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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

Deeside Source to Sea

posted 18 Jul 2019, 16:41 by Simon Li

29 June 2019
DMC Deeside Source to Sea

Deeside Source to Sea - an attempt to follow the River Dee from it's source to where it meets the sea, under our own steam.

The team met at the Braemar chippy on Friday night to stock up with calories for the next 24 hours. Whilst waiting for his meal Dom whipped out his stove to prepare a second dish! After dropping off the kayaks at Invercauld Dom and Amy joined the rest of the team to walk (and in Iain's case, attempt to cycle) from Linn of Dee via Derry Lodge to our camp site near Corrour bothy. A beautiful evening, it was warm and light enough to walk without torches right to camp at 11.30pm. Straight to bed, no time to drink the 'crate' of beer that Bruce had heaved up the hill, for the expedition required an early start.

DMC Deeside Source to Sea
Up before 6am, too early to eat breakfast, and in Iain's case no fuel for his stove ;-) We all set off travelling as light as possible up the Lairig for the stiff climb up the UK's second highest peak. Fantastic views and great to be on the summit so early, although the sun was already quite high in the sky. After a group photo the runners set off - no time to dawdle if we were to get to Aberdeen for a beach bbq. First stop though, the Wells of Dee, some magical springs on the high plateau where the river begins its journey. Rather than follow the river directly over the cliffs we ran between the four Munro summits, over Angel's Peak, Cairn Toul and the Devil's Point, which amazingly took less than 2 hours. The latter summit had the most incredible view of the Dee stretching ahead of us. A quick descent back to camp where we picked up our sleeping bags and started the run alongside the Dee back to the Linn. Thanks to the walkers in the team for carrying leftover tents!

DMC Deeside Source to Sea
Having only eaten a cheese roll for the last 35km I was starving at this point so I took some time to have lunch while Dom and Amy set off on their bikes. Iain and I then set off together to meet them at Invercauld as they were preparing to get into the kayaks. All was looking good so we continued to Balmoral where we would pick them up. Unfortunately by that time the most intense storm I've ever experienced was rolling in. Incredible lightning displays were followed immediately by huge thunderclaps. The storm was all around us! However we set off on the bikes for Aberdeen as the rain seemed to come and go. By the time we got to Aboyne the rain was most definitely more come than go and the lightning was hitting the ground around us. Calling it a day we retired to the local Indian where we were able to celebrate Amy's birthday in some style (and Dom nipped out to cook a second meal whilst waiting ;-)).

- Report by Andrew
- Participants: Dom, Amy, Andrew, Berenice, Fiona, Caitlin, Bruce, Iain

GSG Hut, Elphin

posted 1 Jul 2019, 14:14 by Simon Li

14 - 16 June 2019
DMC Elphin meet

Deciding to take a break from having a camping meet for midsummer the club headed north instead to the land of late sunsets for a June meet to Elphin. The long drive from Dundee did mean the last party did still manage to arrive after sunset.

There had been some discussion of caving before going but a reasonable forecast saw everyone head to the hills on Saturday. Suilven proved the most popular hill, but the author headed to the three Corbetts of Quinag with 4 others. With Pete having only managed to climb the first one due to wind at the last DMC meet to Elphin we headed up the central peak first. Reaching the summit, we were glad of our hill choice as hills further south and west all seemed cloud covered (including Suilven). We continued along a spectacular ridge to the furthest away peak a handy lunch spot. Returning back to the car via the Southern summit for four of us we nearly but not quite managed to avoid the rain which soon stopped once we reached the shelter of the car.

Returning to the hut the sun soon returned with most of us sunning ourselves in the conservatory. Drawn back out by the sun me and Amy went for a quick swim (in wetsuits) first in Loch Borralan which proved too shallow then in Cam Loch which proved to be a better option if rather cold. Eventually the others returned from various adventures in the mist and an excellent tea with cheesecake was had by all.

Sunday saw some caving adventures. This started with much kit faff working out what kit we had for people with some (me) not doing the crucial try on to check it fits step. After getting sorted a short drive saw more faff followed by an awkward walk in too many clothes to get to the start of the cave. Being glad to not have to walk any further in wellies distracted us from the fact that Andrew had stopped us near a rather small dark hole in the ground. One by one we descended through the narrow hole. I was personally relieved by the large number of handholds meaning we would hopefully be able to easily climb back out the hole we had slithered down, but first some exploring to do.

This started with a series of short trips away from a large central chamber slowly getting us used to different bits of caving. The drier weather meant that previous warnings about caving being cold and wet were not true and I was rather too warm in my winter kayaking thermals. The final challenge of the first half of the cave exploration was a short wire ladder down to a river where we could see the line madder people than us had used for their cave diving. A rather stiff rope provided some difficulties when being used for safety but everyone managed to safely navigate the ladder. Fired up no one at this point announced they wanted to turn back before the second half of the cave system with a warning of a narrow entry passage. Reality however soon hit and after some wavering only 5 of the original 7 managed to make it through the others resolved to wait for us to return. After slithering through a narrow gap the cave did slowly get wider and a few awkward scrambles presented themselves. The lore of a waterfall drew us on but one traverse reduced our numbers to 4 (someone decided to wait no one fell). The knowledge of a narrow slither out meant I never quite relaxed in this second cave and so was quite glad to be turning back when we reached the end. A slightly different route was taken to return and thankfully Villo had not been kidnapped by goblins so we were able to return safely to the others and the wonderful daylight and air on the surface. Caving was interesting but there are probably many other things higher on the list of hobbies to do above it…

Returning to the car and showers of the hut was easier as a downhill walk out and the long drive home beckoned…

- Report by Dominic

DMC Elphin meet
Sunday was the day I was waiting for a long time, I never went to any caves and always was wanting to do it. Finally we had a chance as Andrew was so keen to take us down under the earth.

