27 members boarded the bus at Edzell Muir car park at 08:00, and were treated to a beautiful sunrise as we
drove north. We picked up a guest at Westhill and carried on to start walking on the B992 near Towmill Farm at 09:30.
The new Aberdeen bypass has certainly speeded up access to Bennachie. The route followed the relatively
new Gordon Way until the plateau. It was a pleasant and easy climb through deciduous woodend, open areas with gorse, and
forestry plantations, where a crossbill was spotted. We then left the Way and headed over to Hermit Seat (478m). The ground was frozen solid
making the going easy across boggy areas. From there, we headed to the busier part of the range, crossing Watch Craig (497m) before reaching the highest point,
Oxen Craig (529m), where we stopped for our first break, admiring the views all round. Lochnagar and Ben Avon in the west were snow covered.
The route then headed east to the shapely Mither Tap (518m) with the ruins of the Iron-Age fort still visible. It was rather breezy on top. A descent
through sparse woodland took us to a bealach, where we stopped for our second break. A steep climb took us to the top of Milestone Hill (408m), which again
served up superb views. The descent was steep, by a newly built path down through mixed woodland to reach the bus at Donview car park at 14:50.
Bus departed at 15:10 and reached Edzell at 16:35. Distance 13.5km, ascent 650m.
3 members had a very enjoyable meet to Sturdy Hill, Glen Esk in good dry conditions. The start of the walk was near Auchmull Farm. Access was through a deer fence gate and keeping to the west track up to Craigancash (542m). The easterly route towards the trig point at the summit of Sturdy Hill (544m) was over rough ground. The descent was over rough ground to meet the track which meanders up and down to link back to the original track down to Auchmull Farm. The walk started at 11:40 and finished at 16:10. Distance 8.5km, ascent 450m.
The 27 Bennachie group and 3 Sturdy Hill group were joined by 5 other members for a high tea in the Panmure Arms (35 in total).
Held at Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. 23 members, a guest and the speaker attended. Following the short meeting and refreshments, the published talk on “The John Muir Trust", didn't take place. Instead Iain McLachlan, ex-president of the Brechin Photographic Society gave an illustation talk on "Norway". Iain has visited Norway as a young man, spending a summer working on a remote farm. Since then he had re-visited many times over a 40 year period, often staying with the same farming family. He presented photographs from the farm, trips to their summer pastures, reindeer hunting and ice fishing with the family. In addition, he had travelled widely over Norway, sometimes by boat. He included photographs of the Lofoten Islands, and trips in winter to search for the northern lights. To complete his talk, Iain presented a series of photographs of the Angus landscape, taken from a drone, which is another of his hobbies. A very good talk. Thank you.
15 members attended. We met at car park at south side of Tay Road Bridge, and took 4 cars to a layby on A913 near Glenduckie. We set out at 9:45 climbing steeply to the hill fort, and then onto the wooded top of Glenduckie Hill (218m). The route then went through thick forest then into more open countryside. We got disorientated for a while here, but eventually found the Fife Coastal Path and stopped for a break just we we started climbing again. Then it was a pleasant walk along farm and forest roads to the foot of Norman's Law, which we overshot a bit. A quick crossing of a field and a steep climb brought us to the top of Norman's Law (285m). Unfortunately the views weren't that great due to the rain that was beginning to sweep in. The group then descended eastwards, down slippery rock outcrops to reach the trees, and don full waterproofs. By now the wind had risen and the rain was stinging our faces. We turned south into the wind and followed a vague track down through a herd of highland cattle to reach Denmuir Farm, and before Ayton turned NW towards the Coastal Path. Before reaching it, we stopped for another break in the shelter of the trees. Afterwards, we headed on the Coastal Path for a while then headed to Glenduckie village and reached the cars at 14:15. 12 of the group ended up in "The Newport" for coffee and beer. We started in dry conditions with a strong south-westerly wind, but unfortunately the weather turned nasty for the second half of the walk. Distance 12.5km, ascent 550m.
12 attended (11 members and an ex-member). We met up at Glen Isla village hall at 09:00, and carried on to park just north of the Clacknockater (near Brewlands Bridge). Walking started at 09:30. The group walked north up the road to "The Mill", before taking a track up towards Auchintaple Loch. Unfortunately the tracks had been churned up by timber extraction and were very muddy. By now the group had reached cloud level. We joined the Cateran Trail for 2km, then headed NE for another 3km, where a check was made on GPS to see exactly where we were. We climbed for a bit, then stopped for an early break at 11:45, before climbing very steeply to the summit of Badandun Hill (740m), a “Graham”, being 31st in height of the 222 listed Grahams. Online reports of extensive views have yet to verified, as visibility was down to 100m or so. We dropped southwards on an unmapped track to join the Cateran Trail again, which we followed for about 1km. Then we branched off to visit the locked boat house at Auchintaple Loch, where we had a late lunch. There was then a descent through the trees to Balnamennoch Farm and the road, for a 1.5km trek back to the cars at 15:00. Distance 14.5km, ascent 550m. The group then retired to the Glen Isla hotel for refreshments, and a chat before leaving for home at 16:00. Unfortunately the weather was poor. Some light rain to start with then hill fog for all of the walk, with conditions beginning to worsen near the end of the walk. Very little wild life was seen!
