1891 Easter, Dalmally
The 1891 Easter Meet at Dalmally was held in wintry and inclement weather. Personnel included: Prof Ramsay (President, front, 3rd from left), Ernest Maylard (Hon. Secretary, back, 4th from right); and Messrs Rolland, Robertson, Douglas, Rennie, Thomson, Munro (front, 2nd from left), Campbell, Lester, Stott (1st Editor of the SMCJ, front, 1st from left), and JH Gibson (described as an Alpine Club man.
Expeditions made included an attempt at the infamous 'Black Shoot.' Front L to R: Stott, Munro, Ramsay, R.A. Robertson, Gibson, Rennie. Rear, L to R: Lester, Campbell, Maylard.
1891, May, Dalwhinnie
Held at the beginning of May, there was still much snow lying and a heavy snowfall the first night added to the fun for walking. Personnel present were L to R: Stott, Rennie, Gibson, Hinxman & Munro.
1892 January, Brodick
Held on the Isle of Arran from Jan 29th to the 31st, this meet was attended by R.A. Robertson, J.G. Stott, W.
Douglas, J.H. Gibson, T. Fraser S. Campbell (members) and two friends, Dr Leith & Hamilton Fleming. This shows a
rare photograph of Stott, 1st Editor of the SMC Journal, as he was just about to leave for New Zealand, never to
Arrangements for accommodation were left late, with a telegram arriving ten minutes before the arrival of the
steamer. They finally secured dinner and, with a dram of Macdonald's whisky, they listened to the wind and rain
outside. On Sunday morning, when the photograph was almost certainly taken, the weather was much improved. 'The
ragged peak of Goatfell stood out sharp and clear against a frosty sky, a few long streaks of snow marking the
seams upon its eastern face, while at its foot the bay stretched placid as a lake, and glistening in the morning
Stott was recovering from a recent illness and took it easy, Douglas ascended Cir Mhor from the end of the ridge
of A' Cir, while the rest tried the A' Cir ridge (note: this is now spelled A' Chir). They failed to cross what is
now called the 'mauvais pas', making a descent on the Glen Rosa side with the protection of a ring peg. Re-
ascending the rocks on the other side, Gibson was invited to inspect the gap with a rope as protection. This he
successfully did, but the hour was late and the party descended to the glen and hence to the hotel as darkness
In the photo that's Stott with the fine moustache 2nd L, Gibson the hard man of the party far right. R.A.
Robertson in the middle. Campbell reported the meet.
1893 Easter, Dundonell
Although Easter, this was an informal meet, with the objective being to climb and photograph the Teallachs. As you might guess from the photograph, the weather was awful, with high wind and rain much of the time. Personnel included: Thomson, Naismith, Munro, Rennie and W. Wickham King (you try and identify them - by now you'll have had some practice!)
1894 Easter, Inveroran Inn
The famous SMC meet at Easter 1894, at the Inveroran Inn. It was from this meet that Collie moved onto Fort
William and, in company with his friends Godfrey Solly and Joseph Collier, made the first ascent and FWA of Tower
Ridge, on the 30th March, 1894. That's Solly in the centre back, wearing a deerstalker hat.
Left to Right: James Maclay, Willie Douglas, D.A. Forbes, Dr Collier, G.G. Ramsay, T. Fraser S. Campbell, G.A.
Solly, L.W. Hinxman, Charles C.B. Moss, J. Rennie, F.O. Bower, W. Ramsay, J. Norman Collie and H.C. Boyd.
1894 New Year, Dalmally
The 1894 New Year Meet at Dalmally ('snug Dalmally'), as in the SMC club song, began on Saturday, the 30th
December, with, gathered round the smoking-room fire that evening - Messrs Boyd, Scott (guest), Douglas, Maclay,
Parker, Rennie, A.E. Robertson, Tough, Burnett (guest), W. Brown, and Fraser Campbell.
It is astonishing to read that by this time Dalmally 'had now become to a great extent an exhausted centre , all
the principal ascents - Cruachan, Beinn Eunaich, Beinn a Chochuill, and Ben Lui, with their various faces, peaks,
spurs, and shoots - having been climbed in every weather and at every season by more than one even of those
present upon this occasion.'
Several good days were had, culminating in a traverse of Cruachan on the Monday by Brown, Parker, Tough, and
Burnett. 'Beautiful weather was experienced until Drochaid Glas was reached, about 3 p.m., where the climbers were
struck by a blizzard, which, as these notes are being compiled, still wreaks its vengeance alike upon the just and
upon the unjust.'
Tough and Brown, incidentally, left their name on the Tough-Brown Traverse on Lochnagar, with Tough's name being
pronounced 'Tooch'. From L to R we identify: Douglas, ?, Brown, T.F.S. Campbell, ?, Boyd, ?, ?, ?, Parker, Maclay.
