At the OMC Christmas meet we had a pleasant walk up Beinn Chuirn near Cononish, and New Year at Glenfeshie Hostel saw us out on the subsidiary slopes of Sgorr Gaoith.
The January cottage meet was the first time I’ve ever knowingly set out to ascend a Graham (in the company of Mhairi and Davy Sadler) By way of penance, I did carry a rope, two sets of crampons and two axes as ballast to attempt to improve my hill fitness.
So why the overloading? I had been persuaded by Antoni Anderson to join him at the Skye Winter Festival, organised by Skye Guide Mike Lates, which he’s attended for the last five years, and has as a result been privileged to get some great climbing and some First Ascents.
The gym and climbing wall got well used in the run-up to the festival, and pictures on the internet showed a variety of exciting things being done. These can be seen on the festival’s Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/skyewinterfestival
Alas, our arrival coincided with a turbothaw and gale force winds. On the first day, we aborted plans to go up onto the ridge, and contented ourselves with a tri to look at the excellently-situated Lookout bothy at Rubha Hunish.
On the second day, there was so much rain that a planned excursion to Coire a Ghrunnda was prevented by the volume of water coming down the burn from Coire Lagan, so we went up there for a rake around and a picnic before heading back by the path to the Glenbrittle Memorial Hut.
A communal meal with haggis and whisky meant that the next day saw me setting out fairly late for some novice dry-tooling experience at a new venue at Ardvreck, while Antoni indulged his passion for running with a trip out to Talisker Bay.
So, in terms of achievement, not a very successful trip, but it was a joy to share time with so many positive hill folk. We had great fun! It is also fair to say that we probably had a very healthy effect on the receipts from bar sales at The Carbost Inn.
Time now to look forward to the CIC meet...