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Last updated: 15/10/10


'Beinn a'Ghlo Car Meet'
12 August 2006

The by now traditional Saturday Car Meet this summer (2006) was to Ben a’Ghlo (hill of the veil or mist), a fine Cairngorm range not attacked by bus for some time despite the attraction of its three Munros. Leaving the (relative) bustle of Aberdeen at 7 am, three vehicles spun down the road to Blair Atholl in about 2 hours via Coupar Angus and Dunkeld, on a beautiful morning despite high cloud in the west. At Blair A., Albert Krawwinkel was picked up from ScotRail, while Julie Bruce awaited Ian (a non-member). Parking at Loch Moraig, we were underway by 9.40, first along a landrover track, then straight up Carn Liath (grey or hoary hill; 975m, 3197ft) – a little boggy at first, then a braiding but zigzagged path on the upper ground. The cloud obligingly lifted before us, giving long-distance views up north to the main Cairngorms, and a pleasant breeze provided ideal conditions. Then it was on down the Beinn Mhaol ridge to the col before ascending Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain (1070m, 3505ft; variously translated as the upland of the corrie of round blisters, the brae of the round bag-shaped corrie, or, more dubiously, Turkey Peak. Here, we were caught up by Ian and Julie, Ken the Elder remaining on Carn Liath.

During this period, e-text contact was established between the main party and the overnighters Eilidh and Judy, who had slept(?) somewhere short of their goal of Loch Loch, and were due to return over the Ben a’Ghlo ridge from the north during the day. However, handicapped by a general ignoring (if not ignorance) of English grammar, not to mention a lack of mobile capability (topographical and digital), these exchanges were not always straightforward, as illustrated by the following verbatim extract from the MI5 transcript:

E: Deliteful b’fast at 7. On ridge at 10.

K: Peching up carn liath

E: U should try with a ful pack. We glow. U sweat

K: Now on CL … Where r u     cloud

E: Clear   Good views 2 n. 898 meall a mhuirich.

K: Twn [two] m of   at   or   from

E: Got 2 trig point. Almost cloud fre.

K: Peching up B na wotsit

E: What is pluperfect of whatsit?

K: It’s a noun not a verb

E: J. asks what she was doing?

K: R U on AB [Airgiod Bheinn]

E: Yes 2 being on ab. Now Of hill. On road 2 car

K: In pub

A rest at the Braigh cairn, which offered shelter from a freshening wind, was occupied by reading everyone “Handy Hints on Mountaineering: How to Open Sardine Tin with an Ice-Axe” (Dan McGraff, SMCJ vol. XVIII, 1929). Then along and down a very pleasant ridge to the Bealach an Fhioda (pass of the timber; none visible), and a start up the final part of the ridge. Intercepting the overnighters on Airgoid Bheinn (silver mountain; see above transcript) provided a short but welcome respite to both sides, and then we were up the Carn nan Gabhar (1129m, 3677ft; hill of the goats) cairns, all the way to the most northerly, just in case …, at around 1.30 pm. The view being obscured by cloud at this point, another SMCJ paper, “Ben-y-Gloe on Christmas Day” (vol. II, 1893), was read in celebration, and then the party divided, Jean leading three others down into Glen Tilt, while the rest returned to the Bealach, emerging below a little light drizzle. From here, a generally good but unmapped path, over-peered by deer, led down through grass, bog, heather and peat to the Allt Coire Lagain, eventually to pick up the landrover track. The car park (and Ken the Elder) was reached at about 4.15, and a speedy, final and vehicular descent made to the pub at Blair Atholl, for a welcome few litres of assorted (but not all combined) liquids. Eventually, the overnighters rolled in, and then, after what was described as “a long walk”, the Tilters at around 6.30 pm, allowing everyone a quick meal and a return to Aberdeen soon after 10 pm.

A total of 11 people therefore had A Good Day, at low cost except for some skin somewhat roughened by sun and wind, a few well-exercised muscles, and several hours of very pleasant company.

Author: Ken Thomson