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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

Kinloch Bunkhouse, Isle of Rùm

posted 26 Jun 2018, 08:22 by Simon Li   [ updated 26 Jun 2018, 11:03 ]

6 - 9 June 2018  

Rum Cuillin traverse
Landing at the end of a two week holiday with temperatures rarely dipping below 20C the Rum meet saw me not quite manage what I'd hoped to; ok not manage what I had hoped to at all.

Meeting Simon in Galmisdale, Eigg on the Tuesday I received reports of there having been rain; something I hadn't seen in a few weeks at this point, a passing shower had disturbed his bivvy on the dramatic An Sgurr summit of the island, while I slept soundly in the awesome bunkhouse; we met up with others as they arrived in Mallaig that evening before getting up at a sensible time for the 1015 sailing to Rum.

Others arrived at the pier in good time as a huge queue of people had us worried that Jim wouldn't get on board as he hadn't yet appeared.

With seconds to spare [Jim protests: around 300 to spare] Jim was seen running along Mallaig's steamer pier with a crate of beer, nothing quite like risking missing the boat for the essentials!

With 10 minutes to timetabled departure and check in closed, the ramp of MV Loch Nevis lifted from the linkspan and we were on our way to Rum.

A gentle sailing took us directly to Loch Scresort where a midge infested walk through the trees took us to the bunkhouse; well most of us walked, while the food and chefs made use of the Stretched Golf Cart taxi. Sitting down to relax in the sun a fairly competitive game of Pentaque kicked off between Katrina and Jim before a group of us went to take in the tour of Kinloch castle.

If you are on Rum do the castle tour before SNH hand it over to the "Friends" group, there will never be another tour guide quite like Ross fae Cumbernauld who told us about the house, the Bulloughs and their reported antics in his unique style.

After the best Curry ever served on a DMC meet I shot off to visit Harris and Kilmory by bike in the late evening as I hoped to get a decent hike in the following morning; on returning from the cycle about 11pm I was informed I had missed the party as someone preparing breakfast for an early start on the ride had set the fire alarm off getting everyone else out of bed in the process as he and Jed (the hostel manager) hurriedly read the manual for the fire alarm.

Last to bed not long after Jim I struggled to wake early as Allan's alarm went off and realized summiting the island or doing the ridge with the others wasn't going to happen, so I went back to sleep. Waking much later it was scorching so I set off for Coire Dubh for lunch with a view and to see if there was any chance of making it up Askival; after all but finishing my water on the way there I realized there was no chance I was going further and retreated to the bunkhouse.

Others started to arrive and Katrina started sending updates on their location when she had a signal; at this point I decided i needed a post tea lunch and headed up the path towards Dibidil to meet them.
Another 11pm finish!

Rum sunset
The following day everyone else had tentative ideas of doing something easy, so I set off on my own for the summit of Mullach Mor, although I intended going via Rubh na Roinne then take the nose up to Meal a' Goireteam I discovered the path didn't continue along the shore so changed plan and took route one straight up, discovering in the process what must have been the only knee deep patch of bog left on the island!

Bone dry blanket bog further up made what should have been a horrible wet hike a nice springy bounce along between the lochs; with no sign of a boat house to investigate at "Boathouse Loch" next to the summit I descended down to the boggy and little used path that runs through Kinloch Glen and returned to the Bunkhouse

Activity of other members was higher than expected with a surprisingly energetic group walking to Harris and then over Orval while others Climbed on rocks around Kilmory.

A fantastic chilli sorted out the rumbling stomachs and we discussed plans for the following day, with two boats off the islands on a Saturday some chose to take the tour of the small isles in the morning to see Eigg, Canna and Muck from the ferry, while Simon, Jeannie, Chimed and I eventually chose to stop off at Canna and Sanday, the others set off with some of Iain's climbing mates who were met by chance on the ferry while I set off to visit as much of Canna and Sanday as I could before heading for the Canna summit of Carn A Ghaill.

The Saturday turned out to be Columba's day, and Canna was apparently Columba's summer island, so the island and ferry was rather busy! Certainly the number of visitors far exceeded the normal population of 20!

We eventually regrouped at Café Canna for cake and drinks and a few drops of rain fell, before long we were setting sail for Mallaig and settling down with Calmac Burger and Chips as Lochnevis cut her way through the calm seas.