6 members attended. This meet had been delayed for a week due to the Davy's Bourach celebrations, and the planned meet to The Fara was
changed to Glen Esk because of the weather. 4 left from Edzell at 07:30 and met the others at the top of the glen. The group set out at 8:25
in frosty conditions. It was a pleasant walk up to Queens Well with the sun rising and little wind. As we climbed, the path got icy and had a snow covering on top of the ice.
Once on the summit ridge, the snow was deeper and a fierce wind was blowing. The group reached the top at 11:15, and had a bite to eat just off the summit.
Not really sheltered though - lots of spindrift.
We didn't stay long and returned by the same route. Very pleasant down below, and reached the cars at 14:00.
On the ascent, we spotted a golden eagle soaring low over the opposite ridge. It chased a lone deer, which escaped. A first for all.
Distance 17.5km, ascent 700m.
A pleasing 22 members and 1 guest attended. Held at Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. Indoor Games folowed the meeting. There were lots of games afterwards, including a very interesting and intense game of giant Jenga. Mel, Linda, Gill and Clare were thrashed by Briar at Hungry Dinos. Briar and Mel paired up to beat the others at Happy Families card games. It was a great evening.
11 members attended, based at Derwentwater
Independent Hostel just south of Keswick. We'd stayed here only once before
in September 2007.
Graham B had been down in the Lakes since Tuesday and met up with 6 others (Willie, Clare, Jackie, Steve, Carolyn, Neil) on the Friday morning. Because of low cloud they decided not to tackle Helvellyn, but instead headed to Braithwaite, entered a café for bacon butties, then headed up Grisedale Pike (791m) and Hopehill Head (770m) before returning to the cars, where Graham’s car played up with the alarm sounding a a flat battery in his key fob! Up in the clouds on top. (11.5km, 840m ascent).
The weather on Saturday was still rain and low cloud, but at least the rain cleared in the afternoon. Four different groups were out.
(1) Willie and Jackie got a lift up to Keswick, visited the Pencil museum, and walked back to the hostel via the west shore (10km, 250m ascent).
(2) A group of 4 (Catriona, Steve, Michael, Clare) did a clockwise circuit of Derwent Water (15km, 350m ascent).
(3) The Grahams and Carolyn drove to Buttermere, where the Grahams climbed High Crag (744m), High Stile (806m) and Red Pike (755m). Carolyn accompanied then for some of the way, and all has ice-cream afterwards.
(4) Colin and Neil climbed up to the famous Ashness Bridge, then followed the valley up to Watendlath, crossed the hill to Rosthwaite, where a couple of ales were swallowed (sneakily eating their packed lunch in the pub). Then they climbed Castle Crag (270m) before walking via Grange to the Borrowdale Hotel, where more liquid refreshments were to be found. Kind Clare came to rescue them after dark (13km, 600m ascent).
Weather on Sunday started brightly, but soon low cloud rolled in, only to clear a bit later in the day.
(1) A group of 7 headed for Skiddaw (Colin, Catriona, Neil, Steve, Carolyn, Graham B, Graham T). They left from Ravenstone Hotel at 09:30, and climbed steeply to the ridge above, stopping to regroup at Long Side (734m). Steve and Carolyn decided not to head for the summit, but the remaining 5 climbed to Carlside Tarn then steeply up to the summit of Skiddaw (931m), where they were treated to a temperature inversion. Desccent was by Carlside (746m) to Dodd Wood car park, reached at 14:00. (9km, 920m ascent).
(2) Willie, Clare and Jackie left from Stair village hall at 09:30. Headed up a steep sheep path on the west side to Skelgill Bank and then up to Catbells (461m). Cloud coming and going, giving occasional stunning views of Derwent Water and our hostel. Had lunch below the clouds then followed ridge to Maiden Moor (576m) then onto High Spy (653m) in cloud. On descent to valley, the cloud suddenly lifted and gave stunning views to the west. Continued e west down a slippy rocky path to the valley floor and followed the river back to the car reached at 15:30. 3 grouse and a dipper were spotted as well as lots of evidence of mining in bygone days. (13.5km, 770m ascent).
(3) Michael wanted home early, so he set off from the hostel, climbing to Ashness Bridge, then followed the path to the top of High Seat (608m), and returned by the same route. (6km, 480m ascent).
A good weekend, enjoyed by all, especially by Carolyn, the card champion. Hostel worth revisiting.
12 attended (11 members and a guest). 11 folk left in 4 shared cars from the Myre car park at 07:10, meeting up at the foot of the Ben Gulabin track at 08:15. We left one car there,
then drove up to the ski centre car park where we met up with a member who works in Braemar. The group set off walking at 08:30 and climbed up the right-hand Card Aosda ski-run to
reach the summit (917m) at 09:30. Glorious views opened up all around, but especially of the Cairngorms. It was then an easy walk round to the 2nd Munro, Cairnwell (933m), where
ice had coated the ugly pylons. We back-tracked a little then followed the high ground round towards Carn an Sac. Before reaching there, we stopped for a 2 minute silence for Remembrance Day.
Then we carried on to reach the summit of Carn an Sac (920m) and then headed for Carn a Gheoidh. Before reaching there, at 11:30, we had an early lunch in a sheltered spot.
