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updated 18 Dec 2018

16th December 2011 - Blackrock Cottage, Glen Coe

And so to the Braes o'Fife MCs antidote to Christmas shopping, our annual meet at Blackrock Cottage in Glen Coe. As has been the case for the last few years, we were blessed with a good weather forecast. And when we got to the hut, there was snow on the ground, the hills looked to be plastered and the stars were out. Surely all good signs. Also, a new President was to be inaugurated. The club's foremost climber, a fine skier and an excellent guitarist, were all in attendance to see Ken take over as President.

Enough folk turned up on the Friday night for a start to be made on the first barrel of beer. This was Clydesdale, from the Harbour Bar in Kirkaldy, and very nice too. The traditional competition for chairs around the fire turned into the traditional competition for chairs away from the fire as more coal was piled on. Tales of hill days past, Colin's latest biking accident, the latest 1970's prog rock album that Neil had bought, the conversation flowed freely. I *think* we managed to avoid contentious topics.

As promised, Saturday morning was fine. Blue sky, snow everywhere. That's what we come to the hills for. Folk set off for their various adventures. Calum & Fiona were at the ski slopes for the first lift up the hill. Followed shortly afterwards by Ken. Some time after that by Anne & Mary. And sometime after that by Lucy & Dave, who skinned up the hill, rather than using the lifts. Neil & Ronnie also didn't use the lifts either, but they at least had the excuse that they were in fact hill-walking.

Colin, Robert, Danny & Gav headed off towards a low buttress on Stob Coire nan Lochain. But when they got close, they reckoned there was too much unstable snow up there. Instead they went for the Aonach Eagach. They even spotted an avalanche coming down No 5 Gully, Aonach Dubh West Face, adding weight to their decision ! The photos tell the story, they had a brilliant day.

Lorna & Tara went for a wander up the West Highland Way. Kevin, Sheila also made the most of the day.

All too soon it was time to head back to the hut. The (piste) skiers were knackered from a long day on the hill & took the access chair back to the carpark. Unfortunately, Anne & Mary had "a spot of bother" getting on the chair, and before the liftys could stop it, Anne was scooped off the platform into the netting ! Much screeching & then giggling later, she managed to get out of the net, onto the chair & off the hill safely. Good grief ! Everyone else had less eventful journeys back to the hut. 

Food of varying quality was consumed, then drink. Then it was time for the Presidential tankard to make its appearance. The tradition in the club is that an incoming President provides a bottle of whisky. The tankard is filled with the whisky, and passed round the assembly, with club members taking a sip, until the tankard is empty. When it's filled up again. Until the bottle is empty. When another bottle is opened. Until everyone's had enough whisky. This year, the main whisky followed a Fife theme, The Glenrothes. As backup, Ken had also brought a 12 year old, Czech single malt, called Hammer Head. We'll probably stick to Scottish whisky from now on.

As folk prepared themselves for the arrival of the whisky, the previous President, John, had some bad news. He'd left the tankard at home ! Disaster. And certainly all too beleivable. However, resouceful as ever, someone presented the new President with one of the hut teapots, the whisky was to be drunk from this. Now, I'm not sure how one drinks whisky from a teapot. Things were looking uncomfortable for a moment. I could foresee a lot of spilt whisky. Tradition is one thing, but wouldn't a glass be more sensible ? Just as I started to pour the whisky, the actual tankard appeared. Doh ! Hook, line & sinker ! Much relieved, the tankard was filled & the evening proper got underway. Phew !

Sunday morning was as hazy as normal. Both inside folks heads & weatherwise. Dave Simpson continued his journey to see if his boat had survived Hurricane Bawbag. Lucy, Dave, Gav & Ken skied most of the way up Hangover Hill (Beinn a'Chrulaiste) and had a fun filled descent. Everyone fell over. Lots ! Calum & Fiona went for a Sunday morning constitutional along the track behind the Kings House. Not sure, but I think everyone else stayed in the hut cleaning up & thinking about doing something. Maybe.

As his first Presidential duty, Ken left the tankard in the hut. I hope this is a club tradition too.

A fine meet.


Click here for some pictures.

And here for Robert's pictures.