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posted 26 Feb 2020, 13:02 by Simon Li

14 - 16 February 2020
DMC Roybridge trip

I write this sitting in the office enjoying the late afternoon sun on a glorious blue sky winter day, a fresh blanket of snow draped over the hills and a strong desire to skip work tomorrow and get the skis out instead...

None of which is remotely like the weekend the DMC had at Roybridge....

The forecast had already dampened the enthusiasm of the week prior - Munro's to bag, possibly a climb on Aonach Mor or the Ben?? Skis for Nevis Range or even Nordic skiing in the Leanachan forest..??
Nope, this would be a weekend of modest ambitions, even someone with the foresight to suggest putting in swimming gear.
There was keen interest in 'short day' planning on Friday night, and fortunately there is a Graham on each side of the Glen both promising a taster of the driving rain and fierce winds, without being too committing. A few groups duly set off up Creag Dubh (N of GlenSpean) and Cnap Cruinn to the south. Chimed and I pushed on to the summit of the latter in the teeth of the gale and on returning to the Hut we noted the river had risen by about 2-3m since we had been away. Thoroughly soaked, the unanimous decision seemed to be the Lochaber Leisure Centre for the afternoon, swim, sauna and steam room... we were not alone in ditching outdoor activities for the day! Dom and Amy did however manage to kayak a section of the river in Glen Roy which was probably the most appropriate activity.
A lively Saturday evening followed, with no obvious intention of an early start on Sunday. The Ice Factor was the most popular choice, and after consoling ourselves with hot chocolate and coffee - Bruce the deserved winner of the most 'ridiculous pile of cream' - headed off for some ice wall climbing, climbing wall and bouldering - and a few daring to head outside to walk to the Grey Mares Tail and Mamore Lodge.. We were duly flattened by the wind at about 200m, a sharp reminder why we weren't on the hill proper.
A discovery that i had left my Paramo (c) trousers in the hut requiring a diversion and extra hour on the way home, kind of summed up the weekend - A Washout, salvaged by a Sauna, Hot Chocolate with lashings of Cream and great company.

- Report by Iain

Strathearn Trail Races, Crieff

posted 11 Feb 2020, 07:15 by Simon Li   [ updated 11 Feb 2020, 10:35 by Mr Jeskynar ]

Sat 1st February 2020
DMC Sstrathearn Race 2020

Shortly before 5pm on Saturday 1st February four hardy DMC members (Andrew H, Andrew B, Iain and Berenice) donned head torches and headed to the starting line for the Strathearn Trail Festival 10km night run from Crieff. After a rather wet day it promised to be a dry night – overhead at least. Underfoot the terrain was already mashed up by the earlier 10km daytime runners with ankle-deep mud in places – thanks Lukas! After a short downhill gallop toward the Shaggle Burn the rest of the route was an unforgiving uphill effort to the top of the Knock. No time to admire the braw bricht moonlicht nicht before hurling ourselves down towards the finish and our well-deserved medals. Andrew B and Iain matched Lukas’s earlier daytime achievement of an hour, closely followed by Andrew H. I was happy to be quite far from last – my 1hr 18 bears testament to the 380m total climb. But a PB is not to be scoffed at, just beaten - same time, same place next year!

- Report by Berenice

Glenbeg bunkhouse, Granton on Spey, Cairngorms

posted 5 Feb 2020, 14:04 by Simon Li   [ updated 5 Feb 2020, 14:05 ]

17 - 19 January 2020
DMC January meet Cairngorms

Arriving just before 10pm on the Friday, the maps where already out and ideas formed. So it was just the decision to choose between where we would go..? And it was then I discovered I'd left my boots, and map behind! They were safely ready in the back of my car in Dundee... Luckily I had brought with me a pair for Rosie, so I would wear those in for her...? She had others, summer boots that she was happy to wear again! Sandwiches were made and beds finally found as we set alarms for 6.30am!
The morning came soon enough, and we realised we didn't have the car space for all of the group. Luckily we were leant Dave's car, agreeing we'd pay if accidents should happen and off we went!!