Then we climbed the 3rd Munro of the day, Carn a Gheoidh (975m). We couldn't believe the number of folk out on that top. There were at least 30 that we counted. The views were still magnificent.
The whole group then headed west to climb the remote Munro Top, Carn Binnein (917m), a knobble on the end of the ridge, which is easily spotted from lower Glenshee. Those in front at the last wee climb saw a golden eagle
take off from the summit, only metres away. Reached there at 13:15, and had our last of our views of the Cairngorms.
We then retraced our steps for 1km, then contoured below Carn a Gheoidh to reach the Carn Mor ridge, where we stopped in the hut for a 2nd snack at 14:00.
The walk out followed a track over Carn Mor (876m), then dropped round Creagan Bheithe (759m) to reach the A93 road at 15:45.
The drivers were taken up for the other cars at the ski centre and returned to pick everyone up.
Most folk preferred to go straight home, so there was no refreshment stop at Glen Isla Hotel. All cars were back in Forfar at 17:15.
Walking conditions were quite tricky in places with frozen ground, occasional ice, and deep drifts. We saw a golden eagle, lots of mountain hares (not quite in winter plumage yet), several ravens, and several big herds of deer.
Weather was clear and cold, with good views northwards. It clouded in later and the temperature rose to 3C at the destination.
Distance 18.5km, ascent 850m.
Held at Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. 31 members attended and there were no big discussions. Members liked having a bus for the last meet and were happy to pay the £20 fare so the committee will look at more buses in the future. The meeting was followed by an illustrated talk, “The Magnificent Seven, Guatemala” by the Famous Five, presented by president Graham Brown. This described a 2018 trip to Guatemala by 5 members :- Graham, Willie, Eric, Nicola and Barry. The talk was excellent and really interesting with lovely photographs and funny anecdotes.
Held at the Carn Dearg Hut in Glen Clova. 20 members attended. The event started with the 2019 Boules Championships. 16 players were randomly drawn into pairs and then pairs
placed into 2 pools of 4 pairs. Each pair played each other in the pools in "best of 3 ends" matches. Then the winners of each pool played the runners-up of the other pool in a semi-final.
The winners of each semi-final then played in a "best of 5 ends" final, which was closely fought. Mel and Steve beat Graham and John by a score of 3-2 and became Boules Champions 2019.
The party then moved inside just as dusk fell. While the meal was heating up, drinks and nibbles were enjoyed and it was a chance to chat. A game of "Guess who I am" was played at the same time - folk had to guess the name stuck to their back, by asking questions with yes/no answers.
Next was the banquet - a choice of 2 main courses, followed by an amazing range of puddings, and cheeses, leaving everyone stuffed full.
This was followed by the neep lantern contest, which was judged by the Norries, and Nicola's spider's web neep was chosen as the winner. The programme continued with the fancy dress competition again judged by the Norries. Those in fancy dress paraded in circle. After much deliberation, Graham and Graeme were awarded joint winners. Briar got the junior prize.
Steve then ran an interesting quiz - the first set of questions being about characters in the Beano and Dandy, and the second set about Scottish trivia.
Then it was the turn of the "Touchy-Feely" game where folk were blind-folded then stuck their hands in tubs of various revolting contents, then asked to identify what they were.
Lastly we went outside where the president set off 2 big boxes of fireworks - truly impressive. Colours galore, big explosions and lots of bangs.
Back indoors, and folk started to drift away. Some chatted until 11pm before setting off down the glen, leaving 5 to spend the night (4 in the hut) and 1 in a campervan.
A very enjoyable day.
We had a 24 seater bus booked for this meet. The bus fare was £20. 15 members attended. Bus left from the Myre car park, Forfar at 07:10. After a brief stop in Aberfeldy for toilets, we headed to Glen Lyon via Fortingall. The driver was a wee bit shaken - don't think he expected the narrow road. Set off from Camusvrachan at 09:45 with low mist, but the sun occasionally breaking through. After 1km on a track, we headed uphill, climbing a steep gully to reach Sron Eich at the end of the ridge. It was then a gentler climb up to the summit of Meall a' Choire Leith (926m) which we reached at 12:15. The 2 members who had reached the top before the main group, headed off, leaving the remainder to have an early lunch on the summit. Unfortunately, the mist had rolled in, so there were no views, and it was rather chilly. The main body of the group reached Meall Corranaich (1069m) at 14:00, where we learned of Scotland's defeat to Japan. Again, no views. It was then a steep descent to the bealach below Beinn Ghlas, which was just below cloud level. No one extended the walk to Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas because of the poor visibility. The first group reached the bus in the NTS car park at 14:45. The second group stopped in Coire Odhar for a second snack and reached the bus at 15:45, just as the rain started. We didn't stop for refreshments on the way back, and reached Forfar at 18:00. During the walk, we saw a few deer, and heard stags roaring, but saw no other wild life. 12.5km, 1100m ascent. 6 hours.
