to be going on the trip. However, there had been a number of late pull-outs and so we all had loads to eat and even Damians tapeworm seemed to have been filled. We then headed for the local pub as it was Nicks birthday (well, it was actually on the Sunday but what the hell!). We had a few drinks and Nick was given his birthday card. The locals in the pub were having a sing-song with a guitar and the birthday boy gave us his rendition of Summer of 69 by Brian Adams which seemed to entertain all.

The weather was even more glorious than yesterday and Damian, Gaff, Fabian, Matt S and Al Mckay walked up buckletive beag in marvelous conditions. An easy trudge up through the snow on the western side and we deposited our bags at the coll and boshed it up to the top of the first Munro (Stob Dubh).

Crampons on as we were edging up some steeper icy patches and we walked the easy ridge to the second Munro (Stob Raineach). We decided to come down the other (eastern) side of the ridge as we predicted that the other group (climbers) would have parked nearby. A fun descent with plenty of bumsliding though Fabian was starting to struggle with a dodgy knee tendon which slowed progress. A long trudge in the glen back to the road stopping off for sandwiches and we were back at the road by about 2pm. We spotted the minibus in the distance and as we approached, it suddenly took off driven by Al H and went straight past us despite our frantic waving. Thankfully they had seen us and came back for another pass, turned round and on the third attempt - managed to pick us up! Al then drove us back to the hut (missing the turning and having to do yet another U-turn!) and we got packing to leave.

  • Grahame, Al H and Matt H climbed curved ridge on Buckletive Mor

We left early - probably breaking an MPS record as it was only just gone 3pm when we pulled out of the drive from the hut. We had to drop Matt and Al M off at some god-forsaken dump on the outskirts of Glasgow called Alexandria to collect Milton's (hopefully) repaired car. The remainder of the journey back was fairly quiet as the succession of trips in the short space of time was taking it's toll: Grahame had gone down with the flu and both Fabian and Nick were reduced to hobbling (peg legs!!)
Despite this, it was generally agreed by all to have been one of the most awesome trips this year - especially as the weather and location were so fantastic!

Matt Suddard's Photos

Al Hampshire's Photos

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Page last modified on February 11, 2009, at 02:26 PM