We took a long walk in, needing ice axe and crampons for most of the day we scaled Bynack More and then onto Cairngorm once we'd descended far enough that the ascent looked quite forboding!! As darkness fell we found ourselves leaving a very cold and windy summit, picture attached, to be joined by loads of walking groups and tours on the ski runs down to the car park. Making the most of an easy opportunity we hitched lifts back to our cars, saving a couple of road miles at the end of a beautiful day. Lukas and I managed to find a driver who's steering cut out every so often requiring him to restart the car whilst sailing along in order to steer. We got out glad to still be able to. Letting those brave young men carry on back to Dundee!

Back at the bunk house, (with Dave's car returned as we borrowed it!), we all shared tales, those that had climbed, cycled and walked, now all home safely. Drinking wine and whisky and feasting on plentiful food Ilze and Paulina had prepared we settled down to play trivial pursuits and Dobble. With late night ghost stories to thrill in the dorm. Niall surprised us all with a talent that should be used again of telling tales of suspense and freakish behaviours....

Sunday came, breakfast and days starting much later as we cleaned up and all went in different directions. Craig a friend of Iain's joined in and we enjoyed getting lost in the woods heading up to a peak somewhere??! We never made it to the Munro but played in snow, and practised ice axe arrests whilst sliding down hill sides on our bums till we were numb with cold... Then heading back at the end of another beautiful day. The sky red with promises of tomorrow.

- Report by Sandy

Plenty of new experiences on this meet! A new hut for the club, our first time staying at the Glenbeg bunkhouse, a most wonderfully situated farmhouse up in the hills outside Grantown-on-Spey. Some new members, always great to welcome new faces to the club. New winter climbing routes for some and new summits for others. New experiences such as walking with crampons all day, making good progress in 50mp winds, or making no progress at all in deep bog. A new drone for Dave. And a lovely first - roses on the dinner table for the Saturday evening meal :-)

- Report by Andrew

Torridon, Hogmanay 2019

posted 26 Jan 2020, 06:25 by Simon Li

30 December 2019 - 2 January 2020
DMC Hogmanay 2019

You wait all year for a nice weather day on the hills and Scotland doesn't let you down, it arrives on the very last day of the year. Hogmanay was one of those dream days and Torridon is arguably the best wee range of mountains to be on when it happens. Walking into Beinn Alligin the sky was cloudless and spirits were high. The sunrise tinged the hills pink with Alpenglühen. Out of nowhere the mist rolled in, trying to dampen our spirits, but it failed miserably - instead giving the scrambling fantastic, dramatic atmosphere. Look out for some competition-winning photographs! By the summit we were looking down on a sea of cloud, dancing with Brocken spectres, before they all vanished in a puff of smoke to reveal endless views of mountains, sea and islands.

The last hours of the decade were spent on the beach around a bonfire, toasting marshmallows, drinking whisky and singing Auld Lang Syne to say farewell to the year and also Haste Ye Back to our NZ friends Janis and Markus.

The start of the new year was a wee bit breezy so we climbed a nearby Corbett and hurried back to the hut before we could be blasted into the loch.

Inside our cosy cottage we had three great evenings around the fire, chatting, playing games and eating delicious food prepared by Markus, Berenice and Iain. Many precious memories to treasure.

- Report by Andrew

Bridge of Orchy Christmas 2019

posted 24 Jan 2020, 12:27 by Simon Li   [ updated 24 Jan 2020, 12:27 ]

6 - 8 December 2019

DMC christmas 2019
What a great turn-out for the DMC Christmas meet! Thanks to everyone who came, it was a fantastic social event :-) Everybody got outside on the Saturday despite the truly appalling weather, most people reaching Munro or Corbett summits, others climbing, and some even trail running in the rain after a hike! We returned to the hut to find the road flooded but thankfully nobody was trapped on the opposite side from the nosh. Christmas dinner was expertly prepared by plenty of elves and after the meal Santa himself arrived to entertain the troops. Then the party started in earnest. Games galore went on until the early hours, involving pass the parcel, Maltesers, tape measures, tables, brooms, and the smallest cereal packet in the world. Wish it could be Christmas every day!

