Muir Cottage Meet, Linn of Dee – April 2019
PMC: Muir Cottage Meet, Linn of Dee – April 2019
We had a super turn out for this meet with 11 attendees converging on Muir Cottage over the weekend. This was a new venue for many, I have stayed a few times and it is one of my favourite huts. The weekend got off to a good start on Friday with an evening of chatting, planning, catching up with friends and getting to know new people, all round a cosy wood burning stove.
Saturday was rather dull and drizzly with a few heavier showers so we all got fairly wet and didn’t get many views. The groups went off in various directions to undertake several different activities.
Alison stayed Friday night: I cycled from Invercauld to the bealach between Corbetts Culardoch and Creag an Dail Bheag, walked up both hills then had a lovely freewheel back down. I was quite happy to have a short day given the driech weather!
Paul Grace: I cycled into Geldie Lodge then climbed An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidleir which were a bit damp and misty with a particularly wet ride back out. Nice hills despite a few peat hags and wet feet during the river crossing. I even got a view from the lower summit.
Paul Morris, Wendy, Karin, Keith and Susan: We cycled up to Derry Lodge and did the Carn a’Mhain, Ben MacDui and Derry Cairngorm trio. Susan and Karin hadn’t brought bikes and were very grateful to Cairngorm Mountaineering Club, owners of Muir Cottage, for the bikes freely available for people staying at the hut to borrow. Well done to Keith who after an early start leaving Perth on Saturday morning and setting himself a fast pace managed to catch up with us on the slopes of Carn a’Mhain. Not many views but a great day including a peek in Bob Scott’s bothy on the way out. We got back about 8pm, arriving back to a very welcome roaring stove, a hot cuppa made for us by Lorna (thank you, such a treat) and, amazingly, a hot shower, we were the lucky ones!
Lorna and John: We decided against the very long high level route chosen by the larger group and headed instead to Loch Callater Lodge bothy by bike. From there we climbed Carn an t-Sagairt Mor actually on a compass bearing off the main path as the weather had closed in by then. There was very little to see from the summit in the rain and hail so we didn’t stay long. We took another bearing and headed over the adjacent top of Carn an T-Sagairt Beag and on to the cliffs of The Stuic before heading more south east to the top of Carn a’ Choire Bhoidheach. The weather failed to improve as hoped so we remained in mist and mank all the way back to the bothy. We didn’t even stop for a drink until safely inside the dry of the bothy. It was there we were joined by Steven quite by chance. He was heading up the way on his bike to take in the Corbett. We had not met before so it was interesting to find out first he was staying in the same place and then that he too was a club member! As he cycled up we were back on our bikes heading back down to the car park. The hut was warming nicely thanks to Paul who had the fire started, unfortunately it appeared the hot water from the morning was lost and needed a reheat. Other than the hot water shortage the hut was a wonderful place for the group to stay.
Stephen: I went up the Corbett Creag nan Gabhr and met John and Lorna in the bothy at Loch Callater.
Hannah: My weekend consisted of the Devil of Deeside race at Run Balmoral. The Devil involves completing 4 of the races over the weekend, 5km and 10km races on the Saturday, then Sunday is a duathlon made up of a 6km run, 16km mountain bike and a 5km run, followed by a 15 mile trail race. Sunday was by far the more enjoyable of the two days with two tough and hilly events with fantastic views (although a proper view of Lochnagar involved looking back along the route) and fun descents. And despite being tailed by the sweep for a while I even managed to end up not finishing last 🙂 It was great to have the company of so many others, with PMC members Dee doing the 10km on Saturday, Paul the duathlon on Sunday, and Daile the 15 mile trail race. And completely randomly I bumped into Jean who was out for a walk on the 15 mile race route!
Sunday started dry and sunny so everyone was looking forward to getting some views.
Hannah: Completed her Devil of Deeside challenge mentioned earlier and we were all in awe of her tremendous achievement.
Paul Grace: My Duathlon at Run Balmoral was tough but enjoyable especially in the sunshine. Both runs were hilly and the bike ride involved a huge hill. Fantastic coming down though! Forgot how tough it was to run after a hard bike ride. The 2nd 5k took a lot of effort. Managed 39th place in 1hour and 40 mins out of 200 or so. More enjoyable was watching Hannah (and Daile who got a lift up) run their 15 mile race whilst I relaxed in the sun with a burger and chips.
Wendy, Keith, Paul Morris, Karin, Lorna and John: With much improved weather the group parked at Linn of Quoich and headed up Glen Quoich on bikes. The walkers continued to the top of Beinn a’ Bhuird. John headed back down the track by bike and found up to Derry Lodge. The sun was very warm and with no wind it was a fun ride. He spent time exploring the area and a little sunbathing before heading back down the road to the car. There were a few hours to kill before the walkers returned so John headed to town and had a lovely lunch in the café. The group rounded off a great day in the Flying Stag bar of the newly refurbished Fife Arms in Braemar.
Stephen: On Sunday I went up Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh mor, they aren’t the most memorable Munro’s, though I think I saw an eagle high up the sky!
Susan: I left on Sunday morning to head for Ballater to meet family and their dog and retrieve my dog who had been looked after by them for the weekend. We enjoyed a lovely walk through the Cambus O’ May woods and fab coffee and cakes in the Riverside Cottage Café. If you haven’t been there before then I highly recommend it. Of course, other coffee shops are available!
Unfortunately, lack of hot water for showers was an ongoing issue over the weekend, I have reported the problem. A real shame as the hut is super in every other respect. Other recent visitors have left similar comments in the hut book so this seems to be an ongoing problem at present. On my previous stays this has never been an issue. I think I bemoaned the problems with the hot water so often that I even started to bore myself … sorry! I need to be like ‘Frozen’ and “Let it go …!”
Thanks to everyone for: making the meet such a successful and enjoyable event, for helping to tidy on Sunday – many hands made light work, for everyone’s good humour and understanding over the
lack of hot water (Let it go, Susan, Let it go….!) and finally, everyone’s understanding and flexibility in the few days before the meet when there was a bit of uncertainty over bed availability which meant possible camping for some.
Meet Convenor: Susan