Kyle Mountain Club

Meet Secretary’s Report – 2019

Attendances were very good at most meets this year except Achnasheen and Dundonnnell. Dalwhinnie was of low interest but able to reduce numbers without loss to club. We had a small core of the membership attending most meets and again difficulty in obtaining different organisers.

Christmas Bothy Trip, Polmood - 13th December 2018

Meet cancelled due to Agnes Dunlop funeral

Burns Supper, Braedownie Hut, Glen Clova - 18th / 19th January

10 places booked 8 attendees

Eight members of the Kyle Mountain Club visited the new Carn Dearg Club hut at Glen Clova for our Annual Burns Supper weekend.

After an evening meal in the Glen Clova Hotel we arrived at the hut pleased to see that our earlier arrivals had lit the stove. Despite this the hut was somewhat cold. We were all very impressed with the new hut. A big improvement on the original one.

Next morning dawned very cold and clear with a light covering of snow.

Jackie, Jan and Stuart headed for a walk up Glen Clova towards Bachnagairn, Ian and Barney (his dog) ascended The Goet also known as Ben Tirran (896m), Frank and John did the circuit up Jocks Road to the shelter (now closed and awaiting repair) and across to Bachnagairn returning by Glen Clova, and Jim and Chris climbed Driesh (947m) and Mayar (928m).

Conditions were perfect with sunshine and clear views for much of the day but with below freezing temperatures. Jim and Chris experienced a temperature inversion all day on the tops with multiple Brocken Spectres and also a sun halo. Neither had seen one previously.

By the time we all arrived back, the hut was comfortably warm. A pleasant evening was spent enjoying our usual Burns Supper superbly prepared by the ladies present. Ian recited the address to the Haggis and Chris did the Selkirk grace. The supper was concluded by the traditional communal reading of Tam a Shanter followed by an innovation, a reading of Kipling’s If. One notable event of the evening was the result of Auchinleck Talbot beating Ayr in the Scottish Cup!

Sunday morning dawned very cold again but with increasingly overcast sky. After packing up and cleaning we all had for home, some via the impressive Scott/Wilson statue in Glen Prosen.

Thanks to everyone for making it a very enjoyable weekend.

Inbhirfhaolain Hut, Glen Etive - 15th / 16th February

10 places booked 9 attendees

A very wet Saturday morning postponed any thoughts of an Alpine start but eventually the rain did ease and various parties set out for their chosen objectives. John, Julie, Craig, Frank and Jim drove down towards the head of Loch Etive with a plan to climb the Munro Ben Starav. Jackie also took the benefit of a lift and from the drop-off point she headed down to the road end at the loch before returning to the hut. The rest of the party began the ascent of Starav and, with various people turning around when they reckoned they had gone far enough, Jim was the solo submitter. 

Glen Etive was busy on the Saturday with lots of people coming down to feed the deer that gather in the valley bottom and canoeists taking advantage of the fast running river. 

Ian & Andrew (and Barney the Border) headed down Glencoe to park near Signal Rock. From there they headed up the Gleann-leac-na-miudhe to complete the round of Meall Lighiche (Corbett), Sgorr a’Choise (Graham) and Meall Mòr (Graham). 

On Sunday Ian, Andrew & Barney were the only ones who ventured onto a hill and did the ascent of Garbh Bheinn, the Corbett to the north of the Aonach Eagach ridge and accessed from the road to Kinlochleven. The weather on Sunday was challenging with driving rain and hail on the top, winds gusting to 50mph+ also made walking difficult at times. 

Agnes Spencer MH, Patterdale, LD - 15th / 16th March

10 places booked 10 attendees

10 members of the Kyle Mountain Club assembled at the Agnes Spencer memorial hut in Patterdale on the Friday evening . With a little coaxing the fire was soon roaring away making the building warm and cosy. It was soon time to walk down to the White Lion Inn where the cheerful staff provided a hearty meal and a selection of real ales.

The following morning the weather forecast was for a wet windy day so all thoughts of Helvelyn or High Street were abandoned. Having ascertained that the Ullswater Steamers were not running, one group set off to walk along the East side of the Lake. The initial path across the valley was flooded but a longer route using a road bridge was soon found. Having walked about half the length of the lake it was found that the Hotel, the only place for refreshments in the dry was closed. So most of the group turned round to set off back, but Bob determined to get a decent amount of walking done carried on until completely drenched. Mac, Jan, Moira and Jackie set off to do a circular walk in Glenridding. On the way back a cafe provided shelter and refreshments. Ian and Len set off to walk up Grisedale, Len turning back when his new hip told him that it had walked far enough, While Ian carried on towards Grisedale Tarn, but he too turned back when confronted with a raging torrent crossing the path.

Returning to the hut in the various groups, the wet clothing was distributed between the drying room and the living room fire. Aperitifs were shared round and then Jan produced an excellent chicken main course for all and Len shared round apple and rhubarb crumble that June had made.

After everyone had consumed two helpings of dessert there was little room left for cheese and port.

Mac then entertained the group with a game of working through the Alphabet thinking up entertaining words.