1895 New Year, Tarbet
The opening of the West Highland Railway prompted the club to hold the New Year Meet 1895 at The Tarbet Hotel,
Loch Lomond. In all there were 12 present: Boyd, Douglas, Maclay, Maylard, Naismith (back, 3rd from right),
Parker, Rennie, A.E. Robertson (that's him, 2nd left - he probably took the photograph by remote control, hence
the apprehensive look, or entrusted his precious plate camera to someone else), Rose & Thomson , members; James
Drummond and Alex. Taylor, guests. The Arrochar Alps were, naturally, clambered all over. Snow fell on the 28th
December, as though organised, and the weather slumped again on 2nd January.
Sitting L to R: Thomson, Maclay, Boyd. Standing L to R: ?, A.E. Robertson, ?, Rennie, Maylard, Naismith, ?, Parker
1896 Easter, Fort William
This is a great group photograph, containing such SMC luminaries as: Naismith, Douglas, Raeburn (cross-legged,
right), Hinxman, Thomson, Rennie and William Inglis Clark (the trio sitting on the left-hand gatepost include
Naismith [centre] and Clark [right]). As to the doings of this meet, it was a classic, with five ascents of Tower
Ridge, and, on Friday, 3rd April, the first winter ascent of the North-East Buttress, by Willie Naismith, W.
Brunskill, A.B.W. Kennedy, William Wickham King, and Frances Conradi Squance. Your man Raeburn was a guest at this
meet, and began his Nevis routes with an ascent of the Direct Route on the Douglas Boulder. The Boulder (a mere
700ft in height) was of course named after Willie Douglas, the ever-popular Editor of the club journal, from 1892
Present: Sitting: Howie, ?, Boyd, Raeburn, ?. Standing: ?, Maclay, ?, Phillip, ?, Hinxman, Thomson, ?, Rennie,
Douglas, Squance. Gateposting: ?, Naismith, Clark, King,?, ?.
1897 Easter, Yacht Meet
This was indeed a special occasion, when the SMC organised a yachting meet on the S.S. Erne. The weather was not
favourable, but from the S.S. Erne, climbs were made at Rum, Loch Hourn, Loch Nevis, Ballachulish and Jura. The
indomitable Harold Raeburn was there, in fact, along with his brother John, he was a skilled racing yachtsman,
with a cup named the Raeburn Trophy in their honour still being raced for by members of the Royal Forth Yachting
Club, based in Granton. He's the one lounging casually on the port gunwhale.
It was Raeburn who wrote in 1903: ‘To beat to windward against a strong wind and heavy sea, has something akin to
the feeling of fighting one’s way up the ice pitches in a snow gully, or difficult traverses on a steep rock
1897 New Year, Loch Awe
Seeing the New Year in at Loch Awe were - Sitting: a black dog, Naismith, Rennie. Standing L to R: Raeburn,
Douglas, Thomson, ? Maylard, Munro.
Raeburn appears to have some cotton wool in his ear (perhaps he was not a fan of Munro's flute playing), Naismith
obviously likes dogs, while one wonders what goodies Munro had in his large sac (Hill Lists perhaps?)
1899 Easter, Kinlochewe
Easter at Kinlochewe, 30th March to 6th April. A quote from the Meet's report in the SMCJ provides a flavour: 'But
bad weather has never yet been able to cast a gloom over an S.M.C. Meet, and the evenings, enlivened by Rennie at
the piano, the sweet tones of the ex-President's flute [Munro], and last, but not least, the good old Club Song,
were as genial and festive as ever.
Despite the poor weather, Inglis Clark and Glover made an impressive first ascent of a rock climb on the cliffs of
Beinn Mhuinidh, above the head of Loch Maree. The Waterfall Climb was on 300 feet of very steep quartzite, and
Inglis Clark, well ahead of modern trends, had spent a day photographing and studying the waterfall and cliffs,
working out a line.
Present at the Meet - Standing: H.T. Munro, R.A. Robertson, H.G.S. Lawson, G.T. Glover, F.C. Squance.
Sitting: D.S. Campbell, J.Rennie, L. Hinxman (on window), D. Mackenzie, W. Douglas (on window), W.I. Clark, T.
Gibson, W.N. Ling. (And could that be the proprietess Mrs Macdonald peeking out of the window?) Photo: William N.
Ling, SMC Collection.
1899 Easter, Kinlochewe (2)
As a bonus, we have two photographs of the 1899 Easter Meet at Kinlochewe, presumably to add several members who missed the first occasion. Present - Standing: D.S. Campbell, G.T. Glover (sitting in window), W.N. Ling, R.A. Robertson, F.C. Squance, J.G. Inglis, W. Douglas. The latter is anxiously lighting or puffing away at a cigarette, and it is consistently obvious in many of these early photographs just how prevalent this habit was.
Sitting: D. Mackenzie, L. Hinxman, W.I. Clark, J. Rennie, T. Gibson, H.G.S. Lawson. (No lady behind the window this time) Photo: J. Gall Inglis. SMC Collection.
1899 New Year, Tyndrum
The New Year Meet at Tyndrum in January 1899 had much snow but mist, wind and damp conditions prevailed. Members were: Inglis Clark, Corner, Douglas, Drummond, Inglis, Maclay, Munro, G. Parker, Raeburn, Squance & Thomson. Guests: Workman.
