Attendees :- Dave Broadhead, Stan Pearson, Geoff Cohen, John Hutchinson, Stephen Kennedy, David Myatt, James Hotchkis.
The magnificent seven had an unusual and memorable two days in Skye, staying at the Glen Brittle Memorial Hut.
It was unusual because it was winter, in Skye, people were out on the hills for 3 days and they did not get wet (apart from one….). This lack of a character-building soaking was compensated for by the buffeting they got from the severe storm force winds, particularly on the Saturday. It was strong enough to knock people off their feet, and one member (nameless, to preserve the dignity of their position in the Club) managed to end up sitting in a river.
The weekend started with great promise, if you did not look at the forecast. Friday was a beautiful day, with snow down to the road and SP, John H and GC managed a brisk day on the mountains above the Cluanie Inn. It started bright and cold so they set off up Am Bathach. The snow was not too deep and they were passed (going up and down) by a young runner in trainers and leggings, but at least he did have a rucksack. As they sat on the top deciding where to go next, they were surprised to see the runner arrive back at the summit, this time with his Mother who was more sensibly dressed. As the sky was darkening Sgurr an Fhuarail was chosen as the next objective, and our party were forced to put on crampons when the snow turned to brick-hard neve. Stan cut step for a while to impress Geoff, but not for very long.
Friday night in the hut was a convivial affair as the rather depleted party gathered, the poor forecast having put some people off. On Saturday the promised wind and thaw was well set in. DM, James H and DB set of south to walk past Coire a’ Ghrunnda to watch the waves on the south coast, while SK, SP, GC and John H were slightly more adventurous and drove round to Fiskavaig and walked over the headland looking for the Cave of the Speckled Horses that reputedly has some interesting remains. The wind made for sporting bog trotting and scrambling. Conditions meant they didn't quite get to the cave, but they did find some spectacular sea arches, wild breaking waves and a broch.
Sunday was only slightly less windy and again the part split. DB went for a walk up into Coire Lagan where he met an impressive Frenchman returning from the top of Sgurr Alasdair ( which he said was stormy). SK, SP, GC and John H walked and scrambled up into Coire a’ Ghrunnda to see the ice on the lochan, while DM and James H headed off to the fleshpots of Kyle.
Photo of a contempative Stan Pearson enjoying the breeze, by John Hutchinson