16th - 19th June:

Present: A Chatburn, A Crowther, S Goodier, C Goulden, R Grayson, R Harris, J Hood, M Johnson, M Peppit, R Peppit, M Pierce, L Stout, J Vessey.

Leaders: J Vessey & S Goodier

I arrived at the hut on Friday evening, having picked up Goulden and Hood at Perth station. We unloaded some food for the weekend, and then headed for the local bar which overlooked the Ballachulish bridge, where we found four of the less youthful members tucking into a bar meal. Pierce, Grayson and Goodier arrived a little later having nipped up a local hill to stretch their legs after a long train journey – they never made it to the top as the ‘hill’ turned out to be more than expected. We returned to the hut for some late supper and were joined by the Peppit brothers who had driven up after work.

Friday dawned overcast but dry – a relief after a week of rain. Chatburn, Crowther, Harris and Johnson executed their plan of leaving the hut for the 0830hrs Corran ferry. They headed across the Ardnamurchan Peninsular to catch another ferry to Tobermory, on the island of Mull. They were on the lookout for Golden and Sea Eagles whilst travelling around the island.

The Peppit brothers had convinced Goodier to join them on some fiendish routes up the Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe. Apparently they were quick drying! The routes were Mainbrace Crack (HVS 5a) and Shackle Route (Severe).

Goulden, Grayson, Hood, Pierce and Vessey headed for Kinlochleven and started up the West Highland Way to the Mamores. The target was the quartz covered summit of Sgurr a Mhaim at 1098m, situated at the end of the 1km long Devils Ridge. The summit overlooks Glen Nevis with great views of The Ben – assuming, of course, that there is no cloud! We climbed a total of over 5000 feet and walked more than 9.5 miles for our one Munro, but it was worth it. The weather steadily improved and by the time we were sitting having a well-earned pint overlooking Loch Leven, the sun was shining and it was very warm.

On Saturday Chatburn, Crowther, Harris and Johnson started their day at Kinlochleven and walked down the West Highland Way towards Fort William. The route was busy, as the West Highland Race was being held at the same time – a grueling 95mile race that started at 1am on Saturday in Glasgow, ending in Fort William with a winning time of 15.25 hours.

The Peppit brothers went off towards Fort William, and climbed Centurian (HVS 5a) an impressive route up the centre of the Carn Dearg Buttress on the north face of Ben Nevis. They went without Sid G, who opted for a walk in Glencoe instead.

So, Goulden, Goodier, Grayson, Hood, Pierce, Stout and Vessey all went walking. We climbed the Hill of the Thunderbolt which rises gracefully above the narrows of Loch Leven at Ballachulish, a fine mountain made up of two Munros (Sgorr Dhearg and Sgorr Dhonuill) on a long, curving ridge forming magnificent north-facing corries. We started from the Primary School in Ballachulish and took a ‘tiger’ line up the steep slopes of Beinn Bhan before joining the ridge of the first summit which we followed all the way around. We had parked another car in the forestry Commission carpark allowing a circular walk.

On Sunday morning, the rain started again and all left early for the long trip home. Many thanks to all for a memorable meet and particular thanks to Mike Travis for his very generous donation, which was used to buy the wine for Saturday evening – we toasted the health of his recently born (and first) grandson.