The first to arrive was Dr Corner, who on Tuesday was battered by a bad gale on Beinn Oss. On Friday 30th December 1898, Clark & Inglis, prompted by Raeburn's discoveries the previous year, explored the cliffs of Creag na Caillich on Tarmachan, making an ascent of the 100m Grade II Clark's Gully. On the Tuesday Maclay's party enjoyed a climb on the West Face of Beinn a' Chaisteal. In the photo that's Douglas and Raeburn on the left, with Raeburn befriending a collie.
1900 Easter, Kinlochewe
The Easter Meet of 1900 was held at Kinlochewe, from 12-17 April. A.M. Mackay reported on it, and began wittily thus:- '...Munro forming a fringe of one at each end. (He was found in his slippers and left in bed.)...
The meet included: The President (A. E. Maylard, the glum-looking one sitting left), L.W. Hinxman, J. Rennie, W.W. Naismith, W. Douglas, H.T. Munro, H. Raeburn (like the hat..), H.G.S. Lawson, W.N. Ling, J.A. Parker, Mackenzie, J.G. Inglis, H.C. Boyd, F.C. Squance, A.M. Mackay, and a guest, Mr Cookson.
Various hills were ascended, including A' Mhaigdean (Lawson, Ling & Munro), which Munro found to be over 3,000 feet high and a considerable distance away. It's still a considerable distance away.
Another party had fun on the icy Northern Pinnacles of Liathach, reaching the last top an hour after sunset, and the hotel at 11 p.m.
1901 Easter, Fort William
This was the third occasion on which the SMC had gathered for a meet in Fort William, with the meet spanning the
4th to the 9th April 1901. Eventually a total of 31 were present, including - The President (A.E. Maylard), Bower,
Campbell, Clark, Douglas, Glover, Halkett, Hinxman, Howie, Inglis, Lawson, Ling, Mackay, Maclay, Meares, Munro,
Penney, Raeburn, Rennie, Rohde, Solly, Squance, Thomson, and Workman, and guests, Messrs Goggs, Robertson,
Mounsey, Nettleton, Marlier, Marples, Reddie.
The Ben was in hard conditions, with much loose, drifting snow. So poor, indeed, that only Castle Ridge was
attempted and climbed by two parties. A second ascent of Observatory Gully was made, and there was an unsuccessful
attempt at Observatory Buttress! This latter resulted in a nocturnal descent of the Ben by a new route, somewhere
considerably to the south of the pony track, with an arrival at the hotel at 11 p.m. by Raeburn, Douglas, Rennie &
Finally, a bouquet to the Alexandra Hotel, with a note concerning 'the sunny smile and genial bonhomie of the
waiter lent an additional charm to the morning and evening hours.' The report writer was L.W. Hinxman.
1902 Easter, Aviemore
H.C. Boyd, W. Douglas, J.W. Drummond, G. Duncan, T. Gibson, G.T. Glover, F.S. Goggs, L.W.
Hinxman, W.L. Howie, J.G. Inglis, W.W. King, H. Kynaston, H.G.S. Lawson, W.N. Ling, A.M.
Mackay, D. Mackenzie, J. Maclay, A.E. Maylard, T. Meares, W.A. Mounsey, W.W. Naismith, J.A.
Parker, H. Raeburn, J. Rennie, G.A. Solly, F.C. Squance, H. Squance, G. Thomson, H. Walker,
Guests: S.A. Gillon, Gunn, Leathart, R. Worsdell
The weather was not of the best, though better than the average for an Easter Meet (though on
the Saturday so much snow fell that 'only half-a-dozen men left the hotel before lunch.' Sgòran
Dubh provided several climbs, including the south ridge of No. 1 Buttress by Kynaston, Mounsey
and Raeburn. They must have met with some difficulties as it took them six hours. Raeburn was
on the ascent of three other buttresses here, with various partners. One member of a party
became seprated from the others in a blizzard on Ben Macdhui, but all eventually returned to
the hotel unhurt. Indoors the Meet was also a great success, with a new item being a ping-pong
tournament on the Saturday (won by Mackay). Dr Inglis Clark was feted for his success in
arranging the meet, and sadly missed as he was unable to attend due to illness.
1903 Easter, Sligachan
Easter 1903 was held at Sligachan, on the Isle of Skye. This photograph was almost certainly taken on the ferry.
To get that far, 'The transit from Edinburgh to Portree was accomplished in the smoothest possible manner in about
twelve hours, and at a phenomenally low cost. All difficulties disappeared before the organising genius of the
Secretary. A saloon carriage served as sleeping, smoke, and map room until Crianlarich, when it began to be used
for the purposes of a Highland breakfast, a somewhat lengthy operation.' Changed days.
The Cuillin were plastered in snow, and snow and hail continued to fall that April. The meet began on about Friday
the 10th, and went on to Monday the 20th. Munro claimed to have travelled 800 miles to be there, and there were
certainly several from as far as London.
Present: D.S. Campbell, Inglis Clark, Douglas, Goggs, Howie, Inglis, Ling, Mackenzie, Macmillan, Maylard, Meares,
Munro, Nettleton, parker, Raeburn, Rennie, Rev. A.E. Robertson, Ewen Robertson, W.C. Smith (the Prezzie), C.W.
