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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
Sunday: 12 hours(ish) long minibus journey to Ullapool. As we progressed northwards, the increasing snow cover caused a considerable amount of excitement and expectations were high. Annette was told to speak up TWICE during an unsuccessful attempt to relay messages from Ben (our glorious leader for the trip in the absence of Phil) to the driver about where to stop for dinner. However, an awesome chippy was found eventually in Inverness, serving real chips!! :D For future reference, said chippy is at 107 Academy Street, Inverness. Tel: 01463729911. We arrived at the Aultguish Inn to find Stu Pot ambling around outside (minus 13 degrees!) in just a t-shirt and trousers, like the true Northerner he is.
Monday: Ben decided that we needed an easy day of bagging just one Munro- Ben Wyvis. Meanwhile some of the more hardcore members attempted climbing [after bashing through knee deep snow for a couple of hours the idea of climbing was given up in favour of buying food from Ullapool Cost Cutters]. The weather was glorious- clear skies and tons of snow on the ground. Much rolling around in the snow and practicing ice axe arrests ensued, before finally reaching the top of Ben Wyvis some time around midday. Descent was achieved by bum-sliding where possible and then what seemed like hours of wading through powdery snow and trudging through a forest that simply refused to end, until some time after sunset. All of us were totally knackered after this so-called easy day, so naturally a visit to the pub was required.
Tuesday: Continuing with the relaxed theme, all of us (minus Caz, Pete and Stu) planned to tackle Sgurr Breac and A'Chailleach. Once again, the weather was perfect. The walk-in took us past Loch a'Bhraoin which was completely frozen- with a boat stuck in the ice within a boathouse. Much fun was had trying unsuccessfully to fall through the ice (led by Tim) before returning to the main objective- a very long ascent up a ridge to Toman Coinich, through even more powdery snow than the day before and then on to Sgurr Breac. After this, the group continued on to the the top of A'Chailleach, except for Ben J who had a sore leg and Annette who just couldn't be arsed. Army Pete, Stupot and Caz walked up some little hills and made Bear Grylls Style snow shoes. Rob Chuter had to be collected from Inverness airport as he had missed all the buses to Ullapool due to "flight delays". Much jollity was had at the pub that evening, with Caz insulting everybody in the world, after only one pint of cider. After closing time, a prodigious amount of whisky (provided by Rob) was consumed back in the bunkhouse.
Wednesday: Everybody had a rest day, except for Brannock, Ben L, Tim and Greg who attempted An Teallach, but had to back off due to adverse conditions, apparently to do with heavy snowfall and absolutely not related to the amount of whisky consumed the night before. Meanwhile Pete, Stu, Struggles and Annette decided that staying inside all day just wouldn't do, so we did some casual ice climbing at the roadside (grid ref 226771). Caz and Rob were left in charge of building a snow fort and snow sofa outside the bunkhouse and having icicle sword fights before pinning Dean the the floor in a rather one sided snow fight. It was subsequently decided that the snow fort was inadequate for our purposes so Ben J and Brannock built a better one on top. The pipes froze in the bunkhouse but were fixed a couple of hours later, so to celebrate, a nocturnal bagging mission to the pub was planned and a route sheet filled out. Yet more beer and whisky was consumed, which led to our first (and rather poor) attempt at a human pyramid. A man who looked suspiciously like Father Christmas was seen drinking in the pub and he poured scorn upon our human pyramid attempt. Caz complemented the Captain on his perfect eyelashes and Annette decided that he would look great in drag.
Thursday (New Years Eve): Tim, Struggles, Ben L and Dean attempted 3 Munros but only bagged 1 [Meall a' Chrasgaidh] due to whiteout-related difficulties, so they had a picnic on the frozen lake instead. Chuter and Ben J bagged An'Chailleach. Pete, Stu, Brannock, Caz, Annette and Greg went ice climbing in Corrieshalloch Gorge (50m ice falls!!) and had a much better day than everyone else. Stu fled to Edinburgh to avoid the drunken debauchery planned for that night. Quote of the day: Brannock doesn't get scared- scared gets Brannocked. Thanks Stu for that stunning piece of wisdom.
Despite the full moon that night, Dean disappointed us all by refusing to transform into a werewolf. The proprietor of the Aultguish Inn gave us free samosas in the evening, so we felt honour-bound to drink an obscene amount in his pub, after a significant prelash in the bunkhouse, of course. Tim challenged Chuter to a race: who could be the first to throw up. It was a draw as neither managed to cross the finish line. It was decided that Ben J was cut out for a future career as a builder in his wife-beater outfit, trousers at half-mast and a pen permanently stuck behind his ear (Chuter et al 2009). Caz and Brannock ran around the snow fort nekkid and barefoot (with Brannock doing a naked snow angel for bonus points), competing for the last slice of chocolate cake, which Greg had eaten before they got back inside. Gutted.
Later on at the pub there were a few rubbish attempts at making a human pyramid, which always fell down when Struggles tried to climb to the top. Some bloke in a kilt coerced several of us into table-wrestling but most of us were far too inebriated to manage it by that point in the festivities. On our way out of the pub the following people insisted in frolicking through the snow naked: Tim, Caz, Brannock, Caz, Pete, Struggles. [Apologies if anyone got left out of this list- the rest of us were laughing too much to do a head count]. Back in the kitchen, Struggles conjured up a bottle of JD, so Chuter demanded to see Stuggles' ID due to his unnaturally youthful appearance. Ben J declared that Hitler had some good ideas and it was only when he started building motorways and going on a power-trip that it all went wrong. Ben also admitted to enjoying pterodactyl porn. Tim related many varied and intriguing tales about Brannock and his blue whale....
Friday: Everybody was rather hungover, so Greg, Brannock and Annette decided that that perfect cure would be a spot of ice climbing at Corrieshalloch Gorge. The Captain went first and abseiled down to (almost) the bottom of the gorge and climbed back up nearly 50m of icefall- absolutely steaming when he finally topped out, which prompted a lot of giggling from Greg and Annette. As Greg was climbing, some seasoned Alpinists turned up, peered down from the viewing platform and declared that the route looked like a technical grade 6. Annette then proceeded to climb said grade 6 route with B1 boots, C1s and the club DMM Raptors- eat that Phil!! The three of us all got utterly beasted on this challenging and at times downright dangerous route [they were on a very safe top rope set up under the watchful gaze of our very own Mountain Safety Officer], so an awesome day was had by all concerned. Everybody else sat in the kitchen of the bunkhouse all day drinking tea and being taught to whistle by Ben J.
Saturday: Everyone went bagging except for Struggles who had a kip in the boat house on Loch a'Bhraoin, made friends with a vole, climbed to the second story of a ruined building, walked on the frozen loch and generally displayed a relaxed anti-bagging attitude.
Prizes awarded as follows:
Bog roll: Caz (1 Munro) as Stu was absent and unable to collect his prize for bagging no Munros whatsoever. [After checking the tally it turns out that self-appointed Legend Rob Chuter also has only 1 Munro, so what he is a Legend for I do not know!]
Pineapple: Ben Llewellyn (7 Munros)
Rock: Captain Brannock (ice climbing, gratuitous nudity, breaking trail all day on the last day as well as his non-mountain activities)
Pebbles: Greg & Annette (ice climbing antics and eating far too much, I think)
Legend: Rob (self-appointed)