Held at Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. 24 members and 4 guests attended. Following a short business meeting, and after tea & cakes, Graeme Harris gave an excellent and very informative illustrated talk on his autumn 2018 trip on the John Muir Trail in California's High Sierra. Graeme talked about the history, geography and wild life of his 3 weeks on the trail, as well as his warm-up walks in various canyons. Blair Wilkie, who accompanied Graeme on his warm-ups and the first part of the trail also attended. The presentation finished with a 5 minute sequence of photographs, with a musical score of a song about the High Sierra. Graeme also had various items of his expedition kit with him, including his sac packed with 25kg of books!
Stayed at Bearnock Bunkhouse (Link here , near Cannich – our
3rd visit there. Cost was £20 per night. Accomodation was good, though kitchen was
quite small and there was a lack of pots/pans. There was no recycling, so glass,
plastic, tins and paper/cardboard went into the waste!! Not good enough for these
times. And reports of bedbugs!!
• 3 members climbed Meall Fuar Mhonaidh (699m, a “Graham”) up a muddy path but with great views off the top. (8.5km, 500m ascent)
• one member climbed Beinn a’Bhathaich Ard (862m, a “Corbett”), at the entrance to Glen Strathfarrar by a circular route, and said the going was tough as no path, but again reported great views. (13.5km, 980m ascent)
• A group of 10 tackled the Glen Strathfarrar ridge from west to east. (18km, 1500m ascent).
• 2 members walked round Loch Affric from the carpark at the end of the road. (17km, 450m ascent)
• 4 members (aka “the explorers”) climbed Meallan nan Uan (838m) and Sgurr a’ Mhuilinn (879m) , a couple of Corbetts in Strath Conon – bogs, soft moss, trackless country. (11km, 1100m ascent, 5hrs 45)
• One cycled from Strathanmore, in Strath Conon, to Cannich via Beauly (63km, 1300m ascent)
• 2 members climbed Tom a’ Choinnich (1112m) and Toll Creagach (1054m). (16km, 1100m ascent, 7 hours). Some views, cloud over the tops. Stags roaring.
• 3 members climbed Beinn a’ Mheadoin (613m, a “Graham”) above Loch Mheadoin. (5km, 400m ascent (2 hrs) . Good views on top. 2 then visited visited the Plodda Falls. The other climbed then climbed Sgurr na Diollaid (818m, a Corbett), up Glen Cannich, and went to the Plodda Falls on the way back for his 3rd night in the hostel.
• One member went south and had a walk at the Hermitage.
• 2 members Clare headed south and climbed Creagan Mor (772m) near Drummochter – saw 20 ptarmigan. (4km, 350m ascent)
• One member went to the Plodda Falls before heading to Torridon
• 3 members went to Glen Affric to walk to lochside, then one headed to Torridon and 2 headed home, stopping at Fort Augustus to watch the locks opening.
• 5 members just went home
3 members stayed on after the meet.
• On Monday, one member ascended Meall na h Eilde (838m) and Geall Charn (804m), 2 Corbetts at the entrance to Loch Archaig. Great views and good weather.
• On Monday, 2 members climbed Sguorr Ruadh (962m) and Bienn Liath Mhor (926m) from Achnashellach. Superb weather.
• On Tuesday, one member climbed Beinn Damph (903m)
6 members attended. The Forfar contingent drove up in two cars, meeting up with another member at the start of the walk. They were slightly worried on the drive up with low mist and cloud in some parts, but had blue skies and clear tops on arrival at Newtonmore. The walk started from the road end at Glen Banchor at 9.15. The route was a clockwise circle which followed the River Calder for 4km before a steep ascent up Carn Macoul, then over another bump before reaching the summit of Carn Dearg (946m), the first Munro of the day. The group had split into two on the ascent with the faster group of 2 heading off never to be caught. From Carn Dearg the route followed a high level bumpy ridge to Carn Sculain (920m), the 2nd Munro. One of the group cut the corner and missed Carn Sgulain due to a previous injury flaring up again. The route then continued to A' Chailleach (930m), another Munro. The descent was by a track back to the cars. First group reached the cars at 17:00, 2nd group at 18:15. Weather was bright and sunny with excellent views and a light wind. Some stopped at the chip shop at Blair Atholl on way home. Last group back in Forfar at 20:40.
Held Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. 17 members attended. This was the first Open Meeting since April. During the meeting, president Graham Brown thanked Graeme Harris and Bob Railton, who were the main organisers during the recent work on Davie's Bourach. Both were presented with a gift. Following the meeting, 5 teams competed in a quiz of 34 questions (100 points) organised by Colin. The team of Graham B, Roy and Fleur won with an impressive 88 points.
7 attended (6 members and a guest). The original destination was Rannoch Station, but this was changed because of poor weather. Instead, a more local walk was arranged. 3 cars drove to the end of the Prosen road, and set off walking at 08:00. The walk followed landrover tracks to Kilbo Cottage (now fully restored), and climbed on the Kilbo Path to Shank of Drumwhallo. Only the upper part remains as a grassy track. The lower reaches are now a landrover track. At the top of the track, 5 dropped their sacs and climbed Mayar (928m). It was very windy on top. They rejoined the other 2 and lunch was had in a sheltered spot nearby. Then the group climbed over Dreish (947m) and descended by the Shank of Dreish. Another break was taken just above Old Craig and the group reached the cars at 15:10. Distance 19.7km, ascent 920m. Red Grouse were seen (a day before the "Glorious 12th"), and a couple of young mountain hares were spotted. Weather was mainly dry with showers blowing through occasionally. There was a strong northerly wind and it was rather chilly on the tops.