Walker, Harry Walker, members; and Bennett Smith and Worsdell, guests.
That's Inglis Clark, sitting far left, Raeburn at the back, 3rd from right, while you can sort out the other
moustaches and beards...
1904 New Year, Fort William
The 32nd Meet of the SMC enjoyed a record number of those present. Indeed, there were worries that accommodation
in future might be difficult. In summary, 30 men were climbing for four days, and no wet feet were reported! A
hard frost and snow above 3,000 feet only limited glissading and skiing. Those present: Messrs Gilbert Thomson,
Maclay, Inglis Clark, G. Napier, Goggs, Bell (John H, not the later JHB), James Burns, Gillon, Goodeve, Hill,
Inglis, Lester, Meares, Munro, Morrison, MacIntyre, Macmillan, Newbigging, Parr, Raeburn, Rennie, Robertson, H.
Walker, C. Walker, and Wigner - members; and John Burns, C. Clark, Macharg, Unna, and Waugh - guests.
As to routes, one immediately wonders what Raeburn got up to. On Friday Jan 1st, Maclay, Raeburn, and the Walkers
made the 1st WA of N. Trident Buttress, now a Grade III. They first-footed the Observatory, being the first guests
of the year, and enjoyed a welcome from the observer in charge, Mr the Cook, and the famous cat. The next day,
Bell, Napier, Raeburn & Rennie took the 7 a.m. ferry to Corran, and climbed the Great Ridge on Garbh Bheinn. They
missed the return steamer by an hour. The ferry made the crossing in rough water. On the Sunday, Rennie, Raeburn &
Wigner intended to try the North-East Buttress on Nevis, but fierce winds forced a change and they traversed to
Tower Gap and up the gap and ridge to the top.
1905 Easter, Kingshouse Hotel
The Easter Meet of 1905 was divided between Sligachan and the Kingshouse Hotel, Glen Coe. As the weather was
'practically dry', the group of 15 esconced at the Kingshouse, '...an unpretentious but most comfortable inn...'
enjoyed a good meet. Present were: Burns, Grove, Gall Inglis, Maclay, Moore, Naismith, Morrison, Nelson,
Newbigging, Rohde, and Gilbert Thomson (members), and J.K.H. Inglis, W.G. Macalister, A.S. Macharg, and James A.
Mackenzie (guests). The dates were Thursday, 20th April to Tuesday, 25th April.
On the Friday the Buachaille was climbed by four parties. Maclay, Rohde and Macharg climbed Crowberry Ridge,
'turning the sensational traverse by going into the gully on the right.' It was only back at the hotel that they
learned that the now famous Abraham brothers' traverse went left. Obviously irked by this, on the Saturday Maclay
& Rohde, accompanied by Naismith & Thomson, returned to Crowberry Ridge, but this time were foiled by a snowfall.
The same day a larger party traversed most of the Aonach Eagach, finding in a cairn on the summit of Meall Dearg
the empty champagne bottle with a card in it left by A.E. Robertson when he finished bagging his Munros.
North Buttress on the Buachaille was climbed by several routes during this meet.
1905 Easter, Sligachan
The other half of the Easter, 1905 meet was at Sligachan on Skye. Members present were: J. Rennie (President),
D.S. Campbell, W. Inglis Clark, W. Douglas, T.E. Goodeve, W. Lamond Howie, W.N. Ling, R. Macdonald, J.H.A.
McIntyre, D. Mackenzie, A.E. Maylard, T. Meares, H.T. Munro, J.A. Parker, H. Raeburn, W.C. Slingsby, G.A. Solly,
F.C. Squance, Harry Walker. Guests: J.J. Brigg, W.A. Brigg, Eric Greenwood, Erik Ullen, and C. Clark.
The weather was cold and windy but good enough for the Cuillins to be soundly traversed, crossed, circumnavigated
and generally given a good old-fashioned going over by the meet.
Photo: Sitting - G.A. Solly, ?, J. Rennie. Standing - J.A. Parker, W.N. Ling,?, W. Lamond Howie, A.E. Maylard, ?,
1906 Easter - Ballachulish, Clachaig & Kingshouse
A large meet, spread out over the Glen Coe area, with some 38 members and 11 guests in all. 'The President [John Rennie] was gratified at finding himself supported by a galaxy of past and present office-bearers...' Indeed, as the photograph indicates, no less luminaries were present as Munro, Collie, Douglas, maclay, Maylard, Naismith, Raeburn, Robertson, Inglis Clark, Goggs, Goodeve, Ling, Squance, Slingsby, Solly, Thomson, Unna and others. Mixed weather throughout the meet slowed explorations, and Raeburn especially must have been frustrated with conditions, failing to get up Church Door Buttress for example. At the Kingshouse, 'The evening hours passed quickly in a variety of games, in which the Hon. Librarian [Frank Goggs] added to his other honours the proud title of Frog King...'
