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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
Nottingham Indoor Wall Monday 16th October 4pm
The Glen Shee trip promised to be an excellent trip, and it didn't disappoint. The earliest departure ever was delayed only slightly as everyone was ripping it out of Adam for being muppet of the week! Puking over his laptop at 3 in the morning, but the question on everyones lips was 'just what was he looking at at 3 in the morning?' Answers on a postcard!
The drive up was bareable, especially in the 'dance bus', courtesy of Damo. Even Matt 'Mr. clutch' Suddards was on top form with his gear changes. Its amazing how much fun a journey computer can be. Unfortunately, the average didnt much over 40 despite Dave's expert driving, as he popped his mini bus cherry! Damo had named the other bus 'the 70's bus' because to Damo, any form of music pre 2003 and not dancey is '1970's' or at best 'written sometime during the last iceage'. What he really meant was 'the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's progressive rock bus.
There were a few hardcore walks discussed in the AM, and with the new hardcore contingent there were enough takers. Much to the excitement of Damo, who was after 7!
Damos Walk...The ‘hardcore’ contingent had plans for a walk to take in 7 munros. Starting from the Glen Shee ski area it was barely half an hour before we were in the mist and not long after at the top of our first summit, Carn Aosda. The Cairnwell wasn’t much further away, so we started the day rather smugly and with confidence in our ambitious plans ahead, having already ‘ticked’ two munros in not much more than an hour. Putting our backs to the ski slopes Carn a’ Gheoidh was found to present a little more of a challenge. With some careful bearings and pacing we found the top with relative ease. After a quick snack and a brief meeting with Fabian’s party, a vague bearing was taken somewhere in the direction of An Socach (I say vague because looking at the map now An Socach looks a little out of our way). After much heather-bashing (and even a brief half an hour where we had a glimpse of the world beneath the cloud) we eventually found ourselves heading upwards. The top proved a little harder to find than previous summits but spreading out in a police-style sweep search, the summit cairn was spotted and with a sprint-trip-stumble finish we were there. More bearings and seemingly aimless heather-bashing took us to a lochan where another bearing could be taken. Easier navigation took us onto Beinn Lutharn Mhor. On the descent it was decided that Carn an Righ was out of reach considering daylight left so we would have to stick with six munros and start heading back over Glas Tulaichean to our beds. I forget where, but sometime during all of this I think it started raining. I seem to remember putting my coat on and it being wet when I got back but it was such a dark, dank day anyway that I barely noticed…. Darkness quickly caught up with us just before the summit, so it was head-torches on and a long walk back. Even with a landrover track to follow from just below the summit, the walk back was rather tricky with our head-torches struggling to pierce through the mist as well as the darkness. Things became a little easier once out of the mist and a rather unpleasant wet, rough, long walk beside the Glen Lochsie Burn led us back to Dalmunzie Hotel and the very welcome site of the minibus. Dinner was received with much appreciation.
Nick and Grahame settled for a mediocre 6 and their walk started off with a cunning bit of navigation straight up a hill, meaning we were in clouds after 5 minutes. Lots of taking bearings and pacing found us on top of the first munro without getting even slightly lost, which was shocking given I was navigating (Joe). Fortunately from this point there was a wall almost all the way to the next one, which we duly followed at breakneck pace cos it was a bit cold and wet like. We saw funny pigeon birds which might have been Ptarmigans and some great big hares. Lots of pootling around a boggy plateau later, we got to the last munro of the six only to suddenly get hit by the windiest wind in the world which made it really fun climbing down the steep rock and scree plain off the hill! Then we headed down from the plateau and hurried back to the bus whilst everyone pretended not to be aching or tired at all (at least I hope they did).
I think someone must have drugged Franco as he wasnt interested in a long one! He settled for a mere 2 munro stroll (Creag Leacach and Glas Maol) as he had bagged most of the others in the area before. The group consisted of Franco, Sudds, AL Middleton, Diana, and Lizzie. Some had been enticed along by the promise of a short walk and some navigation tuition. We took our time at the start while going through navigation basics. Being in cloud most of the day provided some good oppurtunites to practice pacing and bearings. We also demonstrated how easy it is to lose track of where you are if you don't concentrate, and came down by a improvised route. We got back to the hut first and waited for the other to come in.
