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Hogmanay meet, Craignure, Isle of Mull

posted 14 Jan 2019, 07:39 by Simon Li   [ updated 14 Jan 2019, 07:40 ]

29 December 2018 - 2 January 2019

DMC Ben More Hogmanay
Last time i went walking here was back in 1991 - a school trip no less, which took in Ben More and Dun da Ghaoithe, the resident Munro and Corbett on the Island. I've since expanded my horizons to Grahams and the odd (some of them very odd) Marylin, Mull is chock full of these and has some impressively rough and rocky ground, almost obligatory sea-level starts and big drops between them... big little hills indeed.

Sun 30th was a bit dreich but Miguel and I took our chances on Creach Bheinn from KinlochSpelve, and succeeded without getting completely soaked and/or blown over. The complete lack of photos from this hill tells it's own story. We had a wander afterwards along the beach at Loch Buie - really interesting Church / Chapel of St Kilda, and Moy Castle, sadly locked but undergoing restoration.

Mon 31st did not exactly dawn clear and dry, but buoyed by the success of the day before and making a judgement the forecast was only 'slightly' worse, Miguel and I decided to head for another Graham. In the end we only got to around 600m on Ben Buie before driving rain and nearly being flattened by the ferocious gusts of wind saw us retreat and take the scenic route to Balamory (Tobermory), to see what Miss Hoolie had been up to. OK so Andy did once teach on the Island but am reliably told it was at the high school and probably long before Balamory was created. The others had - perhaps more sensibly - wandered round to Rubh nan Gall lighthouse and taken up residence in the Tobermory Chocolate Cafe.

1st Jan - Today it did dawn (or probably did as i missed sunrise by some margin) clear, dry and bright, and so plans were put into action, Richard and Allan for the Corbett, Niall for a 217km tour of the island by bike (he left before sunrise..), Andy for a leisurely Graham, and Miguel, Simon and I for the same Graham but with ambitions of making it to Ben More. This we eventually did, via A Chioch, summitting at about 15:25, after lighting the afterburners from the col at 332m. Luckily Ben More has one of the quickest and easiest descents to the south, little over an hour to the road, and no headtorches needed!... Thank the 10 mins later sunset compared to Dundee and a bit of west-coast 'gloamin.' About 1500m of ascent overall and only 5 hrs on the hill.. Quote of the day - "all the Munro's I've done this year have been in great conditions...!"

Wed 2nd - sneaked a further quick Graham - Beinn Talaidh well under 2hrs up and down, whilst Simon and Miguel managed some climbing (!) at a nearby sport crag on the coast. This despite the morning frost which had left the beach at Loch Spelve draped in a carpet of ice.

So Mull comes highly recommended, still got a few little hills to do...

- report by Iain

Christmas Meet, Bridge of Orchy

posted 7 Jan 2019, 03:39 by Simon Li   [ updated 7 Jan 2019, 03:39 ]

7 - 9 December 2018
DMC Christmas meet hills

My first visit to the 'legendary' Glencoe Ski Club Hut, nestled in the forest near Bridge of Orchy. Santa made an appearance last year but would he show in 2018?? Judging by the distinct lack of the white stuff there were no guarantees.

We were warned about the 10p's needed for the showers, so i had been carefully stockpiling all week, only to forget them when we left on Friday. Enough food and drink however for another enjoyable weekend even if the weather didn't comply.

Sat seemed reasonable enough and a large group including Greg, Dave M, Katrina, Dom, Chimed, Dave B, Caitlin, Andrew H, Konrad and myself headed off from Achallater heading for the distant Beinn a Chreachain via Middle Earth, involving wild river crossings, and negotiating the treacherous Crannach Wood, by which point any semblance of a good path had vanished and we all disappeared into the trees only to re-emerge at different points on the hillside above. It was a bit wild on the summit and despite lots of people checking their maps, we managed to start descending the SE rather than the SW ridge of the hill... Soon re-orientated we pressed on taking in Beinn Achaladair in the fading light, and just managed to get to easier ground in the Coire below before the headtorches came out. A fine meal followed, and we learned of Andy's morning escape from the hut having found himself locked in, and Pete, Roos, Jo and Carol climbed the Corbett down the glen - Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh.

Sunday promised to be a much brighter affair and i went with a group of four - Dave M, Dave's mate Ben, and Chimed to repeat Stob Coire Odhair and Stob Gabhar, with just enough snow and ice to make it interesting and see the ice axes make a first appearance of the year. The situations and views on this circuit never disappoint, a grand day out!