- Niall

A lyrical report

In a moment of (inspiration?) i was going to re-write the lyrics to 'We didn't start the fire' by Billy Joel (those on the trip or having read the meets book will appreciate), however i thought I might try some Haiku instead of a long report, so here goes:-

Rough diamond, smooth seas
Scrambling exertions, Sun, Skye!
Fresh? fish 'n' good craic

OK, having set myself up, here goes, edits appreciated..

Iain G, Jim D, Suzanne B and Toni G,
Andrew H, Katrina P, Neil Wallace

Greg Cox and Alex, Chimed J and Nathan L
Simon, Jeannie, Alan too, no Pete!

Ridge walk, midge fest, sea-stack climbing always best
biked tracks, swam seas, drunk the island dry...!

We didn't start the fire
it was only smoking
but you thought "you're joking"
we didn't start the fire
but don't cook for morning
when folk are snoring..

- Anon

Sligachan Bunkhouse, Isle of Skye

posted 24 May 2018, 10:48 by Simon Li   [ updated 26 Jun 2018, 08:55 by Allan McCulloch ]

11 - 13 May 2018

DMC Isle of Skye
What a weekend! 

The yearly DMC Skye trip had had utterly glorious weather for the past few years, and we were keenly aware that this good fortune couldn't last... With reports of snow still on the Cuillin, we miserably packed our crampons and set off.

Incredibly, however, we struck lucky again and enjoyed blissfully sunny weather all weekend - with panoramic views out to Rum and back to the mainland.

On Saturday, Mhairi had asked mountain expert, Jim, to lead her up the mighty In Pinn, and a few of us decided to take advantage of his expertise and tag along. Villo, Bruce, Tommy, Mhairi, Jim and I headed up Sgurr Dearg and were surprised when we reached the summit after only a short scramble. Well, not quite the summit...

Before us sat a sharp and unforgiving shaft of rock, sticking ungainly out of the mountain, like a giant, forgotten axe head, dropped in a ferocious battle of the Gods. I've been reading a lot of Greek mythology recently.

Anyway, Jim roped up and soloed the narrow east ridge. Mhairi clipped in and followed him - a moderate climb made worse by the sheer drops on either side.

By this time the summit was getting busy. Climbers appeared from all different directions, all hoping to take on the In Pinn, and Jim made the sensible decision to have the rest of us climb up the western side, avoiding the other pesky climbers spoiling our view. This is graded as a VDiff, and we could see why. Bruce and myself (with limited climbing experience) found it particularly challenging, but we made it up and down in one piece, with only the odd "disco leg" and frozen moment of panic. Villo and Tommy scaled it in no time, and all five of us took a brief moment in the sunshine to congratulate ourselves on a climb well done. It was a great group effort, too, as we all shouted encouragement, and guided for footholds from the ground. It was terrifying at the time, but the feeling of accomplishment afterwards was incredible.

Since we were on the ridge, it seemed rude not to bag another couple Munros, so we set off for Sgurr Mhic Coinnich and Sgurr Alasdair. On the way we bumped into the second DMC ridge party, who were doing our route in reverse.After a 13-hour day on the Cuillin, and a horrendous descent of the Stone Chute (I bloomin' HATE s cree) w e returned back to the lodge to enjoy a delicious three-courser, cooked perfectly by Bruce S and served with flair by Andrew H.I could barely keep my eyes open for the usual chatter at night round the fire, and retired early.

I awoke in utter confusion to find I'd slept through the entire summer and an earthquake was shaking my bunk - but it turned out to be Paul and Andrew H, who had given up waiting and were merrily shaking the bunk, singing Happy Birthday to wake me. Apologies, guys!

I dropped them off at another ridge walk and went to Carbost for oysters and a nosey at Talisker distillery. Ice cream in Kyle of Lochalsh on the way home was a glorious end to a perfect weekend. Long my our Skye luck last!

- Katrina

DMC Isle of Skye, Clach Glas Putting Green
The Cioch, Clach Glas and Blaven

Somewhat improbably the rain cleared as we drove through Glen Shiel on Friday eve with the prospect of a clear Cuillin (a rare event when arriving on Skye). No room at the Inn (or Cafe Sia anyway) meant we settled for bar food at Sligachan, to chew over myriad ideas for Sat. I think everyone comes to Skye with an agenda worked out far in advance only to be trashed by the weather when they arrive, or with unbounded enthusiasm end up in thick mist trying to work out if they are in the right Coire.... This time it would be different?

