Log 10 May 2013

RATAGAN WEEK-END 10-12 MAY 2013

This was one of the largest week-end gatherings the Club has had, with 16 in the party for all or some of the time.   So many hills were climbed by ever changing groups, that to detail them all would take too long, so this is simply an overview.

The weather affected us all wherever we were, and was the same story over the whole area.   Friday morning was dry, with rain driven by a very cold wind starting at 16:00, and going on very heavily until 10:00 on Saturday.   There was a gradual improvement until at noon there was beautiful sunshine.   14:00 to 16:00 was marked by freezing rain, hail, sleet and, on the higher ground some snow.   Sunset from the hostel was spectacular with the lower slopes of the Five Sisters looking as though they were floodlit in the deep pink rays of the setting sun projected up the loch.   Sunday dawned mild and calm, giving those who were leaving for home a half day of dry weather before they had to get in their cars.   From noon onwards the wind increased greatly in strength, driving torrential freezing rain and the portent of the large dump of snow that was to come overnight and into the morning.   There were brief interludes of sun coming through the looming clouds.   The past three weeks had been dry, so the earlier snow was largely away from the hills, and the underfoot conditions were good.

 Allan, Fraser and Donald;  Eunice and John; Alex and Kevin; Phil and Iain; Steve and Stuart; Ian Gilmour and Ron; Noelle and Keith;  Dave.   These were the members, listed by carload as they made their way there.  
All were in the SYHA hostel apart from Ian, who was able to join at a late date, and had to book into a hotel for the Friday, and Dave, who had a long camping trip planned for Friday and Saturday.

Munros claimed included CISTE DHUBH, AONACH MEADHOIN, SGURR A’BHEALAICH DHEIRG and SAILEAG; SGURR NA SGINE and THE SADDLE; SGRITHEALL; BEINN FHADA; CARN GHLUASAID, SGURR NAN CONBHAIREAN and SAIL CHAORAINN.   Corbetts featured BEINN LOINNE; SGURR MHIC BHARRAICH;  SGURR AN AIRGID; SGURR GAORSAIC; BEINN NE H-EAGLAISE and BEINN NAN CAORACH (Arnisdale); AONACH BUIDHE and FAOCHAIG (Iron Lodge) with SGUMAN COINNTICH;  AN RUADH STAC (Strathcarron).   Grahams CARN MHIC AN TOISICH (North of Glen Morriston) and CARN NA BREABAIG (Iron Lodge).    Throw in a pre breakfast walk up ‘a wee Marilyn above Dornie’ by Alex on the Monday morning, and you note that a poor weather forecast was no hindrance to the team, and the Glenelg Brochs were still worth a visit.

Cycles were used to reach Carn Mhic an Toisich and hills near Iron Lodge. On the Saturday it was remarkable that without any chance of mobile phone contact, five members doing four different walks in Glen Elchaig were able to meet up around 18:00 to return in Allan’s car.   One was Dave, who had walked in from Morvich on the Friday via Falls of Glomach and Iron Lodge, to camp high up in the hills, and then traverse three Corbetts to come down at Killilan.    He was driven round to pick up his own car, and then joined the party in the hostel, where his kit could be dried off.  His own more specific report is appended below.   
The SYHA hostel was an ideal base, with hot showers, effective drying facilities, and a comfortable setting for newer members and longer standing ones to meet and get to know each other.   Clearly Munro tallies were given a boost, Allan got nearer his Corbett completion, and overall it was physically and socially a great success.
Report by Fraser Gold

 
Friday
Car parked at Morvich at 12.15 walked for 7 hrs approx 15km past Falls of Glomach via Iron Lodge to bealach between Aonach Buidhe and Faochaig.  Pitched tent in pouring rain. Weather rained from 2.00pm and all night.
 
Saturday
Up at 5.30 and climbed Aonach Buidhe reaching summit at 6.45.  Back to bealach, unpitched tent and headed up excellent stalkers path to Faochaig, summiting at 10.00. Headed west to Sguman Coinntich at 2.00pm. Descended to road at Killilan arriving at 4.30pm and awaited lift from Allan & co.  Total distance approx 17km.  Total time 11hrs.  Weather showers all day.
Report by Dave Kingswood