Forfar & District
Hill Walking Club

Forfar & District Hill Walking Club

Forfar & District Hill Walking Club

2014 News

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Note that the journal is stored in reverse chronological order. Some items may be missing but can probably be found in the Newsletters.

Sunday 28th December 2014 - Christmas Meet - Ben Tirran

14 members and a guest turned out for a glorious day, in hard frost, snowy tops and clear skies. Left from Clova Hotel. Some ascended by the Snub, and some directly to Green Hill, where they regrouped for lunch. The group then walked across the plateuu to Ben Tirran where the chilly wind got up a bit. Descent by Loch Wharral, then cross country back to the Clova Hotel for a coffee.

Sunday 7th December 2014 - Day Meet - Mayar

Once again we were the victims of a bad weather forecast. Plans to travel north to Cock Bridge to climb Brown Cow Hill had to be changed due to expected high winds in the eastern Cairngorms. In the event seven members and guests travelled the short distance to Glen Doll where most of the walkers expressed a preference for a walk up through Corrie Fee to Dreish and Mayar. The group were first into the car park just as dawn was breaking. A light dusting of snow on frozen ground made the climb to the top of Corrie Fee a bit tricky in places. The last stretch to the summit of Mayar was completed in a very strong, chilly wind with snow falling steadily by this time. By the time the walkers left the summit there was a considerable amount of snow underfoot. At the bealach before the climb to Dreish the wind was increasing again and the group decided to call it a day, heading down the ridge above the Kilbo Path to the forest, and eventually the car park. Ray's water bottle had ice inside!

Monday 1st December 2014 - Open Meeting, followed by talk by Andy Malcolm, Invermark Estate, Glen Esk

18 members, one guest and 2 potential new members attended. The open meeting was followed by an illustrated talk by Andy Malcolm. The talk started with the daily life of a stalker in Glen Esk, followed by his exchange with a South African keeper, to a game reserve in NW South Africa. A fantastic talk!

Frid 28th & Sat 29th November 2014 - Dundee Mountain Film Festival

For the 2nd year running, the club ran a stall. We displayed a digital display of the club's 50th, lots of photos from the recent 12 months, some meet calendars and newsletters. We attracted some interest from members of the public. Thanks to those that ran the stall over the 2 days - Neil, Carolyn, Penny, Colin, Steve and Ray.

Frid 21 - Sun 23 November 2014 - Weekend Meet - Tyndrum

11 members attended. Stayed at "By the Way" bunkhouse. Weather disappointing but all 11 out on 2 days. A late flurry of bookings resulted in eleven members attending this Weekend Meet. Most members walked on both days despite very wet weather in some areas. Hills climbed on Saturday included Ben Dorain and Ben an Dothaidh with another group on the Black Mount. On Sunday one group went to Sgur na h-Ulaidh in Glencoe while others were on Ben Dorain. Others climbed hills on the way home.

Sunday 9th November 2014 - Glas Tulaichean / Carn an Righ

8 members and 3 guests attended on a perfect day. An excellent day of clear blue skies after all the rain. Climbed Glas Tuillaichan from Dalmunzie Hotel, following the route of the old railway track to Glenlochsie Lodge. From there it was a fairly short descent and reascent to Carn an Righ from where there were excellent views of the snow-dusted Cairngorms. Return was via Loch nan Eun and the rather boggy descent into Glen Taitneach.

Monday 3rd November 2014 - Open Meeting

14 members and one potential new member (Nicola) attended, this the 2nd meeting in our new home of the Fire Station. The short meeting was followed by the annual quiz night. Ray and Carolyn were quizmasters for the 2nd year and provided the 4 teams with a variety of questions and photographs. The team called Pointless (Neil, John McD, Colin) won the chocolate oranges.

