The annual AC Scottish winter climbing meet returned to the Corran Bunkhouse for the weekend of 25th/26th February 2017.
The idea behind the somewhat later choice of dates this year was firstly to avoid the crowds of the school holidays, and secondly in the hope of more reliable conditions (not that in past years we haven’t had plenty of good climbing.). In these aims we were only partially successful. Meet leaders may fear bad luck with weather for the chosen dates, but the Scottish winter of 2016/17 was such that almost any weekend would have had problems. A truly exceptional weather pattern brought a prolonged snow drought to the Alps and at the same time sustained SW winds to Scotland, giving mild temperatures and the leanest build-up of snow and ice that anyone could remember. Nonetheless, 14 members, aspirants or guests enjoyed convivial company in the ever improving, excellent facilities of the bunkhouse.
Storm Doris had dumped a rare batch of new snow the Thursday beforehand, so those lucky enough to get up there early succeeded on various climbs and walks in proper winter conditions on the Friday. The forecast for Saturday was for warm and wet, but as luck would have it the front passed through more quickly than expected so that by late morning it became dry and the cloud lifted, and some parties enjoyed ascending Munros with splendid views and air clarity. Scotland had delivered a memorable afternoon, making it all worthwhile. We had an enjoyable group meal in the local Pub on the Saturday evening, but there was no saving Sunday, mild again and very wet, the only place to go was the climbing wall in Kinlochleven (choice of rock or ice). While some took this opportunity, others opted for a leisurely morning and an earlier than anticipated start to the drive home.
We’ll be back again next year, and one thing I can promise is that there will definitely be more snow and ice than this year!