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Achnasheen (Inver Cottage)

posted 27 Apr 2018, 11:28 by Simon Li

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

Mountain Mind Quiz

posted 3 Apr 2018, 05:06 by Simon Li

Mountain Mind winners 2018
22 March 2018

7.30 arrived but no sign of Malcolm and only 4 players - what to do?. I was confident he'd show so we went for 2 teams - Iain, David and myself in one and Jim by himself. 7.31 Malcolm arrives and David joins Jim. 3 rounds of 35 questions from a slide presentations. We obtained the highest scores in rounds one and two opening up a 4 point lead. In the last round we were bamboozled with birds and flowers (not our strong point) but ended up the victors by a single point! Meanwhile Jim and David were trying hard for "the boot" but were clearly answering too many questions correctly in the last round!

The prize is the Ice Axe which DMC won for the first time 2 years ago when Perth MC were hosting. They won last year and are our main rivals. We are hosting next year so we do battle again in 2 years and be prepared with night classes in ornithology and botany! We were proud to walk down into town and join DMC members in the Bank Bar as it was club night.

Please send any photos with your question to me via our Google group for the 2019 Quiz.

- Greg Cox

Red Gully, Coire an t'Sneachda

posted 31 Mar 2018, 03:25 by Simon Li   [ updated 31 Mar 2018, 03:45 by Andrew Holmes ]

Red Gully, Coire an t'Sneachda
25 March 2018  

Winter is still there on the hills of Scotland so Iain and I decided to head into Cairngorm's Northern Corries to see what we could do. I fancied something easy and Iain said there was a nice grade II called Red Gully to try. It turns out 'nice' means 'harder than grade II' but with a bit of fortitude and an astonishing amount of ice screws I managed to get up the steep first ice pitch. Thereafter we swapped leads and made it to the top without any real problems. Weather was fine if a bit breezy with more snow showers than expected. With another cold snap forecast this week it could be a while yet before the ice tools are put away for the summer.

- David Matthews, Iain Gilbert

(More photos can be seen here on Yogile.)


posted 21 Mar 2018, 05:09 by Simon Li   [ updated 21 Mar 2018, 06:55 by Dominic Williams ]

DMC Roybridge meet March 2018
16-18 March 2018 

Real beds and duvets
In a hostel with sauna
- respite from the cold.

The wind fair howling,
Still, the mountains were conquered
- rewards for the bold.

Filled with Pete's fine meal,
Bruce's dessert and whisky
- we then to bed rolled.

With DMC laughs,
Mountain air and friendly banter
- we'll never grow old.

(Except for Andy who's ancient)

- author: Katrina
- DMCers on the meet: Bruce C, Andrew H, Fiona, Katrina, Ilze, Pete, Andy, Berenice, Andrew B, Ed, Dom, Konrad, Greg

More photos can be seen here

AGM and Annual Gathering

posted 12 Mar 2018, 09:37 by Simon Li   [ updated 21 Mar 2018, 06:55 by Dominic Williams ]

Friday 9 March 2018 

DMC members
Another year has flown by, and the committee couldn't quite believe it when the time came to arrange another Annual Gathering.

We elected The Steeple in Dundee's city centre as our venue - bright, spacious, and, most importantly, a mere minute's walk from our local pub.

On the night, we spent time looking back at the year's meets thanks to a inspiring and hilarious slideshow from Bill, and gained a better understanding of what our membership fees fund from Allan.

We elected a new committee, went through the constitution, and once the important bits were over, settled down to home-cooked meal and the odd tipple.

The DMC Awards, Photography Competition and Summit-To-Sea video were well-received, and we left with new-found inspiration for adventures ahead.

  • Best Chef: Paulina and Ilze
  • Most Active: Andrew H
  • Worst Nav: Katrina (yeah, thanks guys)
  • Ditch The Car: Dave
Photography Competition winner: Jim (again!)