Saturday 25th October 2014 - social meet - Glen Clova

17 members and 2 potential new members attended.
Bob & Colin volunteered for the Carn Dearg work party to build a new path to the new hut. It was a productive day and the squad of 15 or so made good progess. Bob produced a gift of a signed Chris Bonington poster from the club to the Carn Dearg, and Colin presented this to Casey, the Carn Dearg president, at lunchtime. The 2014 boules competition was keenly fought over in the car park at the front of Scott Lodge. 5 pairs played a round-robin competition with each match consisting of the best of 3 ends. Rita and Linda won 3 out of 4, and they are declared 2014 champions. A banquet followed with the committee providing 2 main courses. All members provided desserts to be shared on the table.
Then there followed a brief Halloween party, with Linda, Willie, Neil, Steve, Colin and Iain dooking for apples, and Mel, Brian and Colin going for the syrup (Mel) and treacle scones. The evening concluded with a short firework display. Unusally, no one stayed the night in the hut. A good day. Thanks to all.

Sunday 19th October 2014 - Day meet - Mount Battock

2 members and once potential new member attended. The low attendance was due to the weather - a forecast of gale force winds, with low cloud and rain in the west meant most folk opted to stay put. The planned destination of the top of Glen Lyon was abandoned in favour of a more local hill in the east to avoid the worst of the weather. It was still pretty windy.

Monday 13th October 2014 - open meeting

19 attended this open Meeting, followed by talk by John Arnott, MBA. "What the MBA does". Held at the new venue - Forfar Fire Station, 4 Strang Road, Forfar. Very comfortable.

Sunday 28th September 2014 - Day Meet - Glen Dochart to Glen Lochay

11 attended. As this was a Bus Meet, we took advantage of the opportunity to do a through walk. Although only eleven booked their place, it was decided to carry on with the original plan in any case. The walk started on the A85 a few miles before Crianlarich, following rather boggy land before climbing to the Munros of Meall Ghlas and Sgiath Chuill. The route then continued northwards to Glen Lochay, where the group crossed the bridge over the River Lochay to the waiting bus on the other side.

Sunday 21st September 2014 - Social Meet - The Falls of Drumly Harry, Glen Ogil

This Social Walk was cancelled. It turned out that ropes would be needed to get a good view of the falls and the walk itself would be very short unless an additional route was planned. This may be reconsidered at some point in the future.

Frid 12th -Sun 14th September 2014 - weekend meet -Torridon

Stayed at SYHA. At last, a spell of fine weather had people anticipating a fine weekend at Torridon Youth Hostel. Eleven members turned up, with some arriving early to go walking on Friday. Saturday saw most of the group on Liatach with others on Bein Damph, Bein Dearg and two enjoying a low-level walk to Coire Mhic Fhearchair. Most members walked again on Sunday, with Slioch being the most popular choice.

Monday 1st September 2014 - Outdoor Meeting - Geocaching Revisited (again!)

13 attended. Colin, Mel, Willie M, John McD, Brian F, Debbie, Penny, Brian C, Janet, Bob R, Clare, Neil and daughter. Met at Reid Park at 19:00 armed with GPS and walked up to Balmashanner. This time, we were given grid references! Mel set a course of 5 sites. 5 groups set out and all returned just as darkness fell. There wes a varied success rate but 2 groups managed to find all 5. It just proved that many of us don't know how to use there GPS.

Sunday 24th August 2014 - Social Meet - Backwater Reservoir (High Tree Circuit)

5 attended – Linda, Mel, Elaine W, Bob R and Roy. Set off at 10.05am from car park on east shore at north end of Blackwater Reservoir – followed road to Glenhead Farm, then track to Hole, climbing on to wide ridge at Bad Buidhe and following broad ridge to The High Tree where we had our lunch stop. Great views all round – Glen Prosen and the Clova hills – Dreish and Mayar, Hill of Strone, Mount Blair, probably through to Creag Leacach, south to Craigowl and the Lomonds, of course. Plantation at Kilbo end of Kilbo Path has been clear-felled – an ugly scar - and there is work afoot on the burn up White Glen – Roy thinks the estate is building a small hydro scheme. Retraced steps to just below cairn on Bad Buidhe, and headed SW on faint track into Glen Damff and following track back round to Glenhead Farm and back to car park. Good weather – sunshine, only a light breeze on top, so midge attacks lower down when we stopped for a break. All enjoyed a good walk.

Sunday 17th August 2014 - Day Meet - Ochils

6 attended. By car, 07:00 from Myre car park. The planned Glenmore to Linn o'Dee meet was cancelled due to high winds, high river levels and missing bridges (after the recent downpours). The meet was changed to the Ochils, starting from Tillicoultry. Craighorn, Ben Buck and Ben Cleuch (721m). Coffee and cream scones at Tormaukin Inn afterwards. Not a drop of rain.

