We celebrated 40 years of the Ancrum Mountaineering Club at the weekend.
For some peace and quiet (they are a rowdy lot the Ancrum) I opted to stay down the road at the Shiel Bridge campsite rather than stay at the centre where the majority of members stayed.
I departed from Fife on the Friday morning, got to Perth to pick up a friend and realised that I had left the homemade soup for Saturday’s celebratory meal at home! A quick dash south then back up to Perth was required. By now it was lunchtime so we headed into Tisos for a bite to eat (resisted the temptation to spend money on outdoor toys and goodies). Next stop was the Spean Bridge Woollen Mill for a quick coffee before the final section of the journey through Glen Garry and over to Moriston Bridge. Weather took a turn for the worse and heavy rain accompanied us through Glen Shiel (not a good start to the weekend). Arrived at Morvich late afternoon.
Friday evening was spent catching up with old acquaintances as a number of past members were joining us for the weekend, and making plans for the Saturday. Weather forecast was a bit uncertain, high winds and possibilities of heavy showers. Settled on the “Three Brothers” (well probably just two of them) as this didn’t seem to be an overly committing day out.
Returned to the campsite. During the night the wind got up and much rain was lashing the tent. This didn’t seem good for the next day!
Saturday morning was a bit “so so”, so four of us opted for a Plan B, the corbett of Am Bathach next to the Three Brothers, almost opposite the Cluanie Inn. The walk up the hill was very enjoyable on a grassy hill path with views across Loch Cluanie and north to Affric increasing the higher up we got. One heavyish shower on the way up and a bit breezy but not overly windy. We had lunch at the summit in the shadow of Ciste Dubh.
With plenty of time for exploration we varied the route back to the road by descending north west to the Bealach a Chòinich, then traversed along the hillside to pick up a path alongside the Allt a’ Chaorainn Bhig which eventually brought us back to the roadside a short distance from where we had parked. Of course after all that hard work some sustenance was required so a visit to the Cluanie Inn for Tea and scones was in order.
Other groups spent the day tackling Sgurr na Sgine, A’Glas bheinn and one group went over to Skye for coffee at Portree and the Storr.
Saturday evening was of course the birthday party for which members of the club provided a rather good celebratory meal. My own contribution was lentil and carrot soup which was accompanied by Dave T’s garlic bread. Two other soups were available, these being Liz’s vegetable soup and Sue’s butternut squash and corriander. All garnished with fresh herbs from my garden! The main course was a choice of one (or both as most of us did) of Jim’s chilli con carne or Gareth’s chick pea curry. Rice, naan bread and poppadoms were the accompaniments. Finally the dessert course was a choice (0r both) of Karen’s raspberry and blueberry pavlova or Tim’s special 40th anniversary cake! It’s amazing what cooking talent we have in the club – pity there’s not a Master Chef competition for mountaineering clubs, we would win it every time!