Little hole and we are in. Was so quiet up there and water running sound was so different that ever heard. Bit scary, to crawling few metres with almost no space to move the feet felt so great when you end up in different chamber and than couple of traverses above few metres drops.... Hmmm. So exciting! After we have been back I am more for caving again soon I hope one day I find a prehistoric bones or a diamonds. Wish me luck!

- Report by Sylwia

A few midges....
A few showers.....
A few beers....
A little sun burn....
A portion of lentil curry....
A little gas...!
A stroll in the hills...

- Report by Paul

Skye Meet 2019

posted 28 May 2019, 03:50 by Dominic Williams

9-13 May 2019 

Skye Adventures…..!
“Squirrel Suits, Cheese Rolling and the Gulasch-und-Strudel Wagen….”

The trip to Skye always generates extra excitement and so Friday was duly exchanged for Bank Holiday Monday, and six of us managed - after about 300 emails - to coordinate two cars to travel up on Thursday eve. Anton offered to drive and like me has a Skoda with many miles under its belt, however when he suggested we could fit 5 plus bikes I was a bit sceptical…. I duly arrived to witness roofbox being loaded with goodies, including food for the Sat night, and bike rack – no problems! A quick diversion to get Sylwia with a second bike, then north, Anton being mainly concerned the bikes were secure, whereas I was wondering if any unplanned heavy braking would result in 5kg of Gulasch cascading down the windscreen, not to mention the fate of the Apple Strudel balancing on the back seat… Needn’t have worried however, and the food on Sat night was superb!!

Arriving Sligachan campsite just before midnight exposed the ‘hard’ truth of what had been forgotten this time, in my case a Thermarest, substituted instead by an uncoiled 60m rope and a borrowed blanket. At least I remembered a sleeping bag and a tent…

Friday saw 10 of us head off up Coire na Banachdich, conscious that some were making their first visit to the Cuillin, and we’d just had a very cold week with lots of fresh snow further east. A showery day full of ‘atmosphere’, some of the atmosphere consisting of hail and snow, it didn’t last, but added a bit of extra spice, when you can’t quite trust the gabbro 100%. Everyone made the top of Sg na Banachdich, a real achievement given the conditions, and 8 of us managed to press on to An Dorus via Sg a Ghreadaidh, a fleeting Broken Spectre one of the highlights. Simon & Phelim had other ideas, exploring/getting lost in the dripping recesses of Sron na Ciche – didn’t we do this last year as well?? Some cracking photos though.

The now traditional DMC weather arrived for Sat along with the Friday nighters (i.e clear and sunny - whoever arranges this every year deserves a medal), and we had several people on the Inn Pinn, Ghreadaidh, Banachdich, a visit to Raasay, and a group of 7 aiming for the northern 3 Cuillin Munro’s, Bruach na Frithe by the NW ridge, Am Bhasteir including the ‘bad step’, and the West ridge of Gillean. The summit of Am Bhasteir is one of those places where the exposure is absolute and has a great feeling of ‘space’. You can understand (if briefly) the attraction of Base Jumping with a Squirrel Suit…. casual Google search reveals:-
“” – base jumping equipment, – how to start Wingsuit flying!, closely followed by “wingsuit /”, then “Wikipedia: list of fatalities due to Wingsuit flying….”
Staying firmly on the ground we pushed on up Gillean, roping up for the tricky bit and revelling in the fantastic situations. It’s a long way down the (very much tongue in cheek) “Tourist route” to the pub however (quicker with a squirrel suit ).

Sun saw a whole heap of different things accomplished, running the Trotternish ridge (Dom&Amy and Lu), running some of the Skye trail down to Portree (Andrew, Berenice, Villo and Simon), Cycling down to Talisker Bay and round to Glen Brittle (all from Sligachan) Anton and Sylwia, plenty of folk headed off to do Blaven, and I, well I resorted to the Red Cuillin, there being a Graham and Corbett as yet unclimbed. Worth it for the experience, great views but the descent off Glamaig is an unrelenting 600m 40deg nightmare of loose scree and grass…. and they run up and down here every year…? The record I believe is 44mins – by one Finlay Wild, he of Cuillin ridge in 2h59m22s fame, not only that, he took 32 mins to get up, and 12 MINS to get down…!!! The only comparable thing which springs to mind is the carnage unleashed by the annual Cheese Rolling in Gloucestershire.. maybe that’s why these Cuillin are red…

Report by Iain

More photos can be seen on yogile album here

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