- Report by Iain

Mabie - Dumfries & Galloway

posted 9 Dec 2018, 14:38 by Simon Li   [ updated 9 Dec 2018, 14:39 ]

Mabie MTB
16 - 18 November 2018

DMC headed south to the forests near Dumfries for a weekend of mountain biking. We were based in the bunkhouse deep inside Mabie forest but first we explored the Dalbeattie forest trails. Meeting old friends Dan and Diana was great and they know the area well. We split into several groups and covered as many trails as possible, from green through to black. Compared to some other trail centres we found the grading to be accurate but the density of technical sections much higher. It was great fun tackling the blues and reds, and watching the braver members on the crazy black bits. We comfortably exceeded the guide-book time of 1.5 hours for one of the red routes, some of us making it last most of the day! The scenery was fantastic with sunlight streaming through a varied mix of trees, and beautiful views from the hill tops. We stayed out until dusk, heading back up the hill to get a view of the setting sun. Definitely a recommended destination for MTB. We headed back to Mabie for a great meal (thanks Berenice and helpers) and a sociable evening around the log fire. On Sunday we stayed more local, hitting the trails in Mabie and the local hill Criffel.

- Report by Andrew

Low Garth Hall - Lake District

posted 8 Nov 2018, 02:09 by Simon Li   [ updated 8 Nov 2018, 02:10 ]

19 - 21 October 2018

Low Garth Hall
It was great to be back at the home of the Yorkshire Ramblers after nearly 4 years. The drive in was as challenging as ever with a noticeable deterioration in the track after the ford area. The open fire adds a distinct charm to the place and we were grateful of Sergey's wood donation on the Saturday night. The weather was as poor on Saturday as last time with persistent drizzle and precious little view. The main party were able to find the top of Weatherlam and most enjoyed a local cave after returning. I gave up on an ascent of Harter Fell and settled for a short tour of antiquities. After tea we enjoyed a variety of games. Looks like Sunday was a touristy day from the FB piccies posted....

- Report by Greg

Strawberry Cottage - Glen Affric

posted 5 Oct 2018, 09:27 by Dominic Williams   [ updated 5 Oct 2018, 09:29 ]

14-16 September 2018 

A weekend of locked gates, long walks, mountains and rainbows.


Happy times on the hills

After a long drive with some slightly unnecessary driving north by me we arrived at the car park not too long after Iain, piled extra stuff and passenger into his car before getting on our bikes for a long cycle in the dark.  100m later we found Bruce and co sat in front of a locked gate with the key not working.  Our key didn’t work either so after an extra hour or so of faffing people resolved to walk in leaving 2 behind to put a tent up in car park and Bruce to sleep in his car.  For those of us with bikes it was a shortish rather over burdened cycle in before we discovered that thankfully the key for the hut did work and set about turning things on for the others.  Eventually around 2am more people arrived and after warming ourselves on fire and setting up kit to dry went to bed.

Not so happy times at the locked gate

No one rose early the next morning and there was some indecision on what to do but Berenice’s Munros were not going to climb themselves so she was first to leave heading to Beinn Fhionnlaidh with 3 others in tow (and two other Munros to reclimb to get there).  Me and Amy headed up the other side of the valley over a Corbett to Sgurr nan Conbhairean and Sail Chaorainn.  Others decided to cycle around the glen and Iain being the hero decided to cycle back to the car to pick up the food he had pre-prepared (thus saving everyone the horrors of my vegetarian cooking).  A good day was had by most with the winds and showers proving less fearsome than forecast giving good views for all.

Returning to the hut after a long day on the hill we found everyone had finally made it in to the hut and some of those that hadn’t made it last night were still on the hill.  We soon had food prepared and saw some of the amazing things people had carried in on their backs (including a large quantity of hummus).   Realising any food not eaten would have to be carried out again meant people made a good effort on the rather large amount of rice that had been cooked.

Alright for some

The Sunday saw people rising early eager to both get up a hill walk out and get back to Dundee at a reasonable hour.  This day saw four different parties head up to the hill with some encountering snow and mist.  Me, Amy and Dave avoided both by climbing the smaller hill of An Socach.  After a final clean and some tea drinking faff everyone set off back to the cars and got to see what the track looked like in the light.

All in all a good meet despite the set-backs with some resolving to bring bolt cutters or sledge hammers on all future meets.  No one driving back to Dundee in a huff on Friday night when gate didn’t open = success.