On Sunday morning we awoke to see the surrounding hills mantled in snow. As it was now snowing at a low level, after breakfast some of the party set off for Ayr. Jackie, Ian, Len and Bob decided that the Aira Force waterfalls should be spectacular with all the rainfall. We were not disappointed and they were well worth the walk up all the steps to view them.

Again despite the weather we all enjoyed a convivial week-end.

Inver House Croft, Achnasheen - 12th / 13th April

10 places booked 4 attendees

Three members of the KMC, John McAndrew, Frank Jones and Len Foreman plus one guest David Baker arrived at Inver Croft House, Achnasheen for meet 13th / 14th plus added night 15th April 2019

Arriving at Achnasheen Friday around 4.30pm it was discovered that the local hotel could not feed us on Sunday evening as they were fully booked. Arriving at the hut a fire was set then a quick trip to Loch Carron in order to establish that the hotel there was ok for food on Sunday night. Back at the hut and after having our evening meal in the lounge area we had drinks with usual discussions before retiring to sleeping mats upstairs with room cold due to icy wind.

Saturday morning was very windy and bitterly cold, John and Frank set off to climb Sgurr nan Ceannaichean and Moruisg taking 7 hours to complete. Len and David walked from top of Loch Sgamhain to Cnoc na Moine a 600 metre hill and after travelled to Kinlochewe having coffee and carrot cake. Sitting in café David spotted a car leaving the petrol station next door driverless, and changing into Superdave dashed from cafe before opening car door, jumping in and pulling on brake handle and stopping car before it reached the road. Woman driver was very apologetic for error and bought David a coffee. Good night back at hut with plenty coal and wood used on fire and after our evening meal a couple of drinks to help us sleep.

Sunday morning again very windy and cold as we all travelled to park near Loan before walking to Carn Breac a 678 metre hill talking 5 hours. After returning to the hut for a short rest break Len drove us to Lochcarron hotel for an enjoyable evening meal. Another good fire set before drinks and chat back at hut before going to bed.

Monday morning we rose early, lit fire with mostly wood, and after breakfast tidied up the kitchen, lounge and upstairs sleeping area before departing at 10am. John and Frank travelling home with Len and David going to Coulags for a linear walk to lunch at a bothy before meeting their wives 3.30pm at Achnasheen railway station and onward trip to Applecross and Skye.

Muir Cottage, Inverey, Braemar - 17th / 19th May

8 places booked 8 attendees

Eight members of the Kyle Mountain Club visited Muir Cottage at Inverey for a three night visit. This excellent cottage is the club hut of the Cairngorm Club.

Our evening meal on the Friday was joined by a lady from Liverpool who was taking part in the TGO Challenge – a coast to coast walk.

Following a beautiful day on the drive up, unfortunately Saturday dawned cold with heavy drizzle. At 11am the temperature was 8 deg C! Previous trips to Braemar have always been blessed with great weather.

On Saturday only Ian ventured to the hills; he ascended the Corbett Sgor Mor (813m). Apparently he had a day with minimal views. John, Frank and Stuart did a walk up Glen Ey and Moira, Jan, Colin and Chris became tourists and visited Braemar Castle which proved to be most interesting.

Braemar was full of heavily laden and damp hikers taking part in the TGO Challenge.

Sunday morning dawned slightly more promising than Saturday but still damp. Only Stuart and Chris headed for the hills; namely Carn Liath (818m). Thoughts of proceeding further were thwarted by the cloud level descending. John and Frank walked up Glen Dee towards White Bridge and on to Geldie Lodge, Moira and Jan did a low level walk and Ian decided to abandon his planned hill. Colin headed for home.

As on Friday and Saturday a very pleasant communal meal was enjoyed by all present. The cottage has an excellent stove with an ample supply of firewood which made for a very comfortable place to pass the evening. One aspect of the cottage was that on all three evenings we could watch a parade of red deer passing by. Also red squirrels were often seen in the grounds.

The weather on Monday morning having not improved much we all decided to head for home.

Lochranza Campsite, Arran 21st / 22nd June

Arriving earlier ferry Friday Len climbed Mullach Brae another of his wee hills

Saturday Allan and Margaret walked part of the Coastal Path at Lochranza

John, Len and Frank on Saturday from campsite walked up Gleann Eagan Biorack to Loch na Davie then onto Creag Daughter path leading too Caisteal Abhail and back down the path to North Glen Sannox Bridge, then getting the bus back to the campsite.

Saturday night we all had a good meal at the Lochranza hotel and later went to Allan and Margaret’s van for drinks

On the Sunday Len set off for the Holy Isle.
John & Jean continued onto a wee camping trip on the mainland
Margaret and Allan had a nice wee walk round the shore line

Thanking Allan for his hospitality on Saturday night.
Good weather a great weekend and great company.
Len was the only one to rough it!

