Strawberry Cottage, Xmas Meet

LMC Glen Affric Meet Report
Dates: 30/11/18 – 02/12/18
Attended by: Lorna Ferrier, Holly Duncan, Michael McAnenay, Stewart Gibson, Julian Hearne, Tim Hough, Rob Sim and Cameron Watts.

A great turn out and successful Meet to a really remote hut – Strawberry Cottage in the beautiful Glen Affric. Tim thankfully had his land rover and so was able to ferry people and bags down the track to the hut saving tired legs after a long drive, needed by all but Rob who bought his mountain bike and cycled. Friday night was kicked off with mulled wine and planning, not only tomorrow’s hiking plans but also the Christmas dinner preparation – veggies peeled, prepped and ready to go.

Michael who is not far off completing the corbetts set off alone to tackle Sgurr Gaorsaic on Saturday, slightly hindered by his recent foot injury. It was an approx 21k round trip with a fairly long walk in and out but a great golden eagle sighting.

The rest of us set off together to head up to the munro Mam Sodhail. We lost Jules early on as he made an off route trip to his car! Loads of snow about, initially was fairly poor visibility but as we reached around 1000m suddenly cleared and gave us great views. We went up the slope on the right to reach the reach the ridge impressively leading up to the Mam Sodhail summit. Really impressive Cairn at the summit, more like a dry stone walled castle. Views were really great and there was a good build up of snow with cornices forming. Lorna and Cameron headed down back to the hut after this point, stopping off to make snow angels on route.

Tim, Stewart, Rob and Holly continued down the quite icy boulder s to the bealach before heading up to the second Munro Carn Eige. We had lunch at the summit and then considered options. We had initially planned on going to the third Munro Beinn Fhionnlaidh but with the short days and promise of Christmas dinner on return decided we didn’t have quite enough time for this. Instead we returned back to the bealach, passed just below the summit of Mam Sodhail and carried on around the ridge to the summit top before descending down a very wet, muddy and endlessly boggy path back to hut, needing our head torches out by the end.

On returning to the hut we were unsure whether to start opening the wine and getting our Christmas crackers ready or get our torches out to look for Jules. Thankfully it wasn’t too much longer till he returned after taking a wrong turn coming down off Mam Sodhail. His new magnetic clip gloves seemed to have affected his compass!!

Christmas dinner was amazing, thanks to our super chef Lorna. We had soup, chicken xmas dinner and brownies for pudding. Great food and great company.

Sunday we cleared up the hut, said our good byes and spilled into Tim’s land rover to get back to the cars given its a fairly long drive home.
Great weekend in a lovely hut in a really spectacular setting.