4th May 2012 - Inbhirfaolain, Glen Etive
The Bays o' Fife ? (See here for explanation.)
A great turnout, and some excellent weather for the first family meet of the year. Ken & Terry were the first to arrive. They bagged the best beds, lit the fire, and settled in. As ever, folk arrived in dribs and drabs on Friday night. Those who were camping set up their tents, the rest sat around the fire chatting & drinking. Amongst the topics covered, I think we may have discussed Scottish independence at one point. Always a thorny topic & after a heated debate, I don't think anyone's mind was changed !
We awoke to a glorious, blue sky, warm morning on Saturday. A very welcome change from the cold east wind we've been having for ages at home. It was actually warmer outside the hut than inside, and breakfast was taken next to the stream. Overlooked by snow capped mountains. It really was beautiful.
First away was Neil Anderson, an interloper from another club. To be honest, he pretty much put the rest of us to shame this weekend, when it comes to getting through the hills. Starting with Ben Starav, he detoured to Beinn nan Aighenan, returned to Glas Bheinn Mhor, continued on to Stob Coir'an Albannaich and finished with Meall nan Eun. A good effort, I think it took me 3 trips to do all those hills. Lorna headed up the glen, intending to do Creise. But on closer inspection, it looked a bit snowier than she liked, so she went up Hangover Hill (Beinn a'Chrulaiste) instead.
The Mack family went for the wee Buachaille. Kindly giving Ken a lift to the foot of the big Buachaille on the way. He stuck his head around the door of Jacksonville, a hut belonging to the renowned Creag Dubh club. For those of you who don't know, this club was formed by Clydeside ship builders back in the 1930s, and has a reputation for being as tough as nuts. Inside, their hut was full of empty Buckfast bottles, knives, chibs, and the heads of murdered east coast climbers mounted on the walls. (This isn't actually true, it was very tidy). Ken went up Curved Ridge, paused to look at the paragliders circling the summit, and continued along the main Buachaille ridge, heading back to the hut. The Macks made their way to the summmit of Stob Dubh, on Buachaille Etive Beag. For Heather, this was her first Munro, at the age of ten. Brilliant stuff !
Robert and Catherine headed to the Ballachulish Horseshoe, Beinn a' Bheither. The summit of Sgurr Dhonuill being her first Munro as well. A good weekend for it ! It is not recorded how old Catherine is, but it's fair to say she's older than Heather.
The Strachan family, and Terry, took their various kayaks, other floating devices, and the masses of kit that go along with it, down to Loch Etive. They paddled down the loch, past Beinn Trilleachan, until they reached a nice sandy beach, a good spot for a rest. Having rested, they paddled back. They complained of being into the current on the way down, and into the current on the way back. I'm no nautical man, but that's impossible isn't it ?
The Macrae family biked down the glen to Loch Etive. Woody had the most difficult time, because one of his pedals wasn't actually attached to the rest of his bike. He scooted & freewheeled his bike back to the hut. Eventually.
Everyone agreed it had been a great day indeed.
Sunday was just as nice. Ken & Terry unfortunately had to head home early. Lorna & Neil went off to do Beinn Fhionlaidh & Sgurr na h'Ulaidh. Neil obviously trying to be a good influence on Lorna, in the bagging stakes. It didn't work though, they only did Beinn Fhionlaidh. However, what Lorna lacked in stamina, she made up for in guile. Heading back up on Wednesday to do Sgurr na h'Ulaidh, without Neil !
The Macraes went up the Lost Valley. Calum went for a run early on Sunday morning, and was joined by Fiona & Heather for some fishing in Loch Ba in the afternoon. The Strachans went up the Pap of Glen Coe, managing to avoid the braying Geoffreys.
Robert and Catherine did a south to north traverse of the Buachaille, making 4 Munros in total for Catherine this weekend. At that rate, she'll have them all done in about 18 months ...
Click here for some pictures.