Omens were mixed first thing Saturday, even to the suggestion it might be a Neist Point (cragging) day. Convinced Sron na Ciche would dry-out however we pressed on for a look. Now it is easy to forget this faces North and can be cold and damp for a couple of days after rain (funny how old memories are of warm rock, blithely navigating the terrace and Cioch Slab, enjoying the fine exposure and limitless gabbro friction..) Today it felt steep, damp and a bit foreboding - at least until up the corner and out into the sun atop the Cioch. We dropped the original harder climbing options and pushed on up Eastern Gully via the slimy squeeze under the big chockstone, to enjoy a few hours on Sg Sgumain in the afternoon sun.

Still some juice left in the tank Sunday and we headed for Clach Glas and Blaven (Simon's "favourite scramble", and for me this would be the 3rd? time, and well over 20 years since i last did it??). Sg nan Each kicks things off with a bang, a steep slab and big exposure, and the fun (= sustained, exposed, scrambling / climbing up to Difficult...) continues with a spectacular finish to the table-top summit of Clach Glas.

It's a convoluted descent down to the putting green - a 20m long patch of grass improbably perched on the next col, back into the shade for the challenge of the (damp) 12 foot wall (about 4m these days..), followed by a scree filled gully and steep 25m corner to finish. The only disappointing fact is rather than emerge right onto the summit of Blaven, you are left with a 100m slog to get to what today, was one of the best viewpoints on the planet. We even managed to get a Pizza at Cafe Sia before heading home. If the DMC gets this weather every year, sign me up for 2019!

- Iain

DMC Isle of Skye
Corrie Lagan and more Munro bagging

With Amy’s finishing of the Munro’s fast approaching the one remaining goal on Skye was to see if she could climb the In Pinn without a guide (the summit had been bagged by Amy years ago with a guide). I on the other hand had lots of unclimbed peaks on the Cuillin so a round of Corrie Lagan seemed an appropriate route choice.

Andy M, Andrew B, Miguel and Berenice had a variety of coinciding ambitions so the six of us set off together. First thing cloud was still lingering meaning there was a brief discussion about skipping our first goal Sgurr Sgumain and heading up the great stone shoot to Sgurr Alaisdair. Luckily optimism about the forecast prevailed and we headed up the much nicer Sgumain stone shoot reaching the ridge in time for sun to break through the clouds.

Sgurr Sgumain provided no difficulties and the party split in deciding the best route on the next section on the ridge. Regrouping at the bottom of the bad step on Sgurr Alaisdair and the slightly scary described grade 3 chimney to get up. Harnesses were donned in case anyone felt need to rope part way up but as promised the route was easier than looked and soon we were all enjoying brilliant sunshine on the summit of Sgurr Alaisdair.

After a brief lunch stop we pushed on looking at the fearsome looking cliffs of Sgurr Thearlaich luckily my reading of the walk book was wrong and there was a much easier route just round the corner. There was no resting on this summit as memories of conversations of the difficulties of getting off this from the night before were fresh in the mind. We opted to head off to the right of the ridge and after a couple of steps of downclimbing which seemed to take an age we were soon scrambling up onto Collie’s Ledge thankfully not meriting the Mod status the guidebook had given it. This took us back onto the ridge just past Sgurr MhicChoinnich which we naturally back tracked to the summit finishing the Skye Munros for Berenice.

We had been keeping an eye out for groups of orange helmeted climbers coming the other way and on return to end of Collie's Ledge did indeed meet our other party who had headed to the In Pinn as first target of the day.

Carrying on we by passed An Stac to Miguel’s disappointment and soon reached the foot of the In Pinn. Andy M and Berenice decided they had had a good day and were happy just going to the summit of Sgurr Dearg but the rest of us decided to make an attempt on the In Pinn. Miguel was unconvinced by my short roping place so decided to solo it with the rest of us following behind with the rope to get off. We set off behind him but soon came into difficulties, I having underestimated the difficulty of the climb (and probably how much I rely on having my sister on the other end of the rope when scrambling in the Alps).

We retreated and pondered how best to get Miguel off the summit safely. I decided to make a second attempt on the summit but climbing trad style instead. I managed to get slightly higher but still got scared by the exposure and difficulty of the route and turned back a second time leaving Miguel having to downclimb the route to get to safety.

We then proceeded to the summit of Sgurr Dearg and getting a good view of the route that would have been useful earlier. The descent was longer than expected and we caught the other group just as we were reaching the car park heading back to the hostel after a good day on the hill.

