Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Saturday 17 April 2010 - Martin Scoular's Final Corbett - Garbh-bheinn

"Crazy" muttered Jon M, who with 1118 Relative Summits (Marilyns) to his name knows about these things.
"I agree" added Peter, who with 1152 summits to his name should know even better.
"I remember when you led a party of 20 novices over Aonach Eagach" countered Martin, fresh from today's traverse of Garbh-bheinn, a Grade 1 scramble, with an assortment of novices and more experienced folk.
"I don't" concluded Peter, after conceding that Martin may have been recalling an event from over 20 years earlier. Peter is now rather elderly, forgetful, and safety conscious.

There was just enough room on the summit to create the traditional tunnel of walking poles for Martin to celebrate his coming of Corbett'age (pictured). Not the best picture, I agree, but the conditions were less than perfect.

Over 20 folk had converged on the summit at around 2pm, after getting there by a variety of different routes and speeds. I had followed Martin; not necessarily a good idea as anyone who had followed him to his final Munro would know. So, in keeping with that historic event, the eight of us who were designated as the 'A' Team, duly arrived at the foot of the Wrong Hill soon after 10am.

The Wrong Hill turned out, unlike previously, to be a deliberate ploy to 'warm up' on the grassy slopes of Glas Bheinn Mhor (570 metres), which we summited at 11.30, in fine weather and without incident.

It was now obvious that a further obstacle lay between our group of eight and Martin's objective. It was called Belig, a 700 metre pimple with a steep looking belly.

"We'll go up the right hand ridge" declared Martin, and promptly headed off up the steep left hand ridge, which admittedly did look easier from closer quarters.

"I've never been here before" he explained, tetchily, to the doubting onlookers.

Anyway, it wasn't too difficult, and the now disparate group arrived on the summit over quite a long period some time before 1pm. By now we were a little damp as rain forecast to start at 12noon had indeed behaved as if some sort of heavenly alarm had turned on a tap at exactly that time. The rain was due to last for an hour, so Martin had planned his timings accordingly, to reach the summit of his final Corbett, now hidden under a soggy blanket above a steep black precipice, on a lovely sunny spring day.

Sadly, him up there forgot to turn the tap off, as can be seen from the picture. But we did make it up the north east ridge of Garbh-bheinn, only a little late, to join others who had been there for nearly an hour, and wait for stragglers from the 'C' team, whose 'novices' all made it up, with only a couple of more sensible people having turned around at an exposed point only about 50 metres from the 806 metre summit. We knew that the 'B' team of Alison and Peter had already retreated, having satisfied themselves with the summit of Belig, so summit celebrations were held, then resumed, with alcohol now available, lower down the hill above Coire na Seilg.

Well over 20 folk had made the summit. Very commendable as it was not that easy on the ridge. A fine hill, and in my opinion Martin, a great choice.

There had been a further team, 'Jerry's', that had set out to ascend Marsco as an alternative 'warm up', but they had finished up traversing that hill to avoid being late for the party. This was good news for me as Jerry still fancied going up Marsco, which is a lovely hill with fine views. It's the shapely hill you can see on the left as you look up Glen Sligachan from outside the hotel.

So, Jerry and I ambled up to the 736 metre summit, chatted to some friendly locals, and then strolled back down to reach the fleshpots of the bunkhouse before 7pm.

Though the rain had thickened towards the end of the day, it had been a fine trip into the Cuillins, with views (of sorts) from all four summits.

The evening was a culinary delight, not to say somewhat alcoholic. Later on, Steve appeared to die, with only Margriet able to revive him - by whispering in his ear "wouldn't you be more comfortable in bed"! before leading him away. The tenor of the evening then subsided into murky tales from the XXL Club archives (I had wondered how it got that name), mostly from Angus, on the subject of 'pants'.

Time for bed!

[Later] A slide show for the weekend is available here.

1 comment:

AlanR said...

Congratulations Martin on a damn fine achievement.