26 attended (22 members and 4 guests) and 2 dogs. After the rather unsettled weather, the evening turned out to be dry and occasionally sunny. There was an easy walk up through the woods to the tower. The door was open and we climbed to the top. What views all around! The group was served with tea, coffee and lovely cakes, supplied by Aileen, Carolyn and Linda. A family of 4 gate-crashed, seeing the door open. Much chatting took place, but soon it was time to descend and return to the car park as dusk crept in. Thank you to Ally Pearson for his help in transporting supplies up to the tower.
9 attended (8 members plus a guest). 6 left in 2 cars from Forfar at 07:05, picking another member up in Dunkeld. The other 2 met us in the Coire Cas ski car park. Walking started at 09:40, with the clouds still down over the tops. We climbed to the top of the railway by Windy Ridge, then onto the top of Cairngorm (1244m), where the clouds rolled apart and the sun appeared, and stayed for the rest of the day. What views! We descended then climbed to Stob Coire an t-Sneachda (1176m), then descended again and started the traverse towards Lochan Buidhe. Then it was the long ascent through the boulders to Ben Macdui (1309m), reached at 14:00. It was busy up there - probably 100+ people on the top or en-route to/from the top. We then headed back to the cars, via the good path over Miadam Creag an Leth-choin, which we reached at 16:10. Some stopped for fish and chips at Bruar. Last cars were back in Forfar at 19:00. Very little wild life was seen, apart from some wheatear chicks. Weather was warm and sunny, and there just a cooling breeze at times. 17km, 1000m ascent, 6 hours 30 mins.
12 members attended a very enjoyable and productive long weekend on Arran, staying
at the NTS Shore Lodge bunkhouse in the grounds of Brodick castle. The bunkhouse
was well kitted out and spacious.
Some early arrivals,3, climbed Goatfell in the afternoon, enjoying temperatures in the 20s and superb views. One other walked around the Lamlash area.
Weather was a bit mixed, but very warm and humid, thunder and lightning during the afternoon, although by late afternoon it was beautiful. 6 went to Glen Rosa and headed up Beinn Nuis, Beinn Tarsuinn, Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail , crossed the Witch's step and headed over to North Glen Sannox where they were met by another member who was walking in the Glen sannox area. 3 walked up Glen Sannox to the saddle and two went sightseeing.
4 enjoyed an airy scramble in inclement weather from Sannox village over Cioch na h Oighe - Mullach Buidhe - North Goatfell - Goatfell where they met another party of 4 who had ascended via the tourist path. Another party of 4 climbed the 3 Bens (Chliabheinn, Tarsuinn & Nuis ) in Glen Rosa. The weather was similar to the previous day, although not nearly as humid.
6 went home on the early ferries, 1 went round Brodick castle, 2 went to the Graham (Beinn Bharrain) on the west side of the island and the remaining 3 went sightseeing
All in all a good time was had by all.
The scheduled bike meet to Ben Alder was cancelled due to the poor weather. 3 members
and a guest met at the Spittal of Glenshee at 8:20am. They transfered into one car
and drove up to and parked at the Dalmunzie Hotel. From there the group walked up
via the ruin Glenlochsie Lodge to the top of Glas Tuiaichean. They encountered heavy
showers of rain on the way but it eventually cleared, giving some sunshine when
they stopped for lunch after descending to the path that leads out to to Carn an
Righ. The group then walked west along the path and climbed Carn an Righ from where
we had excellent views all round. They then retraced their steps back east to Loch
nan Eun and set off down Gleann Taitneach and back to the car at 4:30pm.
Wild life seen and heard on the day included Red grouse, Curlew, Whimbrel, Dipper, Ring Ouzel and Common Sandpiper. 3 members enjoyed a well deserved fish supper in Blairgowrie on route home.
15 members atended, along with a dog. They met at the steading at North Mains Farm
The route took the farm track down to Ethie Haven, then clambered up the rope to the cliff top and followed the coastal track round the top of the cliffs. Cormorants, eiders, herring gulls, kittiwakes, guillemots and fulmars were spotted, but no puffins were to be seen! The route carried on through the fort to the trig point, and returned down the track at the side of the field between the 2 reservoirs and back to the cars. About 5km.
8 attended (7 members and a guest). Shared cars left from the Myre Car park, Forfar at 07:00. Walking started at 10:00, and climbed over Beinn Cuanail to reach the main ridge at Ben Cruachan (1126m). Cloud was over the tops all day, so navigation was tricky. The group traversed west to east on the ridge, reaching the second Munro, Stob Daimh (998m), before dropping to the cars at 19:30. Chip stop was in Tyndrum at 20:00, and the group reached Forfar at 22:30!! Long day!
8 attended (7 members and a guest). Held at Reid Park, Forfar at 19:30.
Neil Sangster was crowned the Club’s Girds champion for an unbelievable 8th year in succession. Indeed he has never been beaten, winning every year since he joined the club! Graeme Harris was the runner-up for the second year running. 7 competitors, split into 2 groups, entered what turned out to be an enthusiastically contested event. The group of 4 was won by Graeme, after a close battle with Nicola Hay who pushed him all the way – indeed one of their runs was declared a dead heat. Neil was never troubled in the group of 3 as he cruised to the final. Graeme pushed Neil close in a couple of the runs in the final but ultimately Neil won 3-0.
