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updated 18 Dec 2018

14th April 2012 - Steall Hut, Glen Nevis 

The winding path to Steall should not be taken lightly or rather darkly so 'head torched up' we met in the car park around 11pm. The we are Danny, Colin, me (Terry), Ken, Dave and our glorious Meet Secretary, the incomparable Lucy Murdoch.  

Pitching up in full dark at the famous wire bridge, I for one was glad it wasn't raining. Dave (in the way only Dave can) decided chucking boulders in the water as you cross was just the thing to bring a laugh to the situation. I didn't laugh as the bag swinging in front of me obscured my view of the foot wires, but the splashes let me know what lay below I suppose.  

Some joker had thought it a wheeze to smash his way in to the hut and leave the, not too clean to begin with, place in a right old mess. Then he wrote a cheeky note blaming the Tourist Information at Fort William, for telling him it was 'open' and to ‘send the bill to them’. I think we all (Lucy included) thought of 'knackers in clamps' scenarios, but somewhere in this world there is a smug git with little conscience. What can you say?  

Mouse droppings covered just about every surface and most of the crockery and cutlery. So Colin (aka.....Durty Mcgreegor) advised us all on a quick and effortless sterilising method, ‘boil water and chuck them all in’. We all helped tidy up a bit - by the light of head torches - as no mantles meant no gas lighting. Using the somewhat dilapidated gas cookers we got some water boiled, sorted out some washing up liquid and clothes and managed to get the place looking a wee bit liveable.  

We woke to a mixed looking day, weather wise, and whilst Murdoch and Co boasted about the huge day they had in store: up over all four tops of the Grey Corries and back along Glen Nevis. Ken was the good friend who accompanied me on a new approach, for him, to Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag (his third time I believe). This was indeed designed to be another two ticks in my Munro bag and whilst Murdoch wittered on with his ‘tick, tick, tick,tick, ticking’ chant, I set off happy in the knowledge that I would soon be within hairs' breath of two hundred. C'monyabeauty!  

Being the fount of much mountain knowledge, Colin gave Ken and me some valuable directions (he has his uses) and on snow covered hills we had a spectacular day. The weather was changeable; being both dull and snowy then clear and brilliant. The col which tops the Ailt Coire Giubhsachan lead us up to a steep ridge, which rises to the plateau of Aonach Mor and some serious ice axe work was needed getting up there, this over a mixture of ice and powdery snow. But the bursts of sunshine and cracking views made it all pretty exhilarating. I hadn't seen The Ben from this angle before and it looked powerful and majestic to say the least. Then in cracking conditions the slog between 'Mor and Beag' in deep crispy snow was taxing but splendid.  

Colin, Danny, Dave and Lucy ascended up to Sgurr Connich Beag and along the tops of the Grey Corries, including Stob Ban, doing it all in impressive time. Danny wasn't happy with this easy day out and so decided running through the burn rather than over the wire bridge would wet his feet up nicely for the day ahead. They all set about it like people possessed or rather like those running a marathon in the Alps shortly (who may also be possessed!?). Their day was of course similar to ours, the weather helped highlight what we all know in our bones; we live in the finest land on the planet and oor hills are the best.  

Lucy reckoned the 'long boggy walk out' was as hard as doing the hills and as she sloped of to a relatively early bed, she was followed by Ken and Danny. It was left to me to bear sober witness to the late night drunken blabberings of Murdoch and Mcgreegor. Which means of course, it was a fine end to a very enjoyable day in just the manner which we all know and love so well.  

Dave and Lucy undertook to write letters to the hut custodian, mentioning the problems, I can think of no more tactful or considerate persons for the job (well Lucy anyway...). Hut problems aside the weather made for a great time and only homeward bound traffic problems at Crianlarich scraped a little of the shine off of a good meet.  

Terry Quinn

Click here for some pictures.