1907 Easter, Inchnadamph
'Not for twelve years has an Easter Meet of the Club been favoured with such ideal weather as that which attended
the Meet at Inchnadamph this year. Glorious sunshine and blue skies prevailed throughout the gathering. For
similar weather conditions at Easter, the memories of Clubmen had to go back to the halcyon days at Inveroran in
1894, and the first Fort-William Meet in 1895.'
So began the report of this meet, attended by 18 in total: Lieut.-Colonel Farquhar, Messrs D.S. Campbell, W.
INglis Clark, W. Douglas, S.A. Gillon, T.E. Goodeve, A. Harker, W.L. Howie, W.N. Ling, A.M. Mackay, D. MacKenzie,
H.T. Munro, H. Raeburn, E.B. Robertson, G.A. Solly, Harry Walker & H.C. Boyd (members), and Mr Collins (non-
The 'big' route of the meet was the ascent of the Barrel Buttress of Sail Garbh on Quinag, climbed by Raeburn,
Ling & Mackay on Monday, 1st April. It is interesting to note that, '...after an unsuccessful attempt, the party
descended and reached the top by a side route. Then, descending once more, they rejoined the first line of ascent,
and re-ascending they completed the climb by the original direct route.'
There are two photos of this meet. In the first one shown here, a healthy-looking Raeburn is on the left, with
Douglas, Ling and Goodeve? on the wall.
1910 Easter, Kingshouse Hotel
Seven members and five guests began gathering here on Thursday 24th March, ending up with Members: F.C. Squance, J.Gall Inglis, H. MacRobert, W.G. Macalister, R. Arnold Brown, J.R. Young & J.H. Buchanan. Guests: E.P. Buchanan, A.K. Reid, R. Watson, J. Watson & the Trostsky look-alike H.B. Widdows.
This year the SMC split the Easter Meet, with the main body staying at Kinlochewe. The weather was fairly good in Glen Coe, with Monday being the best day - and night - when the Aurora Borealis provided a grand show in the night sky.
Perhaps the hardest day was enjoyed by MacRobert & Brown, who attempted Crowberry Ridge. They were foiled further up the Shelf by icy slabs and were forced to retreat (an escapade repeated some 27 years later by Bill Murray and party!)
In the photo, MacRobert, Gall Inglis and Squance are easily picked out in front. Arnold Brown (young, centre parting, carrying a rope) stands behind MacRobert. Raeburn was conspicuous by his absence, having suffered broken ribs in a fall on Stuc a' Chroin the previous month.
1921 New Year, Fortingall
Most members went to Killin for New Year, 1921; only three were at Fortingall - G. Ednie, J. Gall Inglis & J.A.
Parker. Local hills such as Schiehallion, the Carn Mairig group, and Ben Lawers were climbed in poor weather and
next to no snow.We don't seem to have a photo of the main meet however. This photo shows more than three; perhaps
they were being visited by some from the Killin section.
1924 Easter, Braemar
The Easter, 1924 Meet was split between Braemar and Tyndrum; it seems as if the former attracted the walkers while the latter the younger climbers. At Braemar the dates were from April 17th to 26th. In all there were 25 members and 14 guests at the Fife Arms, Braemar. The meet report is in the form of a ghastly poem, but personnel included: John Bell (President), Russell, Ling, Parker, Green, Glover, Thomson, Goggs, Walker, Low, Barlow, Garden, McCoss, Reid, MacRobert, Allan, Scott Snr, E. Robertson, Tomkinson, James Thomson, Jack, Meares, Brown, Rusk, Howard (members). Guests: Two Maclaurins, Taylor, Sharp, Cairns, Armour, Martin, Scott, Hardie, Drysdale, Wilson-Niven, Bartholomew (of the map family), Gilbert Thomson's son. The photo looks as if it was taken using a tripod on a slope, and here it has been straightened.
There is as yet no photograph of the Tyndrum Meet at the Tyndrum Hotel and Skelton Cottage, Crianlarich. Members present included: A.R. Anderson, J.H. Craig, A. Harrison, G. Murray-Lawson, L.R. Marshall, E.N. Marshall, D.H. Menzies, W.A. Morrison, A.J. Paton, A.G. Hutchison & R.N. Rutherford. Guests: J.A. Lyle, & T.E. Thomson, A.J. Frazer, E.A. Hutchison & K.N. Hunter.
From Tyndrum snow gullies were climbed on Ben Lui and Cruach Ardrain, while the Upper Couloir of Stob Ghabhar was attempted but abandoned due to melting ice.
1928 Easter, Kinlochewe
Easter 1928 at the Kinlochewe Inn began on Thursday, 5th April. In all, there were 21 SMC members and two guests,
including: F.S. Goggs (President), L.St C. Bartholomew, J.H.B. Bell (the wee Jimmy), J.F.A. Burt, J.R. Corbett
(yes, Mr Corbett himself), G.T. Glover, A.G. Hutchison, J.Gall Inglis, G. Murray Lawson, W.N. Ling, G.G. Macphee,
H. MacRoberts, R.W. Martin, M. Matheson, D.H. Menzies, I.B. Mowat, A.E. Robertson, R.N. Rutherford, G.Sang, Alan
G. Smith, and G.A. Solly, with guests J.H. Baxter & Victor A. Coates.The weather was mixed, with snow fading away
with a thaw. The meet report is over seven pages long, mainly of walks and easy snow gullies.