After the Girds there was a boules competition which Steve Wilson won, beating Bob Railton 3-2 in the final
15 attended (12 members and 3 guests). Left from Edzell Muir car park at 09:15 and
drove to top of Glen Esk. Started walking at 10:00, and followed the lochside, then
the Glen Lee track until the bridge over to the Falls of Unich. We had a break there,
then carried on past the falls to climb the narrow glen up to the Falls of Damph,
where some clambered down to have a closer look. The route crossed the bridge, and
climbed to the crest, where a fabulous view of Loch Lee opened up - worthy of our
2nd break. We carried on along the crest to reach the summit of Cairn Lick (682m)
then joined a landrover track which took us down to Inchgrundle (with stops to admire
Carlochy below). We then retraced our way along the loch back to the cars , reached
at 16:15. (16km, 630m ascent).
Lots of wildlife spotted :- widgeon, heron, curlew, oyster catcher, peewit, blue hare, hairy caterpillar, eagle, tadpoles, newts, osprey over loch?...
2 other members came up later, but couldn't find a parking place, so retreated to Dalbrack and messed about in the river.
8 of the walkers, plus the 2 Dalbrackers were joined by another member for a meal in the Panmure Arms, Edzell.
24 members attended, with 21 booked into Inchnadamph Lodge and 3 in a campervan.
Cost was £67 per person (for 3 nights). A continental breakfast was included. Bedding
4 walked up to the caves in Gleann Dubh.
Snow overnight continued with occasional showers. Clear spells in between.
3 went to Conival (987m) and then to Ben More Assynt (998m).
4 started from Bone Caves car park went to Braebag (815m) then climbed the north top (718m), then dropped into Gleann Dubh to finish at Inchnadamph.
2 started from Bone Caves car park went to Braebag (815m) then returned via the caves.
4 went to Arkle (787m).
2 explored the ruins of Ardvreck Castle and Calda House.
9 went to Quinag, with 2 returning after Spidean Coinich (764m) to take a coastal drive via Drumbeg. The remaining 7 climbed Sail Ghorm (776m) and Sail Garbh (809m).
A similar day with heavy showers coming in but clear spells in between.
4 went home.
3 climbed Cul Beag (769m).
3 climbed Suilven (731m).
8 went to Sandwood Bay.
6 went to the top of Eas a' Chual Aluinn, Britain's highest waterfall.
A much better day with long clear spells and just the occasional shower.
9 went home.
5 climbed Cul Beag (769m).
2 climbed Am Faochagach (954m).
4 went to the Bone Caves, then 2 carried onto Stac Pollaidh.
11 members, and 1 guest attended. The hired bus left the Myre car park at 07:00,
and dropped the group at Achallater. From there we walked as a group in low cloud
and reasonable visibility to Lochallater Lodge where we stopped for a break before
heading up to Carn an-Sagairt Mor (1047m). It was very cold and windy at this point
and it was decided to split the group with six carrying on high in difficult conditions
with map, compass and GPS to keep us right in zero visibility to Carn a' Choire
Bhoidheach (White Mounth 1110m) and on to Cac Cairn Mor and finally Cac Cairn Beag
(Lochnagar 1156m)). From there we made our way round the top and down over very
icy conditions to the path below the Meikle Pap and on down to the Spittal arriving
at the waiting bus at 17:05. 22.5km, 1150m ascent.
The other group of six headed off down to the Dubb Loch and on to the path by Glas-alt-Sheil to the car park at Loch Muick arriving just before 17:00. 21.5km, 850m ascent.
No wildlife were seen on the hill but Ptarmigan were heard at one point calling in the mist!
The bus then stopped in Ballater where most had fish and chips and a light refreshment before the bus delivered us back in Forfar around 20:20.
20 members attended. After the business meeting, "Members Night" allowed members to present photographs for a 10 minutes spell. 6 members presented their photographs.
9 members attended. Of the original 16 booked, 2 had called off in advance, with
another 3 calling off closer to the time. Unfortunately 2 of the late call offs
were the drivers, so their passengers also didn’t make it, leaving 9 on the weekend.
With a poor forecast and even poorer weather, 7 headed off by way of the Corran Ferry and walked to the foot of Sguurr na h-Eanchainne with thoughts of climbing it and Druim na Sgriodain. With constant rain and no visibility, 2 decided at this point that enough was enough and did a lower level (and fairly enjoyable walk) to Loch nan Gabhar. Another in the main group turned back shortly after starting the climb and then walked to the mast above the ferry. The remaining 4 continued until around 400m and then decided to bail out and return to the hostel. The rain did not stop all day.
The other group of 2 had decided on a lower level walk to Inchree Falls, a good walk.
Saturday afternoon was a combination of shopping in Fort William and watching the rugby.
Sunday Decent weather, forecasted to improve as the day went on – 2 headed home, 3 went to Inchree Falls, 2 went to Steall Falls. The remaining 2 members decided that we should do some hillwalking and did a ridge traverse from Kinlochleven, over Beinn Na Caillich. The ascent of the south ridge was varied slightly to avoid the avalanche debris. We then continued to Mam na Gualainn (796m) and descended to Callert House. A fantastic walk with clear views all day over the surrounding hills and Loch Leven. The mist was just skirting the higher tops but coming and going. Weather mostly sunny with the odd hail shower.