- Report by Andrew

Dundee Mountain Ceilidh 2019

posted 2 Dec 2019, 12:22 by Simon Li

A Mountainous Ceilidh!
Dundee Mountain Ceilidh 2019 final donation

A big THANK YOU to everyone who attended our Dundee Mountain Ceilidh 2019!

Together we sang, ate and danced the night away on the HMS Unicorn to raise funds for Tayside Mountain Rescue Association.

A grand total of £1335.18 was handed over to rescue team member Paul Russell to support the rescue team’s Replacement Vehicle Project 2019.

The £40,000 project is nearly at its target thanks to efforts of our club, other fundraising efforts and public donations.

As a mountain club we are well aware of how vital the rescue associations are, and we were delighted to raise so much to help TMR get their new vehicles.

Special thanks to everyone who manned our on-board bar, collected raffle prizes, decorated the ship or helped out in anyway to make this fantastic ceilidh such a great success.

Anyone – no matter how experienced you are – can get into trouble on the hills. The rescue services are on call 24/7, so it was great to give something back.

As well as search and rescue missions, Tayside Mountain Rescue Association provides training and equipment for team members, who are all volunteers for the local area.

On January 14, Paul Russell of Tayside Mountain Rescue Association will give a talk on Avalanche Awareness as part of our Winter Skills event – more info coming soon!

Raeburn Hut (Laggan)

posted 26 Nov 2019, 05:42 by Simon Li   [ updated 26 Nov 2019, 05:43 ]

15 - 17 November 2019 

DMC Raeburn hut climber

On Friday evening we all converged on the cosy hut and settled into our whisky glasses to discuss plans. Three groups emerged: some climbers tackling the east ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn, some Corbett baggers off to Sherramore Forest, and a mixed group heading for Creag Meagaidh.

Winter climbers are normally setting off way before sunrise but I was lucky this time, our lead climbers were happy to have a bit of a lie-in as they were so relaxed about the route choice :-) So the Creag Meagaidh group were out of the door first, some of them having ambitions to collect a few extra Munros and tops on the way.

I joined the climbers on the walk up to the base of the ridge where we put on our crampons and helmets and unleashed our ice axes. The mountain weather forecast had deteriorated down to the minimum 10% chance of cloud-free Munros, i.e. thick fog and bugger all visibility. Thank goodness weather forecasts are always wrong. We stood on the ridge looking down onto a sea of cloud filling the valleys, the most perfect winter cloud inversion, and looked up at the 100% cloud-free Munros. Berenice had said she would stubbornly refuse to climb Creag Meagaidh unless Fiona promised her a view from the summit, which Fiona did, and as I stood there putting my crampons on I imagined the glee that would be on her face.

The climbing was perfect, a nice easy route in a spectacular location, but a relatively narrow and steep ridgeline covered in snow and ice. Having two ice axes was a great help and there was always somewhere to place them. Except for the one snowy boulder which required a more beached-whale-like technique! We reached the summit at the same time as the other group reach Creag Meagaidh so we stood and waved at each other 5km away whilst eating pork pies and drinking tea.

The climbers group then trudged those 5km up deep snow with a frustratingly breakable crust to summit Creag Meagaidh as the sun was dropping. We didn't stay long as the temperature was also dropping.

The walkers had split into a return party which hastily made their way back to the hut to prepare dinner, thanks Sandy!, and a group which continued onto more Munros and a final dark descent.

There may have been great food, great company and great whisky that evening but I'm not sure I remember any more ;-)

On Sunday various other activities took place, some more mountains and some hill trail running. Another fantastic weekend away with DMC.

