Strawberry Cottage – Glen Affric (Sep 2018)

14-16 September 2018

A weekend of locked gates, long walks, mountains and

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