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Next Meet

"Wild Camping"

1st - 3rd March 2013

Next Social

AGM. Portland D136.
map

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

Torridon New Year Trip: Staying at Kinlochewe Bunkhouse.

Take a look at Chris's or Nick's photos from the week.

'They arrived at stores in dribs and drabs, the midday meeting time being regarded more of a suggestion. The most prompt among them, Fabian, worried that he'd missed the pickup altogether. However it wasn't long before the motley crew were gathered, with one notable absence. The cynical suggested that Franco's work wouldn't have been so much of a commitment had the weather forecast not been so poor but whatever his reason they all agreed that the prospect of a week's munro-bagging without him was quite weird.

The journey up was largely uneventful, the record faffing in Nottingham, including a tour of beeston's petrol stations in search of air and a stop off at Fabian's house for backup spices meant that they were quite a bit behind schedule, and Gaff, who was meeting them in Glasgow had to wait for about 4 hours before they arrived. But speedy progress up Scotland got them to Kinlochewe in the not-so-late early hours. With lots of talk and amidst the setting of many early alarm clocks they went to bed. At 6.30am once the symphony of alarm clocks had died down only Chris had got out of bed. His obviously far-too-subtle tactic of playing the weather forecast and other radio programs loudly into the bedroom failed to get anyone else out of bed and it wasn't until 10.00am that Damian, Mat Rose, Gaff, Vicky and Chris set off to climb Slioch around the other side of Loch Maree. Except on the summit the wind was not as bad as they had expected and between wintery showers even a few shafts of sunlight got through; they were just in time to be back on the path along Loch Maree before darkness fell.

Meanwhile the others had tried and failed to bag a viewpoint (due to very strong winds and pellet-snow and a lack of goggles for one). The weather forecast for the next few days was for gale-force winds but, undeterred, on Wednesday Ed and Paul set off to climb Ben Wyvis and although they had to walk leaning 45 degrees into the wind along the ridge they made it to the top and back and hitched a ride all the way to Inverness where they met the rest of the group who had been having a nice lazy day, gear and cheese shopping, apart from Tom who had twisted his ankle on the steps outside Safeway! Tom was thoroughly annoyed with himself as this was a recurring injury and it proved to put him out for the rest of the week.

On Thursday, Grahame, Gaff, Damian, Paul and James set off on a long walk to traverse Ben Eighe and Fabian, Vicky, Nick and Chris drove to Glencarron to walk up Moruisg and Sgurr nan Ceannaichean. Mat Rose was left on the roadside to hitch a ride to Inverness. The morning turned out to be thoroughly wet, which did not put the Ben Eighe group, who started at 7.30am, in particularly good spirits. However by the afternoon once the group had reached the ridge, the torrential rain backed off a little and some views were had towards the end of the day.

The difficult way to get to Torridon by Matt and Matt!! The plan was clear Mr Hilton would get up early drive from Reading pick Suddards up in Beeston 10 hours later we would be finishing a pint of bitter ready for a good nights sleep in a bed in the bunkhouse! Sounds simple....now what actually happened. Matt Hilton didn't get up early and finally made it to Beeston about 2pm, a bit of a late start and our bedtime pint was already looking in danger. 15:00 Sat on the hard shoulder of the M1 in an R reg diesel Astra with a fucked engine half way to sheffield! 15:10 AA man arrives and confirms engine is shafted - 'you aint going anywhere in that today'. 15:30 Back in Astra cruising at 55mph back to Nottingham on tow behind an AA truck 17:00 Car is back on Matt's drive in wollaton and we have unpacked the car and Suddards is about to get a bus home. At this point the AA man points out that we can have a free hire car for 24 hours. 17:40 Travelling at 95mph in various lanes in an AA pickup truck to East Midlands Airport to pick up a hire car. Hire car is only for 24 hours and the nearest return point to Torridon is Inverness! 18:20 No lunch no dinner and we are finnaly on the road again with only 450 miles to go. 1:30 After some excellent sports casual driving (sports speed with a casual regard to safety) we roll into Inverness, quite dark and lots of drunk people wandering the streets. 2:30 Located hire car return depot and found sordid layby to sleep in. 5:30 Ed arrives in the Minibus to pick us up. 6:45 Back in hut with walking gear on ready for the horns of Alligin.