Report By Dominic

More photos of the meet can be seen here

Shore Lodge, Isle of Arran

posted 14 Sep 2018, 08:48 by Simon Li   [ updated 14 Sep 2018, 08:49 ]

31 Aug - 3 Sep

Arran Souwester Slabs

Arrived by cycle Claonaig early morning via Comrie, Dalmallay and Kilmartin,
Sail to Lochranza, Disco Slippers (cycling shoes) but no dancing shoes for Ceilidh,
Slept day, slept night, but still time for 5 meals


Rode long way round to Brodick by Pirnmill, Thundergay, Lagg, Kildonnan
Nice day, Spotted hub caps in trees!
Wooden hut in castle grounds, very nice, but flawed, nit-pickers delight!
Paw Patrol cake, whisky too, tall tales of age!
Time for Birthday boy’s tea
Pub closed! Long walk for tea.
Nice burgers, chips not to Pete’s delight.
Fumble home in the dark.


Cloud down, dull day
Woodland walk, Creepy Cabin found
Water rushing, can’t see Eas Mohr for mist.
Ridges walked, Shores Traipsed
Porpoises seen, cheat crumble bought.
Biryani and crumble scoffed.
Second best DMC curry ever.


Still cloudy, can’t be bothered
Holy island sailing sought, tempting…
Spirits lifted, off to the boat.
Little tub to Buddhist Island
Caves and paintings, horses and light houses
Katrina offending Goats!
Group split, off into the mist Katrina and Chimed go.
The rest stay on the shore
Tea and biscuits, before the boat
Well behaved, Swift half in the pub (Jim’s gone home).
Pasta baked, nae cheese corner for Niall.


Home time looms, on the bike
Dull and boring Ayrshire route
Lost in Ardrossan… Shudder.
Across the clagged in muirs I rode
As Rain comes down, and Kelty looms
While on the island
Goatfell’s scaled and South Ridge Direct Conquered !
In glorious sunshine, a tall tale?
Sadly not!

- Niall

Ben Lawers

posted 29 Aug 2018, 08:42 by Simon Li   [ updated 29 Aug 2018, 08:43 ]

25 August 2018

Ben Lawers
Collecting Ben Lawers by itself is tricky unless you use the less used East ridge. After a bit of a faff morning and A9 delays we finally left the Lawers Hotel at 13.00. A pleasant path through woodland follows the Lawers Burn and gets out onto the moorland. We missed where the path crossed the burn but easily compensated and took the eastern slopes of Ben Lawers. This offered mixed terrain but a slow but steady ascent to the highest point in Tayside in just over 3 hours enjoying 360 views. Pushed for time we descended the same way in a couple of hours to enjoy a haddock supper back at the hotel.

- Greg, accompanied by Allan

Sail Mhor Croft, Dundonnell

posted 26 Aug 2018, 09:19 by Simon Li   [ updated 26 Aug 2018, 09:22 ]

An Teallach (taken by Iain)
17-19 August 2018

We made the journey up to Dundonnell on Friday evening after work – excited with anticipation for our first meet with DMC. We arrived to the hostel and were warmly greeted by the friendly bunch. A glass of whisky (Highland Park) was pushed in front of us making us feel immediately welcome and part of the gang.
With high winds forecast our initial plan for the An Teallach traverse were put on hold and a large group ramble up some of the central Fannichs was instigated, with only two of the bravest soldiers ( Joe and Phelim) risking the winds on the traverse the next day.

Saturday arrived and a relaxed morning saw us donning our waterproofs and gaiters around 9.20am to ascend our first munros. Our equally relaxed approach to navigation saw us crossing the path of a river requiring a particular level in acrobatics to cross with dry feet ( I am sure Berenice will testify to that.) After this Miguel stamped an early claim as the weekends resident speed champion, whilst others (Iain) veered off with masochistic tendency to grab all the nearby Corbett’s, Corbett top, munro tops and so on. With everyone reconvened at the summit of Sgurr Nan Each lunch was had with percy pigs and Kendal mint cake flowing all around.

We set off to bag the our other summits of the day, and was off the mountain by 17.00 to allow Bruce time to prepare his Sainsbury’s sponsored stew ( other grocers available) which was well received by all. The night rolled on and our attempts at a sing along, quickly made us realise why it was Paul Simon that was earning the big buck and not us.

With the forecast looking good for Sunday – An Teallach was now back on, and it turned out to be an absolute cracker of a day. With sun cream applied we were ready for a great day on the hills. With all the pinnacles climbed and everyone still alive we descended to reach the Dundonnell hotel for a celebratory beverage.

We met with Simon and Phelim who had been in search of climbing near anthrax island (Gruinard island). With their symptoms checked over and cleared from contamination Phelim was eager to get home. They set off with petrol light flashing and 50 miles to the nearest petrol station… Actually has anyone heard from him since…?