- Report by Andrew

Alex MacIntyre Hut, Onich (Glencoe)

posted 4 Nov 2019, 04:25 by Simon Li

11 - 13 October 2019
DMC October 2019

Another great DMC weekend started with an assault on the Mamores, a group of mountains south of Ben Nevis which contains 10 Munros plus other peaks. A group of runners started at the west, a group of walkers started in the middle and a third group started on the east. Berenice formed the link between groups 2 and 3 when she met Iain and Andrew on the ridge up Binnein Mor. Unfortunately the runners had poor conditions and descended early; just a couple of km further east we were blessed with great views, magnificent rainbows and Brocken spectres. A full day out in a big range of ridges and peaks, where every step reveals a changing view of dramatic cliffs and sweeping glens.

On Sunday two groups started in completely different places but were able to wave to each other across Glen Creran. From the summit of Beinn Fhionnlaidh the others could be seen climbing the Ballachulish horseshoe ridge between their two Munros.

Some members stayed an extra night and spent Monday scrambling up Bidean in Glencoe.

- Report by Andrew

Inver Cottage, Achnasheen

posted 6 Oct 2019, 03:53 by Simon Li

20 - 22 September 2019

DMC Achnasheen 2019
September is a month where you could expect to get pretty much any weather. Luckily for the club the weekend picked for the meet this year was warm and sunny.

Saturday saw three different parties leave the hut heading for different goals (plus a fourth party who had stayed at more luxurious accommodation). Berenice and Andrew were joined by Justyna to head up Sgurr Choinnich and Sgurr a Chaorachain. Bruce, Iain and Marcus headed for a scramble on Liathach. Greg meanwhile persuaded Sandy, Rosie, Toni and Janis to join him up An Ruadh Stac. Me (Dom) and Amy headed up Slioch on a warm sunny day. After everyone's journeys all returned to the hut, me and Amy arriving just in time to see Justyna before she headed home. Given the warm day and the fact the sun hadn’t set yet it was decided the loch looked a good place to finish the day. Some (me and Amy) were more prepared (or wimpish) and donned wetsuits before going in. Others took a more traditional approach to swimming enjoying the cold water on their skin (for a much shorter time). The heavy rain the week before ensuring the September sun had not done too much to raise the water temperatures.

Berenice produced a delightful stew for the diners that evening, and we soon got round to discussing plans for the next day round the fire before the Dobble cards were brought out.

Sunday promised to be another good day and a variety of plans were hatched. Berenice continued her bagging mission heading to Maol Chen Dearg, not a popular choice for those who had done the neighbouring hill the previous day. Greg left early to bag a corbett from StrathConnon close to the hut but a long drive round to start point of walk. Fionn Bheinn above Achnasheen was an easy target for those worn out by the previous day’s exertions. The rest (including the author) heading for a planned two corbett day behind Beinn Eighe. On reaching the first viewpoint where both summits were visible (Ruadh Stac Beag and Meall a’Ghiuthas) it was decided who ever wrote the Corbett book had strange ideas about joining peaks and that Meall a’Ghiuthas alone would make a much more sensible walk for the day. Ruadh Stac Beag being much better linked with the other summits of Beinn Eighe. This shortened the day and ensured we managed to return to the car park just as the rain began so avoiding getting wet.

- Report by Dom

Muir Cottage, Braemar

posted 4 Oct 2019, 06:49 by Simon Li   [ updated 21 Jan 2020, 12:04 ]

19 - 21 July 2019

DMC in the Cairngorms

A DMC meet to Muir Cottage, Braemar
For eight bike-and-hikers in almost eight cars.
All weathers, mad epics, and nine ticked Munros
– we walked on through sunshine, through rain and through snow.

We shared chili and stories, and petted the dog,
Sunbathed, got drenched, then got lost in the fog.
A brilliant weekend – all too soon, time to pack.
Here's to four braw new members – who we hope will come back!

- Report by Katrina

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