The bunkhouse was excellent and has been extended since the club last visit. Everyone was extremely impressed by the hostel and hospitality.
2 members attended. This was scheduled to be a walk on the Monadhliaths, near Newtonmore. Because the weather forecast was for snow and wind, a decision was taken not to travel to Newtonmore. One left Myre at 07:10 and met the other at Dykehead. From there, we decided to go up Glen Moy as snow and wind was not far away. Leaving the car at Glen Moy farm the sun was shining and we heard a dawn chorus from Red Grouse, Oyster Catchers,Lapwing,Curlew and Snipe. We also saw Several Black Grouse and a Buzzard. We followed the track up past the Shank and the modern lunch hut on the hill, then on to Manywee (685m) at which point the snow and mist moved in, from there we headed south west along the fence line before heading off and back by the Shank having our lunch in a grouse butt and then then back to the car in the mist and snow at 12:30pm
This followed the Open Meeting. 18 members (and a guest) attended. President Graham
Brown presided, and annual reports were given by the president, treasurer and meet
secretary. Because of the 4 year rule, Carolyn Smith stepped down as secretary and
was replaced by Mel Shand. Also because of the 4 year rule, Clare Stewart stepped
down as treasurer and was replaced by Steve Wilson. The position of ordinary member
was contested and a vote was taken. Carolyn Smith was duly elected into this position.
The auditors for next year are to be Clare Stewart and Ray Campbell. Graham thanked
Carolyn and Clare for their contribution over the last 4 years, and Penny for being
the ordinary member for a year. He also thanked Bob Railton for his work as bourach
custodian for many years. Graeme Harris took over that role in May. Graham continued
by thanking Debbie for her work on the club's Facebook page, and thanked Neil for
being weekend coordinator. Both will continue in these roles.
Colin brought up the subject of using more buses for club meets to enable more A-to-B walks to take place, feeling that would attract more folk out on walks. Willie brought up the subject of moving meets to Saturday, if the weather was to be better than on a Sunday. The new committee will look at both ideas during their calendar planning.
The meeting ended with the presentation of the "Incident of the Year". There was only one propsal and the award was given to president Graham Brown, for a certain incident (involving a dog bowl) which took place at the Knoydart weekend in June.
Held at Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. 17 members (and a guest) attended. Usual club business was conducted and the bourach repair project was discussed. The meeting was followed by the AGM, tea/cakes, and a 30 minute film, "The Edge-part 1", which showed a re-enactment of Norman Collie's pioneering exploration of the Cuillin of Skye, over 100 years ago.
12 members attended. Based at SYHA Cairngorm Lodge, Glen More.
One member stopped to climb Meall Chuaich on way up. One member arrived early, and climbed Meall a'Bhuachaille (810m), continuing along the ridge to Craigowrie before descending. Strong south westerly wind.
A group of 5 climbed Bynack More (1090m).
A group of 3 climbed Creag Mhor (895m).
A group of 2 climbed the Hills of Cromdale (710m and 722m), spotting the reindeer herd, several white hares and 3 pairs of golden plover (early visitors).
One went for a short walk round Loch Morlich.
One met up with friends and walked into Rothiemurchus Lodge and reached the fooot of the Chalamain Gap before returning.
Weather was reasonable. Cloud lifted off the tops and only a few light showers. Fairly breezy.
On member headed home after his walk.
Weather had changed. The high tops were covered in cloud and there was a very strong southerly wind.
One member felt unwell and headed home.
One member just went home.
One member went shopping in Aviemore.
One member went bird-watching in Abernethy Forest.
A group of 2 left at 07:30 and climbed Meall a' Bhuachaille (810m), continuing along the ridge to Craigowrie before descending.
A group of 5 left at 09:30 and walked into Ryvoan Bothy. One member returned from there. The 4 remaining headed up Meall a' Bhuachaille, with one turning back and 3 crawling to the top, then dropped back to the first bealach and to the hostel, arriving 12:30.
8 members attended. Left Forfar at 07:00 in 2 cars picking up the Edinburgh member at Lochearnhead and meeting the Glasgow member at the start of the walk. Weather was clear all the way through to Glen Dochart, and cloud hung about the tops all day. Unfortunately one member forgot to transfer his boots to the shared car, and spent the day walking to Tyndrum and back on the West Highland Way - at least it was his first time on the WHW. The remaining 7 set off at 09:15, following a landrover track for 1.5km, then started climbing steeply up the lovely north ridge of An Caisteal, which has a couple of bumps before the summit. As we climbed through the snow line, the group encountered real winter conditions with patches of solid snow and ice, and crampons were fitted on the upper part of the ridge. We reached the summit of An Caisteal (995m) at 12:15, and dropped to a bealach through mixed crags and snow, stopping for lunch on the descent. It cleared for a while at the bealach and we saw the steep face of Beinn a’ Chroin in front of us. It was a matter of picking our way up through snow gullies to reach the ridge above - the most challenging and exciting part of the day! From there, it was a short walk to the summit (942m) reached at 13:50, and we continued along to the 2nd summit (940m), then drop down the craggy north ridge to Stob Glas Beag, with crampons on until just above the snow line. We dropped into Coire Earb and followed a very boggy footpath for 2km until we hit the landrover track again, reaching the cars at 17:00. Distance: 14km, ascent 1100m, 7hrs 45. Some stopped for fish & chips in Comrie. Reached Forfar at 19:25.
