14th - 17th June 2018

The weather was reasonable (considering it was Scotland); the midges certainly restricted; Food and company excellent and hut cosy. An excellent weekend, enjoyed by a limited group. Sunday saw a mass drive home, (due to the weather or hangovers or plane timetables) except for Syd who went up Schieallion as an after thought and arrived home very late.

Walkers: Friday: The Monadh Liath range of mountains was a suggestion, and a horseshoe route going over the Munros Geal Charn and Carn Dearg was the aim. Peppit senior, having previously ticked off one of them, decided just to go for Carn Dearg, and for that he had R Harris and M Clowes for company. Leaving the car park a couple miles above Newtonmore, it proved to be a long day in wild country, whilst the others (C Goulden, J Hood, S Goodier and J Vessey) had an even longer day in wilder country.

On Saturday, who suggested the Fiacaill Ridge scramble on the Cairngorm, I’m not sure, but a large party (Goulden, Hood, Harris, Goodier, Vessey, G Peppit, Stout, Skelton) headed out that way, for some the first time to the UK’s premier ski slope. Unfortunately, the wind got up, the cloud came down, and a patter of rain was either potential or did happen. Consequently, Peppit, Stout and Harris aborted before the scrambling started and after a cup of coffee at the ski station, they drove down and walked round Loch Morlich, all the time looking at the blackness they had just left. The others completed the scramble, although I think another aborted whilst on it. A shame the weather spoilt a potentially good scramble, but the successful team enjoyed it, so they said. Rob and Mike, as a change from climbing, went mountain biking both days and really enjoyed it, there being much scope in the Cairngorm Park. They also, as is the custom, took a dip in the local river, by the bridge. The President’s cycling on the Saturday was a little more civilised, and following is his account, although the reader may well think that the President was still affected by the malt fumes, when he wrote it. G Peppit.

By M Clowes: The President and ex Secretary cycled to Tomartin Distillery and back on a driecht day, recovering samples for the subsequent dinner prepared by the Goulden.

The route via Aviemore and Slochd summit and included significant portions of off road work. The ascent of Socht proved to be a bit onf a slog (gettit?) for the old President particularly when a crank came loose and along the rough patches Shawcrosses combo of young legs and Moulton City bike beat the Presidents old legs and 1958 Claud Butler. But both were defeated by one 1:10 - ish slightly rough incline.  Chagrin all around.

Memorable wildlife sightings were a pair of ospreys at the edge of a wood a few miles from the hut and a red squirrel darting across the town bike’s path. More domesticated was one of the cows which the distillery had trained to wear Wellington boots for tourists as they left the distillery following the tasting. How they did this is a mystery but the camera doesn’t lie. Fascinating engineering features abounded in the distillery which is now mainly fuelled by local timber. The original m:Porteus Patent Malt Mill from Leeds is still fully operational and will never wear out such is it’s sustainable design, however access to the distillery steam boilers was denied to the H+S officer so further observations of compliance were not possible on the day.