On New years eve Damian, Grahame and Chris went to traverse Liathach anticlockwise, while James, and Paul headed for a multipitch VD climb that would start them traversing Liathach clockwise.

Gaff Matt Hilton and Matt Suddards headed to Loch Torridon to traverse Ben Allign and his horns and once Nick had finished

dropping everybody off he went to Achnasheen to walk up the grassy lump that is known as Fionn Bheinn with Vicky and Fabian. The views were glorious early on as the sun rose and the groups neared the tops but it wasn't long before the cloud base fell. Paul and James couldn't locate the start of their VD climb and were limited to scrambling only, but to make up for their lack of danger in the morning they had a bit of an epic descent in the afternoon. On the way down Paul experienced a speedy slip down a snow slope that was stopped not by his ice-axe but by a series of collisions with rocks during which their only map flew away down a gully. Meanwhile Damian's group were following tracks in the snow, taking them the wrong way on Liathach. They in turn were being followed by a group who suggested that the tracks had been left by their mates who had come the wrong way on Liathach the day before. After retracing their steps to the summit Damian was forced to cheat and use the GPS to find the correct way. But with or without navigational aids all groups were able to get back in time for dinner at the Kinlochewe Hotel. After dinner an arm-wrestling knock-out competition ensued (See Appendix A for rules) and the winner, Chris, found himself nominated to challenge the local champion and despite Damian's enthusiastic encouragment, was beaten.

The group then headed to the local village hall for Hogmannay celebrations. The party there had not yet quite started so Damian orchestrated an MPS level-4 human pyramid display for everyone in the gym. He then succeeded in persuading some of the other party goers to join in to attempt a level-5 human pyramid. This was not quite as successful. Damian continued his circus entertainer duties by rounding up all the children and getting them playing a game that may be familiar to those who went to Hathersage, is a little difficult to explain but involves a bench, and people crawling over other people in press-up positions. (See Mps Games) There was just enough time to get the adults involved in this game too before midnight arrived and the obligatory 'Old Lang Syne' etc. There was a little reluctant participation in the Scottish dancing afterwards but that was generally left to the experts.

On New Year's Day the weather deteriated, reducing further much of the group's desire to go walking. However Grahame, Ed, Damian, Suddards, Matt Hilton (and ?) pushed through the elements, up and down Fionn Bheinn in double quick time. That afternoon the slackers decided that everyone wanted to go and see Torridon itself and try out the pub but the pub proved to be closed...till March. So it was back to Kinlochewe.

Sunday dawned reasonably bright and clear but gales were forecast. Damian did his normal trick of setting an obscenely early alarm clock that woke everyone else up and then went back to bed for an hour or so, before he finally got up and decided to go walking. Gaff, Damian, Vicky, Chris and Fabian went, goggles in hand to Ben Wyvis. While Grahame, Matt Hilton and Suddards (and ?) headed towards Slioch. Much to Damians disappointment, although Ben Wyvis was looking beautiful on the way up, they were beaten off by a blizzard which duly cleared leaving Ben Wyvis looking beautiful again on their way down. They were then treated to drive-by snowball attack from the minibus containing Ed, James and Nick who were returning from Inverness. The Slioch group faired much better and despite the wind made it to the top. In the evening the remaining drink was drunk, remaining food was eaten and the group convened for Pineapple Prizes. Tom received the bog roll. Paul received the rock for his determination to get up Ben Wyvis in some of the worst weather all week and the half-marathon he had run (Backwards?! in hail) that very same day. Grahame emerged as suprise joint winner of the coveted pineapple with Damian, achieving a suprisingly good week total considering the weather of 6.

The trip back, again, was mostly uneventful. The smelly minibus picked up Claire from Glasgow who had apparently had a very nice New Year but couldn't remember any of it.'
---Chris

('Feel free to correct/add/change bits, insert pictures or even write your own independant report, it shouldn't be too hard to write a much more amusing account')

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Page last modified on June 01, 2010, at 07:02 PM