Fabian and Dave decided on a gentle half day event, followed by beers and a sit down. Nell nad Michael eagerly followed and were only slightly concerned when we appeared to get lost. Although, we prefered to call it practising our Nav! The walk started from a drop off point down the 'Aberdeen road' as the locals call it, just past Glen Shee ski resort. Our first munro was a couple of km along a ridge, which we reached quickly. The highlight was seeing a family of deer about 50m in front of us. After Carn Aosda we took a little detour to look at the lovely loch, after which we practised some bearing work to get back on track. A bosh up to Carn a' Gheodih resulted in us bumping into Damo's group who had already done 3 munros. We left them to it and headed back to The Cairnwell, which has got to be the worst summit on Earth! It wasnt the prettiest anyway, but us humans havnt helped sticking a huge pylon and weather station up there! Fair to say that we wanted to get down asap! So straight down the ski slopes, where Fabian showed his age and got his girly sticks out! A quick decision was made to 'go and get petrol' in Braemar, whereas what was really meant was to 'go and get beer'! We were back in the lodge by 3.15, where Francos group were already chilling out!
The lounge area was a godsend. It was a pleasant afternoon lounging around feeling sorry for the other groups still out in the clouds somewhere. A couple of hours, and beers later, and Matt spoiled it all by getting his sausage out, much to the disgust of everyone in the lounge! After a few curse words (mainly Dave who was very relaxed in his yellow hat) everyone chipped in helping to make the dinner. Matts sausage's turned out well; one of the best meals to date. Nick and Grahames group returned in time for beer orders and dinner, but Damos group were nowhere to be seen. There meal was put on hold until their return! Joe's birthday cake for Nell was an exceptional treat for us all, and we even sang the song for her, with a slight help from the alcohol! Damo's group returned around 9, and they were very happy to see Matt had his sausage ready for them! Although Damo was soon upset as he realised he missed out a munro that was only 1km away! DOH! So they only achieved 6, but a good effort all the same. Banter was fired off each other, again about Adams 'laptop' incident, and now Damos misfortune, and the conversation grew 'political' as the alcohol took hold of the group! A good night was had all round, although I am disappointed to report that there was some beer left untouched!
Sore heads arose to darkness early on Sunday so that we could get some decent time out on the munro's. After the usaul faffing around we got out just after 8.30, and were walking by 8.45.
Damo, Dave, Chris, Martin, Sebastian and Adam were aiming for 4 of the munro's that Grahame and Nick did on Saturday. It wasnt long before we were in the clouds and, just to add insult the injury, it started lashing it down after an hour. And it didnt stop all day. Fabian, Chetta, Hannah, Nell and Michael were going to join Damo's group to bag the first two Munros (as Fabian had already done the other 'eastern' munros). However, soon after we got out of the bus, Hannah realised that she was going to have problems walking after going on Damo's beasting walk the day previously. Fabo drove her back to the hut and then we returned to follow in the footsteps of the Damo party. We reached the top of the first Munro in pretty good time, then followed the stone wall round towards the second when the heavens opened and the wind picked up. We found the top of the second by compass point and then headed down as quickly as possible through the devistation that is the ski area. Thankfully we met Nick and Grahame when we got to the road as they were off to pick Franco's group up and they took us back to our bus.
Two groups went out to do the Cairnwell 3 in different orders. Franco's group (Franco, Diana, Lizze, Sophie, Joe) ascended Carn Aosda first from the north to avoid the ski area, and did the horrible Cairnwell second. The weather then went from poor to awful, and we considered aborting Carn a' Gheoidh but figured we would have to wait by the bus for the other anyway, so carried on determinedly. We then found the other group looming out of the cloud, but somehow still decided to go on to the 3rd. There then follwed a miserable march through the wind and rain there and back for an hour and half. It was a good exercise in maintaining group morale, but otherwise utterly pointless (I think) as the only bagger (Franco) had already done this one. Everyone just wnated to get down and Franco almost made himeself very unpopular by mis-nav-ing in the dense cloud, but saved it just in time. The waiting bus was a very welcome sightin the ski car park.
The first mini bus left at 2.45, which has got to be a record for MPS, and the second left shortly after. It was then I realised that the sign out book was a spectacular failure, hence alterations will have to be made.
The dance bus took a very nice little detour through Dollar down to Stirling. Stunning scenery, but slightly longer than the usual route. Of course the moment we left the Cairngorm area, the clouds parted and sunglasses were needed! Suddards took the final stint down to Nottingham, by which time the average was around 55mph, so he was back to his usual self on the harsh gear changes. First thing we did when we got back was to put in a claim for whiplash! Still waiting to see if I'm succesful!
The journey back also involved the transition from MPS time (BST) to GMT so we saved another hour. We arrived back at a record 22:30, and had been beaten by the other bus by at least 30 mins.
All in all, a great trip (apart from the weather). A classic. And a new record in terms of people munro's. 189 people munros in a weekend, with an average of 7.56 per person.
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