What is interesting about this meet is that new blood had appeared. Rutherford and Hutchison, for example, were
founder members of the JMCS some four years earlier - Macphee and Bell provided inspiration by example in the next
few years, while the older generation were well represented by the likes of Solly, Robertson Goggs etc.
There are two photos of this meet.
1931 Easter, Cluanie
Easter 1931 at Cluanie was held from Thursday, 2nd April through to the 7th, with a parallel meet at Tomdoun.
There is a photograph of the Cluanie group only. There was much snow, lying down to 500 feet.
Present at Cluanie: A.E. Robertson (President), J.L. Aikman, G. Barlow, J.W. Baxter, A. Dixon, G.T. Glover, G.E.
Howard, W.N. Ling, A.R. Muirhead, E.W. Steeple (members). J.A.E. Howard (guest).
Hillwalking and touring was the order of the meet. On Sunday morning there was some excitement as two telegrams
arrived, addressed to the S.M.C. The first asked for assistance to find two youths supposed to be lost on
Buachaille Etive. The second, sent some hours later, though delivered at the same time, cancelled the first, the
youths having turned up. Unfortunately, a member of the Club turned up for breakfast some time after the others
had left, and was shown the first telegram only. He was 'then allowed to thoroughly digest the unpleasing prospect
of a long drive breakfastless before the second message was displayed. An unkind trick this.'
This also shows the state of mountain rescue in the bad old days, when volunteers were hastily assembled by any
In the photo Glover and Ling (after whom the Ling Hut was of course named) are third and fourth Left, while
Robertson is on the right casually leaning on his stick. The lady could be Mrs Macdonald, wife of the proprietor.
The young chap (sticks out being young does'nt he?) is probably Howard Junior.
Present at Tomdoun Hotel were: Bartholomew, Corbett, Dow, Macphee, Matheson, Meldrum, Monro, Mowat, Solly, T.
Evershed Thomson, Unna (members) and A.S.L. Hamilton & W. Stanley Major (guests). Aikman and Baxter, who camped
out, were also present at the meet.
1932 Easter, Tomich
The Easter Meet in 1932 was based at Tomich Hotel, Glen Affric, a walker's paradise, from Friday 25th March to
Tuesday 29th. Present were: the rev. A.E. Robertson (President), Aikman, G. Anderson, A.E. Baker, C.E. Bell,
Arnold Brown, Ian Campbell, Glover, Stuart Jack, Ling, J.G. MacLean, H. MacRobert, Parker, Alan Smith, and Unna
(members). Guests were Peter Brown, A. Campbell, Davidson, and Ian Jack.
There were also one or two members at Invercannich Hotel. It is understood that their presence there was merely to
facilitate the supply of beer etc to Tomich, which was unlicensed. The following were seen from time to time in
the vicinity of the tap-room: Bartholomew, Corbett, Blackie, Burt, Elton, Gall Inglis, Jeffrey, Knox, Murray
Lawson, J.Y. MacDonald, Macphee, Martin,Matheson, J.A. Scott and E.C. Thomson. R.B. Neill and Hotchkis preserved a
dignified aloofness at Comar House.
Many hills were done, including Sgurr na Lapaich and the Mam Sodhail round. In the photo Robertson is wearing the
bunnet while Unna, the man responsible for the purchase and presentation to the nation of Glen Coe, is far left.
Glover, and another, 3rd and 5th from the left respectively, are interestingly wearing the first SMC tie, a fairly
hideous striped affair (it's now much more respectable, with muted crossed axes and thistle).
1933 June, Corrour
The arrival of the early morning train on Friday, 2nd June opened the Meet with Glover, Ling and Aikman who sped
off up Beinn Eibhinn, Aonach Beag and Geal-Chàirn. The main party arrived in the afternoon, and consisted of:
Harry MacRobert (President), S.F.M. Cumming, E.C. Thomson, T.Evershed Thomson, R.R. Elton, M. Matheson, J.S.M.
Jack, J. Dow, P. Donald, A. Dixon, R.W.B. Morris and J.H.C. MacLeod. Transport then carried them and their luggage
to Corrour Lodge, then owned by Sir John Stirling-Maxwell.
On Saturday Macphee arrived but missed the 'official' photograph session. Throughout the meet various hills were
climbed, including of course Ben Alder. Elton seems to have been an energetic walker, as on this day he did Beinn
Eibhinn, Aonach Beag, Geal-Chàirn, Càrn Dearg and Ben Alder, a day with five Munros and four tops.
On the Sunday, a glorious, hot, and sunny day, Dow struggled up his last Munro, the fourth SMC member to do so,
but the first without the aid of a beard. He wrote a popular article* in which, with much prescience, he listed
changes he thought might be made to the list of (then) 277 Munros. These changes included: An Teallach & Beinn
Eighe might each rank as three Munros; while both Buachailles of Etive, Bidean nam Bian and Liathach might in each
case rank as two Munros.
The Meet broke up on the Tuesday, with the last of the party catching the 5 p.m. train south.