Sunday saw a variety of different plans. Me and Amy had a relaxing day on the ridge climbing Sgurr a Mhaidaidh and Sgurr a Ghreadaidh from An Dorus. We bumped into another party (who had been climbing on Clach Glas) in the Pizza place in Broadford. Our weekend continued with a drive to Attadale and a hard sunset cycle into Bendrondaig both where Greg was also staying, having been up Beinn Drondaig that evening. We had an early start on Monday, climbing Biden a’Choire Sheasgaich and Lurg Mhor (a weekend with no new Munros for Amy was asking a bit too much at this point) before cycling back over the pass (the steep sections we had pushed up the day before were also too steep to cycle down) and driving back to Dundee. Another good and tiring weekend with DMC.

- Dom

DMC Isle of Skye, Sgurr an Fheadain
A Sunday Scramble

After the Sunday lie in, packing faff and lengthy indecision about plans B-Z we opted for plan A and drove over to Glen Brittle, our objective the Spur on Sgurr an Fheadain, a 2* grade 2 scramble up the ridge to the left of Waterpipe Gulley. From the road it looked imposing and TBH I was a wee bit apprehensive. Katrina decided to give it a miss to pursue much needed caffeine, oysters and whisky; promising to pick us up later.

The sign after the Fairy Pools told us we were entering "wild mountainous terrain" and 500m further on we were standing at the bottom of the slabs at the foot of the left flank of the buttress, donning helmets and harnesses, contemplating the climb. ...which turned out to be a lot less steep than it looked, resulting in enjoyable scrambling and some great positions. The bulging slabs shallowed out to the point where one could walk up relying on friction to gain a broad scree terrace which we traversed right to broken crags guarding the ridge proper. What looked like almost vertical continuous rock from the road was only 50 degrees with a rocky path between steeper rock steps. As we ascended, the gash of the Waterpipe made its presence felt to our right until a final sustained scramble took us to the small bealach between the two pinnacles at the top of the gulley. The rope had stayed in the bag but I was glad to have had it.

The summit - and lunch - lay a short narrow ridge walk beyond. The guide book advised us to back track and then cut back to the main ridge bealach rather than go direct to avoid the fatal drop - the summit of Sgurr an Fheadain an impressive cone of rock atop the end of the ridge down from Bidein Druim nan Ramh, overhanging Coire na Creiche.

The descent from there looked treacherous: steep hanging scree whichever way you went. We opted for the slightly harder descent down into Coire a' Mhadaidh, which after 100m turned out to be quite pleasant, there were breaks in the crags and the scree was of small stones providing us with an escalator down to the Coire floor, the imposing rock architecture looming around us. Then another suprise: The route out of the coire seemed blocked by a gorge and cliffs, but at the last minute a small cairn led us to what felt like a secret staircase down a rake in the rock, depositing us at the foot of the buttress to admire the route.

Then a purposeful yomp down to (and a jump over) the Fairy Pools. ...which looked enticing after the sweat of the climb but we decided skinny dipping was probably not the best plan for a number of reasons, one of which led to a discussion about wetsuits which lasted until we caught sight of Katrina waving us a welcome. 3h45' (car) door to door. A grand (half) day out of four-limb movement on sticky rock. Only took a week for my fingerprints to re-grow sufficiently to unlock my phone.

- Andrew

DMC Isle of Skye
Pinnacle ridge

We were walking at 8.
Geared up behind two others at bottom of face and waited for them several times on the route but enjoyed the relaxed pace and brilliant views.
Straight forward scrambling with minimal need for route finding description.
Fantastic outlook and wonderful exposure in places
Blazing sunshine, shades on.
Interesting abseil entry line onto broad ledge and gully.
Rope stashed again... nice to have though!!?
No snow to speak of
Edgy traverse up ramp over gaps
Summit lunch stop - only I had forgotten mine!
On to the crux - straight forward move to get of the ground but a little delicacy required to mount the rock - moment of concentration required.
Summit found
Job done.
Brilliant route, highly enjoyable.
Would recommend.
Descent along ridge heading east
Foot pain slowed progress but it was lovely weather so we stopped in the sun and to paddle in the burn on the way back.
Arrived at the pub about 6.
Another great day on Skye.

- Paul

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Achnasheen (Inver Cottage)

posted 27 Apr 2018, 11:28 by Simon Li   [ updated 26 Jun 2018, 08:55 by Allan McCulloch ]

13 - 15 April 2018

The long weekend 

For me and Amy the weekend started on Wednesday with a late night car parking. Early Thursday morning we set off for a 5 day ‘weekend’. Under two months left for Amy to finish her Munros meant no time to waste. The day started in earnest eating lunch in a car park in Glen Carron before cycling up a track in brilliant sunshine with rather heavy bags containing everything we needed for next two days. Dumping bikes and overnight kit at Pollan Bhuide we set off to climb Sgurr Choinnich and Sgurr Chaorachain. After two fine hills and a fantastic day of sun and views, and some questionable descent decisions we were soon pitching the tent for the night.