Monday 11th August 2014 - Turin Hill

14 members attended the first evening meeting of the new calendar, climbing Turin Hill (252m) on a windy, but dry and clear evening. This was Kate and John's last club event before they depart for an extended stay in Australia. They were presented with an embroidered baseball cap each (to be worn everyday), and a year's digital subscription to the Scot's Magazine, which we hope will remind them of Scotland. Best Wishes for your new life down under, from all!

Sunday 10th August 2014 - Meall a'Mhuic, Glen Lyon - GRAHAMS COMPLEATION

Sheila and Bill Simpson.... It’s quite an achievement –the Munros, the Corbetts, and now the Grahams. Doing them all together is quite something special!

Sunday 6th July 2014 - Meet Secretary's Mystery Meet

9 attended. Glen Doll. Bob R. painted the bourach door. Rest went over Tom Buidhe and Tolmount. Good day, good views. Missed all the localised thunder showers.

Sunday 29th June 2014 - Social Meet - Ben Vrackie

11 attended in 5 cars. Group followed tourist track from Moulin to the summit. Clear day, good views (The Bens of Lomond and Nevis were spotted). Cool NE wind. Descent by lochan, to bealach and back to Moulin. All the group ate in the Moulin Inn afterwards.

Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd June 2014 - Weekend Meet - Drumnadrochit.

14 attended. Saturday - disappointing weather. Three groups out - 8 on the north Loch Mullardoch ridge (out by boat). 5 on Carn a' Chuilinn, near Fort Augustus, including a walk out to the Eagle Statue at the Doe dam, and a visit on return trip to taste some local Ness Brewery ale. One on bike up Glen Affric where he was surrounded by the hordes from the Highland Cross.
Sunday: 1 biked up Glen Strath Farrar to Monar Lodge. 1 went west to Kintail. 1 went to Loch Laggan. 3 headed south to better weather at Drummochter to climb Meall nan Leitreach.

Sunday 15 June 2014 - Bike meet - Stob an Aonaich Mhoir (Rannoch)

15 attended in 7 cars. Set off at 9:45 amidst a midge attack. 11 stopped cycling after 7k and climbed the south ridge. 4 carries on cycling for another 5K. Lovely views on the summit where a group photo was taken by a passing explorer. Group stopped at Dunkeld on way home for beer/chips.

Monday 2nd June 2014 - Geocaching revisited!

13 attended. Met at Reid Park and walked to Balmashanner. Problem :- there were no grid references on the sheets - so the event is postponed until September. Instead, the group went for a walk to the abseiling quarry, then returned via the viewpoint to Lour Road and Reid Park.

Sunday 25th May 2014 - Day meet - Braeriach

12 members plus 2 guests attended. The planned "Glen Feshie to Coylumbridge" was abandoned for the 3rd time due to rain and low cloud. Instead the bus dropped the party at the Sugarbowl Car Park on the Cairngorm ski road. The party set off at 10:00 in wet cloudy conditions for Braeriach, reaching the summit at 14:15,where the clouds parially broke for a few minutes. Steps were retaced to the Lairig Ghru path and the group walked out through the wonderful Rothiemurchus to Coylumbridge, reaching the bus at 18:30. There was no refreshment stop on the return withthe bus reaching Forfar at 20:45.

23rd-25th May 2014 - Path Building, Carn Dearg Hut, Glen Clova

At the Mountain Mind Quiz, Colin volunteered club members to help with path building around the new hut. Unfortunately, Sunday clashed with our day meet. Not sure if anyone attended.

Sunday 18th May 2014 - Social Meet, Largo Law

9 attended. The group gathered at the south end of the Tay Bridge at 09:30. They then travelled in 3 cars via the back roads of Fife to Lower Largo. Walking commenced about 10:40 and followed the Fife Coastal Path eastwards, before striking north to Upper Largo, where the route climbs gently then quite steeply to the twin summits at 290m. We were beaten to the summit by a procession of vintage tractors. A very strong wind at the summit made it difficult to stand there for long, but it was well worth it for the view over the Firth of Forth to Berwick Law and the Bass Rock. But the distant mountains to the north were rather hazy. The group retraced their route to Upper Largo then descended by the den to Lower Largo. Refreshments were taken at The Crusoe Hotel. A short but satisfactory day.