24 members and 4 guests attended. At Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. The Open Meeting
was followed by annual photographic competition, judged by James Anderson.
12 members each entered 5 photographs. Results were as follows.
The Norrie Trophy for best collection of photographs (3 from 5):-
1st Aileen Pearson (images 3, 4, 5)
2nd Bob Railton (images 1, 2, 3)
3rd Jackie Arbuthnott (images 1,2,5)
The Brian Coull Trophy for best photo
1st Linda Sinclair (image 2 )
2nd Graham Brown (image 5)
3rd Aileen Pearson (image 4)
All 60 entries can be viewed here • Click the link, Select the 3 vertical dots, Select “Slideshow”, Use arrows at the side right and left side to navigate.
• If you want to see the origin of the photo, then bring up the first photo (as above), then Hit your “Esc” key. In the top right, select the “i” in the circle. This displays information about the photo – the file name gives the person who took the photo and a description, use arrows at the side right and left side to navigate.
31 attended the main walk (23 members and 8 guests). Gathered at car park at south
end of Tay Road Bridge at 08:15. Started walking from car park in middle of Falkland
at 09:15. Followed route past The Stables to Maspie Den, climbing gently to Craigmead
and into sunshine. Took track west to the foot of West Lomond where we stopped for
a snack. Then it was a climb to the top of West Lomond (522m), sitting above low
cloud all around. From there, we dropped steeply to the Devil's Burdens then dropped
again into Glen Vale, where we saw John Knox's Pulpit (a sandstone rock formation).
The group split into 2 - 16 headed east to Harperleas reservoir and then to Craigmead. 3 decided to descend by Maspie Den (16.8km 580m ascent), and the other 13 climbed East Lomond (424m) (17.3km, 740m ascent). The other group of 15 headed for Bishop Hill (458m), then dropped to Harperleas and back to Craigmead. Because of time constraints, 14 headed down Maspie Den (19.6km, 800m ascent), and 1 headed over East Lomond (20.1km, 960m ascent). The last of the groups left Falkland at 16:00, heading for high tea in Forfar.
There was a shorter walk around Dykehead. 10 attended (6 members and 4 guests). The route followed went by road to Cortachy village, up the river to the bridge, back to Dykehead, then climbed to Airlie Tower by the cemetery, and took the track from the Scott monument back to Dykehead. Started at 10:30, completed by 14:30. (9.6k, 340m ascent).
Weather was cold, but sunny for the most part. Views were limited because of low cloud to begin with, but clearer conditions arrived in the afternoon. 45 gathered for high tea in the Royal Hotel, Forfar at 17:30 (34 walkers and 11 non-walkers, consisting of 38 members and 7 guests). The meal was enjoyed by all. President Graham Brown gave a speech after the meal.
27 members and 3 guests attended. Held at Forfar Fire Station at 19:30. Because
both speakers had travelled from afar, the evening started with an illustrated talk,
by Dr. Nicola Baillie (a member) and her brother, Dr. Kenneth Baillie. Nicola very
quickly whizzed through 125 fabulous photographs of her recent trip to Huayhuash, near
Huaraz in Peru. She ended with several questions regarding altitude, for her brother.
Kenneth then talked about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). With illustrations, he
described levels of oxygen at different altitudes, the 3 different altitude sicknesses,
their effects on the body, touched on drugs, and gave the 3 golden rules of health
for high altitude climbing. A fantastic talk, delivered in a way that the layman
After a presentation and a tea-break, the evening ended with a short business meeting.
11 attended. We met at the public car park at Milton of Glen Isla village hall at
09:00, and drove in 3 cars to the top of the road at Auchavan. The temperature was
-6C when we set out at 09:35. We walked in shade on the track north to Tulchan Lodge,
where we arrived into the sunshine that stayed with us all day. From there we climbed
steeply up to Spying Hillock, where we had a bite to eat. Then it was a steady pull
up to the summit plateau of Finalty Hill (905m), where we had splendid views of
Lochnagar to Mount Keen. Lunch was taken on the site of the old hut on the east
side of the plateau, with sightings of Ben Avon and Bennachie in the distance. We
back-tracked a short distance then descended by the Tom Dubh na Cabair ridge, where
we found the old grassy track obliterated a monstrous bulldozed motorway! This dropped
us down to reach the track at the Glen Cally burn, where another short stop was
made. It was only 3km from there down to Dalhally (bypassed because of "Private"
sign), and back to the cars at 14:45. Temperature had risen to -2C. Distance 14km.
Ascent 590m. Clear and sunny all day with little wind at all. Cold air though. Afterwards,
the group was joined by one other member who had done her own thing in Glenshee
(Loch Vrotachan & Carn Nan Sac (920m)). We had tea, coffee & beer in the newly refurbished
Glen Isla Hotel, where there appeared to be a shortage of milk!