Sadly overnight the weather didn’t hold and we awoke on Friday to a view of cloud covered tops and a few showers. Being there to climb hills we didn’t hang around too much and still set off aiming for Bidein a’Choir Sheasgain and Lurg Mhor. To get there we first needed to re climb the pass we had done the previous day and traverse over Beinn Tharsuin to reach the foot of the ridge. Sadly the cloud on the hills didn’t lift after cloud and snow combined to give some tricky navigation on Beinn Tharsuin so when we reached the summit the cloud and rain were enough to persuade us to call it a day and leave the two munros for a nicer day. After descending out the cloud we stopped for a late lunch then retrieved our bike for a steep cycle down to the car and short drive to the hut.

A shorter day than planned meant that we arrived well in advance of others even after multiple trips to hut to ferry in group food for the weekend, a slight issue as the later parties were those bringing the fuel for fire. Soon enough the others started arriving and soon we had a full hut with a nice fire going.

Saturday saw Andrew Brook’s last munro so everyone headed to the same hill. Sadly he had left Maolie Lunndaidh till last and a long walk in awaited for those without bikes (Andrew and Berenice naturally had bikes). The prospect of a long walk out on a track made it relatively easy to persuade people that a far better return route was over the two munros me and Amy had climbed on Thursday. Thankfully the cloud of Friday dispersed in the morning sun and it was another fantastic weather day. After a brief lie in for me and Amy we soon overtook the walkers on the path (cycling was much easier with only day bags) and met fellow cyclist Greg for a spot of sunbathing at agreed meet up point. As the group arrived various faff occurred and a proposal to further lengthen the day by including Corbett top Creag Dhudh Mhor was adopted.

The first task however was to cross a few streams and the group was soon spread out across the hillside with different routes and stream crossing techniques were employed. This resulted in me, Amy and Andrew H being separated from the others by a ravine and missing the decision to abandon the Corbett top which looked temptingly close above us. As ever a succession of false tops revealed a rather large distance to the top and gave the rest a rather large head start in reaching the munro summit. Thankfully the increased speed due to reduced faff meant that the party was still on the summit when we arrive and there was still cake and champagne left to celebrate with. It being quite late in the day we had assumed the others might abandon their further two peaks but DMCers are not easily deterred and most of the party set off at a fast march to head back the hard way. The five cyclists were joined by two others for a leisurely descent to the bikes interspersed with more stream crossing fun. On bikes me and Amy made quick work of the journey back to the car and were back in the hut and able to go for a quick dip in the stream before it got to cold and dark.

We decided not to wait for the others before eating so were soon just tucking into our tea in time for the first long party to arrive back asking if the others were back yet having split on the hill and assumed the slower party would abandon their attempt on the final two summits. They had not however and finally returned to the hut around 11pm tired, hungry and slightly foot sore. Some of them even decided to blame me for persuading them to climb the extra peaks (although they loved it really).

Sunday awoke for many tired walkers and brilliant sunshine providing no excuses for people to not head up to the hills again. The group split to do many different things, me, Amy, Berenice and Andrew B went up Beinn Liath Mhor proving completion doesn’t stop some people from heading out to hill again. We split on the summit and me and Amy continued to Sgorr Ruadh a great place for a late afternoon sunbathe before returning to the now empty hut for a night there alone.

Sadly the forecast for Monday was not fantastic and combined with worries about lingering snow we decided to save the planned route on Liathach for another day instead going for a run exploring the Coulin pass and an early drive home to get to Dundee in time for tea. The end of a rather tiring but enjoyable five days on the hills with DMC (for part at least).

- Dominic


After Saturday’s exertions on Maoile Lunndaidh including a suitably late return by the “let’s do the two other Munro’s, it doesn’t get dark until late...” groups, Iain, Barry, Allan and Fiona embarked on an ascent of Fuar Tholl on Sunday with an eye on the South-East ridge. Another great day, and a fantastic ‘big-little’ hill with some interesting route (path?) finding, easy scrambling, narrow ridge with enough snow to keep things interesting, great scenery and views. One was enough however, a complete round of Coire Lair awaits....

- Iain Gilbert

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