*Those interested in pogonotrophy should read 'Munros, Beards and Weather', SMCJ 20, 1933, 113-118.
1936 Easter, Sligachan
Eight members and three guests attended the Easter, 1936 Meet to Sligachan, Skye, from the 9th to the 14th April.
In reporting this meet, S. Cumming remarked that of the 11, ten were from south of the border, while had the
company not been let down by one guest under 30, the average age would have been surprisingly high.
Present: Ex-Presidents W.N. Ling and G.T. Glover; F.D.C. Allen, E.A. Baker, J.R. Corbett, S. Cumming, H. Gardner,
P.J.H. Unna. Guests: J.M. Davidson, W.G. McClymont (Alpine Club and N.Z. Alpine Club), and S.P. Taylor. Another
member, Prof. E.C.C. Baly, although not officially at the Meet, was staying at Sligachan.
To this date, Skye had enjoyed a fortnight of perfect weather. The weather continued fair, if cold. On the
Thursday, Pinnacle Ridge was ascended and the Tourist Route descended. On the Friday Corbett and Unna had a long
day on Blaven. Saturday saw the 'Inaccessible' being bagged by Davidson, Allen & Taylor – also by the New
Zealander who shinnied up and down the short side in what seemed a minute or so.
The Cioch was climbed by two parties on the Sunday, by Ling, Glover & Allen, Davidson, Baker & Taylor. More ridges
were done on the Monday, with the meet breaking up on Tuesday the 14th.
There was a larger Easter Meet at Aviemore, with some 26 members present. There is no photograph here, with the
report stating that the Meet was not productive of any outstanding event.
1938 Easter, Ullapool
The Easter Meet of 1938, was held in two parts; the main part in Ullapool, the other in Fort William. In Ullapool,
based at the Royal Hotel, some 28 members and four guests enjoyed walking over the virtually snowless hills. The
climbers were based at Ft William.
Those present in Ullapool: P.J.H. Unna (President), J.L. Aikman, W.J.C. Ainslie, F.D. Campbell Allen, C.G.
Andrews, G. Arthur, L.St.C. Bartholomew, J.H. Baxter, J.F.A. Burt, I.M. Campbell, W.L. Coats, J.R. Corbett, J.
Dow, R.R. Elton, D.J. Fraser, H. Gardner, A. Geddes, G.T. Glover, J.Gall Inglis, R.M.G. Inglis, J.S. Jack, W.G.P
Lindsay, W.N. Ling, R.W.B. Morris, C.R. Steven, S. Pointon Taylor, W. Waddell & J.M. Wordie (members). Guests:
R.L. Beveridge, M. Cooke, C.D.L. Murray & C.M. Steven.
During the meet the rain stayed away, though not much blue sky was to be seen. The usual favourite hills in the
north-west were done; Cul Mor & Cul Beag, An Teallach, Ben More Coigach, Ben Dearg, Stack Polly, and many others.
Unna managed six consecutive days on the hill. That's Unna in the centre hiding behind his camera, with Glover on
his left wearing the club tie.
There is no photograph from the Fort William Meet. Present: N.L. Hird, R. Jeffrey, K.K. Hunter, A.J. Rusk, I.C.
Munro, Alex. Harrison (members), and R.L.Gwilt & J.E. MacEwan (guests). As with Ullapool, there was very little
snow on Nevis. G.G. Macphee and G.C. Williams were in the C.I.C. Hut along with eight guests. (Why the club meets
held at the C.I.C. Hut never seemed to be documented as 'official meets' has always been a mystery to the
webmaster at least, who has always looked on them as real meets.)
A new climb was made from this meet, when Macphee, R. Ashley & C.H. Oates (both Liverpool Univ. M.C.) climbed
Intermediate Gully to the left of Raeburn's Buttress on Càrn Dearg. Raeburn's Buttress and Jubilee Climb were also
climbed, though Gardyloo Gully defeated all.
1939 Easter, Cluanie
The Easter Meet of 1939 was held at two sites, Cluanie and Tomdown, from 6th April to 11th. At Cluanie were: Unna,
Glover, Ling, Arthur, Hird, Campbell-Allen, Pointon-Taylor, Gardner, Dixon & Burt. They had generally fine weather
with little snow. Ridge-walking and peak-bagging were the order of the day, with both sides of Glen Shiel taking a
At Tomdown 15 members and three guests were present: J.L. Aikman, E.A. Baker, I.M. Campbell, W.L. Coats, M.H.
Cooke, R.R. Corbett, S.F.M. Cumming, J.M. Davidson, A. Geddes, T.H. Gibson, E.W. Hodge, D.G. Kellock, R.W. Martin,
J.G. Osborne & T.E. Thomson (members), R. Tyssen-Gee, P.J.R. Heath & W.D.McKinlay (guests, the latter two J.M.C.S.
members). Again, ridge-walking was popular, with the South Cluanie Ridge, the ridge north of Glen Quoich, and
Gairich, Sgor na Ciche, Garbh Chioch Mhor etc being done.
As Europe, the the world, slide inexorably towards war, mountain activities lessened in frequency and activity.