The new Run-DMC Committee for 2018/2019 is as follows:
  • Pete Mann - President
  • Dominic Williams - Vice President
  • Allan McCulloch - Treasurer
  • Amy Gilligan - Meets Secretary
  • Andrew Holmes - General Secretary
  • Paulina Plociniczak - Membership Secretary
  • Katrina Patrick - Social Secretary
Many thanks to Outgoing President, Berenice Hunter, who has been an incredible leader these past two years.

- Katrina

Winter walks, Winter climbs

posted 26 Feb 2018, 02:32 by Simon Li   [ updated 26 Feb 2018, 14:01 by Dominic Williams ]

Saturday 24 February 2018 

Coire Kander
Coire Kander Winter climbing 

Armed with limited info and aided by a skilfully drawn Topo based on sketchy UKC descriptions (thanks Dave), we headed off for a lesser known quarter of the southern 'gorms. We didn't however reckon on the forecast 20-40mph winds translating into 60mph+ trying to launch us off the lip of the Coire down Glen Callater, but eventually managed to descend into calmer but still gusty conditions with unrelenting wind chill. Not a venue for warmer conditions anyway we thought as we traversed over piles of re-frozen avalanche debris. Kander Surprise offered some respite and and pleasant climbing without being too serious or committing, a nice way to get back into it, my first proper winter route for about 10 years! It all came flooding back. Rediscovering how to walk 14km in Scarpa Vega's, how heavy a 'light' winter climbing sack is, the "good lead, that was steeper than it looked from below!", and the benefit of sharp ice screws....!

- Iain, Dave

Beinn nan Imirean and Meall Glas
Beinn nan Imirean and Meall Glas

What is a Corbett? I still don't know, but having climbed Ben More more times than I remember I opted for a Corbett instead on the opposite side of the road. The frozen ground made a potential bog-fest very pleasant and before we knew it we were on he summit. Pretty easy these Corbett things. My fingers fell off in the cold during lunch, I hope I didn't swallow too many of them. The ground cover was mostly snow but very rough, incredibly easy to walk on without crampons but useless for bum-sliding. We set off for the neighbouring Munro and right in the middle of the steepest section of snow I found a lone, lost crampon. Scouring the land below I didn't spot a fallen climber so I'm still puzzled. If anyone else has one crampon we could make a pair! Still, it worked great in my hand for extra grip. The panoramic views from the summit were astounding. We only saw three people all day, surprising given the perfect conditions.

- Andrew, Allan

Muir cottage

posted 21 Feb 2018, 01:49 by Simon Li   [ updated 25 Feb 2018, 13:34 by DMC Webmaster ]

Three DMC members on a hill
16 - 18 February 2018 

Group of 4 (Sylwia Marcin Maddy Johnny) made to top of Carn a ' Mhiam on Saturday, weather good with bit of wind and mist on the top. Johnny was great leading the party very well. On Sunday we went to top of An Socach from baddoch farm. Day similar with the weather. We had great time. Marcins first meet went well and he enjoyed very much. He said he can do the dishes!!!

- Report by Sylwia Stepien
- ‎Also on the meet: Andy, Simon, Villo, Maddy, Toni, Pauluna, Natalia, Ilze, George, Karolina, Andrew, Pete, Johnny

On Saturday skiers Toni (nordic freeheel skis), with Villo and Simon (alpine touring) did Carn Aosda from the Baddoch burn.  After following the mainly snow-covered track for a few km we crossed the stream and ascended the shoulder above loch Vrotachan to the west summit from where we had a 500m descent on improving snow.

On Sunday the weather was cloudier but colder and the north face of Sron na Gaoithe had good snow cover.  Skinning/fishscaling straight from the car, we had an enjoyable run back despite some flat light.

- Report by Simon O.

Dalmally Horseshoe / Ben Cruachan

posted 10 Feb 2018, 03:57 by Simon Li

Stob Diamh summit ridge
4 February 2018

Cracking day, almost completely still on the summit of Stob Diamh, with Loch Etive and Loch Awe glassy calm. The snow level may be a little higher than Drumochter or on the Ben but it was still crampons on from 650m or so with just enough soft slab on top of hard neve to make it quite interesting in places. This was really a long way round to confirm a Corbett ascent - Beinn a Bhuiridh, which i may or may not have done about 35 years ago, long before i had any thoughts of ticking that particular list...

