We are starting to think that Munro Society meets are jinxed. Once again, the weather forecast promised dismal conditions and 10 days beforehand the custodian of the Ochils Mountaineering Club Hut informed us that there was a water supply problem at the hut meaning that the showers didn’t work and the toilets could only be flushed using buckets filled from an outside tap. Far from ideal so four members managed to find a bed at the Youth Hostel over the road.
The water may have been in short supply inside the hut but it was a different story outside and the drying room vied with the kitchen as the busiest room for the rest of the weekend.
On Friday, in between some prolonged showers, there were patches of blue sky and warm sunshine. Some brave souls actually went up a hill – a mixture of Grahams and Corbetts, with Colin Walter on Beinn Fhionnlaidh the only person to venture above 3000ft.
On Saturday over 50 people gathered at Dalrigh to climb the Graham, Fiarach, joining Anne Butler for her Graham/Full House completion. The weather had improved and gave reasonably good conditions other than a shower just after the summit had been attained. However, we soon forgot about rain as Anne’s amazing achievement was celebrated with champagne and some delicious cake!
The celebrations continued back at the Crianlarich Hotel with afternoon tea and then a lovely communal meal in the evening, before a torchlight return to the hut was made.
A quick peak outside the curtains on Sunday morning showed that the monsoon predicted by MWIS and the Met Office had arrived. By the time boots were being laced the weather had improved to merely dreich. A fine mixture of hill walks ensued, including Meall nan Tarmachan, Stob Coir’ an Albannaich and Meall nan Eun, some Munro Tops, Corbetts and Grahams. A few perhaps wiser souls opted for low level walks interspersed with visits to coffee shops! That evening Robin cooked a communal meal for the majority of the group in the hut kitchen. Roast venison was complemented by an excellent pudding from Maggie and that was followed by demolition of the cheese mountain which appeared in the middle of the dining table, all washed down with copious amounts of wine.
Monday wasn’t quite as bad. It was damp and drizzly and there was a breeze; but compared to the previous day it was positively idyllic. More hills were ascended and David Batty visited a hydro scheme in Glen Falloch to compile a report for the TMS ‘Run of River’ reporting initiative.