Monday 12th May 2014 - Outdoor Meeting - Boules and Girds

10 attended, at the Reid Park, Forfar. The 2014 Girds champion is Neil, beating Colin in the final. That's 3 in a row for the athlete from Arbroath! The 2013 Boules tournament was run (as none was held in 2013 due to the anniversary events). 5 teams of two in a round-robin, Bob/ Neil and Colin/Steve both won 3 matches each, but Bob/Neil had the best points difference and are therefore crowned 2013 champions. The 2014 tournament will be held in October on the social weekend in Glen Clova.

Friday 2nd - Monday 5th May 2014 - Long weekend meet - Barrisdale, Knoydart (north side)

12 attended. The wild side of Knoydart. Our 3rd visit as a club. 11 walked in from Kinlochhourn (some early, some middling , some late). Bob accompanied the gear/food on the boat (Peter Fletcher), which was carried up to the White House by tractor, driven by Craig the local ghillie. Weather on walk in was fair. Saturday was a very good day, warm, clear and fairly calm :- group of 6 on Ladhar Bheinn via Coire Dhorrcail. Group of 5 on Sgurr a Choire-bheithe. Bob looking after base camp and gathering mussels. Sunday - very wet with low cloud :- 2 on Luinne Bheinn, 3 on Luinne Bheinn and Meal Buidhe, 4 into Coire Dhorrcail, 2 to the beach, Bob managing base camp and gathering mussels. Fine weather for the walk out on Monday. Communal evening meals went down well :- easier to manage, more sociable. Something to think about for future meets.

Monday 28th April 2014 - Committee Meeting

19:30 at Queen Street Tavern. 4 attended. Day meets, social meets and meetings/events were set.

Monday 14th April 2014 - Committee Meeting

19:30 at Queen Street Tavern. 5 attended. Weekend meets were set and allocated to committee members to organise.

Sunday 13th April 2014 - Day Meet - Callater to Balmoral

14 attended. This was an unusual direction from which to approach Lochnagar, but our long-serving President (or should that be long-suffering) assured us that the club had done a similar walk before. The eleven members and three guests were dropped off by the bus at Lochnagar Distillery. After a period of wandering about the distillery grounds, ostensibly looking for the path but probably looking for the warehouse entrance, the group set off in the correct direction and soon joined the track to Lochnagar. Three members opted for a low-level through walk to Spittal of Glenmuick while the rest headed up the slopes in strengthening winds. Only three reached the summit, with the rest turning back when some of the walkers were getting blown off their feet. All walkers reached the bus at the Spittal safely, the only casualty of the day being the Meet Secretary’s hat, which disappeared in the direction of the North Sea.

Monday 7th April 2014 - Open Meeting

19:30 at Queen Street Tavern, Open Meeting, followed by presentation to our nominated anniversary charities, then members night. Each member was allowed to bring 10 photos each (on paper or on CD/DVD, or camera card, or USB memory stick). They were given 10 minutes to talk about their photos. 7 members submitted photos and a good night was had by all.

Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd March 2014 - Weekend Meet, Torridon

Due to the weather everyone called off on this weekend. Happily, Torridon Youth Hostel agreed to let us carry the deposit over to another weekend later in the year, and this has been rearranged for September 2014.

Wednesday 12th March 2014 - Mountain Mind Quiz

The team of Carolyn, Colin and Graham formed the club team for the annual quiz involving hill walking and mountaineering clubs from Tayside and Fife. It was held in the Queens Hotel, Dundee and organised bythe Carn Deag MC. We actually finished 3rd after 2 rounds with the top 3 being somewhat ahead of the rest. For some bizarre reason, the Carn Dearg club decided that there should be a tie-break. The question was: - name the island Corbetts, and the first team back with the answer sheet will win. This played into our hands – we rattled off the names of the 11 island Corbetts, handed in the sheet and were handed the trophy for the 3rd year in a row (and our 4th title in total). We are on the rota to organise for 2015.