Not only that, social habits changed or were dropped. SMC Meets were to continue, indeed they do to this day, but
after World War II a new scene appeared, with less emphasis on structured meetings and more informal gatherings
between smaller groups and partnerships. The JMCS had rapidly become the active force in Scottish mountaineering;
many of its members eventually joining the SMC.
With ex-WD equipment flooding the market place after the war and more leisure time gradually becoming available
there was an inevitable rise in the numbers leaving the cities at weekends to walk and climb. Perhaps as staying
at a hotel became less necessary and tents, huts, howffs, rocks and hedges became more popular, the formal setup
of a meets photograph disappeared. There are, however, three more to appear here; one old-style in the 1950s -
though on a hill, and one al fresco, taken in colour and on a summit, and one old-style setup in front of the
accommodation. It would be difficult to top the Ben Nevis photo, taken as it was on the summit!
1953 NewYear, Newtonmore
The 1953 New Year Meet at Newtonmore was attended by 30 members and 14 guests, with Graham Macphee as President.
Mere mortals included: R. Anderson, W.C. Carmichael, M.H. Cooke, A. Dixon, C. Dodgson, R.R. Elton, J.F. Hamilton,
P. Hartog, J.C. Henderson, R.S. Higgins, E.W. Hodge, J.S.M. Jack, R. Jeffrey, J.N. Ledingham, W.N. Ling, J.Y.
Macdonald, J.E. McEwen, D. McKellar, J.R. Marshall, W.H. Murray, F.E. O'Riordan, J. Neil Orr, G.S. Roger, Colin
Russell, W. Arnot Russell, D. Scott, T.E. Thomson, Tom Weir, J.D.B. Wilson (members), K. Armstrong, R. Buckland,
J. Douglas, Dunlop, W.L.G. Duff, J. Kerr, Macdonald, T. Mackie, I.D. McNicol, Muirhead, Moffat, Wallace, Orr,
Pigott, R. Tyssen-Gee & F. Wylie (guests). Whew!
On the main meet based in Newtonmore, most walked or skied in what gradually became perfect Alpine conditions.
In the Lagangarbh section of the meet were: R. Brown, C. Donaldson, J. Russell (SMC) and W. Cole, I. Gauld, & J.
Marshall (JMCS). On New Year's Day Marshall, Brown & Donaldson climbed Curver Ridge. On the 2nd Marshall &
Donaldson climbed North Buttress. On the 3rd Marshall & Donaldson climbed Crowberry Ridge by Greig's Ledge. Later
that evening, distress flares from Raven's Gully called for a rescue party, composed of members of many clubs.
'Messrs H. McInnes, C. Vagano and J. Collins of the Creag Dubh Club were safely extricated from the gully...'
The photo, taken by Tom Weir, includes one of the last of Willie Ling, who died a year later while on his way to
the following New Year Meet. With a sad irony, Ling's obituary of his friend and fellow member George Glover is in
the same journal as Robert Jeffrey's obituary of Ling. Willie Ling was in his 80th year, and Glover in his 84th.
Ling had attended the 1897 Yachting Meet of the Club, while Glover had attended the Easter, 1899 Meet at
Kinlochewe. Both had served as Presidents of the Club. In the photo are: Front Row Seated L to R: I.D. McNicol,
ex-Presidents Jeffrey, Jack & Ling. Back Row Standing L to R: R. Buckland, J.R. Marshall, J. Douglas, K.
Armstrong, D. MacKellar & J. Kerr.
1978 CIC Xmas Meet
The 1970s and 80s in particular saw an active series of SMC winter meets based in the CIC Hut on Ben Nevis. One very
popular meet was what came to be called the Xmas Meet, taking place a week or so before Xmas. This one was the 1978
meet, and spotting a chance on the summit, where a dozen SMC members were enjoying the sun following their routes, Ken
Crocket quickly organised a group at the summit and set the self-timer.
Present in the photograph:
From L to R (Standing): Gordon Mackenzie, Neil Quinn, Gerry Peet, Colin Stead, Doug Lang, Stuart Smith, Chris Gilmore,
Alastair Walker, Dave Dawson. (Sitting): Ken Crocket, Ian Fulton, Bob Richardson. Five of those pictured would later be
Presidents of the SMC.
2007 Lakes Meet
Lakes Meet (7-9 Sept) The meet in the Robertson Lamb (Wayfarer’s) hut in Langdale was on a mainly dry weekend giving
scope to the 16 members and their 5 guests for a great variety of rock climbs including routes on Raven Crag, White
Ghyll, Bowfell and Clinkle Crags and splendid mountain walks.
Present in the photograph: Standing: John Allen, Paddy Buckley, Duncan Walker(guest), Jim Beaton, Nigel Suess, David
Stone, Mike Cocker, Pippa Cocker (guest), Cam Forrest, Pat Buchanan (guest), Max Biden(guest), Dick Allen, David
Buchanan. Sitting: Robin Campbell, Dougie Lang, Colin Stead, Neil Quinn, Bob Richardson. Not present in photo: John
Wood, Alasdair Buchanan, Liz Bulleyment (guest). Photo by David Buchanan.