Anyway, with the summer of high pressures evidently starting to dwindle and the autumnal weather we know and love trying to poke its way back into August it can’t stop the Dundee mountain club from continuing to explore the majestic mountains of Scotland and beyond.

Thanks everyone for a great weekend and I hope to see you soon for more action on the hills.

- Dave
- Present: Dave & Caitlin (newbies), Joe, Phelim, Miguel, Katrina, Iain, Andy H , Greg, Fergal, Berenice, Bruce, Amy, Simon & Andy B

An Teallach (taken by Iain)
Another excellent weekend! I can't add to the great report from David, but perhaps try to capture something in a Haiku...

Northwest adventures
Fannaich to Forge, ancient rock
new friends; Taylor Swift?!!

- Iain

Sidlaws Skyline - a Ten Top's Traverse

posted 10 Aug 2018, 06:10 by Dominic Williams   [ updated 13 Aug 2018, 13:03 by Andrew Brooks ]

28 July 2018 

The Sidlaws Skyline, a route name which brings to mind the Glencoe Skyline, a serious challenge! Yet this was also a chance to explore the oft-neglected hills in our back yard. It was a long time in the planning, and the run-up to it was an equally long time without rain. But the day before we saw a forecast for 30mm of rain - a whole weekend of heavy rain right across the UK. The famous DMC optimism won again and we met at Katrina's for croissant sustenance. Complex logistics sorted, we met at the start with bikes and running shoes ready. In no time at all we were on the first summit, Dunsinane Hill. Yay, 10% of the ten summits complete! There was a bit of mist, but this was going to be easy. The hard bit arrived swiftly with an ascent into thick fog, challenging navigation, pathless terrain and thick heather to negotiate. The bikers were going to find this difficult. The runners pressed on using map and compass until finally the cloud lifted near Gaskhill. The going was much easier round Ballo and on a path to Laird's Loch. At that point the wind picked up and the rain started but fortunately it stopped after a few minutes so I didn't need to put my jacket on. Fantastic views for the high section across Lundie to Newtyle and a pleasant descent into the village. Good timing, a quick burst of heavy rain coincided exactly with toilet stop. A few minutes later we ran up the lovely wee den to Kinpurney where we were joined by Simon O for the run to Auchterhouse hill. Finally we felt as though we were going to succeed. The sunshine and the views were splendid. Great running tracks to Craigowl then another heather hop to Gallow hill, our tenth and final top. Down to the car for tea and medals :-)

Report by Andrew B

Andrew B (run), Dominic (run), Amy (run), Berenice (run), Simon L (bike), Chimed (bike), Simon O (run)

Some of the group reaching the top of Dunsinane Hill

A video of the day was created and be can watched here

Sidlaws Skyline- a ten tops traverse from Dominic Williams on Vimeo.

See also the club photo album

Blackrock Cottage, Glencoe

posted 31 Jul 2018, 08:37 by Simon Li

20 - 22 July 2018

Aonach Eagach
Blackrock Cottage is probably one of the most famous buildings in Scotland so we felt privileged to be able to stay. Being first to arrive at the cottage, but not having the key, we resorted to the fun game of guessing which passing car belonged to Bruce! Finally we entered and discovered that the interior still holds its charm yet the bathroom facilities have been upgraded to Spa standard. We spent a cozy evening scaring ourselves silly with talk of the Aonach Eagach ridge scramble.

The next morning a bit of valley fog didn't cloud our optimism so we headed to the Devil's Staircase to make an extended walk out of the long summer daylight. Climbing out of the fog got us excited for the day ahead. The first challenge was the Chancellor, a down-climb requiring those of a nervous disposition to face the rock and pretend there's no exposure. Jeannie helped wonderfully and encouraged us saying it's the hardest part of the route. I'm not sure that's entirely true. We spent the rest of the day navigating all sorts of up-climbs, down-climbs, round-climbs, over-climbs, scary bits, exhilarating bits, downright crazy bits and magnificently 'airy' bits. Fortunately for some, the swirling mist sometimes hid the sheer drops right down to valley bottom. The Munro summits may have been new ticks for some but they were definitely not the highlights of the day.

Back in the cottage afterwards we tucked into Berenice's wonderful Picos-de-Europa-inspired mountain stew (recipe to follow!). Barry and Bob spent the day in the Mamores and by chance met the same 78-year old they'd met in Glen Etive the previous day. Did they meet him again on Sunday? Tune in later to find out! Several people enjoyed a Sunday amble up Buachaille Etive Beag, others enjoyed the downhill mountain biking competition taking place in Glencoe.

- report by Andrew

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