- Iain

Ledge Route, Ben Nevis

posted 6 Feb 2018, 05:22 by Simon Li

Ben Nevis Ledge Route in Winter
4 February 2018

Ledge Route (Scottish Winter II, solo onsight)

An unusual sunny and frosty Sunday on the West Coast of Scotland with an overflowing North Face car park and queues on many of the the climbing routes on Ben Nevis. The picture shows Ledge Route in sunshine and amazing conditions, living up to its 4 star rating.

- Daniela

Blue Moon Treasure Hunt

posted 2 Feb 2018, 04:50 by Simon Li   [ updated 2 Feb 2018, 06:24 ]

31 January 2018 

DMC Treasure Hunt
The last team to start, we set a blistering pace across the hillside, only to lose a team member who disappeared in a bog. We then discovered what every rock climber already knows, it's always possible to make your surroundings match the description. Running down and up the wrong forest looking for a birch tree wasted precious hours. Heading for the other forest we finally found our first treasure. The next involved a sequence of bearings which we followed spot-on although I have to say the gate was very well hidden in the dark and neck-high gorse. More treasure! The next clue took us to a grid reference and said the treasure is on a mound. But there was no mound (the grid ref was wrong!). So we picked a mound (Black Hill) and headed up it. Good choice, our final clue! But not before literally climbing up vertical waist-high snow-covered heather. A well deserved treat at the top then we ran all the way to the final point on Dunsinane Hill to meet Dom and Amy. Standing on top watching the headlights of all the other teams was magical.

- Report by Andrew

Darkness rendezvous, teams, torches phones map, directions, snow, bog, wall crossings, single trees, lone gates, pacing, bearings, gorse, climb the mound, plastic tubs, stream crossings, summit celebrations, chocolate dinner, late finish, FUN.

- View from Paul

First out of the blocks we set a brisk pace, following the track in the forest to a junction and then took the left instructed, after a while we started to doubt ourselves as we came across a loch and 2 other teams clues; resisting the urge to scoff their chocolates we carried on the trak until we found a gate as expected, except it wasn't "the" gate. we decided that as nothing fitted we'd track down dom or amy and query the clue, however Amy had started to track us down as we hadn't reappeared at the start point quickly as out first clue was about 500m for the start on the right hand fork of the first junction, of course there were sweets with out next clue and that solves everything. :-)

Next we set off over the road and into the hills taking us into the pass between Dunsinane and Black hills before hopping to the left the wall Jim appeared telling us of another error in that clue, as he and Natalia had it as their First, ignoring Jim we hopped over the wall before eventually seeing the forest we expected to find over to our right, after a bit of a bog trot we were back on the path beside the wall and walking down the outside edge of the forest as instructed, on re-reading I realized this error as it told us to meet the other leg of the forest where we eventually found the stile and the next sweers and clue.

Onto more technical clues rather than descriptive and we sat on the stile and worked out the route from a set of bearings and distances, a lone tree appeared with a biscuit tin in it and more sweets :-)

Now we had a grid reference, my first attempt at getting it on the map was off, either because the print out was off scale or because I accidentally read the 1:50k scale on my compass, or possibly both, who knows. I repeated it on my paper map and found the point just off the summit of Black hill, some lights were ascending straight ahead so with a bearing set on my compass and on daniella's gps we set off on a yomp straight up the hill, as we started climbing the hill for real it proved a bit steeper than anticipated but we ziggzagged and heather hopped up to the top, where the bearing pointed straight down the cliffs... Must be somewhere on this ridge path, I took a stab that the best bet was a slight error on reporting the summit of the hill and there under a rock was our final pack of sweets.... except it was oat cakes!!!

Tired and just past the bail out time we decided not to bother with Dunsinane as we were told to go up (had it been a clue maybe we would have!) and went back to the car to scoff the sweets that had miraculously survived in my possession.

A cracking challenge and I'm looking forward to the next installment! well done to Dom and Amy for arranging and producing extra clue sets in a hurry as entries were more than anticipated.

- Team 6 - Niall and Daniela

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