Summer Barbecue Milehouse Cottage, Kincraig - 19th / 20th July

8 places booked 13 attendees

A total of 13 KMC members and friends met for the BBQ at the LSCC Hut, Milehouse Cottage, near Kincraig

The following walks were completed:-

Saturday Sgór Gaoith – Angela, Scott, John & Frank

Càrn an Fhreiceadain – Wendy & Ian

Carn Sgùlain & Meall á Bhothain – Allan

Loch Insh Nature Reserve & Frank Bruce Sculpture Trail – Jan, Moira, Jackie & Len

Sunday The Sow of Atholl – Wendy, Jackie & Ian

The weather held fine for the Saturday evening and so we were able to both cook & dine outside, a thank you to Allan for the firepit & wood which kept us toasty and for collecting up and bringing down the road the missed kit that was left behind (especially John’s whisky).

The accommodation at Milehouse was to its usual high standard and thanks to Maurice & Maggie and Allan for using their respective camper vans and ‘easing the squeeze’ in the bunkroom.

The Smiddy, Dundonnell - 16th / 17th August

8 places booked 5 attendees

4 members of the club attended the Dundonnell meet based at The Smiddy unfortunately Len Foreman could not attend due to illness.

To say it was a wet weekend is a bit of an understatement, but at least all the rain made for some spectacular waterfalls. On Saturday Jackie, John & Frank did a ‘low’ level walk out towards the bothy at Shenavall while Ian headed out to the Corbett Creag Rainich, returning via a visit to Lochavroan bothy and a walk out along the loch shore. Saturday night we dined at the local hotel. On Sunday Frank & John headed back down the road, Jackie had a local walk which somehow involved coffee and cake at the Dundonnell hotel and Ian trudged up onto Sàil Mhòr.

Rum Bunkhouse, Rum - 13th / 15th September

8 places booked 8 attendees

Eight members plus Barney attended the September meet in Rum.

Friday morning we all met at Mallaig harbour around 11.30 for ferry leaving 12.30 and had a choice either to take a small Staffa tours boat or a small Calmac ferry and only Ian boarded the Staffa boat for a much rougher, although quicker, crossing due to very windy conditions.

After a short 15 minute walk to the well appointed bunkhouse we unloaded bags, food and drink and made up our bedding in the two dormitories. Meal at night was Jan’s Chicken and Pasta dish followed by Moira’s Plum Crumble and custard provided by Bob.

Only one casualty after the journey as Barney was sick after drinking too much water, surely a KMC first.

Saturday morning was wet and windy therefore Bob, Ian, Frank and John decided to walk to Guirdil bothy only to be stopped 1k short as burn impassable due to flooding at crossing point.

Len, Jan, Moira, Jackie and a recovered Barney went to the viewpoint, tearoom and a tour of Kinloch Castle although it is now in a sorry condition. Evening meal was John’s Sweet Chilli with Basmati rice followed by Len and June’s Rhubarb Crumble and custard

Sunday morning was a vast improvement to dry and sunny weather. Bob, Len, Ian and Barney set off for the Rum Cuillin with Bob ascending Hallivel and Askival before returning via the Dibidal path (admitted to getting slightly lost). Len, Ian and Barney climbed Barkeval and Trallival using outward Coire Dubh path back to bunkhouse. John and Frank ventured on another bothy walk this time to Dibidal and once again were thwarted by a raging burn too dangerous to jump just 1/2 k short of bothy.

Jan, Moira and Jackie enjoyed a walk to Kilmory village and visited the beach before returing via the tearoom. Last meal provide by Jackie and Ian was Cassoulet followed by Frank’s Apple Pie with cream or remaining custard.

Monday morning meant packing up after breakfast and transferring our bags to the pier before Calmac ferry at 15.10 arriving 17.40 at Mallaig.

Jan, Moira and Jackie visited newly built forestry commission houses with Len, Frank and John walking for lunch at the otter hide with Ian and Barney staying at the pier.

All three nights were spent in the bunkhouse and after mealtimes all were completed with the usual good humoured chats and a drink or two and also entertainment from two fiddlers who were members of another group staying at the bunkhouse.

Many thanks to all for another excellent weekend.

Raeburn Hut, Laggan - 18th / 19th October

8 places booked 3 attendees

A select band of John, Frank, Jackie and Barney headed to Raeburn Hut with dismal hopes on the weather report. Despite rain during the first night, Saturday dried up to a fresh sunny day. Frank stayed indoors to nurse a heavy cold while the others had a brisk walk from Dalwhinnie to Ben Alder Lodge and back along the shore of Loch Ericht. We shared the hut with a family from England who having walked on Friday, spent most of Saturday listening to the rugby! Another sociable weekend.

Dinner Meet, Callander Bunkhouse – 15th / 16th November

19 attendees

We had a great turn out for the annual dinner in Callander. Most of the group gathered in Greg’s Bistro for tea on Friday night before scattering to our respective hostelries around the town.

Unusually for us, the weather on Saturday was dry, bright and cold. Eight members conquered Benvane while smaller groups walked the Strathyre circuit, Kingshouse to Callandar and a solo cycle to Aberfoyle and back.

Callander Bunkhouse hosted the dinner again. An excellent meal and great chat lead to a successful evening. After Len welcomed everyone, Colin started the proceedings with grace. At the end of the meal Stuart proposed the toast to Absent Friends and Elspeth to the KMC. Jan passed on the quaich to Colin for his contribution to the club.