Log 17 June 2012

MUIR COTTAGE 15 – 17 JUNE 2012
Derek McGaw drove his son and daughter, Stuart and Kirsty from Dundee on Friday evening.
Derek Hall took Fraser and Allan and cycles on Friday morning.
Noelle took Laurence, Sue and her bike on Friday morning.
Donald took Ron, Malcolm, Kevin and Andy on Friday morning.
On Friday Donald’s group took in MILLSTONE HILL and OXEN CRAIG OF BENNACHIE;  Noelle’s CONACHRAIG and LOCHNAGAR in unpleasant, even wintry conditions, while Derek’s made a quick visit to the Edradour Distillery to purchase taster bottles, and Fraser went as fast as possible over BLATH BHALG, a deceptive little hill with several tops.
Saturday was wet, cold and with very low cloud. Although the wind was not as bad as forecast, Malcolm ventured the view that conditions were the worst he had ever known, walking on the Invercauld  Corbetts of CARN LIATH  and CULARDOCH.   Fraser cycled up Glen Ey to the ruined Altanour lodge and then set off for a round of the totally obscured Beinn Iutharn Mhor.  After over an hour of map and compass walking, as the visibility dropped to less than 100 metres, and the persistent rain became heavy, he cut his losses and returned to Muir to chop wood and set the fire.   Derek McG, Kirsty and Stuart drove to the Glen Muic car park, and climbed CONACHRAIG, giving the young ones a chance to test their navigation skills, before picking up Sue from her cycle ride.   Noelle drove Donald and they did BEINN GHUIBHAIS together, Donald being dropped of to do COYLES OF MUICK, while Noelle drove on to do MORVEN (Sheet 37 NJ 37671 04012) and then picked up Donald again.    Laurence, Ron and Andy walked out via Derry Lodge and climbed CARN A’MHAIM, at which point Laurence went back, the other two pressing on to BEN MACDUI.   They were pleased to find Derek McG out with the car at the Linn of Dee car park at 20:30 looking for them and offering a lift the last mile or so. 
The cyclists did rather better, Allan and Derek Hall making a circuit, of Loch Muic, which involved carrying the bikes for about one and a half miles at the far end.   Sue cycled through the Balmoral estate without mishap, although she was challenged on the approach to the castle, and on to Ballater and Aboyne, returning by the Deeside Way along the old railway line, being picked up in Ballater by Derek, Kirsty and Stuart.
Sunday was a much finer day.   Due to other commitments, Noelle, Sue and Laurence drove home fairly early.   Donald took his passengers to  have a very short walk on MEALL ALVIE before driving home.   Allan and Fraser parked by Braemar Golf Club and ascended MORRONE, descending by the same route, and with Derek, they set off for home, stopping at the Bridge of Calley for food and drink.   On Morrone, they met up with Derek, Stuart and Kirsty, Derek driving round to pick his family up at the end of the vehicle track up to the masts.

If the weather was disappointing on the first two days, the social enjoyment in Muir Cottage was outstanding, enhanced on the last night by Laurence’s display of card tricks.   
We all want to return in two years.
Composite report by Fraser Gold