Sunday 9th March 2014 - day meet - Bridge of Orchy

A modest turnout of five intended to climb both Beinn an Dothaidh and Beinn Dorain, weather permitting. The weather did not permit, so in poor visibility the group meandered around the broad plateau of Beinn an Dothaidh, eventually locating the summit before calling it a day. On the way down towards Bridge of Orchy, the cloud dramatically lifted, giving excellent views across to the Black Mount. Looking back, the group could see the cloud lifting up the mountainside. If only the walk could have been delayed by a few hours…….

Monday 3rd March 2014 - Open Meeting and Annual General Meeting

19:30 at Queen Street Tavern, Open Meeting, followed by the AGM and then a short film (20 minutes), "Dovedale Groove", featuring Chris Bonnington and Don Whillans in 1986 repeating a route first climbed by Whillans and Joe Brown in 1953.

Saturday 1st March 2014 - Committee Meeting

17:30 at Queen Street Tavern. Meeting to discuss AGM proposals, likely contenders for posts, and planning for presentations to the three anniversary charities at our next meeting

Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th February 2014 - Weekend Meet - Corran

10 places booked, but in the end only 3 attended because of the poor weather forecast. Saturday - three went to Sgurr Eilde Mor, with one member reaching the summit. Sunday - low level walk at Victoria Bridge.

Sunday 9th February 2014 - Day meet - head of Glen Lyon

9 attended. An attempt was made to reach the summit of Meall Buidhe (the Corbett) from Pubil, but deep snow and poor visibility forced the group to turn back. By the time the group of nine reached Loch Lyon dam, a covering of snow was starting to lie on the road. This provided a warning of what was to come, as the walkers quickly found themselves wading through deep, fresh snow. It became obvious that the original intention of climbing both Meall Bhuide and Sron a Choire Chnapanich on the south side of Loch an Daimh was not going to be possible. With one kilometre to go to the summit of Meall Bhuide, and the group struggling in knee-deep snow with strong winds and spindrift creating a virtual white-out, the decision was made to turn back. An escape route down a valley to Loch Lyon was identified, but the prevailing wind had dumped a good metre of snow on this west-facing slope, and it was a very exhausted group who stumbled down to the lochside, by which time the snow had turned to rain.

Monday 3rd February 2014 - Open Meeting and Photo Competition

Open Meeting, followed by the annual photographic competition. A good turn-out of members attended. For the 6th year running, the judge was Graham Wilkinson from Carnoustie Camera Club. Graham looks forward to this and is just amazed that we keep asking him back. All entries were in purely digital format, , following the rule change at last year's AGM. A total of 8 entries with 40 photographs in total were received. Carolyn’s winning entry of Liathach and all other entries can be viewed here.

Sunday 19th January 2014 - High Tea Meet

20 brave souls ventured out on this horrendous day. The bus from Sauchieburn Hotel left at 10:00. The High Tea meet took place in some of the wettest weather we have experienced for some time. Because of the conditions, a lower-level through-walk was decided upon rather than the original plan of a round of the Wirren tops. The rain rarely let up on the route from Glen Lethnot to Glen Esk over the Clash of Wirren, with a tricky crossing of what would normally be a minor stream providing a foretaste for the grand finale, a crossing of the raging River North Esk over a very rickety and slippery footbridge. A very drookit bunch were glad to see the bus at Tarfside and then enjoyed the traditional High Tea at the Sauchieburn Hotel. It was remarkable that twenty turned out for this meeting with only about three call-offs. I take my hat off to you all (and get my head soaked for my trouble). The group had an early entry into the hotel and an excellent high tea followed for all 32 members.

Monday 13th January 2014 - Open Meeting

Open Meeting, followed by an illustrated talk by Willie Mather on “Travels of a Fermer wi a Bunnet” - an account on last summer's trip to Colorado including various National Parks and rafting on the Colorado river.
A great turn-out.

Friday 3rd January 2014 - New Year Meet - Craig Mellon

The year started with a day of poor visibility on this local hill. From the Glen Doll car park the group of ten took the track past Moulzie and then climbed steeply on to the snow-covered summit. The top proved difficult to find in the gloom, but find it we did before taking a direct descent towards the car park.