As today is a bit grey, and my bowels are still recovering from Jordan, it’s a day indoors, and I’m short of inspiration.
But Jon Metcalf has emailed me with a request for photos for this weekend’s XXL Club Annual Dinner at the Fife Arms in Braemar. Sadly I can’t make the dinner, but I can recall with clarity a highlight of the year, on 5 May – Jon’s 1000th Marilyn – Ainshval on the Isle of Rum. This was a baggerfest. Even Alan Dawson, author of The Relative Hills of Britain – a book you will pick up again and again - was there. Jon took a low level route whilst 6 of us fumbled our way along the misty ridge and steep ground of the Rum Cuillin. This was not ‘a walk in the park’, but between us we had enough experience of Scottish weather and navigation to see us through to our rendezvous with Jon at 2.45. He was a bit cool, as we were 45 minutes late due to the necessary care that the conditions had required. Here he is, enjoying the moment with a couple of mates (he’s holding them) - and very relieved to see us too. The summit is just up to the right.
Our haste to descend from the final summit left some of the party floundering in the mist, so it was by three different routes that we converged on Dibidil Bothy, where several young ladies were relieved to learn that we weren’t planning to stay. Most of us got back to Kinloch Castle at 7.45, after an 11 hour day. Jon walks more slowly, so we had to delay dinner until his arrival, at 9.15, after an adventure with a river (it was raining hard). A very long day for him, but I think he did get one of the better rooms in the ‘bunkhouse’, like this one I shared with the Dishy Pharmacist for just £14 pppn!