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Date: Hallowe'en 2009
Submitted by: KEITH MONAGHAN


A few weather hardened travellers headed for Glencoe and the delights of a little Hitler in charge at Glencoe SYHA. Entry would be refused to anyone daring to arrive after 10pm despite the fact that he was on duty to 11.30. Reasons for such a strict regime were outlined as the possibility of making too much noise when making up the beds despite the fact that we had our own room booked. He also refused visiting rights to the (MI)President and the first lady who weren't even allowed to park the mothership in the car park outside despite being SYHA members. Luckily Bonnie had travelled earlier with Finbar in his mothership and having booked in, was able to obtain the necessary bedding with a promise to have it fitted before the witching hour of 10pm. A phone call as we left Glasgow to the dictator claiming we had just passed Tyndrum and would be with him shortly seemed to calm him slightly and we were awarded with admittance at 11pm with only a disgruntled grunt from the poisoned dwarf.

Bonnie had long since left for the pub but dutifully returned before being locked out. The next day Hitler had gone to a BNP racial awareness weekend and the replacement was a smiling friendly blonde female who wouldn't have cared if we burned the place down. Next morning we (Sam, Sandra M, Sandra K, Finbar and Denis and I) headed for the Ballachulish horseshoe and climbs up Sgour Dhonuill and Sgorr Dhearg. Forecast was for high winds but the first half was climbed in t shirts. On reaching the col all changed where 60mph winds blew us all over the place. Sandra K put on her new waterproof trousers but sadly had not noticed they were on back the front for quite some time.

Saturday saw the full team; (Alan, Margaret and Gerty now included) climb an 800m scramble up Dinnertime buttress followed by Stob Coire nan Lochan, Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire Screamhach Bienn Fhada and a return in darkness via the lost valley. We had few showers late in the day but otherwise the weather held out. Denis and Gerty headed for a night out in Glasgow and the rest of us made do with the Clachaig Inn where Bonnie and Sam spent some time searching down the back of the sofas for a few extra quid. Bonnie ended up with a pearl bracelet and Sam found a half sucked sweet. Food very good and the place was packed with Halloween fancy dress. A number of hairy bikers had travelled up on their Harleys and were partying in the Clachaig Inn and staying in the hostel. In the early hours a conversation outside our room between two sozzelled hells angels brought some amusement when one of the leather clad hard men was heard to shout 'I love you Stevie, that's what being a bloke all is about'. Must have come up from England!

Sunday's weather was horrendous so Alan, Finbar, Sandra K and I headed for the Ice Factor. I hadn't been there before but a few tips from Alan and Sandra and I was off up the side of the freezer like a shot. However early exuberance was soon tempered where a well placed ice axe proved hard to displace and an extra yank to remove it resulted a bang on the bridge of the nose with the hammer. (Yes I have heard all the big nose jokes thank you). I climbed slowly to the top allowing the tears to clear before coming down and admiring a nice cut which has now developed into black eyes. Alan tried his luck with the wooden icicles in the fridge and all routes and overhangs were tamed by the team. Driving home however, was somewhat difficult with forearms and calves like Popeye followed by a rough sea crossing and midnight to bed.

Photo of Route
Glencoe - team heading for scramble on Dinner time butress.